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Baraza la Kiswahili la Berlin

Masimulizi ya uhamiaji kutoka Afrika Mashariki kwenda Ghuba ya Kiarabu wakati wa Miongo 1960 na 1970 (Narratives of Migration from East Africa to the Arabian Gulf during the decades of the 1960s and 1970s)

9th May, 2022

Nathaniel Mathews, Binghamton University (SUNY)

Nathaniel Mathews ni Profesa Mshirikishi katika Idara ya Masomo ya Kiafrika, Chuo Kikuu cha Binghamton, Amerika. Alipata shahada ya udaktari katika Historia kutoka Chuo Kikuu cha Northwestern mnamo 2016. Katika wasilisho hili Profesa Mathews anayajadili masuala yanayotoka kwenye utafiti aliyefanya 2012 - 2013 mjini Muscat nchini Oman na WaOmani waliozaliwa Afrika Mashariki, pamoja na utafiti aliyefanya 2014 kwenye nyaraka za taifa Zanzibar na nyaraka nyingine mbalimbali. Mathews anaonyesha michakato minne ya maisha ya uhamiaji katika wasilisho lake. Kwanza, “Wamanga” waliotoroka Zanzibar kama wakimbizi 1964 - 1965 baada ya mapinduzi ya Zanzibar. Wengi wao walisaidiwa na Shirika la Umoja wa Mataifa linaloshughulikia Huduma za Wahamiaji (UNHCR) na Msalaba Mwekundu kuingia Oman, na wengine walihamia pahali pengine: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, na Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Pili, miongo ya Wazanzibari waliotoroka Zanzibar kwa siri mwisho wa 1960 hadi mwanzo wa 1970. Wao walijaribu kupata uraia au kibali cha makao ya kudumu kwenye nchi za Ghuba. Tatu, raia ya Afrika Mashariki waliohamia Ghuba kutafuta kazi: wahamiaji wa kazi ya muda. Na mchakato wa mwisho ni Waarabu WaOmani wanaokaa Tanzania na nchi zingine za Afrika Mashariki. Wao waliitikia mwaliko wa Sultan Quaboos waje Oman kusaidia kujenga taifa baada ya mwaka 1970.

 

English Version

Nathaniel Mathews is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Binghamton University and lives in upstate NY. He received his Ph.D. in History from Northwestern University in 2016. This talk is borne out of the research he carried out in 2012-2013 in Muscat, Oman with Omanis born in East Africa, and also from research he conducted in 2014 in the Zanzibar archives, among others. Mathew’s study of the lives of migrants in this period (1960s-1970s) shows four basic patterns. First, the Wamanga who left Zanzibar as refugees in 1964-1965, after the Zanzibar revolution. Many of them were helped by the UNHCR and Red Cross to enter Oman, and others dispersed to different places (in the Gulf): Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Second, there were many Zanzibaris who escaped Zanzibar covertly at the end of the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s. They tried to obtain citizenship or permanent residence in the countries of the Gulf. Third, there were East Africans who migrated to the Gulf to look for work, as temporary labor migrants. The final process was Omani Arabs living in Tanzania and other East African countries, responding to the invitation of Sultan Qaboos to come to Oman to help in nation-building there after 1970.

Fasihi Simulizi na Changamano la Bahari Hindi: Maana na Mafunzo ya Visasuli kutoka Makunduchi Zanzibar (Zanzibarian Myths in Oral literature and the Indian Ocean Complex)

7th February, 2022

Elizabeth Sekwiha Gwajima, University of Dar Es Salaam

Elizabeth Sekwiha Gwajima ni mhadhiri katika Chuo Kikuu cha Dar es Salaam. Makazi yake ni Idara ya Saikolojia ya Elimu na Masomo ya Mitaala - Shule Kuu ya Elimu (SoED). Katika wasilisho lake, anaweka wazi athari ya bandari Hindi katika fasihi simulizi. Kwa msisitizo, anajichunguza na fasihi simulizi ya Zanzibar huku akilenga kujua maana na mafunzo ya baadhi ya majina ya mahali katika mji wa Makunduchi. Mbali na kuonyesha vile visasuli vina dhima ya kuelemisha, Daktari Gwajima anaonyesha kazi asilia ya visasuli ya kuelezea mwanzo wa vitu na mahali. Wasilisho lake linahitimisha kwa kutoa wito wa juhudi za kuhifadhi visasuli vilivyosalia visipotee katika ulimwengu wa mtandao na utandawazi na kuhatarisha uwepo wa fasihi simulizi.

English Version

Elizabeth Sekwiha Gwajima is a lecturer of Literature at the University of Dar es Salaam. She is based at the Department of Educational Psychology and Curriculum Studies - School of Higher Education (SoED) where her research interests include colonial and postcolonial literature, African women writings and oral narratives. In this presentation, she takes a literary perspective on the creolization of the Indian Ocean region to showcase that verbal art consists of a network of intertextual dialogue involving imitations and transformations. Focussing on the mythology of the Makunduchi region of Zanzibar, Doctor Gwajima lays bare the capacity of folklore to reshape and reinterpret ideas and conceptions, and the repercussions this has on the linguistic and cultural development of Swahili culture. Doctor Gwajima winds her lecture by advocating for the recording and integration of oral literature into textual presentation so as to preserve the genre from extinction in this age of globalization and the mass media.

Aibu, Dini na Mazao: Urithi wa Utumwa katika Bara la Afrika Mashariki (The Aftermath of Slavery in mainland East Africa)

10th January, 2022

Felicitas Becker, Ghent University, Belgium

Felicitas Becker ni profesa wa historia ya Afrika huko Chuo Kikuu cha Ghent, Ubelgiji. Utafiti wake hugusa Uislamu, hasa vijijini, umaskini na maendeleo vijijini, harakati za wahubiri wa Kiislam na athari za utumwa, hasa barani. Katika wasilisho lake, anachunguza namna utumwa kama njia ya kutoza nguvukazi ya watu ulivyotoweka wakati wa ukoloni. Vilevile anachunguza namna “aibu” inayozuia watu wasiongelee utumwa, yaani jinsi utumwa unaendelea kuwepo kama chimbuko la tofauti za hadhi katika jamii. Lengo la uwasilishaji wake Becker ni kuelewa namna ambavyo utumwa umebaki mwiko, hata kama watu husisitiza kwamba umetoweka kabisa.

English Version

Felicitas Becker is Professor of African History at Ghent University, Belgium. She specialises in Islam, popular politics and development. In this presentation, Becker brings into focus how memories and heritage of slavery (utumwa) are manifested in everyday exchanges and political claims in postcolonial East Africa. This she confronts by chronicling the repercussions of slavery in local discourse and the attendant slavery-derived hierarchies produced thereof. Becker concludes that slavery (utumwa) is an ongoing, ambivalent and regionally diverse social phenomenon in contemporary East Africa, even as slave descent largely remains a thing to be obscured, not asserted.

