Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Dar students solving problems through ICT-based solution

Alex Chambika explains how his App works during

Alex Chambika explains how his App works during a science, technology and innovation conference held in Dar es Salaam. Photo | Esther Kibakaya 

There has been a great demand of ICT-based solutions to problems in the society and companies have continued to import solutions. However, many students are doing their best to come up with great solutions with the dream of employing themselves since they understand that there are few opportunities for employment in the job market.

As a result, there have been a number of initiatives to empower youth innovations and one of those students who has benefited from such initiatives is Alex Chambika, a fourth year student from University of Dar es Salaam who is currently pursuing a degree in Telecommunication Engineering .

Alex is one among thousands of students who has been natured under the University of Dar es Salaam ICT Incubator (UDICTI), where students with business ideas are groomed as they turn their ideas into startups and are accommodated until they are able to stand on their own.

Understanding the financial needs and challenges when it comes to saving especially for low income earners, Alex decided to come up with a project called Mobile Kibubu, a system which uses USSD, an application available in smart phones to help people reach their goals

Explaining more about his project, he says he understands that a lot of people have their goals in life but to ensure that they meet their goals, they need money and getting quick money to achieve these goals cannot be easily achieved. “For instance someone might want to buy a plot which costs three million, but raising that money on the spot can be a challenge. You might have an option of getting a bank loan but then there are many requirements that have to be first met before you qualify for a bank loan. If you don’t have such requirements you miss out on the loan,” he says. “Statistics show that 46 per cent of Tanzanians are financially excluded meaning they cannot enjoy the services offered by majority of bank s and that’s the provenance of my idea,” he reveals. He further adds that banks have created services which are banks-centered, I thought why not come up with a system that will allow a person to be able to slowly save his or her own money so as to meet their future goals.

“There are people who might say that they do that at home but are these piggy banks (vibubu) safe? The answer is no, because you might have a target of saving Sh1million and it unfortunately gets stolen on or you might lose your money in a fire accident. This becomes a loss not only to you but also to the nation because the money which was supposed to be in circulation, you have it at home,” he explains.

Kibubu

This is where the mobile Kibubu comes in. It acts as a mobile money fixed account and according to Alex, this app can be accessed by anyone with a smartphone or any other type of phone through download. “Customers register by filling in their information and then start using the app. One can be able to have different accounts and do different configurations however they want,” he says.

He further informs that one might have different goals, say, a student has a dream of buying a plot after he or she completes college, that means they can create a one or two-year goal of planning to buy a plot. Or for example they have a plan of buy a computer; they can set plans to save for six months to achieve that goal. The system therefore gives you the flexibility that you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.

“The system also gives you another value and that is internet of service, this means when one has their goal in life then they decide to share that goal with us, we look for ways on how to help you reach your goals by linking you with people who offer the services that you are saving to acquire in a certain period of time,” he notes.

He further states, “We have started small, aiming at helping small and medium income earners, that’s why the minimal amount one can save is shilling 500 in their mobile kibubu. We are still looking for partners who can help to push our projects forward,” he says.

Because he’s still a student, having funds to support his project has become a challenge. “Unfortunately we own these brilliant ideas to ourselves and the more we delay to put them into action, other people will come and take credit for the ideas and the value we had of coming up with ideas will be used elsewhere, leaving us with fewer opportunities for employment for those who will wish to employ themselves,” he says.

Explaining how unique his project is compared to others, Alex says as an ICT person he took time to dig deep, especially on the business field to see the business model of other systems which exist and try to identify their weaknesses and come up with a better app which will cover those weak points.

He says in the end his dream is to see low and medium income earners included in the financial system. “From street food vendors to the corporate class, we want everyone to be able to raise capital. The system will also help students, stay at home mothers, civil servants, bodaboda riders to meet their financial goals,” says Alex. Mariam Khamis, 25, a self-employed graduate, says she has tried to use mobile Kibubu and she foresees a positive outcome. “It’s user-friendly and once I learned about it, I didn’t hesitate to start using it because I realised it will help me savesome cash to boost my business. I am happy to see that students come up with such innovative ideas to solve challenges facing our community and I believe that I will benefit a lot from it,” she happily explains.


Another success story

Another success story of youth who have embraced the opportunities in the world of ICT involves five classmates named Stebbins Tugara, Alex Athanas, Innocent Charles, Denis Frimos and Vitus Ng’homi, together the group came up with the idea of starting an ICT firm after their university education.

When they joined the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) in 2009, each one of them took a different course but since they had a vision of starting their own company, they actively kept their dream alive by engaging in various money making projects.

Soon after graduating from the university in 2012, the young enterpreneurs started to work on their idea, including offering ICT services, hosting people’s website, emails and other online platforms. A year later the five young men managed to have their firm titled ictpack registered. However, according to Vitus Ng’homi, it was not easy for them especially when it came to finding clients.

“There was an issue of acceptance from people that we approach to use our services. Doing business in an ICT industry which was highly dominated by Indians for instance, was a challenge for us and so we had to focus on individual clients. But since we were determined to do this we kept working hard and as time went by we kept receiving both medium and large-scale clients from government and private institutions,” he explains.

Ng’homi says students can achieve a lot through the knowledge they receive in the incubators as long as they don’t give up on their dreams once they face challenges. “One thing they need to understand is that becoming self-employed is not a hobby but rather it is something that needs to go hand in and with the available opportunities in the areas of their interest especially while they are still in college or universities,” he says.

The young entrepreneurs have also made a Practical Training Management System (PTMS) which is at the UDSM Information and Computer Technology Incubator, the system helps final year students search for organisations that would take them in as interns for practical training.

Christine Mwase, a coach at the University of Dar es Salaam ICT incubator says the incubators such as the one at the University of Dar es Salaam help graduates and act as part of their training to conduct project using the knowledge they got from class to be able to come up with solutions based projects facing their communities.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Why all parents need to make Internet safer for children

 

By Success Reporter

The internet has today become very integral to the lives of Kenyans, who have embraced its potential for communication, entertainment and information.

Children have also not been left behind. The internet is easily accessible to them with technologies such as mobile phones and other hand-held devices becoming a familiar presence in their day to day life.

There is also an increased number of Wi-Fi hotspots in Kenya to be found in homes, schools, restaurants, churches and public transport.

Unfortunately, the advancement in technology has exposed children to serious risk of abuse online while leaving parents and guardians helpless to intervene.

Notably, warning signs that can serve to protect children in the physical world are largely absent online. Children engage in ‘chat’ or ‘conversation’ in the private space of their own bedrooms without parental supervision and can unwittingly expose themselves to an unknown worldwide audience, potentially increasing the risk of harm.

“Parental capacity to protect children is also increasingly limited by the fact that many of the activities previously done via computers based in fixed locations are now being utilised on mobile phones with Internet connectivity,” says the report.

When children have access to such phones, as an increasing number do, parents are less able to monitor their children’s activities, introduce filtering or blocking mechanisms, or control the degree of access to the Internet.

The numerous online channels that are available for abusers to access children make it difficult to police illegal behaviours and to protect them.

Information on privacy and security risks exist for all users. However, children are a particularly vulnerable because they often lack the capacity to foresee possible consequences of disclosure of personal information online.

Privacy risks

“Children bear information privacy risks when their personal data are collected online automatically (e.g. cookies), upon request by an information service provider (e.g. when signing up for a service), or voluntarily, when they fill their personal information in online forms .Unlike most adults, children tend to skip privacy statements of online services,” the report says.

Making friends online has attracted particular attention as a risky behaviour, especially when this leads to offline meetings.

And since young people value the internet as a particularly enabling environment for intimate or private communications, it goes without saying that the internet has increased the risk of strangers contacting children.

The draft report notes that there is a particular risk of ‘grooming’ practices which entail communicating and forming a ‘friendship’ with children online with the intent of arranging to meet them in the ‘real world’ to sexually abuse.

The draft report appreciates that such behaviour takes place online, without physical contact between the abuser and child.

However, despite the lack of physical contact, children can be frightened and harmed by what has happened and may find difficulty talking about it.

“They may use flattery and promises of gifts, or threats and intimidation in order to achieve some control. Chat rooms and social networking sites are common places for such behaviour to start. Children may in the process be encouraged to give personal details,” says a draft report, “Child Online Protection; A Practical Guide for Children, Parents and Professionals Working with Children” prepared by the Department of Children Services, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Kenya.

Physical description

Groomers’ sometimes pretend to be younger than they are and may change their gender, give a false physical description of themselves and send pictures of other people, pretending that it is them. Usual rules around friendships and trust are changed making it harder to discern true ‘friends’ from strangers in this context.

Notably, minors in search of help or assistance can receive harmful advice from incompetent or ill-intentioned advisors on interactive platforms such as social networks or chat rooms. This contact risk mirrors of being exposed to harmful advice.

“Children may presume, incorrectly, that all information they submit remains within the boundaries of their immediate contacts, and they may fail to anticipate the possible adverse consequences of providing information to “friends of friends”, to people who may subsequently cease to be friends, and to those who may pass information on to others,” draft report.

Although cyberbullies and their victims are often minors, cases of adults harassing children also exist.

Strategies include repeated threats by e-mail, text messages or chat, publication on the web or circulation of embarrassing pictures, often taking advantage of the relative anonymity of the online media.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Using animation to raise reproductive health awareness

 

By Esther Kibakaya

Anjela Thomas’ face looks serious while her eyes are glued in front of wall where a three-minute 3D animation film is displayed from the projector placed behind the hall. She is not alone though; other students from different secondary schools from Dar es Salaam are also part of the big audience watching the animation, which is aimed at inspiring behavioral change.

The 14-year-old girl was moved by the story shown on the film of a struggling young girl who is forced to stay at home for many days during her monthly period just because she cannot afford sanitary pads, “this is very touching because it reflects the reality of what most girls, especially those living in rural areas, go through during their monthly period,” says Angela.

Anjela was part of several students who attended an Innovation Week, which was held at COSTECH in Dar es Salaam. The Innovation Week was organised with the motive of bringing together different innovations that are focusing on making positive changes in the community.

Among the innovators was Mr Gwamaka Mwamuka, an animator and film producer who has been working as a volunteer for the last five years at Tanzania Aspiration Initiative, a youth-led organization. Together they worked through their project called Jali, which focused on investing in girls to prevent them from dropping out of school. This is done through education on reproductive health and self-awareness to students in underprivileged secondary schools.

Menstrual challenges

Understanding the challenges facing girls especially during their menstrual period is key. UNESCO estimates that one in ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle and many of them drop out of school altogether once they begin menstruating due to lack of facilities, lack of information or lack of sanitary products. “That pushes the invention of Harakati za Lucy,” says Mr Gwamaka.

According to him, Harakati za Lucy is an approach, which focuses on raising awareness on the importance of menstrual hygiene management to both men and women and particularly students in order to end the silence caused by stigma and taboos on menstrual issues.

“Before I came up with this approach, our Jali project required us to visit schools hence we were at times forced to use a lot of energy with limited resources to reach out to a large number of students to educate them about menstrual hygiene management. But I realised that through the passion and experience I have in film, I can come up with something that can reach out to a large number of people, instead of the previous approach we were using of going to schools, which limited our reach to different schools at once,” says Gwamaka.

He knew that using this approach would help to make a big contribution in their initiative. “Before we came up with this idea we looked at the main aim for having this project and that was to empower girls by helping them stay in school even during their menstruation, we knew this approach will help us achieve that,” he says, adding, “We wanted to show how important men’s involvement is in supporting girls while they are in their monthly period.

And so I wrote the script using my background in film and started to animate. It took six months of day and night to make Harakati za Lucy 3D animation prototype, this is because we didn’t have enough resources because they are expensive,” he noted.

He knew that what he was doing was an expensive project since most who do animation do it for commercial purposes, unlike those who are doing it with the purpose of impacting the community. With this in mind, he decided to do the project with the limited resources they had despite the fact that they were of low quality.

However, pushed with the ambition of making an impact to school-going children, Mr Gwamaka and his team decided to apply at Amua accelerator program, a program which supports different innovation ideas from youth which focus in empowering adolescent girls especially in sexual and reproductive health. The program is aimed at supporting the social enterprises.

“We applied and we are among the ten youth groups who were selected to attend a boot camp which trained us on how to develop our idea into a business and so we managed to improve our idea and we pitched it in front of investors. We became one among the four winners and won $6000 which we used to buy the machine which we are currently using to make the animations that are more standard and with better quality,” he says

Today Mr Gwamaka is happy that his dream to make a high quality Animation film to educate youth will come true.

“Animation has a great opportunity to bring positive changes within our community since it is educative and entertaining, something which can help to change people’s minds on certain issues and that is what I want to achieve,” he says.

One thing he wishes to see is girls becoming more empowered through their initiative, “Through Harakati za Lucy, I wish to see that girls are more educated in two aspects which are menstrual hygiene where they will be able to stay in school and a community that can support them and understand what they are going through as a normal biological process and an awareness about teen pregnancy as well,” he concludes.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

How far should parents go in enforcing career choices?

 

By Nobert Atukunda & Desire Mbabaali

Tales of people pursuing particular careers they are not passionate about are endless. But how much influence should a parent wield in their child’s career decisions?

Raymond, a Fashion and Design student at Management Training Advisory Centre, has always dreamed of becoming an interior designer. But his dream was far different from the dream his father had for him. “Being an engineer himself, my father wanted me to follow his footsteps,” he says.

In fact after Senior Four, his father wanted him to enroll for an engineering related course. Though Raymond had no problem with the shortcut, he had a problem studying a course he had no passion for. “I was determined to stick to only fashion-related courses,” he says.

This brought about a father-son conflict causing Raymond to take a year off studies. As he figured out his next step, he took on a catering gig, the proceeds of which he used to enroll himself into the Fashion and Design course he is currently pursuing.

Though parents certainly have a big role to play in their children’s lives, Ngozi Osarenren, a professor of guidance and counselling and head of department, Educational foundations, University of Lagos, notes that imposing their ideas on or forcing a child to pursue a particular career should be minimal. “In such matters, the child’s ability and interest should be taken into consideration,” she says.

Among the many students who got cornered into courses they have no passion about is Daniel Comboni, a student of Journalism and Communication at Makerere University. “My relatives convinced my parents to enroll me for Journalism. The argument was that there were many teachers in the family so I should forfeit my dream of becoming a teacher and do some other course for purposes of diversity,” he explains.

“Since I could not pay my own tuition, I accepted my fate. If the best is not available, the available becomes the best, so I gave it my best shot,” Comboni says. This, however, was to come with its own challenges.

Thinking about the future

Margaret Arimpa Nyombi, a parent, says sometimes one finds themselves in a situation where they have to make the tough decisions for their children’s future. “You can ask a child what career they want to pursue and they have no idea. My daughter in Senior Six for example changes her future career all the time.

Today, she wants to study Law, tomorrow teaching, the next day the course her best friend wants to do. She simply does not know what she wants,” she says. As a parent, you have to intervene in such a scenario. “Sometimes these children are just dreaming up some random careers that do not exist. Though I believe in letting our children choose their own career paths, sometimes they need to be guided to avoid making the wrong choices,” Arimpa says.

Create opportunities

True to this, Henry Nsubuga, a counsellor at Makerere University, Counselling and Guidance Centre, encourages parents to help their children discover themselves.

“Create opportunities for them to thrive in what they want but forcing a child is inappropriate because everyone has their own interests. Although parents would like to make academic and career choices for their children, they should understand that this may come with some negative effects,” Nsubuga warns.

“At first I could not concentrate on journalism because I had hope of changing the programme - which never came to through. This somehow affected my performance,” Comboni says.

Similarly, Nsubuga reveals that such students tend to have less quality work to deliver. “This is because they lack room for creativity and this not only affects them, but also the people they are going to serve,” he says.

Advice to parents

Nsubuga advises parents to always take their children’s side as long as the decision is not dangerous. “Parents should put an enabling environment for their children to discover themselves as well as advise them on the different courses they want to do. A parent should also have time to discuss their children’s career decisions.”

On the other hand, Brenda Ayesigye, an instructor at St Matthias Institute of Technology, feels that parents should also seek career guidance so that they are able to give their children better advice in making the right career decisions.

Though parents are instrumental in a student’s career choice, the decision is one that should involve both parties reaching a consensus –the student playing the major role.

Parents role crucial

According to a study by GTI Media (UK) and the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services involving 3,000 students and 800 parents, majority of students say their parents play a major role in their decision-making about careers and study. More than half (54 per cent) of the students said their parents tried to exert influence over their choice of course or career, while 69 per cent said their parents had tried to influence their choice of university.

