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Tumeshindwa kuandika historia yetu wenyewe?

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Lugha' started by vukani, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. vukani

    vukani JF-Expert Member

    Mar 14, 2010
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    Hivi karibuni nilikwenda kutafuta vitabu katika taasisi ya kiswahili pale chuo kikuu mlimani {TUKI} na katika jengo la Quality Plaza lililoko Nyerere Road, pale kuna duka moja, nadhani linaitwa Mkuki na Nyota kama sikosei.
    Nilikutana na vitabu vingi sana katika maeneo hayo, kwa mfano katika duka la vitabu lililopo pale Quality Plaza, nilikutana na vitabu vya elfu lela ulela, visa vya Sindbad baharia, na vingine vingi tu, vivyo hivyo pale Mlimani nilikutana na kazi nyingi za tafiti zinazozungumzia historia za makabila yetu, mila desturi na historia ya nchi yetu, bara la Afrika kwa ujumla na kadhalika na kadhalika.

    Nilivutiwa na vitabu kadhaa ambavyo nilivinunua, lakini kilichonishangaza sana ni kukuta vitabu vingi vinavyoelezeza historia ya nchi yetu, makabila yetu na hata mila na desturi zetu vimetungwa na Wazungu.

    Yaani nilishangaa sana kuona kwamba wazungu ndio wanaotufahamu zaidi kuliko sisi wenyewe. Pamoja na kuwa na wasomi wengi tena wa kutosha, lakini bado tumeshindwa kuandika historia ya nchi yetu, makabila yetu na mila na desturi zetu mpaka wazungu waje watuandikie?

    Ina maana maisha ya mkazi wa pale Rufiji au Kipatimo kule Kilwa anayajua mzungu kuliko Mtanzania mwenyewe? Au maisha ya mkazi wa kule Katerero Bukoba, Ruhuwiko Songea, Manyoni Singida, Mlima Kilimanjaro kule Moshi, Kyela kule Mbeya, au Kibaigwa kule Dodoma, wasomi wetu wameshindwa kufanya tafiti za makabila na mila na desturi za wakazi wa huko mpaka wazungu waje watusaidie kuandika?

    Inashangaza kuona kuwa waliondika historia ya nchi yetu ni wazungu wengi sana ukilinganisha na sisi wenyewe.
    Hata hivyo nilijaribu kumuuliza yule muuzaji wa vitabu na jibu lake lilikuwa ni rahisi sana, eti alidai kuwa wazungu wanazo fedha za kuendeshea tafiti mbalimbali ukilinganisha na sisi wenyewe. Ujinga gani huu..

    Sina uhakika sana kama kilichoandikwa katika vitabu vyao kuwa ni sahihi kwani, habari zinazopendwa na hawa wenzetu ni zile zilizopotoshwa na kutiwa chumvi nyingi ili zivutie, hakuna habari inayohusu Bara la Afrika itakayoandikwa kwa usahihi kama ilivyo bila kutiwa chumvi. Lakini cha kushangaza huko mashuleni na vyuoni tunaambiwa tuvisome vitabu hivyo ili kuja kuvifanyia mitihani.

    Hivi wasomi wetu wako wapi? Wanafanya nini? Na tafiti zao juu ya nchi yetu, makabila, mila na desturi zetu ziko wapi?

  2. simplemind

    simplemind JF-Expert Member

    Mar 14, 2010
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    [​IMG][​IMG] Race, Revolution and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar Tuesday, 21 July 2009 [​IMG]In part one of a new weekly serialisation, UNPO showcases a new book by Professor G. Thomas Burgess. Entitled 'Race, Revolution and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar', it focuses on two of the key figures in Zanzibar's postcolonial history: Ali Sultan Issa and Seif Sharif Hamad.
    Below is the first extract from the 'Race, Revolution and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar':

    Cosmopolitanism and Its Discontents
    The Zanzibari Revolution of January 1964 was the climax to years of growing racial, ethnic, and partisan tension in the islands and a violent rejection of Zanzibar’s cosmopolitan heritage. Probably one-third of all Arabs on Unguja Island were either killed or forced into immediate exile; for those Arabs and other minorities who remained, the next years witnessed the confiscation of most of their lands and urban properties, as well as their mass exclusion from government employment. A new African nationalist regime espoused socialism and, for two decades, found means by which to transform privileged minorities into second-class citizens. The revolution ended 150 years of Arab and South Asian economic and cultural hegemony in Zanzibar.

