Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Bootcamp training for graduates

Enzo Graziano at the bootcamp training. PHOTO I

Enzo Graziano at the bootcamp training. PHOTO I FILE 

By Elesia Haule

“Everyone is a sales person.” That is what international sale.s specialist Enzo Graziano emphasised upon while training Tanzanian graduates, entrepreneurs and recruiters. He was accompanied by Dr Darlene Mutalemwa, Senior Lecturer at Mzumbe University Dar es Salaam Campus, college.

According to the duo, to be a sales person means, “from the time you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night, you are continually negotiating, communicating, persuading, influencing and trying to get people to cooperate with you to do the things that you want them to do”.

Dr Mutalemwa explained that, at university we learn to win grades but in the world outside university, we learn to win people.

“And that requires one to be more skillful to know how to sell his product to his/her intended customer. In order to best prepare graduates for a competitive workplace, this gap or what is often referred to as the war for talent must be addressed,” she said.

She described that, graduate employability has become a thorny issue in the economies of a developing country like Tanzania. There exist reports and stories of the hardships graduates go through when trying to find employment. And there are also reports on employer dissatisfaction with the graduates seeking employment, especially their poor preparedness for the workplace.

A frequent descriptor is that they are ‘half-baked’. The high unemployment rate among graduates in Tanzania is attributed to lack of work experience, training opportunities and soft skills, which the 2016 World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report poignantly remarked that it is difficult to survive without these skills which are transferable.

The aim of the graduate sales bootcamp which was first ran in September 2015 and included 60 graduates, 20 recruiters and one sponsor, October 2016 (300 attendees of which 100 were graduates and 20 were sponsors, with 200 staff, and in November 2017 (600 diverse attendees and 23 sponsors).

This year’s bootcamp took place from 4-5th September and it aimed at forcing graduates out of their comfort zone (mindset, personality traits and behavioral patterns) as well as improve their employment prospects as successful job seekers, job shapers and job makers.

The graduate sales bootcamp this year provided skills and knowledge on selling to professionals, graduates and students in the healthcare sector and also young delegates from Kisutu Secondary School students (132) who were taught life skills to enable them to implement in the future what they have been taught and not to make the same mistakes as those of the current university graduates.

There is always something new about selling that everybody needs to learn and some of the people who attended previous trainings prove it.

Doreen Materu, a graduate in political science and public administration from the University of Dar es Salaam remarked “I expected the bootcamp to land me a job. I was so wrong. I realized that I was not ready to be employed because I did not know how to sell a story and how to sacrifice”.

Hyasinta Ntuyeko, a manufacturing entrepreneur remarked “I shamefully noted a number of mistakes we made when selling our products which were centering on pride and lack of humility when approaching a customer. I have learnt how to make my customers trust me”.

People have to know that the way they live their life is how they sell themselves; like the use of social media can make people view what kind of person you are.

This is done by looking at what you post or comment on, your dressing code always hints at the type of person you are, one has to wear to be trusted and not to attract attention. Another thing is the way you speak, you to communicate in a way that makes your customer or employer to believe that you are confident, wise, humble, competent and the right professional in the position that you are in. That is known as selling for the eye contact.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Remembering the father of East African poetry

Portrait of the late poet Prof David Rubadiri.

Portrait of the late poet Prof David Rubadiri. PHOTO I NMG 

By Ciugu Mwagiru

The death of Prof David Rubadiri has robbed Africa and indeed the world of a truly phenomenal literary figure.

According to his son, Kwame, Prof Rubadiri broke his hip two months ago. He was recovering at home, “but died very suddenly from what appears to be the impact of a blood clot in his lungs.”

Born in 1930, Rubadiri had celebrated his 88th birthday on July 19.

Poet

With his poem ‘An African Thunderstorm,’ Rubadiri was the sole Malawian contributor to Modern Poetry of Africa, the 1963 Penguin anthology edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier.

Rubadiri also represented his country with another poem, ‘Thoughts after Work,’ which was published in You Better Believe It: Black Verse in English from Africa, the West Indies and the United States, yet another Penguin publication.

Other anthologies that also carried Rubadiri’s poetry included A Book of African Verse published by Heinemann in 1964; Poetry from Africa, published by Pergamon Press in 1969 and Drum Beat, published by East African Publishing House in 1967.

Although the floodgate of Rubadiri’s fecund creativity would later burst open, as one commentator puts it, he had made his entry into the literary world much earlier, in the late 50s, when his poetry was published in Penpoint, the Makerere college magazine.

In consequent years other Rubadiri poems would be showcased in such prestigious international publications as Transition, Black Orpheus and Présence Africaine.