Only 27 per cent said their parents had discussed alternatives other than university education with them. Seventy per cent of parents said they encouraged their children to go to university and of those, 43 per cent felt a degree would improve their children’s long-term career prospects.

Students did not object to parents’ attempts to influence them; 66 per cent thought this was the right thing for parents to do, while only 7 per cent thought it was wrong.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Retail sales boosting when in slump



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

If you are a retailer, it’s inevitable that sales will slump. Whether it’s due to forces beyond control like the city tearing up the street in from of your store or seasonal sales dip or a decline in foot traffic, all retailers will experience a slump in sales at some point. The following are a few simple ways you and your staff can improve your retail sales when this happens.

You need to create your own holiday - Most retailers only celebrate the national holidays like July 7th, Easter, Christmas or Eid Al-Fitr for that matter.

Why wait for the big holidays? Create a holiday of your own. Consider fun things that your store does or sells and the customers who shop with you and then make a holiday around it. For example, celebrate Nyama Choma Day etc. This can be granted for the mere connection that shoes and Nyama Choma are both made from cows, right? Hence making an event out of it and surely draw a lot of people out of the event.

Advertise more - Just when you may think it’s time to cut back the marketing shillings, you should probably be advertising more. It is wise to increase marketing efforts during slower sales periods because there is more competition and fewer consumer monies. Consider newspaper ads, magazines, specialty publications and other forms of marketing. One great way to do this is to use remnant advertising. These are spaces in the paper that are “holes” for the local newspaper, contact Mwananchi publications and the like.

You simply create a branding advert that the newspaper can drop in at its discretion and you can definitely drive a ton of traffic out of that advert. Most importantly the advert has to be much of a sales motivator as it should for a branding play.

Generate a buzz - Whenever anything noteworthy happens within your business, send a press release to the media. The idea is to grab any free coverage possible. Get involved with community events. Consider hosting classes, meetings or other networking events in your retail store. Use a unique promotional event to generate a buzz about your business.

Examine your pricing strategy - When purchasing and pricing products, be sure you’ve considered the cost of goods and that your retail shop is able to make a profit at that price point. Your product price should be competitive, but still profitable. Ultimately, the right price is the price the customer is willing to pay for the product.

Design store for sales - Take advantage of cross-merchandising strategies and impulse sale opportunities. Use lighting techniques and creative displays to attract customers. Play videos for product education, customer entertainment and any other up-sell or promotional tie-in. involve all of the senses in your visual merchandising. Remember, an energetic store is a magnet to clients!!

Connect with the customer - Excellent customer service is the key to increasing sales. Listen to your customer to understand their needs and wants.

Then educate him/her about the products. Finally, let the customer know you appreciate their business. Offer value-added services and products. Create a mailing list by asking for contact information from each customer. Remember, the customer is looking for an experience and not just a product.

Be social - The easiest, most cost effective thing you can do is social media. Make sure that you have a steady stream of activity online. Customers who see a flurry of activity from you and then periods of silence know you are only online because sales are down. Use social media to position yourself as the place to shop and buy. Good Luck!!!

Manage your money - This may seem like an obvious step, but as retail operators we can become too involved in the little details of our business that we lose track of our financials.

Email: jullybulili@gmail.com

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Dreading my day alone with baby

 

By Mwalimu Andrew

If there is any baby out there who loves his father, and whose father really loves him, it is my son Sospeter. Having not been there in Branton’s early life when Sospeter was born, I went against that long-held tradition of Mwisho wa Lami’s fathers, and decided to help Fiolina my wife to bring up our son.

“Huyu Dre amekaliwa chapati,” Nyayo once said at Hitler’s,

“Nilimkataza kuoa mwanawake mwenye ako na mshahara na hakuskia,” said Alphayo, adding that a woman who has a salary, however little, is definitely a difficult wife. “Mshahara hupatia mwanamke kiburi,” he added.

I told them that Fiolina, the beautiful love of my enviable life, was a different woman. “She respects me.”

Of course that was a big lie. You see, in public, Fiolina is beautiful, polite, respectful, and a timid woman who would not a hurt a fly. But behind the doors of our bungalow, she is a tough, harsh and domineering woman.

Once I enter the house, there is never a big difference between Branton and me. I am always commanded left, right and centre. I never seem to do anything right. When I get home late, I am asked to explain where I coming am from; when I arrive early, I am told respectable men are out there making money for their families!

“Your son is watching your behaviours and unless you change, he will be like you,” she told me a few weeks ago. “You don’t know how much I toil with this son of yours while you do nothing.”

This is despite the fact I am the only man in Mwisho wa Lami and its environs who helps with the baby.

“One day I will leave you with Sos mukae na yeye, that’s when you will know what I go through,” she told me last Saturday

“No problem,” I said. After all, Sospeter likes being with me.

Alone with my son

The next day, last Sunday, I woke up and started playing with Sospeter. Fiolina had woken up early. She was in the kitchen preparing breakfast.

But by 9am, she had not come back to the bedroom, and Sospeter had started crying. I tried all manner of jokes and games, but he wouldn’t stop crying.

I called Fiolina but there was no response. I went to look for her in the house. She was not in the sitting room, not in the kitchen or anywhere else. And Sospeter was crying even more! I tried calling Fiolina but her phone went unanswered. It must have been on my tenth attempt when she picked up the phone call.

“Uko wapi?” I asked her amidst the baby’s loud cries. “Sos analia,” I said.

“I have gone for chama, I will come back at 12pm,” she said.

“What do you mean chama, nani umewachia mtoto wako?” I asked angrily.

“Ni mtoto wako pia,” she said. “Have you changed him? Change him and give him breakfast, it’s in the kitchen,” she said, then hanged up.

I had never changed Sospeter. But having seen him being changed every day, I decided to try. I could not get the things that I needed, and it took me about 20 minutes to set everything and another 20 minutes to change him.

By the time I finished, our entire bedroom was one big mess. But as soon as he was changed, Sospeter stopped crying – giving me time to clean the bedroom.

No sooner had I finished than he started crying again. I knew he was hungry. I went to the kitchen, and saw his food. I had never fed him before. Although I struggled to make him sit the right way, he quickly took the first three or four spoons, then stopped.

He would push my hand away every time I tried to feed him, pouring the food on me. He started crying again. I called his mother several times unsuccessfully.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Why am I too stressed during examinations?



Paul Owere

Paul Owere 

Hi, I am a university student currently in my second year, my problem is that I often get too stressed during exams. I have tried to manage it but I just can’t handle it sometimes. This worries me especially with the fact that it might affect my performance when I most need it. What do you think I should do?

Stress is natural part of being human. It’s your body responding to changes in the world around you. It changes how your body works and puts your mind into different moods. When you’re getting a bit stressed about an exam - it just means that you really care about the result you will get. Stress can be caused by anything that requires you to adjust to a change in your environment, it can be brought about by a traumatic accident, death, or emergency situation, and it can also be a side effect of a serious illness or disease.

Stress is often caused by worries, job pressures, trying to live up to other peoples’ expectations, jealousy, anger, greed, love, and hate can all cause stress in our lives.

problems of stress can easily compound if it is not possible to satisfactorily deal with a particular situation at the time; a person’s safe and secure life can very quickly become extremely disrupted leading to physical and mental health problems and sometimes homelessness or addictions. It is important that you try to keep your sleep routine as regular as possible because staying up all night just won’t help. Take a break, this is really important, you should give yourself plenty of short breaks as you revise, this keeps you fresher for longer, so you will learn more.

Time for yourself; try to leave enough time in your revision for some fun. You will need to put your books down and do something you enjoy for a while if you want to stay in a good mood.

Be realistic; don’t try to do too much work each day. If you overdo it you won’t take in the facts you’re revising. Eat properly make sure your diet includes plenty of fruit and veg. Drink juice or water, avoid too much tea or coffee. Get some exercise; it’s a fantastic stress buster. Go running, play a sport, or just take a walk around the block. You will feel more relaxed. If you’re not sleeping very well, exercise can sometimes make a real difference.

Be positive, don’t beat yourself up about things, instead, be nice to yourself. Make a quick list of five things you’ve done that you are proud of. This will put you in a good mood and you will learn more.

Chill out, if you are starting to lose it, and feel that the studying is getting on top of you.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How a Facebook storyteller became an Author

Frank Mushi signs his book for a reader. Photo

Frank Mushi signs his book for a reader. Photo | Esther Karin Mngodo 

Dar es Salaam. Frank Mushi clearly recalls how he started writing fiction. It was the work of an Angel. It was in 2004 when his girlfriend, Angel, would often ask him to leave her alone when she was deeply lost in one of Shigongo’s novels. “I had to impress her, make her read my stories and not those of Shigongo or anyone else. So I started writing short stories and shared them on the school newspaper,” he recalls.

He compares his situation with what Robert A. Heinlein, an American science fiction writer said in his book ‘Stranger in a strange land’ that “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own”.

Although the 29-year-old author based in Dar confesses that he was prompted by love to write in his younger days, today he writes for other reasons. “To promote Kiswahili language,” he says and adds with a smile, “And to entertain those who like reading my work.”

From social media to printed pages

‘Those who like reading his work’ also like calling themselves his fans. Although Frank himself is not a fan of that title. The thing is, he doesn’t really call himself a writer. “I don’t take it seriously. I write just to express my feelings,” he says. He seems impressed on thinking aloud how this would be the first time a journalist interviews him for his writing. It is not the first time he has been interviewed. But in previous interviews, he wore the hat of a lawyer or a farmer. He owns Frank Farms through which he engages in poultry keeping, piggery, selling vegetables, and soon he will start selling rabbits and engage in aqua farming.

He admits that if it were not for social media, maybe he wouldn’t be where he is now. He posts his fiction stories on Facebook, Instagram and on some blogs. This has given him a huge ‘boost’. He has gained popularity, and can interact with his readers with each chapter posted.

Frank self-published his first book, ‘Taaluma iliyopotea’ (The Lost Profession) in 2013 after first publishing it online. He made Sh800,000 by selling 400 copies on Facebook at Sh2,000 per copy.

But it wasn’t until June this year that he published his second book, Kisasi, which had also been published on social media in 2015. Kisasi, which means ‘Revenge’ in English, is a love story with many twists. Frank explores themes of love, power and a woman’s position of strength. “I believe that women are powerful,” he says and explains why his characters behave the way they do. And it is a woman who is his role model, Mariama Bâ, a Senegalese author and feminist well known for her book ‘So Long a Letter’, which was also translated to Kiswahili by Ben R. Mtobwa and titled ‘Barua Ndefu Kama Hii’.

“I receive comments on every chapter that I post. Sometimes I change the story as I go along. I would say that 99 per cent of those who have bought my book so far are those who have read my story or heard about me on social media. It is the only platform where an author can meet the reader easily,” he says.

Frank sees his writing as a way of giving other people something to learn from, and a form of leisure. “I don’t even take it as a side gig. It is my passion and I don’t do it much as a business.”

It is for such reason also that he doesn’t engage in literary events. However, he admits to have met a few writers he admires, in person, after meeting them on social media. Their discussions are mainly on how to improve literature in Tanzania. “But again, I am not as serious as they are in this business.”

A form of escape?

“With a piece of a paper and a pen, you can travel the world with the ink flowing from one line to another, that is what inspires me to write,” Frank says. He describes how in so many stories that he has written, he has travelled the world from Finland to Fiji, from Tanzania to Washington DC. “I have learnt about the intelligence, love, hate, leadership, lies and truth, honesty and betrayal. I have learnt about men and women and all those things I have learnt while sitting on a chair in my room with my pen and paper or by my fingers on a laptop keyboard. When I write I travel to where I want,” he says.

About his writing process

What if my marriage becomes a wolf that hunts my life and ruins everything I have built? That is how Frank always starts writing. He asks himself one question: What if? Then he would write a sketch of his story in a hundred words or less, send that to a designer for them to reflect and create a book cover design. Sometimes, he plans the whole story chapter by chapter, and other times, he just let’s it flow. And then comes the editing.

His stories are often about himself. He writes what he believes, things that have happened in his life. And sometimes he has been accused of predicting the future. Like when he started writing for Angel. He wrote her a story about characters that would break up, and eventually the author and his lady also went their separate ways. But it was just fiction, he says.

Promoting Swahili

Although he claims that writing is just a hobby for him, he believes that writers have a role in promoting Kiswahili. “Our language is our identity. We have the duty to embrace it. I am one of those who have a role of promoting Kiswahili,” he says, explaining why he writes in this language.

But he also explains that Kiswahili has a lot of vocabularies that can deeply speak to the heart when they are used to narrate a story, unlike saying the same thing in English. “Kiswahili is a rich language. It has sayings and idioms that can entertain the mind. Kiswahili is rich of sweet words, smooth words that can be touching,” he says.

Nevertheless, he intends to translate more of his work to English. So far, he has two English short stories written in 2015, ‘Come back home Sikitu’ and ‘Stairs’.

“I want to translate my stories in English and research on how I can penetrate the market in Kenya and South Africa and some other East African countries. Perhaps it is time for me to be more serious,” he says and adds that he believes that there is still need to promote literature works in Tanzania and encourage reading culture from a young age.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Why youth need to embrace patriotism, ethics, and accountability

 

By Mosenda Jacob

According to ‘Uzalendo Frontier’ a forum initiated by students in collaboration with their lecturers at the Mozambique- Tanzania Centre for Foreign Relations (CFR)-Kurasini, the limited working spirit among the youth is significantly associated with insufficient level of patriotism, rapid deterioration of ethical behavior as well as inadequate level of accountability.

In a bid to address fundamental issues affecting the youth, the centre had initiated the frontier with an intention to raise awareness on aspects of hard work and self determination among Tanzanian youth.

“The culture of laziness has blocked the attainability of most youths’ dreams. We have organized this platform as our channel to mobilise our fellow youth from higher learning institutions, secondary schools and the entire country to embrace patriotism, ethics and make themselves accountable, something that’s fundamental to the prosperity of all sectors,” John Mboya, the Chairman of ‘Uzalendo Frontier’ told Success in a post-event interview.

In enhancing the beginning of this plan, the institution organized a two-day forum held on 2-3 July, 2018 at the institution and attracted more than 480 participants from universities and colleges, secondary schools, public and private servants as well as ordinary citizens.

“In facilitating the implementation of this move, we organized a forum that intended to impart knowledge, skills and experience as far as patriotism, ethics and accountability is concerned. We expect such knowledge and skills to promote hard work among people in the country; develop and broaden the youth ethical standards as well as enhancing their accountability and integrity,” said Mboya.

The Chairman further said the reason as to why they were mostly calling upon the youth was because the latter makes the largest population and is dependable upon the future of the country.

Prof Kitojo Wetengere from Centre for Foreign Relations (CFR) said that it was important for countries to formulate programs which promote patriotism among citizens and particularly youth who are expected to take over public machinery in the future.

According to him, patriotism refers to love of one’s country, a sense of personal identification, a special concern for the wellbeing of the country as well as willingness to sacrifice to promote the country’s good through hard work.

“When citizens are patriotic they will be willing to protect their boundaries, properly manage natural resources and work very hard for the wellbeing of themselves and their country. In other words patriotism influences the protection of national interests of a particular state,” he explained.

“Every youth, whether in the higher learning institution or elsewhere, who hope to easily prosper in their area of specialisation, should be driven by the spirit of patriotism, ethics and be accountable,” he said, adding, “these elements are the most excellent ingredients to drive the passion of achieving something in any society.”

He also said that they had prepared a special course for citizenship, which will be launched soon and that it will help in training youth from various regions through the frontier so that to promote accountability among people.

“Through this course, our trainees will further spread the knowledge to the entire country in a bid to make this goal accomplished,” he said.

Moses Abel, a Tanzanian youth who attended the event said that the initiative was good and if implemented throughout the entire country, Tanzanian youth will improve their competitiveness in and outside the country.

“The initiative is very commendable in that if the plan is implemented and gets support from various education stakeholders it will help us move to all regions in the country, improve our competiveness, within and outside Tanzania and widen employment opportunities,” he believed.

Abel further urged his fellow youth to rejuvenate their thinking and find ways that will trigger the motivation to move forward towards the future.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Procrastinating in business



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

Change that habit of shelving things off for another time whilst in fact you really want to do right now - even when you have the time.