Uhusiano na Mustakabali wa Fasihi ya Kiafrika na Fasihi nyinginezo Duniani (Future of African Literature in Transnational Times)

6th Decembre, 2021

Mohamed Bakari, Islamic University of Kenya

Mohamed Bakari ni Profesa wa Fasihi ya Kiafrika na baada ya Ukoloni. Kwa miongo miwili, alifundisha Chuo Kikuu cha Instanbul, Uturuki. Kabla ya hapo alifundisha katika Chuo Kikuu cha Nairobi. Kwa sasa, Profesa Bakari ni Makamu Mkuu wa Chuo Kikuu cha Kiislamu cha Kenya, Nairobi. Katika wasilisho lake, Profesa Bakari anatuelemisha kuhusu uhusiano na mustakabali wa Fasihi ya Kiafrika na Fasihi nyinginezo duniani.

English Version

Professor Mohammed Bakari is the Vice Chancellor of Islamic University of Kenya. He has previously taught at Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey where he was the Head of the Department of American Culture and Literature and Professor of Linguistics and Postcolonial Studies. He has also been African Visiting Fellow at Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies among other accreditations. In this presentation, Professor Bakari reflects on the Future of African Literature in Transnational Times.

Balaa na Belua ya Reli ya Kisasa kwa Wakazi wa Mombasa (The Impact of the SGR Railway on the Port City of Mombasa)

8th November 2021

Kadara Swaleh, research fellow ZMO, doctorate student, Humboldt University, Berlin

Katika wasilisho lake, Bwana Kadara Swaleh ambaye ni mtafiti kwenye taasisi ya Zentrum Moderner Orient anazungumzia kuhusu athari ya miradi ya miundombinu ya Uchina kama vile Reli ya Kisasa (SGR) kwa wakazi wa Mombasa na haswa namna imeathiri ajira na kusambaratisha maisha katika jamii. Bwana Kadara anawakumbusha wasikilizaji kuwa mwaka wa 2018, serikali ya Kenya ilitoa fatwa kwamba shehena zote zinazofika bandarini zisafirishwe kuelekea Nairobi na kwengineko kwa njia ya SGR pekee. Kadhalika, Serikali iliamuru kazi za utendaji na uendeleaji za bandari zihamishwe Mombasa na kupelekwa Naivasha ambapo imejengwa bandari kavu. Hatua hizi zimedhalilisha na kusononesha watu wa Mombasa ambao maisha yao yameambatana na bandari kwa miaka na vikaka. Vilevile, Bwana Kadara anaangazia mbinu ambazo watu wa Mombasa wanatumia kuhimili maafa na majanga haya. Mwishowe, anachambua namna kitu chema kama miundombinu hubadilika na kuwa balaa huko akijadili maswala kadhaa ya msingi.

English Version

In this presentation, Mr Kadara Swaleh who is a research fellow at the Leibniz Zentrum moderner Orient (ZMO) seeks to examine the impact and repercussions of the modern Standard - Gauge Railroad (SGR) from the coastal city of Mombasa to Nairobi, Kenya. The SGR railroad project which was completed in 2018 has since extended shipping operations from the deep sea port of Mombasa to the dry port terminal of Naivasha, taking transit cargo deeper into the country’s hinterland. This has occasioned a variety of destructive effects on the wellbeing of coastal residents whose livelihoods are dependent on activities around the port of Mombasa. Kadara’s presentation pursues the cessation of this usage and examines multiple ways local residents and communities have been affected by this transition. His presentation builds on a strong sense of familiarity with local coastal experiences  and transregional interactions with the Chinese while using translocality and the image of ‘translocal entanglements’ as a heuristic analytic lens.

Visa na Mikasa ya akina Osale na Paulo huko Usambaani Tanzania Miaka ya 1950 (Osale and Paulo: Freedom Fighters or Criminals)

5th July, 2021

Stephanie Lämmert, Max-Planck-Institute

Katika wasilisho langu nitazungumzia visa na mikasa ya wanaume wawili, kwa majina Osale Otango na Paulo Hamisi, walioishi nchini Tanzania wakati wa ukoloni. Bwana Osale na Bwana Paulo walileta changamoto kubwa kwa masetla wa Usambaani kwa sababu waliingia katika nyumba zao usiku na kuwatishia, muda mwingine na kuiba. Walijulikana kama majambazi kwa wakoloni na masetla wa Usambaani. Lakini wenyeji wa Usambaani waliwaona kama watu wenye lengo la kupigania uhuru na kumwondoa mkoloni. Katika utafiti wangu niliwahoji wakazi wa Usambaani kujifunza zaidi kuhusu maisha na kifo cha Bwana Osale na Bwana Paulo, na pia kuelewa siri yao ya kufanikiwa kutoonekana kwa maadui wao. Nimepata kuelewa kuwa kisa cha Bwana Osale na Bwana Paulo kwa kweli ni kisa cha kupinga mfumo msonge wa ubaguzi wa rangi wakati wa ukoloni. Pia kisa hicho kinaonyesha umuhimu wa utafiti wa historia simulizi.

Dk. Stephanie Lämmert ni mtafiti wa historia ya Afrika katika Taasisi ya Maendeleo ya Binadamu, Max Planck hapa Berlin. Alifanya utafiti kuhusu historia ya Usambaani, Tanzania, wakati wa ukoloni. Siku hizi anajishughulisha na historia ya ndoa ya wenyeji wa Ukanda wa Shaba huko Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo na Zambia.

English

In this presentation, Doctor Stephanie Lämmert, who is a researcher at the Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, examines the danger and heroism associated with two alleged criminals, Osale Otango and Paulo Hamisi, who caused mayhem in Tanganyika’s Usambara Mountains during colonial occupation. While the settlers branded Osale and Paulo as criminals guilty of theft and pillage, the locals largely viewed the men as emblems of their agitation against colonial malpractices such as land alienation and the Usambara Scheme and its repercussions on the Shambaa social fabric. Doctor Lämmert channels the fears, fantasies, ideas and claims surrounding the figures of both men to showcase the importance of oral tradition in advancing the theme of invisibility and intimate encounters between cultures that are supposed to be segregated yet are intricately bound together.

Miaka 50 ya Somo la Fasihi ya Kiswahili Baada ya Uhuru (Swahili Literature 50 years after Independence)

07 June, 2021

Farouk Topan, Aga Khan University, London

Katika kikao hiki tutazungumzia vipengele vinne vya fasihi ya Kiswahili namna vilivyotiririka tangu miaka ya 1960 hadi miongo miwili ya karne hii. Cha kwanza, vile fasihi ya Kiswahili ilivyofundishwa na kuwekwa imara nje ya Afrika ya Mashariki (hata kabla ya kipindi cha miaka hii); pili, ilivyofundishwa na kujengwa (na pengine kujengeka) Afrika ya Mashariki; tatu, mjaribio wa kuunda nadharia ya/za fasihi ya Kiswahili; na nne, ukuzaji wa fasihi ya Kiswahili na mwingiliano wake na fasihi zingine katika maeneo mbali mbali ya kitaalamu na nadharia.

Farouk Topan ni mwandishi na msomi mashuhuri wa lugha, utamaduni na fasihi ya Kiswahili. Alianzisha kufundisha somo la fasihi ya Kiswahili katika Chuo Kikuu cha Dar es Salaam mwaka 1968. Amesomesha pia vyuo vikuu vya Nairobi, Riyad, London (SOAS) na sasa yupo Chuo Kikuu cha Aga Khan, huko huko London. Kazi zake za kubuni ni tamthilia na hadithi fupi. Tamthilia zake tatu ni Mfalme Juha (1971), Aliyeonja Pepo (1973), na Siri (2000).