    Many hoped the revolution would heal or reduce communal tensions in island society, but any observer of Zanzibar’s contemporary politics can see that it did not. Three elections since 1995 have served, among other things, as popular referenda on the legitimacy and legacies of the revolution. One legacy is the political union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika and the creation of the United Republic of Tanzania in April 1964, barely three months after the revolution. Initially, the island government retained nearly all aspects of its national sovereignty, including control over its finances and armed forces. Starting in the mid-1970s, however, the mainland began to assert increasing control over island affairs, so that today, although Zanzibar retains its own presidency, cabinet, and parliament, the archipelago is utterly dependent on the mainland for its security, finances, and even its electricity. Zanzibari presidents are now nominated and kept in power by a Tanzanian ruling party and army dominated by mainlanders. While Tanzania enjoys a reputation for political stability, such stability is purchased only through rigged elections in Zanzibar. Ruling-party elites justify such measures as necessary introduction to preserve the revolution and to ensure the islands remain part of Tanzania.

    Thus, Zanzibar constitutes by far the most turbulent part of Tanzania today, a direct result of the revolution in the 1960s. Offcials of Tanzania’s ruling party recognize that, if they face a serious political challenge, they do so in Zanzibar. Since the 1990s, the ongoing political impasse in the islands has resulted in violent crackdowns on political demonstrations and the flight of thousands of Zanzibari refugees. The Zanzibari “crisis” has called into question Tanzania’s respect for human rights: does Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), meaning “Party of Revolution” in Swahili, actually intend to allow opposition parties to win elections, or are they permitted to exist merely to appease Western donors?

    Memory Communities
    How Zanzibaris remember the revolution—as either the original sin or the triumph of the independence era—often determines whom they call their friends, with whom they share a cup of coffee, or whom they welcome to their homes as in-laws. Many Zanzibaris continue to trace their present fortunes to the revolution; it assumes center stage in discussions of how present conditions came to be. Defenders of the revolution claim it was good for Africans and describe the violence in 1964 and afterward as minimal and justified in order to right a century of wrongs. They often speak the language of African nationalism, whereas their opponents espouse the language of human rights and regard the violence as neither minimal nor justified. These latter remember the revolution as a long era of arrests, empty shops, and an ever-present atmosphere of isolation and fear. They claim the revolution reversed the social and economic development of the previous century and reduced what was once a proud and independent sultanate into a powerless appendage of the mainland.

    Politics in the islands is not merely a contest common within contemporary Africa over such issues as government corruption and promises kept or broken; rather, it is about memory and identity. The revolution in the 1960s, in the name of African unity, largely repudiated Zanzibar’s cosmopolitan past and ended the islands’ independence. It promoted an African nationalist discourse of racial grievance, which, when wedded to socialist ideals, justified an assault on the wealth and exclusivity of minority communities and the punishment of Pemba as an island of “counterrevolutionaries.” Opponents of the revolution, meanwhile, embrace Zanzibar’s multicultural heritage and the idea that such a heritage makes islanders a unique people, possessing a set of interests that ought to be defended within the Tanzanian union. In their efforts to rally islanders of all backgrounds against the ruling party, they employ a language of human rights that has attained a global currency as widespread as that of socialism and of African nationalism in the 1960s. Thus,not only do Zanzibaris contest the legacy of the revolution in their lives, they also disagree on the language through which it is to be understood.

    The two memoirs contained in this volume may be read as opposing arguments forand against the revolution; as such, they provide rare and contradictory insights into Tanzania’s postcolonial history and current political stalemate. They demonstrate how conflicts within Zanzibar have become issues of national importance for Tanzania. The memoirs also demonstrate the differences between the language of socialism and that of human rights. Ali Sultan Issa supports the revolution on socialist principle as an event that liberated islanders from a colonial system of class exploitation. Seif Sharif Hamad, however, regards the revolution as a disaster in terms of human rights, an event to be regretted deeply. While each man served for years as a minister in the revolutionary regime, each was also imprisoned and forced out of the ruling party. Neither espouses African nationalism nor advocates the politics of race. Each, in fact, specifically deplores the habit of some Zanzibari politicians to manipulate racial or ethnic identities in order to achieve political ends. They both, furthermore, dispute offcial claims made for decades in the schools, in the media, and at public rallies that, since 1964, the islands have seen rapid social and economic development.

