Lessons From Ngapulila


Sam GM

Sam GM

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Sam GM

Sam GM

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Rafiki yangu nakuaga mimi oooh,
Nataka kuzamia meli nienda ngambo
Kutafuta maisha eeh, kwani naona maisha ya hapa nyumbani kaka eeh
Yamenishinda

Nakula kwa tabu, Navaa kwa tabu eeh
Kulala kwangu ghetto
Basi naona shida tupu eeh
Shida tupe eeeh

Sina raha maskini mimi ooh
Sina raha hata kidogo,
Ngapulila

Maisha ya kuzamia melini yana hatari kubwa
kutoswa baharini na kupoteza maisha yako
Ngapulila achana na mawazo hayo
Ngapulila kaka una hatari eeh

Ngapulila mwenzia kashikwa ughaibuni kazamia meli na kukutwa na madawa ya kulevya
Na sasa yuko kifungoni, Ngapulila Ngapulila eeh achana na mawazo hayo
Ngapulila kaka una hatari eeh

Fanya kazi kwa bidii utapata kaka, tamaa ya kufika Ngambo imeponza wengi
Wengine walijaribu kuteka ndege nyara kutumia silaha za bandia eeh
Ngapulila una hatari eeh


I love Music, there is no doubt about it, and among many pieces of good music that Ngapulila by Vijana Jazz Band is one of them. The song is about Ngapulila, a law-abiding low class decent citizen in the capital city of Tanzania. Ngapulila does not identify his future in the toil and tumble of hard working class and in the habits of the general public. He just did not belong.His dreams were all wrapped up in an illegal sailing adventure through foreign cargo ship to a foreign land where he believes life is so much different and at least bearable.

Illegal sailing was so common then, and youngsters would rather risk their lives by hiding in the lower compartments of cargo ships than stay hopelessly around when seemed between a rock and a hard place. In case you did not work at the ports, then you will find some connections that will put you next to the departing cargo ship. Among the horrors that befell youngsters in this kind of forbidden adventure when they were discovered in the ship before they reached these intended foreign destinations, was that they were either thrown alive in deep ocean or a jail term upon their arrival.

Actually this song will take your mind back to the era in Tanzania where people queued (lined up) for most and basic necessities of life such as sugar, kerosene, cooking oil, wheat flour and so many endless stuffs in RTC stores. This is the era when every on in the country was either under a location or a sub location under a balozi. A balozi would then sign up your family card against your number of households to be eligible for certain amount of rationing from RTC. This was really a pathetic era and a bad system in delivering basic needs that Tanzania had to endure. No wonder people had dreams of getting out of the country by any means possible. Some youngsters went an extra mile by daring a plane hijack; their strategy was fruitless due to lack of planning, weapons and ignorance when in world geography and airplane instrumentation.

There has been tremendous change to date, from Nyerere, Mwiny, Mkapa and currently Kikwete. Most things that pushed people to the wall especially when you could afford some basic needs and necessities of life but had to endure a deteriorating process before you could lay your hands into what you needed are the things of the past. What still beats my understanding here is that a huge number of people still think that life can be worked out in shortcuts the “Ngapulila perspective”. Successful and prominent people do not take shortcuts in life but they shorten the process. There is a huge difference in taking shortcuts and shortening the process. Suppose you wanted to move from Morogoro to Arusha, by shortening the process, you would take a plane rather than a vehicle, however if you wanted to do the same trip by shortcuts then you will either hijack a plane or commandeering a vehicle. Most people in shortcuts will tell you that the end justifies the means.

There are no shortcuts in becoming a good wife and vice versa. There are no shortcuts in education either and there are no shortcuts in becoming a leader too.

By the time I replayed this song again and again, my heart was burning with a desire to not ruin the song, but to figure out why was Ngapulila so consumed with a desire to go abroad. I can just speculate because I have no way of walking in his shoes and this gives me an opportunity to blog about something else about abroad. I think it is our collective responsibility for those that had an opportunity to go abroad to be honest and true to their friends and relatives about life abroad. What beats my understanding here is not why one went abroad, no and not all. To me it does not matter whether you went to sow your wild oats, education, tourism, vacation or otherwise. What beats my mind again is when we pretend before our friends and relatives that all is good abroad. We do not tell them the truth, we do not tell them about beastly schedules that we have to endure to make ends meet. We do not tell them about sleepless nights that we endure working rather we show them photos of our princely beds that we hardly sleep on. Stop showing them photos of how nice you live, eat, drive, roll and so forth. I have never met a single soul brandishing photos of where they work and how they work.