English

In this presentation, Doctor Farouk Topan examines the history and literary trajectory of Swahili literature in East Africa since independence. The renowned expert on Swahili literature cites four contingent factors which are instrumental to the creative and expressive development of Swahili literature. The first of these is the growing status of Swahili literature outside East Africa, a phenomenon which began long before the 1960s. The second is the dynamics between orality and literacy, and the third is the intellectual efforts being pursued to construe Swahili literature as a critical discourse. Doctor Topan rounds up the discussion by elucidating the comparative adaptability of Swahili literature in opposition to other cultures of knowledge.

Masuala ya Kiuana katika Vitabu vya Fasihi Vilivyoteuliwa na Wizara ya Elimu ya Kenya

3rd May, 2021

Catherine Ndungo

Akitumainishwa na kitabu cha kwanza cha kiuana cha Kenya, “Mtazamo wa Mabinti na Wanawake katika Vitabu vya Shule”, profesa Catherine Ndungo anachangia katika kubadilisha mtazamo wa mabinti nchini humo. Katika msingi wa kifasihi, yeye na wasomi wengine wanalenga kukuza fashi ya kiuana katika mashule ili kuwazuia vijana kuwadharau wanawake. Anatambulisha wazo liitwalo “uana” ambalo linaangalia jinsi katika mtazamo wa kijamii tofauti na ile ya kibayolojia.
Mpango wake katika kuhakikisha kwamba Taasisi ya Maendeleo ya Mtaala ya Kenya inahusisha vitabu vya kiuana ni kwamba maswala haya yanabidi yahusishe mazingira halisi ya jamii na jinsi jamii inavyohusiana. Mtazamo huu unajumuisha masimulizi na vitendo kutoka kwa wahusika. Inachambua kwa umakini mazingira ambayo mabinti, wavulana, wanawake na wanaume wanakulia. Vilevile, inazingatia lugha na sauti zinazotumiwa na jinsia hizo mbili. Kimsingi, kitabu kinaweza kuwa na sauti ya mwanamke lakini haimwakilishi mwanamke. Pamoja na kuwa tuasikia sauti ya mwanamke katika “Songs of Lawino”, sauti hiyo inatoka kwa mwanaume.
Uchambuzi wake unaenda kiundani kuchambua wanayocheza wahusika. Majumkumu haya huhusisha kuangalia watoto, shughuli za kuingiza kipato na kuuguza jamii. Maswali kama nani anapewa majukumu haya na kwanini yanaulizwa wakati wa uchambuzi wa fasihi hizi katika misingi ya kiuana. Matumizi ya nomino na viwakilishi yanaangaliwa pia. Kwa sababu nomino na viwakilishi vya Kiswahili havina jinsia, kuchambua vitendo ili kuelewa nani anafanya kipi ni muhimu. Wanaume huwa watu wanaofanya vitendo na wanawake huwa ni watu wanaofanyiwa vitendo mfano kuolewa.
Ili kuchangia mabadiliko katika Taasisi ya Maendeleo ya Mtaala, baadhi ya vitabu vinachambuliwa. Hivi vinahusisha, “Chozi la Heri” cha Asunta Matei, “Tamthilia ya Porini Kea” cha Kigogo na “Tumbo Lisiloshiba cha Halifa Chokocho. Uchambuzi wa vitabu hivi haulinganishi tu mabadiliko ya muda katika masuala ua kiuana bali mazingira ya masuala hayo katika misingi ya idhini. Uchambuzi huu unafanywa katika mazingira ya ndoa. Kimsingi, mwanamke anatazamwa kama kiumbe dhaifu. Kwasababu mwanaume anawekwa kuwa mwenye nguvu zaidi ya mwanamke, inafurahisha kuelewa aina ya nguvu hii, chanzo chake na jinsi inavyotumika. 
Kuna mifano mingi inayoonesha kazi ya mwanamke katika jamii. Katika “Utengano”, mume hawaruhusu mke nab inti yake kuondoka nyumbani bila kuwapa ruhusa. Nini nini hasa mwanamke ananyimwa pamoja na mtazamo huo wa mtunza jamii? Katika “Chozi La Kheri”, binti anakataliwa kwa sababu ya rangi ya ngozi yake. Katika vitabu kama “Kilio Cha Haki”, ndoa za mitala zinaonekana pale mwanaume anapowadharau wake zake wote wawili. Dharau hii inaonekana pia katika ndoa za kawaida. Lakini pia tunaona manaume wakifariki kwa sababu ya kuachwa na wake zao.
Kulingana na takwimu, asilimia tatu ya wanaume nchini Kenya wanakumbana na changamoto za kiuana ukilinganisha na wanawake. Changamoto hizi huhusisha wanawake kupigwa, kubakwa na kutukanwa. Madhara ya afya ya mwili na akili yanapelekea changamoto ya kisaikolojia kwa wanawake hawa. Madhara hayo yanahusisha mimba kutokana kubakwa na usitishwaji wa masomo kutokana na ndoa za utotoni. Ukeketaji pia unachangia changamoto zile zile.
Ni muhimu kwamba mabadiliko ya kimtaala yakahusisha vitabu vya kiuana katika shule za sekondari za Kenya. Pamoja na kupunguza changamoto tajwa zinazowakumba wanawake, zitawawezesha wao kuchukua nafasi za uongozi katika maisha ya kila siku na katika siasa. Vilevile, waandishi wanapaswa kumpa mwanamke mamlaka sawa na wanayompatia mwanaume. Hii itapelekea mabinti wa Kenya kukua wakitambua kuwa wana uwezo sawa na wanaume.

English Version

Inspired by a founding Kenyan feminist book by Ann Oburu “Images of Girls and Women in School Text Books”, Prof. Catherine Ndungo contributes in debunking the narrative. Taking a literal stance, her and other scholars in the discipline seek to popularize feminist literature in schools to dissuade students from depriving women. She introduces a concept “Uana” that looks at sexuality from a social perspective as opposed to a biological one that gender identifies.
Her approach to making sure that the Kenyan Institute for Curriculum Development includes books that reflect on issues of “uana” is that these issues should reflect the context of society and how it integrates. The approach takes into account, narrations and actions from characters. It carefully examines the environments from which boys, girls, men and women are nurtured. Moreover, it takes into account the languages and tones of voices used by the two genders. Cautious enough, a plot could have a female voice but won’t represent a female character in reality. Even though we hear a female voice in “The Songs of Lawino”, that voice comes from a man.
Her analysis dives deeper to examine responsibilities characters play. These responsibilities manifests into taking care of children, working for an income and taking care of public health. Questions such as who is being assigned these roles and why are asked when examining literature in the “uana” context. The use of nouns and pronouns are also looked upon. Since Swahili has unisex nouns and pronouns, examining actions to understand who does what gets taken into consideration. Males tend to do actions and females tend to be subject of such actions for example getting married.
To inflict change in the Institute for Curriculum development, a couple of books are being examined. These include, “Chozi la Heri” by Asunta Matei, “Tamthilia ya Porini Kea” by Kigogo and “Tumbo Lisiloshiba by Halifa Chokocho. The analysis of these books not only compares timely changes in “uana” issues but also the context of such issues in terms of authority. Such an examination of a woman’s role in the society is looked from a marriage perspective. In context, a woman is seen to be a weak character. Since a man is potrayed to be authoritative to a woman, it triggers to understand the kind of authority, its source and how it being used. 
There are many examples that portray the role of a woman in society. In “Utengano”, a husband character won’t allow his wife and daughter to leave the house without his permission. What does a woman gets denied of with such a care taker portrayal? In “Chozi La Kheri”, a daughter character gets denied because of her skin color. In books such as “Kilio Cha Haki”, polygamy is revealed where a man possess two wives who undergo disdain from their husband. Not only do polygamy women undergo disdain but also in exclusive families. But a flipside to that coin is when husbands pass away due to stresses as a result of divorce. 
According to statistics, only 3 percent of men in Kenya face “uana” challenges compared to women. Most of these challenges include women being beaten, raped and being insulted. Both physical and mental health effects of these pose psychological trauma to these women. The effects include, pregnancy as a result of rape and termination of studies due to early marriages. Female Genital Mutilation poses the same challenges.
It is critical for curricular changes to include feminist books in Kenyan secondary schools. This will not only reduce aforementioned odds women face as a result of toxic masculinity but also empower more to take up leadership both in day to day life and in Kenyan politics. Equally, authors should present feminine characters that embody the equality ethos with men. In this regard, girls in Kenyan schools will grow without feeling inferior to men.
 