    Offcial claims that reflect African nationalist currents of thought should be understood in order to grasp the historical and intellectual context of the memoirs presented here. Salmin Amour, who served as president of Zanzibar (1990–2000), completed his doctoral dissertation at Karl Marx Party College in East Berlin in 1986. “Zanzibar in the earliest days, ”he writes, was “a totally classless society.” Unfortunately, it was not “left to prosper smoothly over time.” Arabs came and introduced slavery, something Amour claims was until then completely unknown, ignoring considerable historical evidence to the contrary. Arabs denied Africans the chance to evolve their own forms of socialism: had Africans “been left to follow their life styles smoothly, ”they would have developed “into a higher form of the African collective mode of living.” Africans possessed no desires to exploit one another, and it was only the infiltration of foreigners that produced “evils” such as class divisions in the islands. Amour’s portrayal of precolonial society in Zanzibar as protosocialist and egalitarian is familiar; it reflects the intellectual influence of Julius Nyerere and his vision of African “familyhood” as the basis for socialism in Tanzania. It also serves very important functions in contests over memory more specific to Zanzibar. By asserting the fundamentally moral nature of precolonial African society, Amour inverts distinctions commonly drawn in coastal East Africa between “savagery” and “civilization.” Amour does not reject the language of civilization but merely recasts the assigned roles, with Africans now representing civilization and Arabs— through their role in the slave trade—the forces of savagery. Amour’s image of the precolonial past makes possible his claim that the revolution restored island society to its former moral equilibrium and reestablished a society of tolerance and mutual respect. Amour’s claims thus reflect what Liisa Malkki observed about oral histories in general: they represent “not only a description of the past, nor even merely an evaluation of the past, but a subversive recasting and reinterpretation of it in fundamentally moral terms.” On moral grounds, Amour and other African nationalists award Africans status as an advanced people, justify the revolution, and reject the worthiness of Zanzibar’s mixed cultural heritage.

    The argument against cosmopolitanism is carried further in Omar Mapuri’s The 1964 Revolution: Achievements and Prospects, which is perhaps the most significant clue to understanding the extremist edge of racial politics in contemporary Zanzibar. Mapuri served Amour for years as his deputy chief minister in the 1990s and was an outspoken defender of the ruling party, the CCM. Published in the aftermath of Zanzibar’s 1995 elections, Mapuri’s book inflamed opinion in the islands. He called on the African majority to maintain racial unity in the face of what he regarded as Western intrigues and resurgent Arab influence. Such unity was as essential in the 1990s as just before the revolution, when, in a series of election campaigns, Africans confronted an imagined alliance between the British colonial government, the sultan, and Arab politicians. The British were not neutral referees; they wanted to leave behind “an Arab state ”in Zanzibar and employed all kinds of “well designed political maneuvers, deceptions, intimidations and humiliations,” intended to divide Africans. Unfortunately, Mapuri offers few specifics, none of which is convincing, and relies overwhelmingly on a secondary school history text for his information. Throughout, Mapuri’s intent is not so much to convey historical realities as to encourage unity among CCM supporters around a series of shared suspicions, including suspicions toward Zanzibaris of African ancestry who do not support CCM.

    Mapuri also sets out to defend the ruling party’s record over the past decades. The party did not permit plunder and violence in 1964; although “following centuries of oppression...a climate of retribution and revenge would have been explicable,” the new regime “nipped all attempts at retribution in the bud.” Such a conciliatory policy, along with alleged revolutionary success in education, health, and housing, were responsible for forty years of tranquility. Peace and progress did not entirely heal old divisions, however. Public dissent was, regrettably, allowed to resurface in a new and “dangerously premature” era of multipartyism. Mapuri records his deep distrust of democracy, a distrust that pervades the ruling party in Zanzibar today:

    Karume [Zanzibar’s first president] understood well that the legacy of centuries could not be swept away overnight and that a true Revolution needs time to take root in the hearts of people accustomed to tradition. Karume’s foresight and wisdom in his declaration immediately after the Revolution that no election should be held in Zanzibar for fifty years was to prove prescient.

