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If Mwalimu Were to Return Today...

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Makaayamawe, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. Makaayamawe

    Makaayamawe JF-Expert Member

    Oct 30, 2009
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
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    Gado endelea kutusaidia maana mchango wa kila mtu unahitajika ili kuiokoa nchi yetu.
  2. Makaayamawe

    Makaayamawe JF-Expert Member

    Oct 30, 2009
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Messages: 341
    Likes Received: 5
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    • Halafu angalia kujishaua na kujipendekeza kwa Ngotezi wa Daily News.
    • Jamaa hata hajui kuwa Gado ni mTZ.
    • Amependekeza eti ikulu iwachukulie hatua The East African.

    Kenyan cartoonists should apologize to Kikwete
    ALFRED NGOTEZI, 24th October 2009 @ 15:00, Total Comments: 15, Hits: 718

    WHATEVER has happened to some of our Kenyan brothers and sisters in the journalism trade? For the past two weeks, they have taken turns to devour the person of President Jakaya Kikwete.

    In the last two issues of Kenyan dailies, the President was at first depicted as a beaming girl donning a short tight skirt and performing before a cracking US President Barrack Obama and his entourage.

    But were the president’s name not inscribed on the cartoon’s ‘blouse’, it would be extremely difficult to associate it with our President. In fact there would be no reason to think of it as being a serious affront.

    Then in the following issue of the 'EastAfrican', President Kikwete is shown to be lining up after former President Benjamin Mkapa, to be whipped by a seemingly furious Mwalimu Nyerere. Wriggling in pain, Mr Mkapa is depicted as picking himself up and painfully hopping away.

    Coming immediately behind President Kikwete is a long line of leading public figures. However, the artist fails to use his pen to draw the exact looks of his targets and instead, writes their names on their costumes.

    Thus, lined up are the likes of former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa and other MPs. As matters stand now, President Kikwete can sue for libel and win.

    This is how. In the first instance, cartoon literature, as it were, is acceptable and tolerable so far as it can stand on itself and make its point all the way, without naming culprits. People, including the victims are intelligent enough to decipher the meaning of the caricatures.

    The cartoons we grew up seeing are those that took a swipe at public figures according to their features. For instance, when folks felt like satirizing Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, they would hook onto one of his permanent features; his Chinese suits, his short symbolic stick, the grey hair, some of his punchy speeches or even by imitating his voice. This would send the message home.

    Unfortunately, the Kenyan cartoon serialization campaign of our president smacks of malice. There is no valid excuse why guys should attack him so consistently. It started a few years back when the same Nation Media’s cartoonist presented Tanzanian scribes as licking and sucking President Kikwete’s feet. Of course this attack was repelled.

    But then one would wish to know what the Kenyan cartoonist stands to gain by pummeling Mr Kikwete so hard.

    Is it a presumption that their papers are widely read in Tanzania, so that their cartoons could affect the president’s image? Of course the answer is a huge no. The circulation of Kenyan papers here is at its lowest now.

    Could it be that they are doing so because we belong together to the East African Community? But so what? After all, the five EAC countries are still many years away from consummating a political federation.

    The only possible explanation for the provocation is the ulterior intent of exporting their endless internal squabbles. Kenyans did not vote for President Kikwete and have nothing whatsoever to gain from his bad publicity.

    On the other hand, the transgression is not only against the rules of conventional journalism, it is also against traditional African norms. It is unheard of in peaceful Africa for two different but neighbourly husbands to allow their siblings to fuel animosity between them. It is totally against the norms for a father to allow his children to insult his next door neighbour. That would be warmongering.

    However, I am not against satire. Far from it. I am opposed to the new fiction of forcibly soiling victims’ images. If folks can’t draw good images of their targets, then let them pick another trade.

    I understand the President may not wish to get involved in media wrangles. But surely this is not about Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the individual. It is about the President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

    As noted above, we have no grudges about the media mimicking him and other regional leaders, but this is like a game, which must be played according to its rules. For, to do otherwise is to violate rules. For that reason, therefore, I would strongly advise Ikulu to seriously look into this matter with a view to stopping the blatant insults or institute legal measures against the newspapers.