Change Tanzania(ns)!

Unajua tunapiga kelele about #changeTanzania, but the truth is it starts with individuals. Tanzanians hatuna msimamo, tuko vuguvugu – we are neither black or white but grey – we are just in the middle, luke warm na tunaridhika haraka sana! On being content with however little – umeme ukikatika miezi, mradi nina kibatari, life goes on. Maji hamna mwezi mzima, mradi we can buy, life goes on. Fuel ikiisha kwenye fuel stations for weeks, mradi I can take a cab, life goes on. Mume aki-cheat, as long as he puts ood on the table, life goes on. Nikifukuzwa kazi bila kutendewa haki, mradi nina buzi la kuchuna, life goes on. Sina ajira, mradi kesho I can bangaiza, life goes on. Yakinzidi as a woman nitauza my k and as a man nitaiba. Yakinzidi sana I will dump my kids with bibi vijijini and as a man simply nitakana the kids. Simple. Ili mradi life goes on. On the kutokuwa na msimamo na kuwa grey – jamaa kaoa but pembeni ana nyumba ndogo tatu. Binti kaolewa but ana buzi na Serengeti boy. Leo nimesimama napigania haki za wananchi as mwana wa chama pinzani, kesho nakaa kimya after kununuliwa na kuhongwa. Unamkuta mama anajiita mkristu na kanisani yuko mbele mbele, mpaka magoti yamechubuka but come Saturday yuko kwa mganga Chungu Chekundu with jogoo jeusi kwapani na wikiendi anamumunya kikombe cha Babu Loliondo. Society doesn’t ask a woman where does she eat or where does she sleep or where does she work? Or una maendeleo gani? But instead utaulizwa unazaa lini. Society won’t ask a man where does he eat or where does he sleep or where does he work? Or una maendeleo gani? But instead utaoa lini. Society haitamsema the man sleeping with a 16year old. Or the wife with mafiga matatu. Or the 16yr old found at a pub drinking. Or the priest with a girl at a guest house. Or the uncle anayeiba. Hatusutani na kuongozana kwenye maendeleo. Nobody will point a finger at the man anayechafua meza sehemu sehemu with moja moto moja baridi but nyumbani hamna hata unga wala kitunguu! The same with the mwanamama aliyevaa gold mpaka kitovuni na kwenye meno but nyumbani mtoto kavaa matambara. Or that kaka anayemtwanga wifi mpaka jino la Christmas linatoka. Or the dada anayeacha watoto wenyewe usiku when shemeji akisafiri, ili akalale na buzi na amchune vizuri. We are not strong as a nation or as a people. Tunababaishwa na vitu vidogo sana! We lack pride! Hatuna msimamo na tu-wanafiki!  Change should start at individual level! Change starts at individual level, then it moves to group level and so forth, hii kitu ni muhimu sana regardless of which political party you belong. Upuuzi utapunguaje while mimi na wewe as a people hatuheshimu nyumba zetu, wenetu, Mungu wetu? If I can’t respect my own family, kweli wewe mtu wa nje nitakuthamini? Kenya na Zambia wameweza because first as a people na a society outlook yao ni tofauti kuliko sisi mno! Tusimsubiri rais, mbunge, mwalimu wala daktari to make changes for us! It should start with me and you! Tukishajifunza kujiheshimu, kujiamini, kujithamini, kujipenda na kutokuogopa only then will change take place. Unajua unaweza ukawa unafanya kitu bila mwenyewe kujitambua unless someone points it out. I like many others want the best for my country na wananchi wenzangu, so kila siku nimekuwa nakuna kichwa mpaka nywele zikawa nyeupe, wondering where we could have gone wrong with a country this rich in resources etc. It might be the blonde in me, kuwa imenichukua this long mpaka leo ndo nmepata a light bulb moment, nikapata jibu. But atleast I got it and said it! As I was saying the solution ni mimi na wewe kubadilika! Mtoa rushwa na mpokea rushwa ni mimi na wewe. Mchunaji buzi na mhongaji ni mimi na wewe. Anayeenda kwa mganga Chungu Cheusi na anayetupa majini ni mimi na wewe. Mbangaizaji na muuzaji ni mimi na wewe. Mimi na wewe ni waTanzania, so mimi na wewe must change! Wengine wata-argue tusipige kura as tumechoka CCM. Lakini, tusipopiga kura halafu? Hiyo itasaidia chochote? Tutakuwa hatujarekebisha chochote! Wakurekebisha ni sisi wenyewe! Sio Mungu, raisi, mbunge, mwalimu sijui nani – it is you and mimi! Kususa kura or kuwanunia CCM won’t solve anything! Because of this, whomever comes next – unless he is a dictator – such, as long as we don’t change as a people, matatizo yatakuwa ni yale yale. Ataanza vizuri, and he will try hard, but atatokea Sandra atakayejaribu kumhonga ili apate a certain deal. Then atatokea Aikaruwa, then Mushi, after that ataona “schitt, I might as well join them!” Again – the issue here ni mimi na wewe! Kama mimi as a person, as an individual ningekuwa najiheshimu, ningeheshimiwa