Whenever you procrastinate you are not working efficiently because you are essentially borrowing against your time in the future. The things you put off today will still have to be done later on but you may find you have to deal with tasks you put off for a rainy day when a work crisis pops up, when you are sick, or want to take time off.

If you procrastinate a lot, you are not managing your time wisely and assuring yourself of at least two things: you are adding to your workload burden with each task you put off and are making it harder on yourself to get done in the future.

As in many of us this is our habit, but why are you really putting things off until later?

Everyone puts one thing or another off until a future time. We do this for a variety of personal reasons, and sometimes we really do need to put things off because something more important needs our attention in the present, or because waiting could actually lead to a better outcome. But if you are a habitual procrastinator - especially about specific tasks, you need to ask yourself why.

If you routinely shelf things until later you will probably discover some emotional reason is attached rather than just being lazy about getting work done.

Avoiding someone in particular - If you hate talking to a particular client because they chat away and take up too much of your time you may put off returning a call to avoid a thirty minute call you do not have time for that should only take five minutes.

Instead of simply not returning the call, call after hours and leave a message or email your response. This may not resolve the issue - at some point you will still have to talk to the client, but it does buy you more time by putting the return call back in their court if they need more information from you.

It’s not my job - Many of us put things off because we resent having to do them in the first place - especially if we feel like it is someone else’s responsibility.

Delaying a task won’t get it done and will only add to your frustration. If it is not your job to do something, give it to the person whose job it is! This may sound simple but we often become control freaks when overworked. Instead of sending the document down to word processing, we type it ourselves. Instead of asking sales to resolve a problem or an assistant to locate information, we go off on a mini research project. To avoid doing things we should be doing, we sometimes let ourselves get sidetracked with other peoples’ problems. If we cannot solve our own problems - women naturally work on solving those of others.

I hate doing my job - If you really hate your job, work on finding another job. If you put things off because you hate your job you may end up on probation, getting demoted, or even let go.

I’m too busy to get to it - If you are really just too busy to get something done then you are not procrastinating -- something else is going on. You may need help meeting your work goals or better organizational skills -- you may even just need to learn to say “no” to new assignments until you are caught up.

If you have taken on too much at one time ask someone for help, or sit down and see what tasks you can delegate.

Remember, everything you deliberately put off doing in the present, will likely just become a bigger nuisance to deal with in the future!

Email: jullybulili@gmail.com

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Leave with dignity



Miranda Naiman.

Miranda Naiman. 

By Miranda Naiman

The secret scuttling and paper shuffling involved before tendering a resignation has become part of the norm in corporate circles of late.

With professionals angling to get the best deal possible in the market, resigning from a job has become a gut-wrenching, sweat-inducing process of dread; when quite honestly it needs not be.

My vantage point in the East African realm of recruitment has allowed me to view resignations in a 3-dimensional way – as a candidate, an employer and a recruiter.

Allow me to share my simple pearls of wisdom on the ideal way to tender a resignation in the hope of easing the overall process by ensuring you make sensible decisions before you resign and act with decorum after you resign:

Before Resignation

Soul search – There is no point in considering a new job without fully understanding your intrinsic motivation and desired career trajectory. Be crystal clear on what you want before you begin your search to attract precisely what you desire.

Take stock – Analysing your current situation at work and searching for wiggle-room should be your starting point. Can you grow from within? Have you applied for internal vacancies? Have you had an open discussion with your Line Manager or HR about how you would like to grow? If there are things that dissatisfy you, what have you done to address them? How many years have you dedicated to the organization and what have you gained from working there? Do a thorough situation analysis – leaving should be a last resort.

Explore your options (carefully) – Job-hunting is always a risky venture; in a limited labour market where everyone knows everyone the odds of your employer getting wind of your quest are high. Not all employers take this lightly – some may even lose trust in you seeing it as a form of betrayal – this is absolute nonsense in my view; moving on is a fundamental right. If there is one key takeaway let it be that your exploration should be done carefully to avoid embarrassment and to show your employer the utmost respect.

Make a firm decision – When you have completed countless interviews and eventually land an offer that you can’t refuse, do not sign the offer until you are unequivocally sure that it is the right decision to make.

After resignation

Confidently communicate – Resign in person (where possible), and ensure you have your resignation letter in front of you. Be transparent about the reason you have chosen to leave and share where you are moving to, when asked.

No games allowed – Lead with the ‘why’, your decision to leave should be sacrosanct – you should be ‘unswayable’ by even the most convincing of employers. Do not be tempted to sign a counteroffer as the repercussions may haunt you. No one likes a player; if you go back on your decision you come across as spineless and indecisive – be steadfast in your decision.

Integrity & decorum – once your resignation has been accepted serve your notice period with consistency and ensure you deliver right up to your last day at work. Truth be told, the way you act in your final 30 days will leave a lasting impression on your colleagues and employer.

Take stock (again) – Reflect on your personal growth over the course of your time with your soon-to-be-ex-employer. Maintain a positive relationship with the people you have connected with at work, and show gratitude for the opportunity you have had the fortune to experience.

Never burn a bridge; you will undoubtedly meet again.

Power into your next adventure – Own your next adventure with enthusiasm; don’t look back.

I wish you well as you go forth and spin your own pearls.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

This is the one thing every smart home needs

 

The ideal smart home has changed a lot over the last few years, from a few smart bulbs and a thermostat to video doorbells and robotic lawnmowers. With an ever-growing number of connected devices in your home, there is an obvious bottleneck that can occur: Wi-Fi reliability.

The more devices you pile onto your network and the more widespread throughout your home they are, the more you’ll notice holes in your Wi-Fi coverage. That’s why if you are planning on making your home smart, you should have a mesh Wi-Fi system.

What is a mesh network, anyway?

It should first be noted that wireless routers are much better than they were just a few, short years ago. They support faster wireless speeds to better match the speeds your internet service provider delivers. They can also deliver enough range to fully cover a 3,000-square-foot (279-square-meter) house… assuming it’s located near the center of the house.

Before affordable, personal mesh networks came into play, if your router couldn’t reach a far corner of your home, you’d likely turn to powerline network adapters or convert an old router into a wireless bridge. While these are affordable solutions, they’re finicky and fairly complex to set up for a networking novice. And they don’t always play well with smart home gadgets anyway. A mesh network, on the other hand, is a combination of two or more wireless access points that communicate with one another to blanket your entire home with stronger, more reliable coverage. Almost all of the mesh kits available are incredibly easy to set up and use, and they can be tailored to suit your needs.

That means you can add more access points at will, with minimal setup, to bring Wi-Fi into parts of your home that were unreachable before.

Of course, mesh networks aren’t perfect either. Despite prices falling gradually, they’re still prohibitively high for most. Your network speeds, especially at the far reaches of your home, will be noticeably slower than near the node that’s attached to your modem.

Source: cnet.com

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Scams are a way of life here

 

By Mwalimu Andrew

For those who have been asking why I have not shared with you how Mwisho wa Lami is coping with the addition of impurities in common foodstuffs like sugar, flour and maize, I have bad news for you: In Mwisho wa Lami, long before Matiang’i discovered that there were lots of illegal goods that contained impurities, this was a way of life here.

From the milk that Lutta sells, drinks we take at Hitler’s, the foodstuffs we buy at the cereals shop, to the tea we take at Kasuku Hotel, every business person in Mwisho wa Lami dilutes their wares. Allow me, friends and enemies, to take you through some of the adulterated things we buy in Mwisho wa Lami.

Hitler: Any regular visitor at Hitler’s knows that you do not fully trust the man, unless you are a fool. At any one time, Lutta always has three versions of his drink. There is the pure stuff brewed locally by him and his sons at the forest next to River Lukose. This is clean, pure, and top of the range stuff, the one that does not cause hangovers.

Then there is the second type, the cheap imports from neighbouring villages. Then there’s a third version, the stuff Hitler dilutes with water – lots of water!

As such, you will notice Hitler serves from different bottles hidden in various places. If you ask him, he will say he is hiding the bottles from the police. But he seems to have segmented his customers well.

Juma’s posho mill and cereals shop: This must be the headquarters of impurities in Mwisho wa Lami. You see, Juma also runs a cereals shop next to his posho mill. Although he has a variety; maize, beans, ndengu, rice among others - you can only buy them from him if you have a lot time in your hands.

The last time I bought ndengu from Juma’s, Fiolina bitterly complained because after sorting the chaff from the grain, she was left with only half agorogoro of ndengu! If you look carefully, you will notice that there seems to be some construction happening next to the posho mill, but although the sand and soil always seem to disappear, not much construction takes place. As to where the sand and soil goes to, your guess is as good as mine.

But Juma also deals in spoilt maize and other rotten cereals. If you have spoilt maize or beans, you can always give it to him at throw-away prices. Although he claims that he sells them to Hitler’s for chang’aa brewing and Lutta as animal feeds, no one has ever seen him make deliveries.

Lutta the farmer: Despite being mean, Lutta is one of the successful farmers in Mwisho wa Lami. He has a variety of vegetables in his farm. But there is a catch, however early you go to buy your vegetables, Lutta will always delay you and will only give you your sukuma or kunde when it is getting dark. Most people will get home and prepare the vegetables immediately. But if you wait until the next day when there is light, you will find lots of grass and other unknown leaves and shrubs in your vegetables.

Then the milk. I can’t remember a time Lutta didn’t have milk – yet he only has one cow. But Lutta’s milk is always enough to serve all people in Mwisho wa Lami. During mid-month weekdays, you will get good milk from Lutta. During weekends, he adds some water in order to meet the increasing demand. But during end month weekends and holidays like Christmas, Lutta does not add water to his milk – he adds some milk to his water then sells it to everyone in need of milk!

Maina the shop keeper and hardware owner. How his name has not appeared in parliamentary investigations is something I do not understand! In his many years of serving Mwisho wa Lami residents, we have never seen him receive any supplies during the day. All supplies arrive at night. And over the years, he’s faced many accusations, but he somehow survives.

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Youth inclusion at the workplace will benefit the business

Youth are a great advantage to any office

Youth are a great advantage to any office setup. PHOTO | PEXELS.COM 

By ALLAN KAJIMBWA

There is a noted high number of unemployed young people in the country, and the numbers might be growing if unemployment problem won’t be properly addressed. Not to mention, not every working place feels comfortable working with the youth for different reasons. When the term “Youth” clicks to their ears, it automatically directs them to the old assumptions that “Young people are unprofessional”. Unprofessional could mean; less productive, can’t dress well, not respectful, unskilled, office language barrier, inexperienced and more. Some managers do, however, have openings that are befitting for young people but are dejected from employing them by negative perceptions. The disadvantage that it brings is that, young people are deprived of good job opportunities.

Creating pathways for decent work for the young people is not just an essential for their future, but for the future of this country. We need to replace the inexpectable old focused undermining labels that don’t allow young people to be thought as leaders in development.

According to Fred Muragwa from Youth Heights, “Employing and featuring young people in workplace makes a good business landscape”. The 2030 agenda for sustainable development emphasizes on the necessity of decent jobs for young people. But how are we realizing this, with these old undermining perceptions, yet there are only twelve years to the deadline?

Together with their enormous potential, these managers need to understand that young people are even more vibrant in our societies than before. They are active, self-starters, game changers, eager to learn, emanating new a culture in the workplace, they want to be involved and are ready to stand out and take responsibilities. This is a gateway for them to source the best talent available, as they help them get to the peak of the global labor market and stay competitive.

Promoting youth inclusion in the workplace can be achieved through; removing recruitment barriers, providing mentorship that unlocks millennial talent, more important, breaking the old brain assumptions.

As a youth activist, I envision, the next twelve years of Tanzania’s development, to be discussed through a youth lens and in ways that involve and recognize the capabilities of young people to play an important part through this industrialization drive.


allankajimbwa@gmail.com


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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Youth turn their talents into career

 

By evotha John

It’s not uncommon to see people create their own careers through talent. Most talents like music, art and craft, photography among others have helped youth to transform their lives.

Due to the high unemployment rate, the youth are called upon to use their skills to create own jobs.

Mwasiti Almas Yusuph, popularly known as Mwasiti, is a singer and Afro-Pop and Bongo flava song writer

Mwasiti is known for many hit songs, including her single “Nalivua Pendo”, which was number one on Tanzanian radio charts and won “Best Zouk Song” at the 2009 Tanzania Music Awards.

Mwasiti says she realised her talent when she was in Grade Three, explaining that she used to practice dancing to Bolingo beats.

“The talent was polished at a higher level when I entered Grade Six. I used to pen down songs in booklets,” she says.

She adds that upon entering secondary school, she mobilised her fellow students to organise clubs which used to nurture students’ talents. “We used to have talent shows in school, later on many students were involved in developing their talents,” she recalls.

Mwasiti says her spirit of loving music evolved and she started participating in different shows like Coca Cola Pop star singing competition.

“There was a time I stopped getting involved in singing competitions after my father was worried that music could disrupt my academic progresses, thank goodness he understood as time went by,” she says.

Turning music into career

According to Mwasiti, having completed her secondary education, she had to wait for college entrance results and it was at that moment that she thought of turning her talent into a career. “After staying at home waiting to join collage I thought of turning my talent into a career. I was fully engaged in music from 2006 when I joined The Tanzania House of Talent (THT),” she says.

Mwasiti says it was at THT that she seceded to release her first song known as Niambie in 2006, the song which was nominated twice as the best song at the Tanzania Music Awards festival

The singer says since she made music her career she has had a lot of success along the way.

“In 2006, I was nominated ‘Best Upcoming Female Artist’ at the Tanzania Music awards,” she says.

She adds that her single “Nalivua Pendo” holds the record for staying number one on the radio chats for over 8 consecutive years.

Mwasiti now works as a civil rights activist, who campaigns against the spread of Malaria by helping refugees.

She calls upon the youth to stick to their talents and take art as a career for it can help them transform their lives.

She bemoans artists who haven’t fully capitalised on their God-given gift.

Brenda Kibakaya is another young artist who turned their talent into a career.

“Ever since I was in Grade Two, I used to love drawing,” she says, adding, “It is from there that I realised I had impeccable drawing ability.”

Brenda however didn’t take art seriously at the beginning. She wasn’t sure whether it was something that could transform her life. She nonetheless developed her talent by continuing to draw.

“Even after I went to the Institute of Finance Management (IMF) for a diploma programme, I didn’t relent in polishing my talent,” she says, noting that she was intrinsically motivated to turn her art talent into a career.

She says it was until she met Garbon Mwakatobe, an art teacher at Nafasi Art Space, that she managed to get some coaching on how to sharpen her art skills.

Her success

Brenda says she organised an exhibition at Masaki whose theme was: Safari ya Maua, alongside her friends. The event, she says, was the base of her artistic improvement because she had an opportunity to meet with other talented artists.

“The exhibition was a success because many people enjoyed our work. It was from there that I started getting more popular than before,” says Brenda, adding that they showcased art which was massively bought.

Speaking on challenges, Brenda says it is in almost every woman to lack that belief in one’s abilities, noting that women still have a mentality of being pushed by men to succeed, something which she thinks should be avoided.

She says her plan is to have her own gallery which will put her in a good position to showcase her work. The artist says that art pays, calling on the youth to embark on it as a business and not a past time activity.

Another upcoming talented artist, Martha Mtasiwa, 29, says she started drawing on sand when she was a little girl and it is from there that she managed to sculpture sensible products.

Martha, a young artist from Bagamoyo managed to turn her talent into a career.

“While in primary school, I liked vocational subjects the most. I was really performing well and teachers showered me with lots of prizes,” she says.

Martha says while in Grade Six she attained number 10 position in the 2004 Primary School pupils’ art competition, which was organized by the government.

She says after her mother had recognized her achievements in art, she pushed her to strive for further success.

Martha says after her primary education she continued with secondary school but had to drop while in Form Two due to poor academic performance.

“From then on I turned my talent into a career. Even after learning that my mother was unhappy about my poor academic performance I opted to soldier on hoping that life would be transformed for the better along the way,” she says.

Martha says her success was realised after she started being involved in different exhibitions, sometimes showcasing her products in a group or individually.

“I have managed to set up my own shop where I sell my art works to a number of people, including tourists. I also sell electrical appliances; all aimed at boosting my finances,” she says.

Martha says her plan is to make a number of exhibitions in and outside the country.

“I look forward to becoming one of the most famous artists in the world,” insists Martha.

Faraja Akwilapo, a lecturer from the University of Dar es Salaam. department of education says youth should use their talents to create own jobs but he calls on the government to support them to realise their dreams.