Memorable moments

Speaking about his connection with Kenya and Uganda, the author, known for such memorable poems as “Stanley Meets Mutesa”, said he would be in the latter country during the following year to marry off one of his daughters.

The poet attended King’s College, Budo, in Uganda from 1941 to 1950. It was while there that the creative bug first bit the young Rubadiri after his African and British teachers planted the seed of love for literature.

After Budo Rubadiri joined Makerere University College, where he was between 1952 and 1956, studying for a BA in Literature, History and Geography, and graduating with a first class honours degree in 1955.

After leaving Makerere, Rubadiri joined Bristol University in England, where he studied from 1956, earning a post-graduate diploma in Education and winning the poetry prize.

Soon afterwards he headed back home to Malawi and began work at Dedza Secondary School, a new institution south of Lilongwe, where he was to remain for several years teaching Literature, History and Geography, his majors at Makerere.

Later, between 1960 and 1962, he was at King’s College, Cambridge, where he earned an MA in English Literature.

It was while at Makerere that the budding poet married Gertrude, his first wife. In later years Rubadiri, the quintessential African, was to take a second wife, Janet. A Ugandan nurse of Rwandese origin, she was working at the famous Mulago Hospital, and still lives in Kampala.

A teacher and diplomat

During the 2013 interview, Rubadiri remarked that too many writers of his generation had died, among them his old buddy John Ruganda, Chinua Achebe and Cyprian Ekwensi. Also gone was the Cameroonian Ferdinand Oyono, another writer-diplomat who had been his colleague at the United Nations.

Ironically, Rubadiri had himself been ailing for some years, and was not in the best of shapes. In fact, he had come to Nairobi for treatment, in addition to touching base with his progeny.

At Malawi’s independence in 1964 Rubadiri was appointed his country’s first ambassador to the United States and the United Nations.

However, in 1965 he left the Malawian government and broke ranks with President Kamuzu Banda. He was reappointed to the position soon after Banda’s death in 1997.

On completing his diplomatic tenure, Rubadiri was named vice-chancellor of the University of Malawi in 2000.

Years earlier he went through a life of exile, teaching first in Uganda, then Kenya and Nigeria.

Before his death, Rubadiri was living in quiet retirement on a two-acre plot located five hours by bus from Lilongwe, not far from his ancestral home of Likoma Island, on the northern extremes of Lake Malawi.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

APPRENTICE TIPS : Guidelines to help a new entrepreneur



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulil

As a matter of fact, everybody has got a great business idea – but only a few succeed in turning their reverie into revenue. What’s their secret? So you’ve come up with a brilliant business proposition. What next? Many new ventures fail to get off the ground, not because they’re bad ideas but because the entrepreneur has misjudged the challenge or tried to tackle it in the wrong way. If you’ve got a start-up on the starting blocks, try focusing your mind with these neat guidelines.

Think of something you love doing, and then persuade someone to pay you for it

Passion is the driving force of a business. Your business plan for an online cookery course might be ground-breaking, but it’s unlikely to succeed if you yourself don’t enjoy cooking. It’s not enough to have the expertise and vision: you need the love too.

Take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if you can live with the pressure (as well as the freedom) of being your own boss, the periods of uncertainty, the self-doubt and the potential fluctuations in your income. If it helps, do your best Alan Sugar impersonation and mercilessly savage your own business concept. If you still feel upbeat by the end, you might want to give yourself the job.

Plan it your way: Probably the most overused start-up tip out there is ‘Write a business plan’. Yes, in most cases it’s strongly recommended. You’ll need a thorough grasp of every element of your business, from funding, costs and financial forecasts to your market and the product or service itself, and a business plan is the simplest way to bring these together and see how they interact. Planning is important – but don’t let it become your boss. Do it in the way that makes you feel most in control.

Polish the shop windows

One of the most important parts of a business is the ‘front end’ – the bit that potential customers see. For some businesses their name, logo and visual branding may be worth more to the company than what they actually produce (John Stuart, onetime chairman of Quaker Oats, certainly thought so). Take time to pick the right name, ask for lots of people’s input, and consider the possibility that your idea may not be the best. Major brands have nearly got this badly wrong: Facebook was first called ‘The Facebook’, Google was originally called ‘BackRub’ (backrub it if you don’t believe us), and Amazon was going to be ‘Cadabra’ (until someone pointed out that it could be misheard as ‘cadaver’). Make sure you can secure the necessary URLs too.

You should take a similar level of care over your logos and visual branding. If you do it on the cheap you might appear to save money, but hiring a proper creative agency is a good long-term investment.