We should be honest about abroad and tell them that it takes as much as hard working and sometimes even more just like you are in Bongo land and there are no miracles anywhere, so that people like Ngapulila can get the reality of the “other world” they dream about. It really beats my mind again and again when folks back home are looking for just simple information about abroad so to make an informed decision and we deny them this opportunity by misleading that we are living large abroad.
 
Buswelu

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Buswelu

Buswelu

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Thanks GM i had the same dream back 2001 and that i can make life better and find grean pasture in United state...at that point of time it was called land of opportunity.

Just land of opportunity was sound good in my head.I tried several time to make things work so that i can go there.Praise the Lord one of cousin told me life down there is tight you have to work hard to make life moving...at that time i was still fighting to go there.

But my mission fail and i get back to tanzania because by that time i was in central africa.And i decide i can make life better in tanzania....Here i am replying articles and mail.Mean i can have 24hrs internect connection...but this is not a simple thing it took me 10yrs to be here.

Thanks reminding long time.

Stay online
 
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chavala

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A big fan of bongoland music as you are, I should ask you to carefully listen to another song with a similar theme, from Wagosi wa Kaya. I think it goes by the name 'Passport'. In this track you will notice a despair of someone who is eager to go to Europe, only he cannot manage to pay bribe to immigration guys. He actually uses the excuse of (knowledge of) undesirable life in Europe, only after failing to meet the immigration conditions. Well, my point is, information about life in the West in its own may not stop people from the dearth to travel the world that way.

You are certainly right about one thing though: You can't fully understand why people, informed or not, would die to do something. We may be tempted to assume, and mostly get it wrong, that people who do not engage in safe sex lack information about sexually transmitted diseases. We are now beginning to understand that knowledge about AIDS has not stopped people from enganging in unsafe sex. The reason could be somewhere outside knowledge, somewhere deeper than at surface/knowledge level. Somewhere in the peoples's belief system of what is good, what is bad, and what is ugly.

Now the Ngapulila thing: let's assume some activists had passed on some useful pieces of information to Ngapulila and others then wishing to sail abroad, on the true story of life there, would that stop the ngapulilas to wish to get out of Tanzania? We seem to have two possible reasons at least at surface level. One is that life in Tanzania was, and may be still is, very undesirable for young people aspiring to prosper and change their lives. So we had a strong push force, something kept on telling young people to 'get out of here, get yourself moving towards prosperity'. With this force the youngmen wouldn't choose where to move to. They would go anywhere and everywhere really: Bondeni, Kenya, Botswana, the UK, USA, you name it. Actually majority of them did only manage to move from rural to urban, mostly to Dar es Salaam.

The other set of reasons is the pull forces. If some guys abroad tell and show them that they are having better life there, then the Ngapulilas become tempted to move, even if life isn't that undesirable in their home countries. Unfortunately for this set of reasons the media would publicize better lifestyle of the West. And for the youth, well, you can guess how mad they are at a sight of a pop star.

The thing is, unfortunately, as I can see it, those who move and settle elsewhere have some 'genuine' socio-economic reasons. They want to do something about their undesirable life standard in their home countries, the very reasons the original Ngapulila gave for having to sail abroad. They believe, and they may be mostly correct, that life in the developed world is far better. In deed it is. You may correct me but my stay abroad changed my life in the way I think about life and most importantly the value of work. Of course I am not encouraging people to illegally move from their countries. I am rather speaking for brain gain.
 
Sam GM

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Sam GM

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Thanks GM i had the same dream back 2001 and that i can make life better and find grean pasture in United state...at that point of time it was called land of opportunity.

Just land of opportunity was sound good in my head.I tried several time to make things work so that i can go there.Praise the Lord one of cousin told me life down there is tight you have to work hard to make life moving...at that time i was still fighting to go there.

But my mission fail and i get back to tanzania because by that time i was in central africa.And i decide i can make life better in tanzania....Here i am replying articles and mail.Mean i can have 24hrs internect connection...but this is not a simple thing it took me 10yrs to be here.

Thanks reminding long time.

Stay online
Buswelu,

At least you had someone telling you the truth about abroad, many people are not told that and all that ehy get is that it is the land of milky and honey!
 
Sam GM

Sam GM

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Sam GM

Sam GM

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A big fan of bongoland music as you are, I should ask you to carefully listen to another song with a similar theme, from Wagosi wa Kaya. I think it goes by the name 'Passport'. In this track you will notice a despair of someone who is eager to go to Europe, only he cannot manage to pay bribe to immigration guys. He actually uses the excuse of (knowledge of) undesirable life in Europe, only after failing to meet the immigration conditions. Well, my point is, information about life in the West in its own may not stop people from the dearth to travel the world that way.