Kumbukumbu ya Kumwenzi Marehemu Euphrase Kezilahabi (1944 - 2020) (Eulogies in Memory of the late Euphrase Kezilahabi (1944-2020)) - Workshop

11 January 2021

Baraza hili likiongozwa na Lutz Diegner (Mhadhiri wa Lugha na Fasihi ya Kiswahili, Chuo Kikuu cha Humboldt Berlin), lililenga kumkumbuka Marehemu Euphrase Kezilahabi, maisha yake na kazi zake. Baada ya kukaribishwa na Kai Kresse (Makamu Mkurugenzi wa Utafiti na Profesa wa Anthropolojia, ZMO) na Lutz Diegner, Neema Benson Sway (Mhadhiri na Mtafiti, Taasisi ya Taaluma za Kiswahili, Chuo Kikuu cha Dar es Salaam) alitambulisha wasifu na kazi za Euphrase Kezilahabi kwa ujumla. Alena Rettová (Profesa wa Falsafa za Kiafrika, Chuo Kikuu cha Bayreuth) alizungumzia sifa za falsafa yake Marehemu Kezilahabi ambazo zinapatikana katika kazi zake za kitaaluma na za kifasihi. Roberto Gaudioso (Mtafiti wa Falsafa ya Kiswahili, Chuo Kikuu cha Napoli) alizungumza juu ya ushairi wa Marehemu na mkabala wake wa kiutafiti kuyachambua hayo mashairi akiwa mtafiti na mshairi yeye mwenyewe wakati mmoja. Lutz Diegner aliendelea na wasilisho la kuwapatia hadhira vionjo vya riwaya zake Marehemu akisisitiza mkabala wake wa kiuandishi wa kujadili masuala mazito kwa lugha nyepesi, na matumizi mapana na ya kina ya mbinu za kimtindo kama vile jazanda na tamathali za semi. Josefine Rindt (shahada ya Masomo ya Kiafrika, Chuo Kikuu cha Humboldt) na Lena Dasch (mwanafunzi wa shahada ya uzamili ya Masomo ya Kiafrika, Chuo Kikuu cha Humboldt Berlin) waliizungumzia riwaya ya Dunia Uwanja wa Fujo ya Marehemu Kezilahabi na kuelezea umuhimu wa kukisoma kitabu hiki (tena) leo hii ingawa ni ya zamani kidogo.

Katika majadiliano yaliyoongozwa na Neema Benson Sway and Erasto John Duwe (Mhadhiri na Mhariri, Taasisi ya Taaluma za Kiswahili, Chuo Kikuu cha Dar es Salaam), washiriki kutoka Tanzania, Kenya, Marekani, Uingereza, Ufaransa, Italia, Uswisi, Ucheki na Ujerumani – kati yao maprofesa na wabobezi mashuhuri wa fasihi ya Kiswahili kama Farouk Topan, Abdilatif Abdalla, Catherine Ndungo, Kyallo Wamitila, na Aldin Mutembei – waliyatajirisha majadiliano hayo juu ya kazi na mawazo ya Kezilahabi.

Marehemu anapopumzika kwa amani, ulimwengu wa wasomi wenzake na wasomaji wake wote kwa ujumla watamkumbuka kwa kazi zake za kipekee zilizokuwa na mchango usio na kifani katika fasihi na falsafa ya Kiswahili.

 

English Version

This Baraza, conceived by Lutz Diegner (Lecturer in Swahili Language and Literature, Humboldt University Berlin), served to honour and remember the late Euphrase Kezilahabi by shedding light on his life and work. After opening remarks by co-hosts Kai Kresse (Vice Director and Professor of Anthropology, ZMO) and Lutz Diegner, Neema Benson Sway (Lecturer and Researcher, Institute of Kiswahili Studies, University of Dar es Salaam) opened the floor for a series of presentations by giving a brief outline of Euphrase Kezilahabi’s life and work. Alena Rettová (Professor of African and Afrophone Philosophies, University of Bayreuth) dealt with Kezilahabi’s philosophical thought by highlighting some of the major features to be found in both Kezilahabi’s academic and fictional work. Roberto Gaudioso (Researcher in Swahili Literature, University of Napoli) spoke about the influence Kezilahabi has had on him as a researcher and a poet himself. Lutz Diegner then went on to focus on Kezilahabi’s novels and the deceased’s ability to discuss complex subjects in simple language. Furthermore, he emphasized Kezilahabi’s ample use of several stylistic devices in his works, such as metaphors, allegories and symbols. Josefine Rindt (MA African Studies, Humboldt University) and Lena Dasch (MA student in African Studies, Humboldt University Berlin), subsequently gave a short insight into one of Kezilahabi’s best-known novels, Dunia Uwanja wa Fujo, and demonstrated how relevant it is to (re-)read this novel in present times, especially against the backdrop of the year 2020.

In several rounds of discussion chaired by Neema Benson Sway and Erasto John Duwe (Lecturer and Editor, Institute of Kiswahili Studies, University of Dar es Salaam), participants from Tanzania, Kenya, the US, Great Britain, France, Italy, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany – among them a number of doyens of Swahili literature like Farouk Topan, Abdilatif Abdalla, Catherine Ndungo, Kyallo Wamitila, and Aldin Mutembei – engaged in a rich discussion about Kezilahabi’s work, his methods and ideas.

As Marehemu Kezilahabi rests in peace, the world and his readers will miss his unique approach to literature and philosophy.