basi na wengine. Kama ningekuwa naheshimu my place of work, my family, my place of prayer, my community etc. But we don’t. Na hatuna hata aibu! Mimi ndo unaniona kwenye media showing off gari yangu ya millions and dining at 5-star hotels daily while mshahara wangu unajulikana, na huo mshahara huufikii hata 5% of my spendings. Mimi ndio naonekana mchana kweupe na buzi najirusha sehemu sehemu while my mister kapinda mgongo kazini, na huku nyuma kazini nimeaga naumwa. Mimi ndio naingia kwenye harusi ya sista na nyumba ndogo while wife yuko home. Na hapo ndugu zangu wanamkumbatia na kumkaribisha nyumba ndogo kwa furaha zote, na kumuita ‘shemeji’. Mimi ndio naonekana kwa mganga Chungu Cheusi while shingoni nmevaa zinga la rozari. Mimi ndio nimemega plot ya jirani na barabara ili kujiongezea size ya plot yangu na nikitoka na gari langu la millions, shamelessly ninatupa empty bottles barabarani nkishamaliza kunywa maji. Who will clean after me? Na wengine kumi wakifanya hivyo kweli should I really complain that the municipal council don’t keep the city clean? The truth is hongo inapokelewa because tunatoa! Tusipotoa and while tunajua haki zetu itakuwaje kwani? Tutanyimwa kazi? If ten of us tukikataa kutoa, then nani atafanya hizo kazi that are being tendered? Mabuzi wanachunika because wanatoa. Na kadhalika. Why don’t we take pride into things that we have worked for – that tender you got because you have the qualifications; and that woman because she loves and respects you for you. Why don’t we have such pride? Why do we prefer stinky njia za panya? Hembu tell me, traffic police akikusimamisha what do you do? Kuwa mkweli! Tena ukiwa una haraka I bet unatoa chai haraka haraka ili uwahi mkutanoni, huku unamalizia na, “msalimie shemeji nyumbani!”. Right now things are like this because sisi na wao ni kitu kimoja. How and why should we expect to be treated better while wenyewe hatujiheshimu? I am sorry vitu vingi ni sisi wenyewe! If change doesn’t start with us as individuals then there is no hope for our beloved Tanzania! “Mtoto umleavyo ndio akuavyo,” na tumejilelea vibaya sana! Halafu we always talk about accountability, let me tell you how accountability starts and works nchi nyingine – says nimeajiriwa as an MD ya kampuni ABC, kesho niko mitaani nimelewa mpaka nikatambaa na tie nmefunga kichwani. If my company wakisikia they won’t take it lightly, because I am a representation of that company – from my behavior to my outside appearance. Wenzetu take everything very serious. We hardly ever do. I am very ashamed to say this but to many we appear as a nation of jokers. Granted, wote at some point we have behaved quite irresponsibly in one way or another bila kujali tunamuumiza nani – in the name of being youthful or having fun or just because we can or whatever. But sadly, the one person anayeumia the most ni sisi wenyewe. Such accountability should start at individual level. If na sisi wananchi tukiwa accountable na wenzetu (wakubwa zetu etc) pia watuheshimu. When wenzetu are running for a position, wanachambuliwa kuanzia family background mpaka his childhood, who his friends were and and what he drunk then – gongo, mnazi or single malt – na unachambuliwa proper! And all this is for a simple reason – how is this person as a family person? Anaheshimika? Does he support his family? And how is he in his community? Anaheshimika? Is he responsible? And how was he growing up? Because if he is respected then we have that assurance that atatuongoza vizuri huku akiheshimy all his deeds. Under my email signature nimeweka as a reminder to myself that, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” Tuanze with me and you kwanza. My salutation ya God bless Tanzania naibadili to God bless Tanzanians. God bless Tanzanians!
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S.Mushi

I am an artist. Practicing Interior Architecture Designing. And on a small scale - furniture designing, though I would love to go bigger. I used to write a lot back then. But with work and all, my time became tight. I went on a holiday in April 2004 and took with me a few books by Maya Angelou and Iyanla Vanzant. I then started some soul searching which got me into writing - poems - I haven't looked back since then. I have a published book 'The Rhythm Of My Rhyme' - a collection of poems, which can be found at all A Novel Idea book stores. To follow up on my works as a writer, please go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandra-A-Mushi/105488675390 - and become a fan.

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