He notes that the government should set up mega projects that could provide employment opportunities for the youth.

Apart from that the consortium of science and technology should set rules that could see the new intellectual property of young innovators is observed.

Dr Akwilapo says it is time the authorities set good policies that would ensure youth talents are tapped from primary school to university. The policies should go along way in motivating and creating enabling environment for learners to demonstrate their potentials.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How students can benefit from retaking course

 

By Success Report

When a new semester begins, a majority of students think of new course units, new lecturers and advancing higher in their studies. However, this is only for those that have ably passed their previous course units.

Some students unfortunately fail to pass all their course units because of lack of concentration, stress or missed course works thus need to retake those papers of which failure to do so they will not graduate when the time comes.

This leaves the students with no option but to find possible ways to incorporate this failed paper in their timetables.

Wesley Itaagi, a third year law student at Makerere University, observes that though these retakes are supposed to make students understand the concepts in the course unit, majority do not benefit from them. He says a retake is an extra load for the next semester, which in most cases means divided concentration.

“If you have five course units for your next semester, two retakes will imply seven course units for that semester and it may be difficult to balance, especially if you are a weak student,” Itaagi says. He also observes that students who usually retake find it hard to attend lectures of the failed course unit since these classes sometimes collide with their current timetable.

This, the Law student says, leaves a student with no option but to only show up for tests and probably hire mercenaries for course works if they are to get better grades.

And to him, this does not bring out the intended goal of a retake since the student’s concern is passing.

The way forward

According to Dr Grace Lubale, the head of department of teacher education at Kyambogo University, a number of students do not understand the concept of retaking.

He says many students do not inquire from lecturers the reason for bad grades and only wait for a time to re-sit the paper.

“A retake is supposed to make you a better person, to make you understand what you had failed before. This you can achieve by cognitively repeating and studying the course unit afresh, internalising the concept and sitting the tests and course works, but this does not mean that you are a failure,” he says. Asked why institutions should not do away with retakes, Lubaale says that would be impossible because universities want to produce students that are competent.

“The university regulations require a student to retake a course or courses when next offered again in order to obtain at least the pass mark (50 per cent) if they had failed during the first assessment in the course or courses. So it is upon the student to choose when they can best retake these course units,” he notes.

Make the most of it

Shadrack Nantamba, a lecturer of Social Sciences at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, says when a student retakes a course unit, they are supposed to attend all the prescribed lectures/tutorial/practical/fieldwork in the course or courses, satisfy all the requirements for the coursework component and sit for the examination.

To Nantamba, students are not advised to register for courses and retakes that fall beyond the set normal semester load to avoid timetable clashes. “This will not give you opportunity to concentrate on what you failed, but will instead put you on unnecessary pressure that might affect your general performance,” he advises.

He adds that a student is not allowed to retake more than five courses at a time. The lecturer adds that students should always register for these retakes early enough such that it gives lecturers time to know their number and probably give them extra attention.

Were there unforeseen circumstances that led to your poor performance in the course, and are those circumstances resolved?

Sometimes, events in your personal life like a death in your family or a major illness can prevent you from doing your best. In this instance, consider whether you have recovered enough to improve your grade if you retake the class. Many times, one low grade can be explained and forgiven in interviews or applications, and it is not worth performing poorly again if the extenuating circumstances that led to the first bad grade have not been resolved.

Do you think that you are able to master the course material?

If you took a course that was well beyond your academic capabilities, retaking that class may do little to improve your performance. If you’re still interested in the subject but aren’t sure that you can handle the caliber of coursework expected, consider looking for lower-level classes within the same discipline instead of retaking the first course.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Cultivate a compelling corporate culture

 

By Miranda Naiman

It is mind-boggling how much investment (time & money) is made into corporate strategy – with some larger organisations hiring a full-time person (or team) to oversee ‘Strategy and Innovation’ – commendable initiatives, but alas without focusing on culture transformation the entire scheme is drastically impeded. Suffice to say, there are probably left-overs after breakfast is done; as culture continues to chomp its way through strategy for lunch and dinner too!

No matter what business strategy or strategic plan you try to implement with your team, its success and efficacy are going to be held back by the people implementing the plan. In essence, if the people driving the strategy aren’t passionate about the change, or worse, are apathetic to their job and to their organisation then chances are limited that you will execute your plan with the desired results.

Organisational culture is intangible; and as such can be difficult to influence. It is the personality of your organisation – the moments created by people breathing life into your values; your unique ‘way of working’ or ‘protocol.’ If the current culture of your organisation is misaligned with your strategy,

I suggest you take a hard look at how to make some tweaks and clean up your house. Rather than one dominating the other; Strategy and Culture should dine together with the intimacy of long-lost friends; here are some things to consider to catalyse this reunion:

Understand your number 1 measure of business success – at the top of the pyramid lies your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), a game-changing outcome of effectively executing your strategy combined with a key metric for business success – this true-North metric could be financial or a performance denominator. You should be crystal clear of your ‘winning moves’ – the plays that will allow your organisation to achieve, extend and exploit its market position. Now ask yourself this: does everyone in the organisation understand where you are going?

Breathe life into your values – Organisational values are not a bunch of words listed on your company website or a checkbox exercise; they are your business DNA. If strangers were to watch you (your organisation) for a few days, what words would they use to describe you and the way you do your work? What problem do you exist to solve and for whom? Most importantly, why does it matter to you?

Hire for attitude – If culture hinges on the web of people that are associated with your organisation, it is critical that new hires embody your values from the get-go. Find creative ways to assess your potential new recruits – (go beyond conventional personality profiling)– immerse a potential recruit in a team huddle or meeting and observe their behaviour; invite them on one of your teambuilding days or take them out for lunch with a couple of colleagues. You will be amazed what you can learn by throwing someone in the deep-end; a surefire way to diagnose whether they are a cultural #InstaFit or #InstaMiss.

Really lead by example – There is no use preaching from the pulpit; culture is a unanimous and all-encompassing way of being that not only unites a team but fosters the right environment for strategic execution. I’ve been known to bust-a-move with my team (on occasion) – it’s all part of our culture – as a leader you will need to drop the pretense and simply be. Energy is infectious; ensure that the energy you exude helps not hinders; and purposefully inspires people to deliver.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How to use social media for academic excellence

 

By Hellen Nachilongo @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

To every youth, access to information through various channels is paramount in their quest for academic excellence. As such, accessing social networks for useful information becomes everyone’s right.

However, the challenge comes in assessing how best the youth can and should use social networks for their academic excellence.

Through Ongea project, a project aimed at sensitising the understanding of basic human rights, such as right to information and ones’ responsibilities by empowering school teachers, students, youth artists and the public as a whole to be able to address the values of humanity and basic freedoms, more than five million students, including adolescents and older youth, plus 20 secondary schools from five districts in the city, are to be reached by the project before end of this year.

The target audiences are students, aged 15-24 years old, drawn from both private and public schools and young artists within Dar es Salaam.

The Ongea project also focuses on empowering young people and promoting active participation of students. Integration of human rights values and principles in schools, local communities have already started and so far several inter-school debates have been conducted.

Mulika Tanzania Chief Executive Officer Mr Hussein Melele, said the project sponsored by Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) and implemented by Mulika is meant to promote human rights education, create awareness to the youth, especially secondary school students and to make them understand the meaning of human rights.

He also noted that youth will be taught on how to best use social media platforms for academic purposes.

According to the executive, so far the project has brought together students from Ilala, Kingamboni, Temeke, Kinondoni and Ubungo to participate in the inter-school debate on issues related to human rights and importance of social media.

Phillipo David, a student from Aboud Jumbe Secondary school, said students should be given extra time to access social networks in order for them to access learning materials and to know what’s going on around the globe.

“As students, we should make spare time to peruse through social network pages, particularly the ones which are meant to improve academic performance such as Shuledirect, Soma App and myelimu. Through these apps we can gain access to different learning materials,” he says.

He noted that social media has been useful to them; “we get a lot of information from online platforms, although, in reality, digital platforms are not only about social media, but the presence of social media has helped us to access several important learning materials.”

Martha Charles, 16, a form four student studying in Ilala, said accessing educational materials online has been helpful to her, especially during her free time than going to the library.

“Sometimes a student might go to the library but he/she might not find the textbook they want to read, however, on other occasions you might find the textbook in the library but find some pages missing,” she said. This further shows the importance of social media as an alternative source for academic materials.

“Using mobile or any other technology to access material is very convenient and has helped me perform better during exams,” Martha says.

Hussein noted that accessing social network is everyone’s right. In todays’ society youth have a right to seek various information on social network, however, the most important point is how to best utilize the accessed information provided to them online.

“We are mostly focusing on school-going children to help them highlight great essentials that can be learned through social media and help them grab the opportunities found in social networks to improve their academic performance due to the rapid growth of digital system,” he said.

According to him, in the country youth are more attached to digital systems with a noticeable preference to social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

Policy Forum, program assistance advocacy and engagement head Mr Imani Khatibu, advised students to make proper useof social networks for the benefit of their studies.

“Every citizen has a right to seek for information. The major point however, is how to use that information provided for academic purposes. Students can use some Apps such as Soma App, Elimika weekend, to strengthening their academic performance,” he says.

Imani further states that access to safe internet helps students learn better, gain self-confidence and are able to retain what they search for much longer than what they gain through traditional learning. “Though if misused could be harmful, the internet is a good learning tool when used well,” he points.

He further noted that science and technology play a vital role in today’s lives and in several fields such as health, transport, education, business, finance, entrepreneurship, production and manufacturing, therefore if students embrace innovation well; it gives them room to perform better in class and access learning materials without inconvenience.

A social media survey conducted in 2014 and 2015 shows that 71 per cent of youth use more than one social media platform, with most of them being attached to interactive social networks.

Education being a fundamental right, promoting individual freedom and empowerment while also yielding important development benefits proves that there’s a need to diversify how students learn.

Reports show that Tanzania has taken big strides in making sure every person acquires education by increasing the number of schools. For example, in 2001 there were 937 schools, in 2010 the number stood at 4266 schools.

Although access to education has been made easy, with use of social media being one of the improved and modern ways of acquiring technology, the standard of students’ academic prowess remains a big challenge. Better use of social media can be a possible solution to upgrading the quality of learning.

According to the National Examinations Council of Tanzania (Necta), statistics show that about 67.53 per cent students passed in 2015 compared to 68.33 per cent in 2014.

This indicates that the level of passing has decreased by 1.85 per cent. In 2015 about 2.77 per cent students scored division I, 9.01 per cent scored division II, 13.16 percent scored division III, 67.91 per cent score IV and the rest scored 0.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Helping the youth discover their personal identity

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

Lorna Dadi is a middle-aged woman who is devoted to supporting socially marginalised children and youth, especially adolescent girls in discovering their personal identity so that they can rightly manage their mindset and avoid being deflated. She is also an author of a book titled Vipande vya Maisha Vilivyopotea (The Lost Life Pieces). Success magazine interviewed her about the book.

What has been your biggest failure in life?

The day I lost contact with a street child who was in a serious battle with his health. The child was named Athuman. He was 9 years old; we met along Dar streets when he asked for assistance (money). Before giving him the asked amount we chatted for a while. From our chat I found out that he had once been sexually abused by one man (sodomized). The old man pretended to want to help him, he took the boy to his house in his car. When the boy got there he was offered a bottle of soda. Upon drinking he was taken to another room – a bedroom. The old man closed the door behind him and started to undress the boy. The boy tried to shout to no avail. He was consequently hit by some object on the head, he thus lost consciousness. When he walk up, he found himself lying along the beach with severe pain in his head (he showed me the scar on his head) and private parts. We agreed that I help him go back home by covering his transport cost to Singida where his mom lived. The next day when I went where we agreed to meet so that I give him his bus ticket, he did not show up. I searched for him in but my efforts were in vain. I kept searching for almost six months but never saw him again. It hurst me because I feel like I failed him, I failed myself. I failed him. I failed myself.

How did that incident change your life?

Athumani made me change my attitude towards street children. He taught me to never judge them. I wanted to share the story with the society, telling them that we have a problem. These children are just like any other children in our houses and homes; that these children are only victims of circumstances; that they should not be judged. These children need our love, supports and care.

How do other authors help you become a better writer?

I am new to this industry. I am not known to many authors yet but those few who know me help in the selling of the book by recommending it to the readers.

What does literary success look like to you?

Everyone define success a little differently. As a young writer, I think most of us find ourselves struggling to define success because in writing there is always another hill to climb. In the writing community there are countless ways to measure success—completing a first draft, landing an agent, winning an award in writing, etc. But for me, I find my writing successful only when the book reaches where I had dreamt for it to reach and do what I wished for it to do to the readers – transform them. I write societal books, trying to send some messages on what happens to some of us in our daily life; people need to be informed in a way that will change their mindset and do the needful for the betterment of our nation.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Honestly, I do not do any formal research, it’s only through my daily life and the love for people I have inside me that gives me an opportunity to learn about other people’s challenges.

Do you consider yourself successful?

I am successful in some steps towards achieving my life purpose but still I can’t say am successful because I have not yet been able to put the complete picture of what I want to achieve in life.

When people do business the first thing they want is profit, how do you benefit?

This book was written as a result of what happened to Athuman; though when writing I didn’t know it was going to end up being a book. I was writing small flyers giving to my fellow church members after service; I just wanted to share with them what I came across and also create awareness about the real life of street children of our country. I wanted people to have an understanding of the kind of generation we are preparing as a nation. A generation of drug users, robbers, prostitutes, etc

Having said that, the profit for this book sales go to support the lives of socially marginalized children/youth. We are going to do it by introducing different projects according to the situations at times.

Why girls?

Being a girl comes along with a number of vulnerabilities. The adolescence phase of life also brings with it more challenges to a girl hence become more vulnerable if not properly addressed. This is a period where any human begins to establish his/her sense of identity. Establishing a sense of identity is the central task of one’s adolescence. This is the first time when one will have the self-understanding capacity to cautiously sort through who she/he is and what makes this person unique.

Your identity refers to more than just how you see yourself right now, it also includes what has been termed as “possible-self”; meaning, what it was thought you might become and who you would like to become.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How to find employment abroad

 

By Desire Mbabaali

For one reason or another, some people believe working in their own countries, mostly African countries, is not for them, others are just thrilled by the idea of working abroad. How does one get a job abroad? Although we cannot provide a clear cut way of how one can get a job abroad because there is no one way about it, we share some of what one can do while looking.

Spread the word

“One thing I know about many people who want and plan to go abroad is that they always never say anything about it, until they have finally left – which I think is wrong, because you have no idea how many opportunities you might find if you shared with others, the advice and of course discouragements – but it is all worth it, so spread the word.

Apply in multinational companies/NGOs

“We all know that these are not opportunities that come everyday, but applying through a multinational company might offer you a better chance,” Catherine Amanya, a Ugandan working in Canada, says. Previously, working with an international NGO in Uganda, she expressed interest to her employers who helped connect her with a sister NGO in Canada, where she works now.

“Applying through a multinational company, for professionals, especially, gives one a base on which to start. You can even be asked to volunteer for the first few months in the company while still here, to test whether you have the capabilities instead of starting totally from scratch. This is, however, challenging for a walk-in and normally easier if one has already been an employee,” Amanya says.

Apply as an intern

“I know a former student of mine who applied in France for an internship placement, and luckily for her, she was granted one. This was after her graduation, and she was just trying out her cards on anything. She went and started working for a fashion house and because she had an African touch that she added to the fashion house she was later retained,” Teddy Musiime, a fashion and design trainer at Tiner School of Beauty, shares.

Applying abroad as an intern gives one more chances to penetrate the job market, it provides one a chance to go abroad at a relatively low cost since some places offer accommodation to their international interns, offers you a real chance of interacting and make useful contacts that can connect you in the future, but also a possibility of being retained by an organisation.

Thoroughly search online

A lot of information is shared on the internet; however, you have to look in the right places to get useful information.

“One can register online with a job agency, they can ask to be notified by organisations and companies anytime there is an opening, or just follow job adverts and apply online,” Ashly Namubiru, a digital manager at Ply Consults, says. She, however, advises people to do this with caution lest they are duped.

“Take an extra eye to do a background check on the organisation employing you before you get excited. If you cannot ascertain the employer’s credibility, do not proceed, because the internet is infested with fake bad people,” Namubiru cautions.

Hire an agency

Employment agents around Kampala are popular for taking people to the Middle East. However, some of these can connect you to markets in Europe, the Americas and other countries.