Kubwaku na Kurambaa: Jinsi Umahiri wa Mtunzi wa Kike ulivyotingisha Jamii (How a Female Author's Creativity Captured Society's Attention)

7th Decembre, 2020

Stefanie Kolbusa, independent scholar

Kutokana na mzizi wa maana yake –kufurahisha na kuburudisha – muziki wa taarab humpeleka mtu katika hali nyingine ya kihisia. Mashairi na mahadhi huamsha hisia ambazo ni vigumu kuelewa kwa msikilizaji asiye wa jamii husika. Nguvu yake ya kihisia na umuhimu wake katika maisha ya kila siku na sherehe za kila aina hujionesha pale wasikilizaji wakijikita katika muziki huu. Hivyo, muziki huu unakua chombo cha mawasiliano katika kujadili na kuakisi masuala ya kibinafsi na ya kijamii. Uchambuzi makinifu wa majibizano ya kimashairi ya Khulaita Said Muhashamy huonesha nguvu hii ya kihisia ya taarab.

Mshairi wa kike Khulaita Said Muhashamy (1950 – 2013) alikua bingwa katika sanaa ya mawasiliano kupitia taarab. Aliandika mashairi na kutunga nyimbo zilizoendana na mahitaji ya hadhira yake. Kama mmoja wa washairi wakike wachache sana aliyehudumia hadhira kubwa zaidi, alipokea wageni – wengi wao wanawake – ambao waliomba ushauri na kumwomba awaandikie nyimbo. Wateja wake walimwamini kwa sababu aliaminika. Hivyo, Khulaita alijua mengi kuhusiana na wanawake katika jamii yake.

Katika miaka ya tisini, umahiri wake uliufikia ulimwengu kupitia ushirikano wake na mwimbaji Malika. Wakati huu Khulaita alijihusisha katika majibizano ya nyimbo, ambayo yaliwawezesha wanawake. Khulaita aliandika “Huwi Tena” akijibu wimbo wa “Leo Tena” ulioimbwa na Abadalla Isa. “Leo Tena” inampakazia mwanamke kwa kusema kuwa anataka kurudiana kimapenzi na bwana wake wa zamani. Bwana huyo anamkataa na kufikia hatua ya kumkebehi. “Huwi Tena” inajibu haya matusi ya chini chini na mabaya kiustaarabu na kisanaa zaidi. Jibu lake linadhihirisha umahiri wake kwa sababu linatoa mwangwi wa “Leo Tena". Linachukua mahadhi, mdundo wa kiasili na kumulika muundo, methali na vina vya mashairi ya wimbo wa mpinzani wake. Ukisikiliza kwa juu juu, unaweza kudhani jibu la Khulaita lilidhamiriwa kuwa la mchezo. Lakini kwa kufahamu muktadha wa jamaii, ni dhahiri kuwa “Leo Tena” ilimlenga mwanamke. Hivyo, Khulaita alimtetea huyu mwanamke kupitia jibu lake “Huwi Tena”.

Wanawake walioelewa kwa undani muktadha wa jamii ambao nyimbo ya Khulaita ulizungumzia walisherehekea umahiri wa jibu lake. Kupitia ustadi wake wa ushairi na muziki, “Huwi Tena” inamkemea mtunzi wa “Leo Tena”. Ijapo wasikilizaji hawakufahamu kwa undani juu ya mlenga na mlengwa walifurahia ushindi wa kishairi na kimuziki wa jibu la mwanamke juu ya wimbo huo uliomkandamiza mwanamke. Ushindi wa wimbo wa “Huwi Tena” ulikua kiasi kwamba ulikuwa miongoni mwa nyimbo mashuhuri za Khulaita katika jamii ya Waswahili ulimwenguni kote.

Kazi ya Khulaita Muhashamy inatumulikia nguvu ya ushairi ambayo watunzi wa kike wameitumia.

(Imetafsiriwa kwa Kiswahili na Augustine Malija na Stefanie Kolbusa)

English

Rooted in its meaning – amusement and enchantment – Taarab music implies the elevation into another emotional state. The lyrics in tune with the musical composition elicit emotions which are difficult for outsiders to grasp. Yet its sophisticated emotional power and relevance in everyday life and festive occasions comes to light when listeners become immersed in the intricacies of taarab.  It thus reveals itself as a medium of communication for negotiating and reflecting on inter-personal and social concerns. A detailed analysis of Khulaita’s poetic battle demonstrates the emotional power of taarab.

The female poet Khulaita Said Muhashamy (1950 – 2013) was a master in the art of communication through taarab. She wrote lyrics and composed music tailored to the backgrounds and needs of her audiences. As one of a very few female poets who offered their expertise to a wider public, she received visitors – mostly women – who sought advice and commissioned her to write songs. Her clients confided in her because she was trustworthy. Hence Khulaita was very well informed about issues concerning women in her society.

When her artistic skills reached a wider, global audience through her collaboration with the female singer Malika in 1990s, Khulaita engaged in poetic exchanges, which empowered women. Khulaita wrote “Huwi Tena” in reply to the song “Leo Tena” by Abdalla Issa. “Leo Tena” is addressed to a woman who allegedly wishes to resume love with her former lover. The ex-lover rejects her adamantly, even resorting to offending her.  “Huwi Tena” answers these insidious and rude accusations in an elegant and artful way. Her answer reflects her genius because it echoes the music and lyrics of “Leo Tena”. It picks up on its melody and traditional rhythm and mirrors the structure, idioms and rhyme of the verses of her opponent’s song. Upon listening for the first time, it might appear that Khulaita’s response was intended to be playful. Knowing the social context though it is evident “Leo Tena” was actually addressed to a woman. Hence, Khulaita defended this woman’s honour with her response “Huwi Tena”.

Thus, particularly women who were very much acquainted with the social context that Khulaita’s song addressed celebrated the genius of her response. By virtue of its poetic and musical skill, “Huwi Tena” put the sender of “Leo Tena” in his place. Even if listeners were not familiar with the intimate details of sender and addressee they still cherished the poetic and musical victory of the female answer over this misogynistic song. The success of the song “Huwi Tena” was such that it was featured among Khulaita’s most successful and popular songs in Swahili communities all over the globe.

Khulaita Muhashamy’s work offers a glimpse into the subtle power that female poets exerted.

(Report by the presenter Stefanie Kolbusa)

Waswahili (Vijana) wa Oman na Dhana ya "Zanzibar Diaspora"

9th November, 2020

Franziska Fay, Junior Professor, Anthropology, University of Mainz, Omani Studies Fellow, ZMO

Wakijulikana kama wa Omani wazungumzaji wa Kiswahili, vijana hawa wanakabiliwa na fursa pamoja na changamoto za kijamii na kiuchumi katika muktadha mzima wa kuwa wenyeji wa Omani. Vijana hawa wanalelewa na kizazi kinachotambulika kama “kimerudi” Oman kutoka Zanzibar na maeneo tofauti Afrika Mashariki miaka ya 1960 na 1970.

Changamoto moja inayoathiri uenyeji wao kwa wakati mwingine ni hali ukwasi wa hadhira ya kuongea nayo Kiswahili na kuwa mswahili, wakati huo huo kuwa waOmani. Wakati vijana wengi wameweza kubuni njia mbali mbali za kuwa wenyeji kupita uswahili wao, baadhi yao wamejiengua kuongea Kiswahili hadharani. Hii yote ni kuepuka kuitwa “Wa-Afrika” ambayo inaangaliwa na baadhi ya watu kama hadhi ya chini. Mbali na kushushwa huko, baadhi ya vijana wa Omani wanakuza lugha na tamaduni za Kiswahili ndani na nje ya Oman. Baadhi yao hufundisha Kiswahili kupitia mtandao wa You Tube. Wengine huuza chakula cha kizanzibari katika mitaa ya Muscat au katika mtandao wa Instagram. Pamoja na jitihada hizi kukuza lugha, zinatoa nafasi kwa vijana wa Oman kujisikia Wa-Arabu na Wa-Afrika wakati mmoja.