Master social media, but don’t be their slave

Potential customers will look for you online, so make sure they can find you and that they like what they find. So have a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed and all the rest of it, but take care that they work for you and not the other way round. Social media can become a full time job and a distraction from the running of your business, and it can also do as much harm as good if you don’t keep a lid on it.

The digital community is very wise to self-marketing and advertising, and will quickly switch you off if all you do is try to sell to them. Rather, use social media to cultivate your company’s personality, adding depth and interest so that people feel as if they know you. Identify the channels most relevant to your business, build up followings and networks slowly, and try to give back as much as you get.

Encourage people to follow you for what they get out of it, and your online market presence should grow organically as a result.

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

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Youth and the quest to make quick money

Self-made billionaire Deogratius Kilawe. PHOTO

Self-made billionaire Deogratius Kilawe. PHOTO I FILE 

By Esther Kibakaya

Throughout our high school years, we often view ourselves as kids who are still dependent on our parents. Then when we graduate to university, that’s when things start to change. There’s this subconscious feeling of adulthood that creeps its way into your brain. We start to have anxieties over how life will be after we graduate.

As for parents, they too view their child, who’s now at the university, as an adult. As such, they expect your role to change from a dependent child to a self-sustaining one – a feat that isn’t always easy to achieve, or one that can be achieved overnight.

Soon after completing college, the pressure to get a job and make money is often high among graduates. The need and desire to improve upon your life is always at a peak. Things like buying a car, renting your own house and at the same time supporting your family are all part of worries that linger once you graduate.

However, despite the effort by the government to create jobs from time to time, most graduates stay far above the age of 34 years before getting their first formal job, while the unemployment rate remains high.

But even for those who manage to get jobs soon after graduating, there is still this desire to make quick money in order to see prompt changes. As the job market goes, first-time entrants don’t usually benefit a high pay-day, this means that the pressure to make huge sums of money remains consistent, whether employed or not.

Those who’ve managed to secure jobs find themselves in a quest for ways through which they can make extra money through the channels that they have, a situation that often times leads to bad results.

Sandra Lameck, 28, a holder of a degree in Banking and Finance, knows too well how it feels to have high expectations of landing a well-paying job after graduating, only to be met with a brutal reality. “While still in college I always had it in mind that I would land a good job at a big financial institution soon after graduating,” she says, adding; “However, it took me nearly three years after graduating before I could land my first job as a loan officer in a small microfinance institution. At first I thought that with my degree, I would be met with plenty of job offers.”

The struggle to find a job made Sandra realise that becoming rich doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that requires hardwork and determination. “I know of some friends who went to college and had the desire to become rich so they resorted to doing things that compromise their dignity.

The situation is far worse for us women because once we have the urge to become successful, there are a lot of temptations that surround us,” she says.

A 2014 integrated Labour Force Survey (ILFS) shows the income from employment based on the level of education, it shows that paid employees with university level of educational have the highest mean monthly income of Sh1,000,626 followed by self-employed with Sh 895,717 and agricultural employees earning the least at Sh458,984.

The paid income groups reveals that, two -thirds which is 67.8 per cent of paid employees earn less than Sh300,000 mean monthly income with females 69.5 per cent having a slightly higher proportion than males 67.1 percent. It is also observed that, less than 5 per cent of paid employees earn mean-monthly income above Sh900,000.

With such a mean monthly income, room for temptations is opened to some young graduates who have the desire to accumulate quick wealth in order to achieve certain things in life.

But according to Deogratius Kilawe, a successful businessman, youth particularly young graduates, who wish to become successful, need to learn step by step the skills they will need to achieve the level of success they desire.

“Yes the pressure can be high, but nothing comes easy in life, we have to learn the right principles of how to be successful. It’s like building a house, we start with the foundation .Unfortunately most people, especially the youth fail to reach their goals because they want to do everything at once. The secret is to stay in focus,” he says.

According to Deogratius, for youth to tackle the pressure to get rich quickly, they also need to sharpen their thinking abilities so that they don’t end up confused. “They need to set targets; this includes learning to wake up early while the world is still asleep. They also need to have the ability to plan what they need to do with their lives well in advance, unfortunately majority of them have let the world and the system plan for them what they are supposed to do.They are forgetting that what worked for one person cannot work for another,” says the self-made billionaire.

Deogratius, who now owns four companies, worked diligently to become a billionaire with his companies’ turnover being Sh2.7 billion annually. Through his companies Mikono Speakers, Focus Outdoor, Excel Management and Outsourcing and Excel Maids, he has managed to employ a total of more than 100 young employees.