However, there has been criticism about some of these employment agencies. Some have reportedly taken people into slavery; they are human traffickers, yet others hire out people to oppressive employers and never follow up on them. Others are simply conmen. One therefore, has to be careful while dealing with these agencies.

Nelson Mulindwa, an agent with an employment agency says, “For one to tell a legitimate employment agency, it must be registered with the ministry of gender, labour and social development. One has the right to see that licence or even check with the ministry whether it knows us,” Mulindwa says.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Managing your Manager

 

By Miranda Naiman

The word ‘boss’ alone has a negative connotation these days, as the professional world strategically shifts from a ‘crack-the-whip’ style to a more egalitarian and consultative approach to managing people. While most managers prefer to align themselves more with their team by avoiding the word ‘boss’ altogether, it is more than the label that can denote a terrible experience.

For the more seasoned readers, we can all recall reporting to a “demon” at one stage of our career or another – if you haven’t met one todate; brace yourself…

The key premise here is that ‘People leave managers, not companies.’ It doesn’t matter whether you’re working for a multinational company with all the appropriate structures and systems in place earning a decent wage or a visionary startup with the excitement of new projects and growth prospects. Your direct Line Manager has a huge part to play in ascertaining whether your experience in the workplace is something that invigorates you or a place that you cry about at bedtime and each morning as you commute to work.

So, what makes a boss difficult? It truly depends on your point of view but before you label them make sure you observe them closely – keep tabs by trying to notice how many things they do well versus poorly. When s/he does something “bad” try to imagine the most forgiving reason why it could have occurred – is it truly their fault, or could it be something out of their control?

I have met business leaders who have been labelled by their team as a ‘bad boss’ only to find out that their negative behavior stemmed from a combination of insurmountable pressure from above (the board) and marital issues at home. Stay alert and think outside the box before you pigeon-hole your line manager; it could just be a temporary setback.

If the negative behaviour still manifests after you have made every possible excuse, obliterated the management box and been as empathetic as humanly possible; it is safe to say you’re likely dealing with a ‘difficult boss.’

My advice is as follows:

Don’t let it affect your work – your endgame is to rise the ranks and deliver on all agreed objectives, this means you need to be extra focused by not letting your boss’ negative behaviour affect your work. Stay on good terms with other leaders in the company and don’t even think about trying to retaliate by working slower or delivering less just to prove a point. It may come back to bite you further down the road, and even give your boss ammunition to build a case against you.

Stay one step ahead – if your difficult boss likes to micromanage, work strategically to anticipate what they will need you to accomplish and get things done before they come to you. If you are able to say “ I actually left a draft report on your desk for your review” enough times you will minimize the need for their reminders and they will soon realise that they don’t need to watch your every move.

Document everything – make sure you document interactions with your boss (requests or criticisms) so you can refer to them if needs be. If your ‘difficult boss’ is someone that likes to give instructions verbally, follow-up with an email that outlines your agreed actionpoints to ensure you have heard everything correctly.

Identify Triggers – study your boss well, and get to know their character traits. If they have an anger management problem, identify what triggers their meltdowns and be extra militant about avoiding these scenarios.

Manage your Manager – you are jointly responsible for the relationship you have with your manager so do everything in your power to promote harmony, shared understanding, positive communication and effectiveness. If you skillfully position yourself as an asset to your boss, they may eventually see the value in having you around.

Remember that even the best managers will have negative moments – they are only human. Your power lies in doing all you can to control the situation for a decent period; and if all else fails, it may be time to move on.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Understanding stocks diversification



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

We’ve all heard about the value of diversification in reducing risk in our portfolio but be sure you understand that there are two types of diversification.

The purpose of diversification is to reduce unpredictability and improve overall performance. It works if you do diversification correctly.

The first type of diversification is the one most commonly understood as “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This simply means don’t just own one or two stocks. One common way people get in trouble is owning too much of their employers’ stocks.

You may get a good deal on company stock and load up in your retirement fund and buy more for your investment fund because you believe in your company. It may even seem disloyal not to buy lots of company stock. However, it is not in your best interest if most or your entire portfolio is in your company’s stock.

To be truly diversified in your stock selection, you need to own stocks in different industries (even, if possible, in different countries) and in different size companies.

It is of low risk if your investments are widely spread over large, medium and small companies and in a variety of industries. It is especially important also to watch the relationship between the stocks so they are not all affected by the same economic factors. For example, if all of the stocks you owned were extra sensitive to interest rates, then you would not be diversified as all will be affected by this factor. The stocks would move in correlation with the interest rates and each to other.

Stocks that have a low degree of correlation don’t move as one unit and therefore are less likely to react the same way to bad economic news.

The message here for investors is that if a sector of the market is really hot, avoid the temptation to dump “all your eggs into one basket.” However, you should also be aware of those market or economic influences that may adversely affect a group of your stocks.

Literally, avoid putting all your eggs in one basket and also don’t put all your baskets in the same wagon.

Another type of diversification involves the other parts of your portfolio. If you tie up all of your investments in stocks, no matter how uncorrelated, you are still not diversified in the sense of reducing risk and improving performance.

You need to also spread your investments over different asset classes such as bonds, cash, real estate and other alternative investments.

The author is a Business Coach. Email: jullybulili@gmail.com; lucbulili@yahoo.com

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Economic quest for sanitary towels

 

By Allan Kajimbwa

Tanzania’s economic backbone sector employs more than 60 per cent of women. Yet, past experiences have shown Tanzanian women and girls suffocating from the inadequate access of sanitary towels, especially for those living in rural areas. Notably, two weeks ago we joined the big budget winners, women and girls, as the Tanzanian government announced tax exemption on sanitary towels. The sanitary towels gap has been a clearly local development problem, nevertheless, it provided immense market opportunity for impact-driven and innovative social-preneurs in Tanzania.

The exemption of Value Added Tax(VAT) on sanitary pads is a compelling solution from both an economic and social point of view towards the enhancement of Tanzania’s industrialization initiative.

Low access to these sanitary products led to maternal health complications and infections which came with withdrawing women and girls from different economic productive activities they were involved in. Unaffordable prices, low access to these products and lack of menstruation education became the giant bottlenecks curbing the supply side of these products.

What is the economic insight now after the VAT exemption on the sanitary towels? Does this imply more imports on the sanitary products? Hard to say. But to enhance the industrialization drive in the country, tax exemption on sanitary towels is a short run unsustainable benefit which is volatile. But indeed, a remarkable achievement worth the celebration for the first step taken since independence. In fact, the most well know sanitary products in our market are more import-based. Not to mention, the local sanitary producing industries have not yet proved to claim a competitive space in the market arena. Equally important, this matter highlights the necessity of the government to create a promising enviroment for the local producers. If the bigger picture is to support the supply side of these products, we need to rethink on manufacturing locally and at good quality.

The key to the long run improvement of the social welfare of women and girls relies on a sustainable solution from the supply side of the sanitary towels.

Major sustainable solutions to support the increase of affordable sanitary towels, will come if the locally owned and operated factories muscle up, with help from government.

Allankajimbwa@gmail.com

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Google may finally make its own watch

 

Here’s what we know about Google’s biggest shot at challenging the Apple Watch 4 expected this fall.

Every previous Android Wear watch was produced by another company, from LG to Samsung to Huawei to Fossil. Google’s own Pixel-branded watch has been reported by some pretty reputable sources

A Google-designed watch would join Google Home, Google Pixel Buds, the Pixel phones and Daydream View VR headsets in Google’s expanding hardware lineup. And it could mean totally unique features Google wants to debut in its flagship device.

...or will there be three Google watches?

A report in May indicated that there are three Google smartwatches on the way, not one. But that could be easily explained by variants in feature sets. The Apple Watch Series 3 comes with and without cellular, and Google’s Pixel watch could be the same. Maybe one watch variant is another size.

A whole new Qualcomm chipset will give it better battery life.

Qualcomm has confirmed it’s designing a new wearable chipset with Google which will be the engine to power next-gen watches better. Qualcomm’s Pankaj Kedia, senior director of Qualcomm’s Smart Wearables Segment, told CNET that “Our focus is, how do we significantly enhance user experiences, how Google Assistant works and how it presents itself. More visually appealing, but less power.”

The watch will likely have added power modes, too. Says Kedia, “Today, you have different modes: interactive mode, then the ambient mode and low battery. Of course the new architecture will enhance all of the above. Exactly how it does it, I’m dying to tell you.”

Wear OS software is already focusing on better battery life, but some features have been removed from developer builds, perhaps indicating a wait until new chips arrive in the fall.

Wear OS’ on-watch Assistant update already improves things with added Actions and on-screen contextual follow-up suggestions, but Qualcomm’s new chips will allow for more continuous always-on listening, instead of just activating at a wrist-raise. (Source: cnet.com)Google may finally make its own watch

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How do I deal with violence in school?



Paul Owere

Paul Owere 

Hi, I am a teacher at a secondary school dealing with Form Two. Of late I have realised that there are constant conflicts in the classroom than there were last year.

Sometimes I fear that I could be losing the classroom management. How best can I handle this situation?

Conflict is a natural part of any functional class. In fact, it is not necessarily a sign that there are problems with the classroom management or with the health of the classroom community.

But it does often lead to unhappiness, discomfort, and or the need for members of the class to emotionally withdrawal or attack.

There are many sources, and it takes many forms. Sometimes it is brought into the class from the outside, and sometimes it is created within the class.

Either way, when it is examined with a sufficient amount of awareness, it can be a useful means to personal and collective growth.

The teacher’s job here is to help our students see that conflict can be an opportunity, rather than just a source of grief.

As teachers, some of us are more comfortable working in an arena with conflicting and competing ideas. According to Myers- Briggs’ research into teaching style suggests that harmony-seekers tend to be less comfortable than logic-seeking Thinkers with the emotional climate that is created when disagreement is present.

But suppressing conflict can also suppress getting at what can be the meaningful essence of an issue or idea.

So Feelers need to consider tolerating some healthy conflict in the name of learning. Conversely, the Thinker teacher should be aware that the feeling half of his or her students might not view argument and debate as the source of stimulation that they do.

They need to recognize that what they see as healthy conflict or directness can lead to real discomfort, and can even turn off or shut down some of their students.

In general, intellectual conflict is a powerful ingredient in a classroom that needs to be treated with care. And above all, we as teachers need to model effective communication skills and conflict resolution.

As we develop our culture of listening and respect, we need to help students separate difference of opinion from personal attack.

We need to help them learn the skills of self-expression, while keeping the dignity and respect of others paramount. Helping students keep in mind that their ideas have changed over time and will undoubtedly change in the future can be useful.

As they better distinguish their ideas from themselves, then they find it much easier to discuss them without getting defensive.

We as teachers need to allow students to disagree and permit them time to process those emotions. As they learn that not always being right or having others agree is not the end of the world, they become more comfortable with self-expression and less fearful of conflict.

No matter how clear our expectations and how well we promote community among the members of the class, we know there will always be some level of conflict that comes from students competing needs and desires.

Teacher-based resolutions lead to dependent and passive students who learn little about how to deal with the conflicts that arise in their lives, in or out of the classroom.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Enemies jealous of me this World Cup

 

By Mwalimu Andrew

When I set up a Moscow Mega Stadium at my palatial house in Mwisho wa Lami, some enemies of development laughed at me, saying I would not go far.

That Mwisho wa Lami people would not watch football, and those who would watch would not pay anyway.

“World Cup is being aired on many stations for free, why does Dre want to steal from poor people,” Posed Lutta, according to a source. Lutta is one of the meanest fellows you will ever meet, who doesn’t believe in paying for anything. He bargains for anything.

The competition between Lutta and I started a long time ago. He started teaching over 10 years before I joined the Teachers Service Commission, and has never believed that I have overtaken him in virtually everything in life – I am a deputy, I am pursuing a degree, I have a wife who completed a P1 course and I have a big house than him. Furthermore, I own a boda boda leased out to Nyayo, I have a new car, and my prospects of becoming a HM are much better than Lutta even moving up a grade!

So I was not surprised to hear he was leading the campaign against me. He went ahead to invite people to his house to watch soccer for free! But his house was small and his TV was much smaller compared to mine. He, however, managed to get a few people on the first and second days.

But the Portugal-Spain match – one of the most awaited games, was the game changer. People went to Lutta’s house to watch for free and were shocked to find that the match was not showing.

The nearest other place they could watch the game was in my house. I took full advantage and charged Sh30 per person, and my house was full! “This TV is so clear and the game is live live,” said Nyayo, who had been at Lutta’s for earlier matches. “You can even touch the player.”

“Huyu ni Ronaldo mwenyewe,” said one of the boys. “I used to think he was small, he is very tall.” The other thing that made people like my place was that they were allowed to celebrate and make all manner of noises as they watched the match.

“Kwa Lutta you can’t even celebrate a goal,” said Alphayo. “Ni kama jela. Hata kama ni bure mimi sirudi.”

I did something else. I had some Churchill Live videos that I played during half time. The patrons really like it so much that when the second half started, there were a few people who asked that we continue showing a comedian, who was making everyone laugh. “Hapa ni stadium kweli,” said Alphayo when he left my place after the game later that night.

Last weekend, a few people watched the games at Lutta’s, but when his TV didn’t show the Brazil-Switzerland match, they all came to my house. And they never went back to his place, except for Rasto. But Rasto only watches football because other people are watching. After a match, don’t be surprised if he asks you which team was playing!

By the start of last week, the whole of Mwisho wa Lami knew that if you wanted to watch football, my house was the place to be. But enemies of development led by Lutta were keen to cripple me and my plans.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

How youth can bring positive change through tech

Innovation Week 2018 at the Commission for

Innovation Week 2018 at the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), where young people had a forum to display their creativity in innovation. PHOTO I ELIZABETH TUNGARAZA 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza @TheCitizenTz etungaraza@tz.nationmedia.com

Every day the world welcomes new technology, in almost every sphere of life, be it in business, health, manufacturing and the likes.

In efforts to create innovative minds, schools have now started to incorporate in their curricula such subjects so as to help prepare children for the future. One good thing is that even students themselves seem to be ready for it.

A Form Six student from Feza Boys Secondary School, Seif Mhata, 19, and a University Student Khalfan Kikwete, are frontrunners in the field of innovation, researching on how they can encourage this generation to pick interest in innovation for a brighter future.

The two are the brains behind VCARDIN App, an e-business card application. Seif says the idea behind their innovation came when he was at his teacher’s office.

“One day I noticed that my teacher had many files that contained all business cards he had received from people he met. He was in need of contacts of a technician for AC maintenance as well as a dry cleaner. The business cards were not arranged in such a way that it would be easy to find one’s contact when needed,” Seif says.

“This incident gave us the idea to create a mobile application that would allow people to exchange business cards simply by a swipe of a finger. These people would automatically become partners on our website that would act as their trading platform,” Seif adds.

According to Seif and Khalfan, the original idea of the VCARDIN App was to help solve the problem of littering the environment as experience shows most business cards that people exchange daily end up being thrown away after they either save the contacts on their mobile phones or wrote them down in a diary.

“Although many versions of electronic business cards have been developed, ours was a bit different. We took our original idea and did something slightly similar from what has been developed already. However, in essence, ours is a bit different,” explains Seif.

Statistics show that for every 200 business cards a person distributes to people, his/her company’s sales are bound to increase by 2.5 per cent.

In this way, Seif and his colleague Khalfan are very much delighted that their innovation will in turn help more people in making their business known and flourish.

Seif and Khalfan’s innovation shows the potential of technology and just how students can impact society through innovation. However, such progress can only be possible if such young people and students get good supervision from science and technology stakeholders.

“Technology and innovation have a huge role to play in improving lives, transforming the economy, stimulating growth and ultimately ending poverty in Tanzania,” acknowledges Jane Miller, the deputy head of UK Department for International Development (DFID) in the country at a recently held Innovation Week 2018 at the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), where young people had a forum to display their creativity in innovation.

The Innovation Week 2018 was organised for young innovators where other stakeholders such as UNICEF, Ubongo kids, D-Tree International, Dorcas Aids International Tanzania, and HakiElimu, just to mention a few, participated to explore innovation in research development, entrepreneurship, technology and design.

Organised by COSTECH in partnership with the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) , a UK Aid investment in innovation in the country, the week-long event provides a platform that seeks to address the challenges facing Tanzania in three sectors; education, health, water, sanitation and hygiene.