Kazi na tumaini la maisha mazuri ni moja ya sababu zinazopelekea uhamaji wa vijana wa Ki-Omani-Zanzibari. Pamoja na Oman kutoa kazi nyingi zaidi kuliko Zanzibar, wanahangaika kupata usawia wa nafasi za kazi kutokana na sera mpya zinazotoa kipaumbele cha kazi kwa raia wa Omani.

Mjumuiko wa mitazamo wa vijana wa Zanzibari-Omani na Omani-Zanzibari unatoa fursa ya kuelewa ukuaji wa uenyeji katika Omani kwa vijana na kutengeneza dhana nzima ya “Zanzibar Diaspora”. Fuatilia mazungumzo mazima kutoka Zoom hapa.

English

Dubbed as Swahili speaking Omani, these youth who were born to a generation of people often considered to have ‘returned’ to Oman from Zanzibar and other places in East Africa in the 1960s and 1970s face a myriad set of opportunities and challenges from social through economic in the broader context of Omani identity formation.

One of the circumstances that affect their sense of belonging is the sometimes challenging situation of finding adequate spaces for speaking and being Swahili, while also being Omani. While many young people manage to find creative ways to claim Omani belonging through their Swahiliness, others withdraw from speaking Swahili publicly as they seek to avoid disdainfully being labelled as “Africans” – of supposedly lesser status. Despite the derision, some young Omanis are promoting Swahili language and culture both in Oman and overseas. Some of them through You Tube channels where they teach Swahili, some sell or promote Zanzibari food in the streets of Muscat or on Instagram. Not only does this keep the language alive but it also motivates Omani youth a space to feel and be both Arab and African.

Jobs and better prospects for life are one factor driving the migration of a new wave of Omani-Zanzibari young people who are seeking “to build a life” (kujenga maisha) for themselves. Even though Oman offers more jobs than Zanzibar, they struggle getting equal work opportunities. This is due to Oman’s latest nationalization policies that reserve work distribution to national citizenship.

Bringing together the perspectives of both Zanzibari-Omani and Omani-Zanzibari young people allow for a contemporary understanding of the young generation’s Omani identity formation; and place on the broader spectrum of the so-called Zanzibar Diaspora. Follow through the complete Zoom conversation here.

Life Changes During Corona Times

6th July, 2020

Hassan Mwakimako (Profesa wa Masomo ya Dini, Chuo Kikuu cha Pwani, Kilifi, Kenya)

Nandera Mhando (Mkuu wa Idara, Falsafa na Masomo ya Dini, Chuo Kikuu cha Dar es Salaam)

Nicholas Githuku (Profesa Msaidizi, Historia, Falsafa na Anthropolojia, Chuo Kikuu cha York, CUNY, New York)

Neema Kasabo (Mhadhiri wa Kiswahili, Chuo Kikuu Huru, Berlin).

Baraza liliandaliwa na kutambulishwa na Kai Kresse (Mkurugenzi Msaidizi ZMO na Profesa wa Anthropolojia ya Jamii na Utamaduni, Chuo Kikuu cha Freie Berlin) na Lutz Diegner (Mhadhiri wa Kiswahili, Chuo Kikuu cha Humboldt Berlin)

Katika Baraza letu la kwanza kupitia mtandao wa Zoom, wazungumzaji wanne kati ya watano walioalikwa watokao katika miji mikubwa minne walijadili maono yao juu ya tauni ya Korona na mabadiliko walioyaona katika jamii zao na maisha yao binafsi. Kwa sababu isiyoweza kuzilika, mzungumzaji wetu mahili Bwana Abdilatif Abdalla (Mwandishi wa “Sauti ya Dhiki”, Oxford University Press 1973) hakuweza kuhudhuria.

Akiongea kutoka Mombasa, Hassan Mwakimako alizungumza jinsi usitishwaji wa shughuli ulivyozuia matembezi ya watu katika kaunti za Kilifi, Mombasa na Kwale. Hii imepelekea kushindikana kwa kusafiri kwenda kazini kwa watumishi wanaoishi kwenye miji tofauti na wanayofanyia kazi. Mwanzoni, watu wengi walidhani kwamba ugonjwa huu ni wa ulaya tu. Hali ambayo imepelekea mgawanyiko kati ya wengi ambao waliudharau ugonjwa na wachache ambao waliamini ungonjwa huu upo. Hivyo baadhi ya watu hawakufuata sheria za kiafya dhidi ya ugonjwa huu kwa mgano kutokuvaa barakoa mpaka waone polisi. Toka hapo, mitaa ilipakwa rangi za ishara kuanzia zinazozuia mikusanyiko ya watu hadi kufungwa kwa misikiti. Hii imepelekea upunguaji wa shughuli za kichumi, upatikanaji wa mahitaji ya nyumbani kama samaki wa bahari, uhudhuriaji wa misiba (ukizingatia kizingiti cha watu 15) na kutembelea ndugu, jamaa na marafiki. Katika harakati za kutimiza hatua za kijikinga, neno la Kiswahili “barakoa” limefufuliwa na linatumika mara kwa mara. Katika nyanja za siasa, baadhi ya wanasiasa wameutumia ugonjwa kujijengea umaarufu kabla ya uchaguzi. Hii imekua kupitia jitihada zao kuwahamasisha watu kufuata kanuni zote za kiafya dhidi ya ugonjwa huu.

Kulingana na Nandera Mhando, Tanzania imedhibiti Korona tofauti. Kukiwa na maambukizi 480, waliopona 167 na vifo 16, serikali ya Tanzania iliamua kutangaza watu wanaopona na wale walioko mahospitalini. Pamoja na kuushauri umma kufuta kanuni za usafi dhidi ya Korona, serikali ya Tanzania haikuzuia watu kutoka nje. Wakuu wa serikali ambao ni rais, waziri mkuu na waziri wa afya walikazania hatua za kiafya. Rais na waziri mkuu walitilia mkazo kusali na kujifukiza kama njia kuu za kuepuka ugonjwa ambayo ilipokelewa na watu wengi nchi nzima. Hii iliamsha vipingamizi kutoka kwa wasomi ambao walidhani kuzuia watu kutoka nje kulikua sahihi. Kufikia tarehe 29 Aprili miji mikubwa ilijaa hofu za juu ya kuambukizwa ugonjwa huu. Kwa upande mwingine, vijiji na miji midogo haikuhofu kwa sababu shghuli zao za kila siku haziwaleti kwenye misongamano ya watu wengi. Hali iliyo pelekea kuaminika kwamba ugonjwa huu ni wa miji mikubwa tu.

Uwezo pungufu wa kupima na uhaba wa vifaa vya kujikinga, ulichangia uzinduzi kati ya wasomi na wajasiriamali. Chuo kikuu cha Dar es Salaam kilifanya utafiti uliopelekea kutengeneza barakoa na sanitaiza stahiki. Hii imechagiza utafiti juu ya uwezekano wa dawa za kienyeji zinazotibu Korona ndani ya chuo kikuu, Taasisi ya Utafiti wa Dawa na Taasisi ya Viwanda Vidogo Vidogo. Vilevile, imechangia utafiti juu ya tabia za watu katika kufuata sheria za kiafya dhidi ya ugonjwa wa Korona.