    Mapuri’s readers cannot help but wonder, however, how old habits of thought have survived in the islands. He denies the reality of mass killings in 1964 and instead claims the existence of documents that re- veal the genocidal intentions of the “Arab” government the revolution overthrew. He claims that, as retribution for the deaths of sixty-five Arabs in the June 1961 election riots, the government planned to kill sixty Africans for every one Arab fatality and to expel and confiscate the wealth of all Africans of non-Zanzibari origin. Those remaining would be enslaved and have Arab culture imposed on them. Zanzibar would be “proclaimed a land of Asians and Arabs.” Furthermore, “all male African babies would be killed, and African girls would be forced to marry or submit to Arabs so that within a few years there would be no Africans to remember the vile treatment of their ancestors.” Thus, according to Mapuri, the revolution in 1964 did not unleash anti-Arab and anti-Asian violence in Zanzibar; it was instead a relatively peaceful intervention that protected Africans from their own genocide and forced assimilation into Arab culture. Would-be sins of the past extend, in fact, to the imaginary sins of the present. In 1997, referring in a work titled “Zanzibar under Siege” to the CCM’s main political rival, the Civic United Front (CUF), Mapuri claimed that “had CUF won the [1995] elections, they would have massacred people with impunity in revenge.”

    It is hard to imagine claims more corrosive and inflammatory and hard to see how the CCM’s language of protection is not actually a language of incitement. Mapuri invents his own massacres to justify the revolution and any means necessary to preserve the political status quo in the islands. No clearer example can be conceived of how actors in Africa and elsewhere manipulate memory and identity to produce mass fear and suspicion, to be exploited by political elites for their own antidemocratic purposes. Mapuri and other CCM offcials feel they represent the interests of the islands’ allegedly embattled majority and regard the threat of Arabs’ seeking retribution as very real, yet it is never clear who or where the Arabs in question are—are they a small minority of rural Pembans or Arabs living in exile far away in the Middle East? Regardless, readers cannot possibly miss Mapuri’s conclusion: Africans must not “continue to be victims of their humility” or “continue to be harassed in their own land.” They “must prepare themselves for bigger tests ahead [than the 1995 elections] so as to ensure that the Great 1964 Revolution remains for ever and that Zanzibar remains African.” Tanzanian scholar Issa Shivji has recently noted that CCM claims that CUF intends to restore Arab power in Zanzibar “may sound somewhat fanciful to any scientific observer, yet [they continue] to be the substance of the ruling party’s position in Zanzibar, supported even by some establishment scholars.”

    CCM claims of African victimization can make sense only if slavery in the nineteenth century and colonial-era racial inequalities are projected onto the present; Mapuri’s claims begin to persuade only if one is willing to ignore the revolution as an era of major historical transformation. However, in The 1964 Revolution, a book ostensibly about revolutionary achievements, Mapuri has very little to say about the period between 1964 and 1995 or how the revolution actually impacted the lives of Zanzibaris. He pauses briefly to cite a few numbers intended to suggest social and economic development, figures that do not impress: for example, that life expectancy increased from forty-three years in 1964 to forty-eight in 1988. Nor does he consider how effective the revolution actually was in forcing into exile tens of thousands of non-African minorities or in ending Asian and Arab domination of the island economy. Mapuri seeks to awaken his audience to colonial-era injustices, when many islanders of all races and ethnicities find their memories of the revolution more traumatic than memories of British or Arab domination. Mapuri is far more at home in the “racial war of nerves” of the late colonial period than he is in any time since. Careful readers can only assume that he—and others—value the revolution more for its negative than positive consequences. Unfortunately, Amour made Mapuri’s book required reading in Zanzibar’s secondary schools, a move apparently intended to impart to students a firm understanding of who their historical enemies are, or at least were conceived to be a half-century ago.