Among the activities during the week-long exhibition, was a competition among Digi Learners challenge teams, in which students learned how to adopt technology to improve learning. Another competition coordinated by “She Codes for Change” challenge, involved girls and young women who were tasked to use coding to create animated stories for digital media.

Innovation challenge also included children between the age of six and ten years who designed practical inventions of water filter and solar powered ovens through the Designerthon challenge with ‘Jenga Hub’. A team of secondary school girls won the ‘Fun Hack’ award run by ‘Apps and Girls’ for the design, programming and assembling of a robotic wheelchair.

During different panel discussions, stakeholders debated on how to make children be creative and innovative. The discussion by UNICEF was under the theme; “How to Involve Youths in Innovation, drew much attention from stakeholders.

Held consecutively for the fourth year, the Innovation Week has proved to be a potential platform that can ensure that technology and innovation positively impact the lives of many Tanzanians. As the HDIF team leader David McGinty put it, technology and innovations can bring fresh solutions to important areas of human development in Tanzania by aspiring youth to stand up and take risks and catalyzing great ideas through funding and mentoring.

Recent data shows that Tanzania’s Global Innovation Index rating was 96 out of 127 countries in 2017, rising from 123 out of 142 countries when HDIF was launched in September 2013.

The head of Computer Science and Engineering department at the University of Dar es Salaam, Dr. Honest Kimaro, expresses his optimism that allowing youth to join innovation hubs can bring positive change in the world of technology.

“Through such hubs, youth can meet with different students, teachers and share different ideas,” says Dr Kimaro.

“Today’s children have a room to broaden their talents through innovation and they should know that they have responsibilities to change the world by creating opportunities to other people through innovation,” he observes.

“It is high time now for youth to think of employing themselves, as employment space to absorb all graduates in public and private sectors is limited. Youth can create jobs through innovation and support each other. At the hub they will be able to come up with solutions which have financial benefits,” urges Dr Kimaro.

As observed by COSTECH acting Director of Innovation Dr Georges Shemdoe, Tanzania is part of the global science community and the innovation week showcased “the virtual reality technology, robotics, mobile applications for learning, children coding and designing among many other exciting projects as a number of youth were keen to discover the use of technology as a vehicle for inclusive growth and development”.

From his observation, youth involvement in technology and innovation is crucial for sustaining Tanzania to be an active part of the global science community in the future.

However, some stakeholders have spotted a missing link. Youth Development Officer from Prime Minister’s Office Godfrey Nyaisa, was quick to acknowledge that lack of cooperation between parents and their children is one of the big challenges which our society faces.

“Poor parenting is the area that we have failed as society, forcing children to abandon their home and live in streets. Also poverty has forced these young ones into city streets while others who are lucky enough to be at their parent’s homes misuse available technology by learning bad things from internet and social media,” observes Nyaisa.

He further says the government is working hard to address those challenges by putting in place mechanisms for youth involvement in technology and innovation. “We need to promote creative thinking through Information Communications Technology (ICT),” he says

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Engineers making a difference

 

By Devotha John @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

A group of self-taught engineers are designing wind mills that generate electricity and pump water through a machine. All the machines are made from local materials, aimed at making a difference in rural areas.

Tamimu Kifungu, 28, is a young innovator who came up with the idea of embarking on these projects following his uncle’s mentorship.

“My uncle used to dig wells locally. It is through him that I learned how we can use a wind mill as an energy source to pump water, something which could ease availability of the precious liquid in rural areas,” he says.

Tamimu says his dream is to help Tanzanians to become self-sufficient and resolve their water and energy woes without depending on the government.

According to him, since Tanzania is blessed with abundant wind power, it is time people used it to end energy and water shortage.

“Our society needs water and electricity, the wind mills will help to solve the challenges faced by pastoral communities,” says Tamimu.

How they started.

Tamimu says upon completion of his diploma, he stayed home for sometime before he thought of establishing his ‘Team Success’ company in collaboration with his co-founders, who are professional engineers, noting that the company is headquartered in Magomeni in the city. After joining expertise with colleagues, Tamimu says they were short of capital so he asked one of his brothers to only give them material.

“Our project took time to its fruition because everyone had to contribute material and moral support, thank goodness our steadfastness and perseverance made it all possible,” he says.

The co-founder says that up to now they’ve managed to set up 11 windmills all around the country in Vikindu, Mkuranga District, Miono Ward in Chalinze, Tegeta, Kiluvya, Kibaha, Nungwi in Zanzibar, Iramba, Singida, Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam, Kagunga, Kigoma region together with Mvuti in Dodoma city.

Tamimu attributes success of his projects to his rigorous research, where he constantly embarked on looking for materials of different sizes that could make it possible to create durable machines.

He notes that one has to study the climatic conditions of an area before deciding to dig a well.

Tamimu says after setting up the windmill, wind vain is of much help alongside consulting the natives in the area concerned to shed light on the nature of the weather conditions.

Challenges

Tamimu passed through rigmarole in registering his company. He said that some officials at the concerned ministry were not ready to agree with the newness of the project.

He also says that capital was another hard nut to crack, adding that purchasing raw materials to set up the machines was so hard that they had even thought of abandoning the entire project over cash woes.

“There were moments when we felt discouraged. People were dissuading us that our efforts would end up fruitless after they had learned that we use local materials to make power houses,” he says.

Speaking about the plan, Tamimu says that he believes in the power of togetherness, noting that it is team work that had made the company successful.

Tamimu calls upon the President to cast eyes on the upcoming innovative youth as he continues to promote the industrialization drive.

“As we create this windmill, we need support from the government because the project benefits a good number of people in rural areas,” he says, adding that he had severally heard of Members of Parliament bragging to have devised measures of solving water and energy woes in their constituencies, it was time they collaborated with him.

According to Tamimu the country needs to invest in energy so as to industrialize, elaborating that developed nations like the US and China have huge energy stock that is why they are developed.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Breaking barriers to starting a business



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

Entrepreneurial researchers suggest that more than 50 per cent of employed people in our planet hate their jobs and secretly wish they could start a business of their own. Who knows!! Maybe you are among those cubicle workers, right?

Starting business needs courage to break the biggest barriers which always drive your minds to negate your inner-core dreams into turning them to reality, so called entrepreneurship.

Now may be the best time to start your own business. Entrepreneurs today have access to a wealth of knowledge, a variety of support sources and reduced startup costs.

Yet, it is not always that simple. There are many challenges that come with the decision to start a business. In this article, arm yourself with the solutions you need by exploring five of the most common barriers to starting a business and learning how to overcome them.

First and foremost is lack of money: Having enough money to start a business is one of the biggest reasons many entrepreneurs give up their dreams of business ownership. Forget the fancy office, the cool office chair and those glossy four-color brochures and create a successful business by bootstrapping it in the beginning. It doesn’t take big monies to start a small business; you can get started with virtually no money.

Lack of time is another challenge for just about everyone in today’s high-pressure world, not just entrepreneurs. But whether you’re working a full-time job or launching your own venture, time is a resource you can control. If you are willing to give up weekends, perhaps some vacations and put in the early morning/late night hours to build momentum, lack of time is no longer a barrier.

Dropping job for the sake of starting business you need to sacrifice a number of benefits that someone was getting under corporate world umbrella. Let’s face it, stepping out of the corporate world without benefits can feel like walking a trapeze without a safety net.

It can be easier for a younger, healthy worker to forgo health benefits offered by a company. But if you desire to be a startup entrepreneur and you have a family, health benefits remain a top concern. Think through your decision, consider using your spouse’s health plan or look into health insurance specifically designed for small business owners.

Another barrier is when there is no Family support. It’s difficult enough to give up the comforts of the corporate world to start a business, yet, without the support of your family and friends, the journey can be even more challenging. To win the support of your family, take the time to explain the business and build a solid business plan. If you can demonstrate how you have taken the time to think it through the process and minimize the risks, they will be more supportive.

Lack of courage is another barrier business jumpstart. Dig deep enough and you will often find the reasons for not starting a business are excuses. The biggest barrier to overcome is yourself. Fear is present in all entrepreneurs, but it is conquerable. In entrepreneurs, fear has been a strong motivator for them in starting and sustaining their businesses. And that same fear drove them daily to succeed. It’s a matter of learning to accept fear as a silent companion that you can beat every day.

Departing from the cube life takes dedication, guts and a little boldness. Millions of business owners have succeeded, and so can you if you’re willing to stop making excuses and do what it takes to get your business off the ground. Take the nose-dive today and join the entrepreneurial revolution. Good luck!!!

Email: jullybulili@gmail.com; lucbulili@yahoo.com

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Mistakes that make your employees quit

 

By Beatrice Nakibuuka

Good employees are irreplaceable. If you are an employer who wants your best employees to stay, you need to think carefully about how you treat them. You need to make them want to work for you.

Not honouring commitments

Patrick Ngolobe, a human resource manager, says many times employers make promises to their employees about salary increment, job promotion or even motivational tokens.

This usually places you on the fine line that lies between making them very happy and watching them walk out the door.

Many employers do not honour their promises of career growth. They instead promote new recruits, which demotivates hardworking employees who have been loyal to the company for several years.

When you work very hard only to get passed over for a promotion that is given to someone who glad-handed their way to the top, it is an insult that will make your good employee leave.

Have a career planning chat with new employees. Ask them to share their work goals.

“Talented employees are passionate and as an employer, it is your responsibility to provide opportunities for them to help them pursue their passions. This will help improve their productivity and job satisfaction,” he advises.

Some managers fear that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions. If you do not let your employees pursue their passions, they will not develop their skills. When you have a talented employee, it is important that you keep finding areas in which they can improve their skill. Good employees want feedback and it is your job to keep it coming. If you do not, your best people will grow bored and complacent,” Ngolobe warns.

Striking a balance: Samuel Baseka, a businessman, says you must know how to make a balance between being professional and being human. If an employee reports bad health, an employer should be in position to understand.

Baseka says: “Good bosses should be empathetic with employees that are going through hard times. If you fail to do this, you are likely to have a high rate of turn over. Sometimes the employers do not give proper communication and there is a lot of politics and this frustrates employees to leave your organisation.”

Non-recognition: Nothing hurts good employees like overworking them. They become perplexed and feel as if they are being punished for great performance. If you must increase how much work your talented employees are doing, it is better to increase their status as well.

Baseka thinks good employees will take on a bigger workload, but they will not stay if their job suffocates them in the process.

If you must increase your employee’s workload, it should correspond with pay raises, promotions, and title-changes. It may be a pay rise, vouchers, commission or public recognition.

“If you simply increase workload because people are talented, without changing a thing, they will seek another job that gives them what they deserve. Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good as a reward for the job well done,” Ngolobe says.

Baseka says having routine work schedules that make your employees feel bored because they have to execute the same duties over and over again can also lead to employee turnover. As an employer, it is important that you introduce non routine assignments and let every employee get involved.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Why youth need to take up careers in science field

 

By Esther Kibakaya

Dr. Lwidiko Edward Mhamilawa, is a Medical Doctor and co-founder of ProjeKt Inspire – a social enterprise that focuses on career guidance and inspiration for young adults and children, with a niche in STEM careers, (Science Technology Engineering and Math). He also has 5 years of experience working with young people in rural areas of Tanzania and all over the globe.

Born 29 years ago, he pursued his first degree at Muhimbili University of Health and allied Science, and graduated in 2013 as a Medical Doctor. After working in clinical practice since 2013, he then joined Muhimbili University at the department of parasitology and medical entomology as a tutorial assistant and later on went to pursue Medical Research PhD Studies in infectious diseases with a focus on malaria at Uppsala University – Sweden.

His passion for social change saw him co –founding Projekt Inspire back in 2014. “For the past three years we decided to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education and innovation from pre-primary, primary and secondary school students,” he says.

Explaining what attracted him to engage himself with this initiative, Dr. Lwidiko says this was highly influenced by his own background with privileges and deprivations that he experienced as he went through the education system in Tanzania, “I am lucky enough to have experienced both public and private schooling and there are generalised sentiments that those of us who managed to get to the top can attest to,” he explains

He went further saying the way we are taught science in school does not necessarily attract innovation and critical thinking. “The educational approaches are not at par with the changing technology and young innovators don’t get opportunities to be discovered and encouraged to continue. Even if they do, there is no adequate practical support they get to progress, they need hand holding to truly become their full potential,” he says.

He therefore says what he does is basically what he wishes would have been done to the younger version of him, who could have turned out to be a better scientist than what he today is provided he had someone to hold his hand,” say the scientist.

Explaining if there has been a defining moment in his life that made him decide to take the direction in life that he did, Lwidiko says it was during his A levels at Kibaha, that his love for science emerged, “I have been a multi potentiality through most of my life but my interest in becoming a scientist became cemented with time.”

“I grew up in a family where my father has a doctorate in electronics, and teaching at the University of Dar es salaam in physics department for more than 30 years, my elder brother and sister are Civil engineers doing well in life. I guess it has been in our nature to have passion with science. When it was my chance to choose a career path after I completed my A Level, science seemed to be the best options,” the doctor says.

While each and every one of us had their goals while growing up, for Dr.Lwidiko his goal in life has always been to be a better version of himself, this includes but is not limited to his involvement in extracurricular activities which got him to became a National Chairperson of Youth of United Nations Association of Tanzania and also the Curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Hub for Dar es salaam.

He says his parents have been instrumental in pushing him into being a better version of himself on a daily basis, “my mother has constantly been reminding me that I used to say I wanted to be a doctor, this has been a guiding light in my career path, and soon to be wife has been an encouragement and a motivator through this profession,” he says.

Earlier this year Dr. Lwidiko was nominated as a Next Einstein Ambassador for Tanzania. According to him it has been a mind blowing experience. He says it was a whole new level when it comes to associating with the best and brightest that Africa has in the STEM field.

“We are on the right track as a continent; however, I was very disappointed to see that as a country we did not have even a single scientist who was presenting the great researches being done in Tanzania. Being a part of this platform of more than 2000 global key players and scientists is something that will increase the visibility of our scientists on global platforms,” he says, adding;

“Apart from the Global gathering, we also get to organise the Africa Science Week once a year as ambassadors. This year we are preparing a bigger Africa Science Week platform in September. It will have involvement of different stakeholders.”

Despite all the achievement we as a country have so far managed to achieve in this field, still there are a number of challenges facing developing countries when it comes to science. Dr. Lwidiko highlighted that most fundings in higher education research in Tanzania to a great extent have been funded by donor countries; a minimum amount is from the Government. “This in itself limits the flexibility of setting research agenda that is a priority for our countries. This limits the innovation potential that we can explore,” he noted.

He went further saying there has been a missing link since our education system doesn’t produce the necessary skills needed to develop cutting edge science institutions that are available in developed nations. Moreover the research done by students pursuing masters and PhD remain on papers to a great extent.

“Such researches need to be implemented. Also, the manufacturing industries that can use basic scientists are not enough in most developing countries, hence you find that the drivers of innovation in science are insufficient,” he notes.

He says a lot needs to be done around the world to help youth, especially women and girls establish careers in science despite the fact that situations around the world do differ.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Playing an active role in industrial drive

 

By Allan Kajimbwa Email: allankajimbwa@gmail.com

In a progressing world of leadership, the society continues to believe a phrase that says, “The leaders of tomorrow are made today”. It’s true. But today, some of our leaders fail to effectively help our communities to align and engage in tackling the most problematic issues that our communities face today. Pity to say that, this phrase is becoming doubtable. What makes proactive leaders of today for today?

The emphasis on industrializing Tanzania is undoubtable. As one of the effective means to amplify development in the country, it’s a significant step. Industries will create more job opportunities, a better economy, and other intensive benefits. The big question is, will the available local human capital be efficient enough to run, manage and nourish these industries sustainably?

We have a high level of unemployment being dominated by the youth, the leaders of tomorrow. The youth are the human capital that is predicted to run this country in the coming decades. Yet, we have few available job opportunities, whose employers are not able to recruit these bunch of graduates. This is for the mere fact that they still lack relevant and required skills, competence and experience to be aligned in these organization’s vision.

Our youth generation is not standing out to be resourceful in all spheres. Their vibe to stand out and fight for what is important and right to them and their community is weakening up as the opportunities continue to fade. Their hunger to sharpen their employability skills, experience and competence is easily being depleted with the change in technology, poor parental control, and absence of enough leadership and entrepreneurship hubs to nurture their skills. They’re losing hope, as the few try to stand out as our eyes continue to witness the failing of their start-ups businesses in our communities frequently. We cannot overlook this, as we want to create a vibrant generation of tomorrow.

