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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Book on The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher

The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher

Karim F Hirji

Daraja Press, 2018


This is a most valuable and absorbing reflection upon a rich lifetime in teaching. The author draws deeply upon that experience, well documented through diaries and relevant papers, to draw lessons about the very nature of teaching (and thus about the training of new teachers) which, not to be forgotten, is always affected by the wider social and political context. This book deserves an international audience because the issues raised and problems met are universal. Furthermore, the book is very clearly written, and excellently illustrated with examples, stories and critical reflections. Richard Pring, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Education, and Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. 

The remarkable life of a principled Tanzanian educator and activist told with an eye for historical accuracy but also with emotion and humor. Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Tanzania’s Ujamaa period. Peter Lawrence, Professor Emeritus of Development Economics, Keele University UK, and Lecturer in Economics, University of Dar es Salaam, 1970-72.

Through his account of four decades of teaching experience at different levels in varied contexts in post-colonial Tanzania, Karim Hirji provides us with a timely reminder of the ways in which education generally plays the role of consolidating existing structures of power – whether this be of colonialists, or bureaucratic, corrupt party hacks, or the neoliberal state and its private sector partners. As he remarks, educators face a choice, now as ever: “serve the status quo or educate in ways that will promote equality and social justice”. Dr Anne Harley, Paulo Freire Project, Centre for Adult Education, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. 


Contents

PREFACE

ACRONYMS



1. VOLUNTEER TEACHER

2. TRAINEE TEACHER

3. TUTORIAL ASSISTANT

4. A VISIT TO ZANZIBAR

5. A PRO-DEMOCRACY UPRISING

6. ASSISTANT LECTURER

7. PLANNING OFFICER

8. SENIOR INSTRUCTOR

9. THE ACADEMY TODAY

10. FUNDAMENTALS OF TEACHING

11. THE BLACKBOARD SAGA


APPENDIX A AKIVAGA CRISIS TIMELINE 

APPENDIX B AKIVAGA CRISIS IN HISTORY

APPENDIX C DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION

APPENDIX D PHOTOS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

REFERENCES AND READINGS

AUTHOR PROFILE
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FROM THE BACKCOVER

The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher is a riveting account of the bumpy first decade of the work life of Karim F Hirji, a retired Professor of Medical Statistics. Filled with a distinctive variety of eye-opening episodes, it covers lecturing at the University of Dar es Salaam, the life of a political exile in a remote rural area and the challenges of setting up from scratch a one‑of‑a‑kind educational institute in Africa. With a style that seamlessly combines the personal with the general, Hirji provides an illuminating description of different aspects of the Tanzanian political, educational, economic and rural landscape during the 1970s. Starting with a commentary on teacher training, he concludes with a critical comparison of modern university education in the nation with that of the earlier era.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Public Lecture Today at Nkrumah Hall-UDSM


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Ma Winnie Mandela: Child of the Soil

Ma Winnie Mandela: Child of the Soil

Born of a woman
Marked by color
Fighting for liberation
Deep in Soweto

Wrinkled by Apartheid
Forged in a turbulent time
From Kroonstad
To Sharpville

A mother of the nation
Daughter of the people
A sister of the African
Shero of the struggle

Your people shall govern
The land and the mines
In the depth of Marikana
And the heart of the veldts

Hamba Kahle Ma Winnie
Child of the soil
Umkhonto we Sizwe
A South African soul

© Chambi Chachage @Udadisi
* Photo courtesy of Kgalee Art @TheKgalee + @kgalee_art

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Winnie Mandela: The Product of Her Enemies

Winnie Mandela: The Product of Her Enemies

Chambi Chachage


It has been a longer walk to freedom for Winnie Mandela. Even as she rests from her struggles, the walk continues. This time among those who follow in her footsteps in fighting Global Apartheid.

Yet there are those who feel she is not worthy of emulation let alone adulation. Like the friends of the black people that Ossie Davis referred to in the 'Malcolm X Eulogy', they consider it their duty to tell us to revile her. To flee, even from the presence of her memory. And to save ourselves by writing her out of the her/history of our turbulent times. As if Winnie was/is merely a footnote in it.

They think they know better than Stompie Seipei's mother, Mananki Joyce Seipei. Or feel more pain than this mother who feels she does not have enough details to blame or convict Winnie for the murder of her dear son in the bloody decade of the 1980s.

Winnie was not a saint. Hardly anyone would be so in the turbulent times that defined Apartheid South Africa. Not even the Black Pimpernel who later became the Messianic face of  'A Rainbow Nation'. Or even the Bishop who won a Nobel Peace Prize.


On the other hand, those who are more critical are "gradually isolated, and then quite simply brushed aside." In the case where they cannot simply be ignored due to their touch with the masses, they get eliminated. This is what happened to Chris Hani who was assassinated on this date 25 years ago in South Africa.

Mam' Winnie could not easily be isolated or brushed aside. I was a student in South Africa in 2001 when the then leader of the African National Congress (ANC) pushed her in public during the 25th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising. Yet in 2007 she got more votes than all ANC leaders in its National Executive Committee (NEC) voting in Polokwane. She remained a political force to reckon with.

Some of us would even invoke the counterfactual to grasp what could have been. Were it not for misogyny, she would have been the President of both the ANC and the Republic of South Africa. And who could better serve in those capacities that the one whom Graça Machel has referred to as her "Big Sister" who "loved our people unconditionally and sacrificed so much for our freedom."

A holier-than-thou attitude should not stop us from remembering that love from someone who is on the record for stating that she is the product of the masses of South Africa. Someone who was bold and honest enough to acknowledge that she was also the product of her enemies. The product of the violent legacy that made her biographer, Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrop, make this painful observation:

Fare-thee-well Mam' Winnie. You have played your part. May we.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Kwaheri Kamaradi Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

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