    Students in Zanzibar need to look elsewhere for an understanding of their history, yet no text speaks with any authority to all islanders about their past. Where can they read an assessment of the revolution that allows them to analyze it on its own merits, rather than the perceived evil intentions of its critics? For decades, critical voices remained oral; they survived in an atmosphere of storytelling and private performances, in which the object was often as much to entertain and provoke as to instruct and in which a series of revolutionary incidents were continually recounted as outrageous abuses against God and humanity. Such voices have asserted fundamentally moral claims, arguing that the revolution empowered individuals to act according to their worst vices: cruelty, pride, and ignorance. For decades, the only dissenting voices to appear in print were those of Zanzibaris living in exile, of whom Abdulrazak Gurnah emerged as the most compelling. In Admiring Silence, Gurnah refers to “the incompetence of the [revolutionary] authorities, their mindless bullying, the endless fiascos, their irrational vengefulness.” In By the Sea, apolitical prisoner is forced night after night to listen to government radio sermons “by one personage or another, haranguing and hectoring, rewriting history and offering homespun moralities that justified oppression and torture.” Speaking through his character Amin, Gurnah seeks in Desertion to convey how residents of Zanzibar Town responded in 1964 to a new revolutionary age:

    We have to find a new way of speaking about how we live now. They don’t like to hear people say certain things, or sing certain songs...People have been killed. I cannot write these things. They have frightened us too much, and it would be stupid to be found scribbling what we are required not to know about…They want us to forget everything that was here before, except the things that aroused their rage and made them act with such cruelty.

    Gurnah is unique in the Zanzibari context for his capacity to suggest how any hegemonic language locates and catalogues the horrors of the past in order to legitimize present excesses. The memoirs contained in this volume are two separate and very different attempts to convey, through the idiom of personal experience, how Zanzibar’s revolution either helped or harmed island society. They allow readers to begin to assess the revolution on its merits, rather than the alleged malevolence of its detractors.

    In part two, to be released on the UNPO website next week, Professor G. Thomas Burgess continues the story of Zanzibar with an introduction to the life of Ali Sultan Issa.
    To purchase a copy of 'Race, Revolution and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar', please visit the University of Ohio Press, by clicking here.


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  3. FirstLady1

    FirstLady1 JF-Expert Member

    Mar 15, 2010
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    Hii kali ..sijawahi kuchunguza hili...
  4. Soulbrother

    Soulbrother JF-Expert Member

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    Hapo mkuu unazungumza swala la kweli. Wasomi wetu hawaandiki vitabu na siwalaumu, hatuna utamaduni wa kununua na kusoma vitabu, hivyo basi, vitabu havina soko. Wasomi hawana motisha kuandika vitabu.

    Inabidi tuanze kununua na kusoma vitabu ili tuwape motisha waandike
  5. C

    Choveki JF-Expert Member

    Mar 19, 2010
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    Ndugu Vukani, je hujagundua kuwa kila msomi eshakuwa mwanasiasa? na kama si mwanasiasa au akishindwa kujikita kwenye hiyo biashara ya uanasiasa basi atajikita kwenye ufanyabiashara wa aina fulani, ama daladala, mifugo, nyumba za kupanga, gesti nk. kwa kiasi kikubwa bishara ambayo haihusiani kabisa na fani aliyobobea!
  6. Mundungus Fletcher

    Mundungus Fletcher JF-Expert Member

    Mar 19, 2010
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    dahhh.. well this reminds me.. nilikuwa nataka kupost thread ili watu wazima wanisaidie kunielewesha umuhimu wakufuindisha history kama hii mashuleni

    the first white an to see mount Kilimanjaro was called John Rebman..
    mzungu wa kwanza kuuona lima kilimanjaro alikuwa anaitwa john rebman

    Mzungu wa kwanza kuoona lake victoria cjui nani..

    maudhui ya hii part of information kwenye history ni nini????
  7. K

    Kekuye Senior Member

    Mar 20, 2010
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    Ndugu Vukani ni kweli kabisa jambo ulilolisema. Ukiliangalia hili swala kwa undani utagundua pia wakati mwingine wasomi wazawa wanapoamua kufanya tafiti kuhusu Tanzania ambazo zitawalazimu kupata baadhi ya taarifa kutoka kwenye idara/taasisi za serikali hukwamishwa kwa kuambiwa hizo tarrifa ni ''classified'' na sababu nyingine zinazofanana na hizo. Lakini akiwa mtafiti mwenye 'ngozi nyeupe' wakati mwingine hufanikiwa kirahisi kupata baadhi ya taarifa. Swala hili huwakwamisha wasomi wazawa, na vile vile huonekana kama vile tafiti na kazi zao hulenga kuikosoa serikali.