Eventually, the diaries of most world influential leaders and entrepreneurs writes that they were helped, motivated and supported. It’s time that we need to accelerate the creation of job opportunities for our youth. One of the ways that can be done, is through promoting self-reliance among the youth and awarding funds to engage in income generating projects.

Email: allankajimbwa@gmail.com

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ask Teacher Owewre: Does bulk holiday homework achieve its purpose?



Paul Owere

Paul Owere 

Schools have closed and children are at home but unfortunately some are just too busy with school work that you can hardly notice a difference including those in their first year in Primary school. This is not to mention a Four-year-old pre-scholar who returned home with several pages of home work which is supposed to be done during the mid-year break. The question that many continue to struggle with is the purpose and the right age when homework should be assigned to pupils. The debate around holiday homework has raged for years and it’s a topic which divides teachers, parents and pupils alike.

Recently, the discussion has been brought to the fore by a number of schools and parents who have declared that they would not issue homework.

As a teacher and a parent my view is that homework is totally unnecessary for early primary school pupils because at that age they barely understand why their holiday is being inconvenienced. However, as many will agree, I will concede that it is necessary when students reach their crucial exam years.

At that stage homework assignments serve a purpose; they provide opportunities for students to develop valuable skills in independent research, academic citing, and the fundamental principles of academic honesty.

Ultimately each school, teacher and parent will draw their own line in the sand when determining the correct age for pupils to be given homework; but discussions over homework should not stop there. What must be asked is the value homework provides to students and, in my opinion, that debate should be based on the following questions.

Is that homework beneficial for the student’s personal education goals? Will homework assignments help to develop the student’s independent learning skills? How can educators guard against placing undue pressure on children and help parents support their child’s learning?

Today, league tables and exam results have created a mechanistic education system. Schools, pupils and teachers are too often focused on achieving scores and targets.

In my view, this underpins the homework debate, and it completely negates the truest goal of education, which is to inspire and nurture a student’s love for learning.

For parents, when it comes to homework, there is a fine line between helping your children and doing the work for them.

Just as teachers should avoid placing unwarranted pressure on their pipils, parents should appreciate that by doing the work for them, they are in fact hindering their child’s ability to think independently.

Homework becomes an exercise in futility if children aren’t allowed to take charge of their own learning.

Instead, parents should put their efforts into providing an environment which helps to instill a real desire to learn.

As I have stated on many occassions, there will always be times, such as exam preparation, when parents and teachers need to ensure students are studying at home.

The issue at hand isn’t whether students should work at home, it’s whether homework should be routinely assigned?

If schools are teaching correctly and engaging students, the majority of homework becomes irrelevant.

In my experience, engaged students regardless of age will, on their own initiative, actively seek to advance their knowledge and learning outside of school.

In such cases the teacher and parent roles should then act to support this drive in whatever way they can.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Why I won’t return home

 

By Mwalimu Andrew

Today I want to bring you a story that I told you a couple of years back so that you can see how my wealth has grown in leaps and bounds. This is how it went. After many years of staying in my father’s compound, at last I moved away from Mzee Caleb’s home. It was never planned. But when I got my loan money, it was clear I was likely to differ with my father since he always believes that my money is our money, a position I have never agreed to.

That is the reason why last weekend, the old one was on my case demanding for money. All of a sudden, he had several things that he wanted me to do for him. At one moment he wanted me re-roof his house, yet at another, he wanted me to help him start a business.

“If you can give me money to buy 10 bags of maize,” my father said, “I will sell during famine and never ask you for money at all.”

I maintained that I had no money. But you know the people of Mwisho wa Lami – keeping secrets has never been their stronghold. No sooner had I given Cate and Fiolina money than this information reached my old man.

Once my father took one for the path at Hitler’s, he staggered back home in a foul mood. He started his shouting at the gate.

Leave compound

“You can’t give your father money yet you dish out money to women,” he said. “You must leave this compound,” he added as he approached my house. Not wanting to engage him in a quarrel, I stealthily left the compound using one of the many panyaroutes in our fence.

When I returned home that evening, Fiolina had not slept. “We have to move away from this home,” she said, “I can’t stand these abuses from your father.”

“Relax,” I told her. “Mzee is 1always like that when drunk, but once he sobers up, he will be our amicus once more.” But my father would not relent this time round. He was at our door early the next morning, and made it clear in no uncertain terms that I had to leave.

I left for school but after two lessons, I went to our market centre to look for a house. Most of the rooms available were one-roomed but I managed to get a two-roomed place.

I immediately paid for three months, and also went and bought a few house-hold items. This included a mattress, blankets, a stove and utensils. I got back home to find that Fiolina had again been chided by my father. Rumona, my brother’s wife, had not spared her either as they had quarrelled over our chicken that had been feeding in Rumona’s house.

“Me, I am not staying here,” she said. “Leo niRumona, kesho ni baba yako?” I told her to quickly arrange her things after which we left our home and we went to our two-roomed massionette at Mwisho wa Lami market centre.

Fiolina was so happy and although we only had a mattress and a few other items, she said: “This is better than the quarrels I undergo.” I had talked to a mkokoteniperson who carried some of our stuff from the home to the market centre. We, however, agreed that he carries the things at around 7 p.m. so as to avoid the prying eyes of our people.

However, when he went to pick our things, my father blocked him, saying that everything that was in his home was his property. We, therefore, left everything behind.

To celebrate our new independence, I bought a kilo of beef which Fiolina gladly prepared. And although we slept on a mattress that was on the floor, Fiolina really liked this. News that I had moved to a two-roomed house at the market spread in the entire region, and this found itself in the staffroom .

the next morning.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How to keep children safe in boarding schools

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza @TheCitizenTZ news@tz.nationmedia.com

Last week parents were shocked after an alleged sexual abuse scandal went viral on social media. Some parents, whose children were enrolled at the Dar es Salaam based school, alleged in several audio clips circulated online that their daughters have been sexually abused.

In reaction to the news, some parents raised major concerns over their children’s safety while at school. The fact that the alleged abuse took place at school and the alleged molester is a teacher; parents seem to have lost confidence over the people, school owners, teachers and the school management, whom they entrusted to take care of their children while in school if last week news reports are anything to go by.

“In most cases, school owners, management and the head of school believe that teachers would be honest and trustworthy guardians to the pupils, taking good care and protect them. However, it turns out to be the opposite,” says Careen Edward, a parent stated.

“We thought our children would be safer in private boarding schools,” says Ms Edward. The concerned mother now asks the million dollar question; “how should we keep our children safe in boarding schools?

Benjamin Nkonya, a Chief Executive Officer of Consortium for Independent Education Providers in Sub-Saharan Africa (CIEPSSA), says the sexual abuse allegations are very rare occurrences in schools. “If what is alleged is true, then it is a very unusual thing,” he says, though he didn’t rule out the possibility of such abuse not to occur in private and public schools.

Investing in education

Mr Nkonya says it is high time big companies through their social corporate responsibility policy invest in education, especially in transport for thousands of school children. “In most cases, sexual abuse incidents against school children occur when they are on their way to and from school,” he says.

On the other hand, Mr Nkonya says in order to keep children safe from abuse in schools, school management has to put in place thorough measures when employing teachers and other staff. “School management in both private and public schools should not hire teachers without tracing or checking their backgrounds,” he says.

“For example if a teacher, who is a civil servant, is fired from a public school for misconduct that means he/she will never be hired at any public school. In this case, such a teacher would seek for employment in private schools where they do not take much trouble in checking for teacher’s previous records,” he says.

Ezekiel Oluoch, an education expert, says Tanzania needs to have a teacher’s board, which among other things will be vested with the responsibility of registering all teachers in the country, keeping their records and issuing professional licence to them.

“This will help to identify who is abiding by the professional ethics and conducts and who is not. Registering with such a professional body should be mandatory for a teacher in order for him/her to be issued with a licence. That means a teacher would not be able to get in class if he/she does not have a valid licence. If a registered teacher acts contrary to the code of conducts, he/she should be penalised depending on the magnitude of the offense, including a total ban from teaching in any school,” he clarifies.

Have professional teachers

Mr Oluoch is of the view that some private schools in Tanzania don’t have professional teachers. According to him, some teachers in private schools are educated but they don’t know or care much about teacher’s code of conduct. “A teacher is a guardian: How can a teacher abuse a pupil/student?” He questions.

Mr Oluoch seems not to have all the answers to his question. Being an educationist himself, he seems to believe that no teacher could harm a pupil or children, let alone sexually abuse them. “A teacher is a child protector.

A teacher takes a parental position when the child is at school. After a parent, comes a teacher; therefore schools should hire professional teachers to become matrons or patrons,” he says.

Although there have been such rare incidents of teachers sexually abusing pupils/students, Mr Oluoch suggests that all staff who stay with children at school should be professionally qualified for their roles. “Not all those who stay with our children in boarding schools are teachers by profession. That is where the problem starts,” he says, adding that most private boarding schools do not have matrons and patrons who are trained teachers.

“A boarding school must have a patron and matron who will be the guardian of the pupils/students, assisting them all the time. They should ensure that both girls and boys are safe from any form of abuse while in school,” he says, adding that pupils/students in school also suffer from bullying and other forms of physical, emotional and sexual abuse from their fellow pupils/students or from other staff. In this case, he suggests that schools owners should make it their duty to ensure that children are safe in schools.

Have protection guidelines

From his experience, Mr Oluoch says that most schools don’t have child protection guidelines. “This is also another area where the problem begins,” he says. He urges the Ministry of Education to ensure that each school has child protection guidelines and that the school management should ensure that such guidelines are strictly followed.

“I am not sure if every school has child protection guidelines. Most schools have ‘teacher’s guidelines’ but not child protection guidelines. If it happens they have it, the document is only on the bookshelf in head teacher’s or headmaster’s office while other teachers and staff know nothing about the document,” he says.

On the other hand, Mr Oluoch urges schools owner to ensure teachers they employ have passed through the Agency for Development in Education Management (ADEM) Collage in Bagamoyo District. “To what extent do school owners consider teachers who have passed through the ADEM?” he queries. He says it should be of the best interest of the education sector if the Ministry of Education will put in place regulations that ensure that every head teacher has to pass through ADEM College.

“Such regulations should also set age qualification for a teacher to head a school. The head teacher should at least be 45-years-old and should have at least ten-years teaching experience. But in most cases, head teachers in some private schools are below that age,” he notes.

For his part, HakiElimu head of program Godfrey Boniventura, says apart from having a supervisors around the school all the time, it is also very important to look for an environment which is applicable for child development.

Provide protection

“Children should be taught how to protect themselves in case someone tries to abuse them. With proper training children will be courageous to fight against and report any form of abuse they face in schools and even at home,” he says.

Mr Boniventura calls for strict measures to provide protection in schools. “Schools should have security 24 hours a day. One would be very surprised to hear of any form of abuse happening to pupils/students who are in boarding school. Where are the guards when such alleged abuse happens in schools?” he queries, saying having professional guards in schools would to a great extent ensure the safety of the children.

“Mixing pupils/students of different age in a single dormitory can also be part of the problem,” he says, adding; “Let little children sleep with little ones in boarding schools. If you allow little ones to sleep with their brothers or sisters, the little ones would be mistreated. We can apply this at our house too. We should not allow little children to sleep with adults because the chances of them to be abused or harassed are higher.”

On the other hand, Mr Boniventura seems to not support the idea of taking little children to boarding school. He urges parents to take their children to boarding school only when they are grown up at least at their teen age enough to take care of themselves. “In my opinion, taking nursery pupils to boarding school is not right,” he says.

Mr Mkonya supports Mr Boniventura’s position, saying regardless of how busy parents are; they should find time to raise and nurture their children instead of taking them to boarding schools at a very young age, leaving the parental responsibilities to teachers.

Mr Mathew Levi, head teacher at Royal Elite Schools, shares some of the child protection guidelines, which he says his school abides by. “Children should not accept offers from strangers in the absence of their parents; They should also avoid being alone with anybody in dark places. These are some of the things that children should be taught and understand,” he says.

He says the child protection guidelines also explain to children not to allow anybody to touch their chest, back and private parts except their parents; they should report any danger or abuse against them to people they trust; and they should shout loud or run away in case someone wants to force them into doing something they don’t want to do.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Joas Buyungu, an Author inspiring people to achieve their biggest dreams

 

Joas Yunus Buyungu (Jyb) is a book author, an entrepreneur and Country Youth Coordinator at Lulu Nzuri Foundation. He graduated at University of Dar es Salaam in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Success magazine interviewed him about his 3 books.

Can we have a short summary of your 3 books?

My first book entitled ‘Inuka Toka katika Lindi la Umaskini ‘is an inspirational book that encourages people of different ages to rise up and do what they think they can do to reach their dreams. It is a book that has stories of young people who have managed to live their dreams regardless of challenges they faced. My second book was the revised version of my first book. In this I added some critical issues like how to discover your life purpose, things which will help you to leave your legacy here on earth and I also talked about a few things which are not taught at school.

My third book ‘Mwongozo wa Biashara’ focuses on business, showing step by step guide on starting and managing a business. I have analyzed important issues like how to get a business idea ,what to do after you have got your business idea, how to get capital, how to raise your capital, how to manage a business, book keeping in business, things which will trigger business failure etc.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

For me writing is my passion and so I feel good when am writing and hence it energizes me but if it is not your passion it can really exhaust you.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

One of the things I always talk and write about is originality. I always write genuine thoughts which of course have changed many lives.

Do you think someone can be a writer even if they don’t have strong writing emotions?

Writing is a feeling, it is a way to express what you feel and so it is not easy to write, especially emotional writings, if you don’t have some strong attachment.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have many friends who are authors such as Ushindi Ellioth, Edison Kashindi, Magreth Mushi, Amina Sanga, Adabert Chenche, Frank Mihayo, Raymond Mgeni, Lazaro Samwel, Jacob Mushi, Lameck Amos and Varelian Mtundu, to mention a few. Their books and daily-writings are encouraging and inspiring as well.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I like consistency and so whatever I write I consider the correlation of the contents of the older book and the new book on process.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

The world (universe) will be changed by writers, if we stop writing that means problems will increase.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

My first book brought many comments from my readers and through their comments, ideas and inputs, my writing creativity has improved.

What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

I do like all authors but I only dislike immoral wittings.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

The Black Hermit is my favorite novel because it teaches us to tackle/face problems (challenges) instead of running away.

How do you retain your readers?

I don’t write everything in a single book and so I leave a vacuum for writing another book for readers to buy and read. However my books normally include many key points that can move any reader forth.

What does literary success look like to you?

It is very hard to measure success in literary works however for me reaching as many people and getting feedback that my books have transformed many people is what I’d consider success in this field.

What’s the best way to market your books?

Technology has made marketing easier. For me social networks have been good platforms for marketing and selling as well.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book

I normally use observation method. I observe a prevailing challenge in the society then I write a possible solution to it. It takes four to six months researching.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes I do. I consider reviews as my take off i.e reviews have always improved my writing

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I don’t. My writing is straight forward since I want to reach many people

What was your hardest part to write?

The hardest part was including stories of young people who have managed to live their dreams in my Inuka book. Some of the people whom I requested for their stories were unwilling to share their stories.

What is your favorite childhood book

“The World is not fair” written by Eric Shigongo

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How to educate children about sexual abuse

 

By Esther Kibakaya

Recent school sexual abuse allegations have raised a lot of concern from parents and the community as a whole on the safety of children, particularly those staying in boarding schools.

Child sexual abuse is a global public health and human rights concern and despite of it being a crime in most countries, and with recognised physical and mental health consequences, the majority of sexual offences are not reported while others are reported late.

A 2011 report done by UNICEF and the then Ministry of Community Development shows about 60 per cent of acts of sexual abuse on minors are perpetrated by family members or close individuals. The report also shows that about 49 per cent of abuses occur inside victims’ homes, 23 per cent on the way to or back from school, and 15 per cent in school.

Understanding that it will take time and a lot of efforts to get rid of such maltreatment acts perpetrated by adults or older children toward younger children who have little power to resist, there are recommended duties that experts believe that parents and even teachers can assume in ensuring a safe school environment for children.

“I have been openly talking to my 9 year-old boy about these issue ever since he was in nursery. I would tell him not to allow anyone to touch him in his private parts or to follow anyone who will offer to give him sweets. As he grew older, he became more curious that’s when I tried to tell him openly why he should never allow anyone to do the things I restricted,” says Marion Assey, a mother of three.