You are certainly right about one thing though: You can't fully understand why people, informed or not, would die to do something. We may be tempted to assume, and mostly get it wrong, that people who do not engage in safe sex lack information about sexually transmitted diseases. We are now beginning to understand that knowledge about AIDS has not stopped people from enganging in unsafe sex. The reason could be somewhere outside knowledge, somewhere deeper than at surface/knowledge level. Somewhere in the peoples's belief system of what is good, what is bad, and what is ugly.

Now the Ngapulila thing: let's assume some activists had passed on some useful pieces of information to Ngapulila and others then wishing to sail abroad, on the true story of life there, would that stop the ngapulilas to wish to get out of Tanzania? We seem to have two possible reasons at least at surface level. One is that life in Tanzania was, and may be still is, very undesirable for young people aspiring to prosper and change their lives. So we had a strong push force, something kept on telling young people to 'get out of here, get yourself moving towards prosperity'. With this force the youngmen wouldn't choose where to move to. They would go anywhere and everywhere really: Bondeni, Kenya, Botswana, the UK, USA, you name it. Actually majority of them did only manage to move from rural to urban, mostly to Dar es Salaam.

The other set of reasons is the pull forces. If some guys abroad tell and show them that they are having better life there, then the Ngapulilas become tempted to move, even if life isn't that undesirable in their home countries. Unfortunately for this set of reasons the media would publicize better lifestyle of the West. And for the youth, well, you can guess how mad they are at a sight of a pop star.

The thing is, unfortunately, as I can see it, those who move and settle elsewhere have some 'genuine' socio-economic reasons. They want to do something about their undesirable life standard in their home countries, the very reasons the original Ngapulila gave for having to sail abroad. They believe, and they may be mostly correct, that life in the developed world is far better. In deed it is. You may correct me but my stay abroad changed my life in the way I think about life and most importantly the value of work. Of course I am not encouraging people to illegally move from their countries. I am rather speaking for brain gain.
Chavala,

I totally agree with you, as long as the move is to change one's life standard then that move should be encouraged, however, before one embarks on a foreign trip expedition, necessary information and the truth about abroad should be sought and if possible those that are abroad should share this info to those that aspire to go there.

What I am not cool with, is the notion that those that are abroad potray life to be very easy, they do not tell those that aspire to go about how one has to struggle, to be principled or disciplined. I have seen people who have lost focus and direction and have swayed far from the reasons that inspired them in the first place to go abroad.
 
WomanOfSubstance

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WomanOfSubstance

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Chavala,

What I am not cool with, is the notion that those that are abroad potray life to be very easy, they do not tell those that aspire to go about how one has to struggle, to be principled or disciplined. I have seen people who have lost focus and direction and have swayed far from the reasons that inspired them in the first place to go abroad.
GM,
You have said it all...Young bongolanders used to think that Ulaya and Marekani ni kuku kwa mrija...whatever that meant.. ( do they still think so?)..na kwamba ukiwa huko kuku hazikukopeshi... ni kuiva tu kwa kwenda mbele as if everything was dropping like manna from heaven! Its about time that they get to hear of the realities and the other side of it,,,, what it is to work 3-4 jobs...harsh wheather conditions..no mjomba or shangazi to run to incase you are broke.. and so on and so forth.
 
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M

Malila

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Rafiki yangu mmoja(ana shule nzuri) aliruka mamtoni akidhani kule mambo ni bwelele,baada ya miaka mitano amerudi na kukuta hata wale aliowaona mafara kipindi hicho yeye akiwa na passport wamepiga hatua kubwa sana kiasi kwamba ilibidi aseme ~ bora ningebaki Bongo hata fulani amewini~

Sio kwamba nje ni kubaya kiasi hicho,ila sisi wabongo longolongo nyingi na wengi neno HARDWORKING PLUS TARGET/ GOALS hatujawahi kulisikia kabisa.
 
Sipo

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Sipo

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Oooh Come On Man,,,,hivi Wewe Ndio Nani Kwanini Hujawai Kushiriki Mashindano Ya Kutunga Na Kuimba.....ushauri Wa Bure Tu Kiendeleze Hicho Kipaji...umenigusa Sana Mhe
 
Sam GM

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Sam GM

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Thanks Sipo for your comments, composing music is really not one of my cup of tea frankly speaking, and I would really not want to disgrace the discipline with any amaturism endeavors! thanks anyway.
 
Kichuguu

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Kichuguu

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Vizungu vingine vinaumiza kichwa kweli kweli.
 

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