With the passion to start his own business, while he was in his second year at Mzumbe University where he was pursuing a degree in Accounting and Finance, in 2008 he came up with an idea to establish a company that will help fill the gap for human resource in Africa as he wanted to transform the public into better human capital that will bring positive change to the economy.

He and three other young people, who later left the company, set up Mikono Speakers from scratch to train staff from various institutions. The company grew and they were able to venture into other countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and USA.

In Tanzania alone Mikono Speakers has trained more than 350,000 people. So far his company has been able to serve more than 27 firms.

He tells the youth, particularly young graduates that nothing is impossible so long as one has the inner will to work hard without feeling ashamed. He says youth need to pick a leaf of inspiration from children; this is because children have the ability to do anything without feeling ashamed.

On his part, Lecturer from University of Dar es Salaam, Faraja Kristomus, says there are a number of reasons that put young graduates under pressure to make quick money.

“The existence of class within our society plays a big role in making young people wish to have the rich kind of life without knowing what it takes to achieve such a life,” explains the lecturer. He also noted that when expectations in life go beyond the reality, it can become a problem.

He went further saying that the issue of peer pressure can also cause a lot of pressure amongst graduates, especially in instances where your former college-mate is doing way better in life than you currently are.

He says community has a responsibility to ensure that they give full parental support to youth starting from primary level up to when they are in college. He further notes that college students need to be given life coaching skills and they also need to learn that hard work pays. Employers also need to give orientation to new employees so that they understand the does and don’ts and what is the expected behavior.

Giving out advice about the best way possible that youth can adopt to make money in a decent way, financial expert Frank Tarimo, says most graduates do not stick to reality when they envision what their lives will look like after graduating. They need to know that things start from the ground up. “They shouldn’t be greedy and want to be successful at quick pace,” he says.

Mohammed Dewji, Owner and President of MeTL Group posted in one of his social media pages that “the biggest mistake I see people making today is wanting INSTANT success, QUICK money, and RAPID fame. It’s not realistic, and it will never keep you happy. You can’t focus when you’re impatient! Remember the saying“What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.”

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Helping youth develop their talent in the film industry

 

By Salome Gregory @TheCitizenTz sgregory@tz.nationmedia.com

Encouraging youth to pursue their dreams helps create a better generation for tomorrow, as such, there have been different initiatives aimed at helping the young generation master their area of expertise.

An excited group of young Tanzanians is filled with smiles after being chosen for the Multichoice Academy Programme next month. The lot will be joined by other youth from Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia in Kenya for enhanced training in the film and television industry.

Speaking to Success, Johnson Mshana, Head of Corporate Affairs MultiChoice Tanzania says, the programme is designed to focus on positively impacting the technical and professional value chain in the film and television industry across the continent.

From Tanzania, 4 candidates were selected based on their industry related qualifications and skills, as well as their passion to narrate Africa’s unique stories. The students are Sarah Kimario, Wilson Nkya, Jamal Kishuli and Jane Moshi, who will represent Tanzania at the Kenya-based academy.

Mshana further states that the four Tanzanian students chosen tallies to a total of 60 students chosen as emerging filmmakers from Africa to begin 12-month training programmes through the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy.

“Candidates were chosen after a two-month long process of short listing candidates from over 3000 entries from 13 countries in Africa. It was later followed by a rigorous interview and adjudication process by a group of film and television industry experts and regional Academy Directors,” says Mshana.

Jamal Kishuli, 23, graduated last year at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) with a degree in Film & Television Studies. He says he saw the training advert at the University and decided to apply for the opportunity.

He further states that he is among first eight students who took a risk to enrol to the newly introduced degree at Udsm to justify their passion for the film industry. He says before he applied for the opportunity he knew he was qualified for it, however he had no idea how good other applicants were.

“I did my internship at the Media for Development International’s (MFID). I had an opportunity to work closely with two film productions namely Fatuma as the Assistant Director and Bahasha as Location Assistant Director. The two films gave me massive experience which came in handy when applying for this opportunity,” says Kishuli.

He adds that through the two films he managed to learn a lot of things from the crew, which included people from different parts of the world who are well experienced in the film industry.

He expresses his anticipation for more exposure in the film industry from the upcoming training as well as learning new things from other students.

Sara Kimario, 25, a student holding a degree in Computer Engineering & IT from Udsm says that she has no background in filmmaking; however, she has been learning a lot about film through YouTube.

She would like to learn more on scriptwriting. Together with two of her friends, they’ve teamed and started a company that deals with film.

“Our company is only three months old; I run the office while the two colleagues are work on content issues. Through sponsorship we’ve managed to do two films called Scream and Moyo Wangu,” says Kimario.

