Monday, 7 January 2013

The Trouble with Tanzania

I am not wise enough to point out the trouble with Tanzania, neither am I old enough to even understand the complexity of Tanzanian history to state the trouble of Tanzania. Literature guru Chinua Achebe wrote the short précis of The Trouble with Nigeria in 1983 to explain the troubles that plagued the country ranging from vices of corruption, tribalism, the cult of mediocrity, indiscipline among others. A critical analysis of the 67 paged book by Achebe can be juxtaposed with the general trouble of the politics of the African societies. The failure of leadership was the underlying theme of the book that explained the demagoguery of Nigerian leadership which can narrate the other troubles that ail the country.

“The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate of water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership.”  

The trouble in Nigeria as explained by Achebe is synonymous to the African political setting. As pointed out earlier, I am not wise or old enough to state the trouble with Tanzania, but I will try to place myself into the Tanzanian political and societal setting to explain what could be wrong with us. There is nothing wrong with the Tanzanian lad or climate or air. On the contrary, Tanzania is a blessed country in many fronts. Tanzania is the land of Kilimanjaro, the land of the great Serengeti; the land of Zanzibar, the land of Lake Tanganyika. Tanzania is blessed with abundant natural resources, good climate and weather. The people of Tanzania are beautiful and hospitable. Tanzania is the cradle of civilization. The Olduvai Gorge is one of the most important pale-anthropological sites in the world and has been instrumental in furthering the understanding of early human evolution. Tanzania is the home of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere; the great thinker of African Socialism as explained by the Ujamaa philosophy. 

There is nothing basically wrong with Tanzania as was conceived after the political merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. Tanzania’s problem is as Achebe explained a failure of leadership. This failure has resulted in a myriad of other troubles that I will try to explain in a series format.

William Shakespeare once said “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
................Continues tomorrow.      

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