Kwa sababu ya uwezo pungufu wa kupima, watu katika miji mikubwa imewabidi waishi kwa uvumi mwingi kwa sababu hakuna takwimu sahihi juu ya maambukizi – na wamejifunza kuishi na ugonjwa. Kumwekua pia na kikomo cha wahudhuriaji kumi katika mazishi, ambayo imeathiri tamaduni ya ndugu kukutana pamoja na kuzungumza mambo ya kifamilia misibani. Hali ambayo imepelekea usambaaji wa picha za WhatsApp juu ya mazishi ya usiku wa manane na kuongezeka kwa makaburi katika miji mikubwa. Hofu iliongezeka. Baada ya serikali kuruhusu safari za misiba nje ya miji mikubwa, usambaaji wa picha hizi ulianza kupungua. Katika mwezi wa sita, utalii, mahoteli na shule zilifunguliwa – na wakati huo huo maandalizi ya uchaguzi yalianza. Yote kwa yote uvumi unaendela kusambaa na kufanya maisha yawe ya wasi wasi.

Akiongea kutoka New York, Nocholas Githuku alieleza kwamba mafunzo yamekua ya mtandaoni toka watu walipozuiwa kutoka nje – ambayo imewasumbua watu wazima maana hawajui kutumia teknolojia hii sana. Kama ilivyo Tanzania, kumekua na hofu sana za kuambukizwa pale watu wakitoka nje kufanya manunuzi ya muhimu. Kizuizi cha kutoka nje chini ya uongozi wa gavan Cuomo kumepelekea watu kukosa mazoezi. Hali iliyopelekea wao kufanya maamuzi binafsi. Kwa mfano, Nicholas Githuku alikimbia maili 80 katika mwezi wa Juni. Changamoto mbili za muhimu alizotaja ni kwamba imekua ngumu kutambua watu wa karibu kwa sababu ya barakoa. Alieleza wasiwasi kwamba kuweka umbali kunaweza kutumiwa kama kisingizio na watu ambao ni wabaguzi wa kitamaduni kwa ajili ya kubagua watu dhidi ya rangi ya ngozi. Hii inafuatia baada ya unyama wa askari wa Marekani ulipeleka mauaji ya George Floyd.

Neema Kasabo, mkazi wa Berlin kutoka Tanzania, alielezea kwamba kumekua na uhaba wa chakula katika masoko makubwa, matamasha na mikusanyiko ya waimba kwaya ilisitishwa na shule zilifungwa. Kwa kipindi fulani wazee hawakuweza kuwaona wajukuu zao ana kwa ana. Baadhi ya hoteli zilifunguliwa kwa ajili ya kuwajali watu wasio na makazi na baadhi ya watu waliwapatia chakula.

Kufuatia wazungumzaji, wahudhuriaji walichangia kwa uhai katika mazungumzo wakiuliza maswali na kuchangia katika mada. Maswali yalihusu changamoto za usawia wa kazi, kusimamia watoto kujifunzia kutoka nyumbani, kuzoea masomo ya mtandaoni na kufanya biashara. Mada mashuhuri ilichangiwa na mwanafunzi wa kike kutoka Cape Town ambapo mpaka baraza, ilikua ni siku ya 100 ya kutokutoka nje. Alieleza kua imepelekea changamoto za kiakili kwa mabinti ambao wamekua wakinyanyaswa kijinsia na vijana wa kiume wenye malengo mabaya ambao kwa sasa wapo nao mabwenini ukilinganisha na muda mchache kipindi walipokua wakienda shule.

Unaweza kupata habari zifananazo katika ukurasa wetu wa Korona. Mfano hali ya Maisha Mji wa kale, Mombasasafari ya Abdilatif Abdallah Afrika Mashariki na mapokeo ya Uganda.

English

Baraza with Hassan Mwakimako (Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Pwani University Kilifi, Kenya), Nandera Mhando (Head of Department, Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Dar es Salaam), Nicholas Githuku (Assistant Professor of History, Philosophy and Anthropology, York College, CUNY, New York), and Neema Kasabo (Lecturer for Swahili Language, Freie Universitait, Berlin).

Hosted and introduced by Kai Kresse (Vice-Director ZMO & Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin) and Lutz Diegner (Lecturer of Swahili, Humboldt Universität Berlin).

In our first virtual Baraza event and during a digital discussion over Zoom, four of the five invited speakers located in four different countries spanning three continents discussed their experiences regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, with a view to the changes they have observed both in public and in their private lives. Unfortunately, our announced decorated speaker Abdilatif Abdalla (writer of “Sauti ya Dhiki”, Oxford University Press 1973) was not able to participate, for reasons out of his control.

Speaking from Mombasa, Hassan Mwakimako illuminated on Kenya’s lockdown context that restricted movement of people for Kilifi, Mombasa, and Kwale counties. This has made commuting to work impossible for workers living in a separate town from where they work. Initially, most people thought that this disease was only affecting Western countries. This led to a divide between the many who took it for granted and the few that took it seriously. As a result, some people were not following the sanitary rules against the virus by for example not wearing masks until they see police. Streets have since been colored with signposts from prohibiting groups to assemble to the closure of mosques. As a result, the town has had limited economic activity and access to household items, such as Mombasa’s sea food. Also, the fulfillment of social responsibilities like attending burial ceremonies (considering a 15 people quota) and visiting family and friends have been strongly constrained. Within the processes of implementing prevention measures, the Swahili word “barakoa” (meaning a mask) has been coined and is in frequent usage. On the political scene, some politicians have used the disease as an opportunity to seek more popularity, through their efforts to spread the message for the need to follow sanitary rules.

Per Nandera Mhando, Tanzania dealt with Corona differently. Standing with 480 infections, 167 recoveries and 16 deaths, Tanzanian government decided to only announce recovery and hospitalized numbers.  Alongside advising the public to follow sanitary rules against COVID-19, the Tanzanian government did not implement a lockdown. Government icons, namely the president, prime minister, and minister for health, were exemplars on hygienic rules of washing hands, wearing masks and using sanitizers. While the minister for health emphasized sanitary rules, the president and prime minister emphasized on the need to pray to God as the main approach to shy away the virus that set a tone throughout the country. This aroused criticism from the elite who saw need for a lockdown. By the 29th of April, cities were clouded by worries to contain the virus. On the other hand, villages and small towns were not, since their daily activities exposed them to relatively less congestion compared to big cities. This invoked an idea that the disease is for cities.

Low testing capacity and scarcity of protective equipment stimulated innovation among intellectuals and entrepreneurs. The University of Dar es Salaam conducted research that led to the production of suitable masks and sanitizers. As a ripple effect, it has encouraged research on the potentials of traditional medication against the virus within the university, at the National Institute for Medical Research and Small Industries Development Organization. Corollary, it encouraged behavioral research on how people cope with sanitary rules against the virus.