“I am glad that I did it early because he has become so open to me and whenever he is curious about something, he asks. Most mothers refrain from talking to their boys and instead focus more on girls because for many years it’s girls who have been the victim of sexual abuse but boys too have been highly affected by abuse,” she adds.

She adds that allowing children to speak openly and with confidence on things they don’t understand or are not happy about can be of so much help because instead of then worrying that they may be punished, they are assured that someone is there to listen to them and help them if necessary. “Parents need to have time to speak to their children, having family time to discuss issues that are of concern to our children can really help to solve the above problem,” she advises.

On her part, a retired teacher based in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Magret William, says times have changed and parents need to be very close to their children and talk openly to them. She says in the past boarding schools were there but were mostly for secondary school students but because of various reasons, including parents’ busy schedules, family conflicts, parents are now forced to take their children to boarding schools while they are still young. “In here is when they are exposed to such maltreatment acts and because they don’t have anyone to talk to they keep quiet until when things have gone out of hand,” she says, adding that schools should invest in hiring qualified teachers who can be able to identify these problems.

Giving out his expert opinion on the same matter last year when speaking to The Citizen on how parents can know if their children have been sexually abused, Aaron Nkini, a psychologist based in Dar es Salaam, says that the first thing that the parents would notice is behavioral change.

Nkini says that it is possible that a child who has been sexually abused to have speech impediment. “A child may be afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, and because of the trauma they may lose their speech. A child might also be uncomfortable to stay with their parents, especially if it happens that the abuser is a parent or relative. They might prefer to stay with grandparents as they would feel safer,” he says.

He also went further saying that other warning signs include a child becoming stubborn and aggressive. “If it’s a boy, he would start beating girls and girls would start beating boys. This reflects on who the abuser is, either a man or a woman.

Nkini advises parents to make time for their children despite having busy schedules. “Parents can choose to devote just half an hour of their undivided attention to their children, just to understand what is going on with them.

The more you become open to your child and encourage them to talk, it opens room for them to share whatever is going on in their lives -- both at school and home,” says Nkini.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How to overcome business failure and thrive

 

By Julius Bulili

Failures are inevitable as an entrepreneur, yet you need to overcome them. A fundamental part of overcoming business failure is rooted in the mindset you have. It begins with a flexible and positive attitude and a willingness to change. To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Failure, when running a business, is part of life. How we deal with it determines whether or not it ultimately leads to success.

We can learn a lot from successful business owners of the past, like Colonel David Sanders, the founder of KFC. At 65, with only a $105, he roamed across America, trying to find an investor for his fried chicken business. He faced rejection. However, armed with the positive mindset for change, he pushed ahead with his plans. Finally, someone saw his worth, invested in him, and KFC was born. At 74, he sold the company for 2 million. The ROI on the measly $105 he started out with was amazing.

The takeaway here is, a mindset eager to embrace change coupled with dedication, hard work and determination are some of the qualities you need for business success. This will help you overcome business failures when you’re up against financial downturn, or any other misfortune.

Some rules are discussed in this article to keep your business on a firm foundation, ready to weather predicted or unexpected storms, aiming to damage your enterprise.

You should adopt a forward-thinking attitude and have a clear road map for the future. Before planning out your business, start with a vision. Write the vision down. Use it as a map to create your business plan because it will give you clarity. Think ahead. What outcomes do you want for your business? Where would you like the company to be in the coming months and years?

Also, carry out frequent SWOT analyses of your business system to examine internal and external areas of your business, to identify areas that are working and those that are not. Develop that part of your business which is working well and use it as a model to build on. Make immediate changes to things that are not working.

Manage cash flow efficiently. Without consistent cash flow, your business will eventually dry up and die. Have a cash flow forecast so you know what money is coming in and out.

Believe in yourself and prepare for the (inevitable) bad times. Doubting your abilities will impact your business unfavorably. For that reason, make use of personal problems. See them as lessons to learn from. Assess the situation objectively. Speak with a trusted friend or family member instead of ignoring the problem.

Running a business and making it successful is not easy. However, it’s not impossible for you to survive in the business world. Embrace the warrior mindset and refuse to become a number in the statistics of business failures. Use success stories of people who failed their way to success to inspire and motivate you.

Keep your customers at the heart of your business. 80% of a company’s revenue comes from 20% of its customers (Gartner statistics). Loyal customers are the success stories of your business. Involve them in your business strategies when planning marketing campaigns and developing new products. Make them feel important.

Embrace failures as short-term setbacks. Most of us were taught failure is bad. Therefore, when we fail, we are tempted to give up. Successful people use failure as stepping stones to climb out of their troubles. Reflect on what went wrong and find solutions to the problem that caused the failure. Learn from your mistakes, and do things differently next time. Draw inspiration from people who failed many times but eventually achieved their dreams.

Having a failing business doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. You will encounter obstacles along the way, but you will also find ways to overcome those obstacles. Learn from others’ stories and use your own story as a lesson for improvement and business success.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ignore the naysayers, I now own a car! A very good car

 

By Mwalimu Andrew

At the beginning of this year, I came up with about nine New Year resolutions, which I did not want to share with everyone — lest I became like other Kenyans who come up with New Year resolutions just to brag about them to others, but do nothing to implement them. But after listening to our President several times, and falling in love with his obsession with The Big Four, I also summarised my aspirations into The Big Four. My Big Four are: Go to Mombasa, Own a Car, Complete my University Degree and finally; Get Promoted.

Friends of development who have been with me will agree that I am doing much better than the Government on my Big 4! I went to Mombasa in such a great style, much better than I had planned for.

I believe that owning a car will enable me meet the other two. You know having a car will most likely influence someone at TSC to promote me, and also, any lecturer seeing me with a top of the range car — which is much better than what most lecturers own — will be intimidated into ensuring I pass the exams, so that I can finally graduate.

But first, I must own the car. I have been making great progress on Agenda 2: owning a car, a good car. When we last talked about it, some two weeks ago, I had, that Sunday, scheduled for prayers for the car, presided over by Apostle Overseer Elkana, the Spiritual Superintendent of THOAG (The Holiest of All Ghosts) Tabernacle Assembly; and later on that night, a special session to exorcise evil spirits, led by Nandwa, my father’s cousin.

Apostle Elkana’s event went on well, with the only disagreement being on the payment. Apostle Elkana showed me his payment schedule; which had different amounts for prayers for bicycles, motorcycles, posho mills, power saws, and cars. “Car” had been added into the list that morning. He had wanted Sh7,500 for praying for the car, which was too ambitious. In the end, he only got Sh400, with a promise of another Sh400 when I got hold of the car. We parted ways, as I started preparing for the night event.

Nandwa arrived at 7.30pm, as darkness set in. “And where is the car?” he asked upon arrival, for he said he could not enter the house. “The powers I am carrying are so powerful they can bring down a house if I get in.”

“Why can’t you just pray from here?” I asked.

“How will the spirits know which car you want?” he asked. It was about 9pm when we started walking to Milimani — Nandwa, his assistant, my father and I. His assistant carried the ram on his back. We were lucky the moon was up, lighting our way. When we got to where the car was, I went to tell Bensouda that we were around seeing the car. She was not in.

We proceeded with prayers, which involved me holding the car as Nandwa said many things, most of which I can’t remember, and poured herbs and other libations on me. I was supposed to touch the car throughout the event.

“Do you have a cousin who has married a very brown wife?” he asked. I could not remember any. Then it hit me that Kizito’s wife, Nimo, is very brown.

“Yes, Kizito,” I said. “His wife is Wairimu, but we call her Nimo.”

“I see,” he said. “Kizito ni rafiki yako?” I told him he was just a relative.

“Be careful with him and his family,” he said. “He is the one who doesn’t want you to have a car, he is jealous of you and your developments. Avoid him,” he instructed.

It was time to offer the sacrifice. The boy Nandwa had travelled with was an expert in slaughtering animals. He killed and skinned the ram in a matter of minutes. As he did this, Nandwa lit a fire. My father and I were not to do anything. The head of the ram was put under the car, on the driver’s side, as Nandwa muttered things only he understood. The two picked and packed the choicest parts. We then started roasting the other parts and ate as we went around the car in circles.

We were so engrossed we didn’t realise when several people came by and lit torches towards us.

“Piga magoti kila mtu!” said the leader, whom I recognised to be the assistant chief. With him were several youths who moved forward and wanted to assault us; but I quickly identified myself. Bensouda was right behind them.

“What are you doing to my car?” she asked.

“Hawa ni wezi,” said one of the youth wingers.

“Sisi sio wezi,” I said. Then I explained that we had come to pray for the car. Didn’t everyone in the village know that I was buying the car?

“But it is still my car until you finish paying for it,” said Bensouda. “I need an explanation why you are here.

I thank God for the sweet tongue that He blessed me with. I put it into action, and within minutes I had managed to negotiate myself out of the situation — only parting with Sh300.

Once they were gone, we concluded the prayers and left.

The next morning Bensouda called to say she was unwell, and she did not come for the rest of the week.

Last Monday, she asked to see me. We met at Kasuku Hotel.

“I have had a serious headache since that night you were praying next to the car,” she started.

“I was wondering what was causing it until yesterday when I saw the head of a sheep next to the car.”

I could not say anything. “Why did you people want to kill me?I still had no answer. “How much money do you have? Get me whatever little you have and come and take that vehicle today,” she said. “Sitaki mazingaombwe.”That day I got her Sh70,000, and we agreed that I would take the car on Tuesday. Nyayo told me that he knew how to drive and I went with him. He tried several things but the car wouldn’t move. We had bought enough petrol. Mr Maina connected me to a mechanic who came on Wednesday, and said that the car needed a major overhaul, and gave me a budget of about Sh60,000 to have the car moving.

I had no money but Bensouda did not want the car near her as she said that seeing it caused her headaches. We used Maina’s pick-up to tow the car to my home, as I look for money to overhaul it. We covered it with nylon papers.

There are many people who are laughing that I have a car in my home that can’t move; but if anyone were to ask how many people in Mwisho wa Lami have ever owned a car, my name would come up!

mwalimuandrew@gmail.com www.facebook.com/mwisho-walami

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dear Millenials, this is how we rise

 

By Miranda Naiman

Ten minutes spent with members of generation Z or the so-called ‘millennials’ will have you reeling in frustration if you’re anything like me. By ‘like me’ I mean you have spent several years crawling your way up the proverbial career ladder for peanuts and gradually and strategically positioned yourself to earn more, increase your exposure and generally grow into your shoes. It is increasingly disheartening to hear our millennials talk about the cars they wish to drive and haughty lifestyle they desire to manifest as soon as they swan out of school.

Dear Millennials; you are undoubtedly the most fast-paced generation of human beings in existence, and you effortlessly generate innovative ideas that have the potential to transform life as we know it. You zoom through life with a lofty idealism that will inevitably catapult you to greatness, yet you naïvely lack one key ingredient for success: experience.

You see my dear Millennials, (more than likely) your parents fought tooth & nail to raise you to experience more than they ever did at your age. They provided you with the best education they could afford and will have juggled work/business, family commitments (extended family included) and parenting. Through their daily toil, they learnt how to budget; the importance of setting a positive example and the essential notion of sacrifice. Your parents/guardians will have had to endure short-term pain that would eventually lead to long-term pleasure.

People caught up within the instant gratification trap often expect to gain something from nothing.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way – you need to give something in order to get something back. Whether that involves your time, energy or money, makes no difference - it’s the act of giving that counts. Often this “giving” might feel uncomfortable and painful. However, the pain you experience during these fleeting moments is what will bring you tremendous pleasure in the future when you finally obtain your desired outcomes.

Getting into the habit of delaying gratification gives you more control over your life, decisions, and actions; while simultaneously helping you value hard work and effort. You will eventually understand that even though things might be difficult in the present moment, that it’s necessary you get through this pain to experience the long-term pleasure you would ultimately like to have in your life.

Invest in the future – Keep your eye on the big picture; and map out a feasible plan to get you from where you are currently to where you’d like to be. Delaying gratification will strengthen your character; sharpen your mind; build willpower; promote higher levels of self-discipline; and teach you the value of patience.

Prepare for short term pain - Good things come to those who hustle! A shift from instant gratification to delayed gratification will require some grafting, be prepared to put in the work.

Whether you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, or into a family that had to struggle to keep the lights on; you will likely possess the impatient millennial mindset. Ask your parents what they were like at your age, and you may be pleasantly surprised what you can learn from their experience.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

How do you spot pedophiles and child molesters?

 

Last week a bizarre and heart-wrenching story broke out in a school in Dar es Salaam, it was alleged that a certain teacher trusted with duty of care had turned into a pedophile, taking advantage of the very children he was supposed to take care of.

No one suspected his intentions until when one child reported his advances to his parents. That is when all hell broke loose and the truth was laid bare.

The uproar from the parents was quite justifiable, as the social media went abuzz with some blaming the school for not having the proper checks and balancing system in place that could ensure the safety of children while at school..

It is every parent’s hope and prayer that each time a child leaves home to go to school he or she returns home safe, given the fact that a school is a place where children go to learn and not otherwise.

The teacher used all sorts of tricks to entice his unsuspecting victims and though he remains at large, the long arm of the law will soon catch up with him.

I have l always warned that not every teacher is a gem, yet not every caring teacher is of that teacher’s nature.

Those who have worked with the teacher in question in the past did not see any red flags as he was the go-to teacher, therefore many didn’t suspect his actions towards the little girls.

They thought he meant well and in normal circumstances he seemed like the most caring teacher in a world where most parents believe in chasing cash as opposed to family life.

This could leave both parents and teachers confused on where the real line lies, when they should be close to children and as for parents what actions could be a sign of a red flag.

There are several telltale signs that could help identify a potential pedophile, a calibre of depraved people who have become a threat to over 40 million children globally.

Research show some one per cent of children under 16 experience sexual abuse which is mostly in the hands of care givers.

Pedophiles are usually very friendly to children for they have mastered the art of pretence, they usually like flocking around children in search for their next victim but often pretend to show care, love and support to children. It is important to note that they usually relate with a specific age group.

According to publichealth.com, pedophiles are not restricted to schools they can be found anywhere from executive offices to construction sites, they often tend to possess items that lure children into their deadly traps.

In a world where stylish gadgets are the order of the day, these people will always pretend to be showing unsuspecting victims the latest technology.

Pedophiles often prefer leading lonely lives as they keep very few friends, in most cases those in their company are of the same nature.

They tend to glorify privacy so that their exploitation of children remains hidden from the public eye.

Most pedophiles are respected members of society who are smart, which makes it difficult sometimes to pick them out from the crowd.

The only way to pick them out is by watching for their tolerance for such illicit activities as well as their rationalization of such acts even when they are fully aware of how damaging it could be.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Questions you should ask the interview panel

 

In our effort to appear as the perfect potential employee, we train ourselves on answering the questions and forget to come up with questions of our own. Linda Mbabazi, a recruiting agent, says it is important for you to prepare questions to ask your potential employer.

“I have witnessed a number of promising candidates stammer and lose their cool when told to ask their own questions. We usually expect you to ask questions that show interest in the position you are interviewing for, management, and the company which shows that you are actually interested in the job,” Mbabazi explains.

Your questions should be smart, polite and should demonstrate your desire to succeed in that position and an inquisitiveness that shows you have done your homework about the company. These questions are basically supposed to help you learn more about the company, understand who succeeds there, understand management policy and the hiring strategy.

The right candidate: “Employers are not looking for someone to simply fill a vacant post, they want someone who will do extraordinary work and these questions make them see that you want the same thing too. You appear as someone who is focused and ambitious,” Mbabazi says.

Human resource manager Charity Kabasambu says it is okay to ask your interviewer to describe the qualities of person they are looking to fill that position, the tasks involved and productivity expectations.

She says that asking about career trajectory for the person in that position in that company shows that the person is interested in growing and advancing within the company.

“I have met many candidates who answer questions brilliantly but mess up by refusing to ask any follow up questions. The candidates who impress the most are those who seek to get as many answers as possible,” she adds.

The key question: Another question interviewers find impressive is asking about the biggest challenge the company is facing and how you can help them solve it. Keep in mind that you have something the company wants which is the reason why you were called in for the interview.

So, finding out that one thing they found attractive in your CV and making the most of it will help you increase chances of getting the job. This question will give the employer the opportunity to articulate how this position (and the person in it!) can offer the biggest impact.