On the other hand, due to limited testing capacity, people in cities have to live with many rumors, since there is no exact data on the spread – and they have adjusted to live with the disease. There has also been a restricted quota of only ten attendees in burial ceremonies, which severely limited established cultural patterns for relatives to get together and talk about family matters. This led to the circulation of WhatsApp pictures for late night burial ceremonies and the expansion of graveyards in big cities, which in turn ignited worries. After the government allowed travel for burial in hometowns, the spread of these pictures began to wane. In the month of June, tourism, hotels and schools were open – and at the same time, election preparations began. In sum, rumors continue to spread, making life worrisome.

Speaking for New York City, Nicholas Githuku pointed out that teaching and learning in higher education has been online since lockdown – which challenged the older generation that is less IT-savvy. Like in Tanzania, there has been a cloud of worries of containing the virus amongst New York residents, who at times needed to go out running important errands. A strict lockdown under governor Cuomo has led to people lacking their regular exercises. In this regard, they took individual initiatives to exercise. For example, Nicholas Githuku speed-walked 80 miles in the month of June. Along different lines, two important challenges he mentioned were, that it has been hard for people to identify familiar faces due to the imposition to wear masks, and he also expressed concern that social distancing laws could be used as an excuse for racial discrimination, in the context of ongoing protests against American police brutality that had led to the murder of George Floyd.

Neema Kasabo, a Berlin resident, explained that there has been scarcity of food items in the local super markets, and concerts and choir gatherings were cancelled and schools were closed. For some time, grandparents were not able to see their grandchildren in person.  In order to take care of the homeless, some hotels were open to accommodate them and some people supplied food to them in the streets.

Following the four speakers, members of the audience contributed to the discussion in a lively manner, asking follow-up questions and contributing further accounts of their own experiences, also in other countries, like Ethiopia and South Africa. Questions included challenges of balancing work, supervising children’s home-schooling, adopting online learning pedagogy and doing business. A notable contribution from a female student in Cape Town was that given a 100 day strict lockdown, female students have been experiencing mental health issues as a result of abusive male students they spend all day with in dormitories as opposed to a few episodes of a day when they were able to go to school.

You can find related updates on our Corona webpage. Examples include lived experiences in Old Town, MombasaAbdilatif Abdallah's travel across East Africa and Uganda's response to the pandemic.

 

PhD research into concepts and practice of education and upbringing in Sunni girls' schools in Tanga, Tanzania

3rd February, 2020

Liese Hoffmann (Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies)

In her lecture, Liese Hoffmann gave insight into the context of her PhD research, in which she explores the concepts and practices of education and upbringing in Sunni girls’ schools in Tanga, Tanzania. In her presentation she introduced impressionable ethnographic examples of her research, in which she describes the everyday life of Muslim pupils in the madrasa. Furthermore, she describes how she accompanied these students in the context of her field work, how as a researcher she behaved in spheres of the family and schooling, and how there she herself became a student again. In her lecture, she situates the madrasa in the context of Islamic upbringing in East Africa and elaborates on the discourses of teachers and pupils in relation to the different forms of schooling in Tanzania. A further focus of her research lies in how the Islamic mediation of morals and knowledge is put into correlation by these students in relation to their personal curriculum vitaes and future plans. In the following discussion the presenter elaborated on details and revelations of her ethnographic field work in response to the inquiries of the audience.

 

Utatu wa Nne? Uchambuzi wa mitazamo mipya katika riwaya za Maficho ya Wazi Wazi (2014) na Nuru ya Jioni (2018) za Nuruddin Farah - A fourth Trilogy? A modern literary approach of Nuruddin Farah’s novels Hiding in Plain Sight (2014) and North of Dawn

2nd Decembre, 2019

Obala Musumba (Humboldt University Berlin)

Obala Musumba talked about one chapter of his doctoral thesis on the two latest novels of Nuruddin Farah. In this chapter he deals with how children are staged in plots of war and how Farah created these child protagonists in his two novels. In regard to this, Obala Musumba in his speech reflected upon the post-colonial phase by referring to Frantz Fanon and the African philosophers Mbembe and Mudimbe, among others. In contrast to Farah’s previous novels, these two do not play in Mogadishu/Somalia, but in Nairobi/Kenya and Norway. A question with which the speaker opened up the discussion to his audience was whether the author Nuruddin Farah had lost hope in Somalia and expects the reconstruction of Somalia to come from Somalia’s youth who grew up abroad in a peaceful surrounding.

"Motifu ya kicheko katika fasihi ya Kiswahili: Uchunguzi wa riwaya za kipelelezi“ – "The Motive of Laughing in Swahili Literature: An Investigation of Crime Novels"

24th June 2019

Neema Benson Sway (University of Dar es Salaam)

Neema Benson Sway reported about her progressing doctoral thesis that discusses the motive of laughing in Swahili-speaking crime novels. This motive has until now not been taken into account elaborately in the literary analysis of Swahili literature. In an amusing and convincing manner, Neema Benson Sway explains how laughing and its related literary stylistic methods "comedy", "joke", "ridicule", "fun", and "mockery" are utilized in various Swahili-speaking crime novels and are expressed in different forms.

In the concluding discussion round the presenter clarified questions by the the audience, that was partly foreign to the subject matter, in a charming fashion.

“Majadiliano kuhusu kitabu kipya cha Kai Kresse kiitwacho ‘Swahili Muslim Publics and Postcolonial Experience‘ (2018)” – “Discussion about Kai Kresse's new book ‘Swahili Muslim Publics and Postcolonial Experience’ (2018)”

20th May 2019

Kai Kresse (Freie Universität Berlin/ZMO), Hassan Mwakimako (Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya), Irene Brunotti (Leipzig University) and Clarissa Vierke (Bayreuth University).

In ten-minute contributions the discussants reviewed the recently published book by Kai Kresse in which he explores the ideas and public discussions that have shaped and defined the experience of Kenyan coastal Muslims. The event was enriched by a video commentary of Tanzanian professor Hamza Njozi (Muslim Universitity of Morogoro) who draw parallels with the experience of Tanzanian Muslims and praised the book for its ethnographical and collaborative sensitive approach.

You can find an english translation of professor Njozi's video comment here.

"Kumbukumbu ya mshairi marehemu Ustadh Ahmad Nassir“ – "Remembering the deceased poet Ustadh Ahmad Nassir“

February 2019

Abdilatif Abdalla (Leipzig University) and Kai Kresse (Freie Universität Berlin/ZMO)

Together Abdilatif Abdalla and Kai Kresse remembered the late Swahili poet Ustadh Ahmad Nassir Juma Bhalo, who deceased on January 9th, 2019.  Abdilatif Abdalla’s older brother was born in the Kenyan coastal metropolis Mombasa in 1936. He became known in particular through his collections of poems “Malenga wa Mvita” (Oxford University Press, 1971), “Poems from Kenya: Gnomic Verses in Swahili” (University of Wisconsin Press, 1966), “Taa ya Umalenga” (Kenya Literature Bureau, 1978) as well as through his epic “Utenzi wa Mtu ni Utu” (Macmillan, 1979) in which he elucidates utu as key term for understanding humans as moral beings, and he lays out an ethics based on this.

Ustadh Ahmad Nassir was a guest at ZMO at the first baraza in 2008. You can find more information on this event here.

Dr. Harrison Mwalima of Deutsche Welle produced a radio feature about this baraza. You can listen to it here.