She says by utilising the upcoming opportunity, she hopes to make changes in telling real stories and giving the film industry a back-to-reality touch as most of films have lost the African touch by embracing western cultures.

She says, though her degree is not connected to film, her passion in the film industry will drive her to excellence and enable her to achieve doing things at a high level.

Wilson Nkya, 23, another candidate selected for the programme is a lifestyle blogger and an African-inspired jewellery designer with his brand name WillyHands. He holds a bachelor degree in Logistics and Transport Management from the National Institute of Transport.

Working with the T-shirt& Jeans initiative in the city, he managed to engage with fellow youth by doing live plays.

T-shirt & Jeans is an urban worship youth meeting with unorthodox and unconventional programs. The initiative aims at winning the hearts of young generation back to God as it inspires passionate pursuit of God and his presence at the same time creating a platform for the recognition of the different unique talents and gifts endowed in our generation.

His live play had four episodes and youths at the initiative played a big role in making it happen. It involved a lot of daily life struggles that affect today’s youth.

“This training programme is a very big platform for me. I expect to use this opportunity to enhance my skills on film and get more connections that will upgrade my work to the next level,” says Nkya.

The MTF Academy students will be provided with skill-sets to develop their talent, connect with industry professionals and tell authentic African stories through a comprehensive curriculum comprising theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling.

The award-winning script writer Njoki Muhoho, who will spearhead the East Africa MTF Academy hub in Kenya was recently quoted saying, during the programme, MTF Academy students will produce television and film content that will be aired on our local M-Net channels across the MultiChoice platform including Africa Magic, Maisha Magic East, Maisha Magic Bongo, Zambezi Magic, M-Net and SuperSport to reach African audiences on the DStv and GOtv platforms.

“We’re exceptionally impressed with the calibre of young Africans chosen to be part of the inaugural MultiChoice Talent Factory. Their applications illustrated their passion for the continent – they talk about making African stories go viral and getting international audiences addicted to high-quality and engaging local content,” says Muhoho.

On his part, Mshana says “as a company that is deeply rooted in Tanzania we understand that many young, aspiring filmmakers have the capacity to learn and strengthen their skill-sets to give back to their communities but may not be financially equipped to do so. The Talent Factory focuses on making sure that those gems are nurtured and their talent developed in order to contribute meaningfully to Africa’s creative industry.”

The African continent is steeped in a rich and diverse history of living passionately through language, art, music and colourful storytelling. As the continent continues to change rapidly, the entertainment industry has become ever more relevant. The training factory is an opportunity in this fast-changing environment, one that will have a lasting impact on the industry as a whole.

“This programme which will be rolled out in partnership with stakeholders across the continent, will provide the creative industries a platform to learn and develop their talent, engage and connect with each other through their shared passions,” adds Mshana.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Why local languages are very crucial in learning

 

By Success Reporter

Many native languages across the world are dying at an alarming rate. As a result, all possible efforts must be made to sustain them. According to a United Nations General Assembly paper (fifth session of 2003), “Language is an essential part of, and intrinsically linked to, indigenous peoples’ ways of life, culture and identities.

In countries where English is not the first language, many parents and communities believe their children will get a head-start in education by going ‘straight for English’ and bypassing the home language. However, as Professor Kioko points out, the evidence suggests otherwise.

Many governments, like Burundi recently, are now making English an official national language. Their motivation behind this is to grow their economies and improve the career prospects of their younger generations. Alongside this move, we are seeing a trend, particularly across Sub-Saharan Africa, to introduce English as a medium of instruction in basic education.

However, research findings consistently show that learners benefit from using their home language in education in early grade years (ahead of a late primary transition stage). Yet, many developing countries continue to use other languages for teaching in their schools.

Languages embody many indigenous values and concepts and contain indigenous peoples’ histories and development. They are fundamental markers of indigenous peoples’ distinctiveness and cohesiveness as peoples.”

However, according to this paper, many school going children continue to be taught in languages they neither use nor understand.

Learning in a language the learners are familiar with will make it easier for them to construct their own understanding and look for meaning in their daily experiences, thus reinforcing their unique strengths.

Cultural heritage and knowledge is passed on throughout each generation by language.

In Kenya, the language of instruction is English, and some learners in urban and some cosmopolitan settings speak and understand some English by the time they join school. But learners in the rural areas enter school with only their home language. For these learners, using the mother tongue in early education leads to a better understanding of the curriculum content and to a more positive attitude towards school. There are a number of reasons for this.

First, learning does not begin in school. Learning starts at home in the learners’ home language. Although the start of school is a continuation of this learning, it also presents significant changes in the mode of education. The school system structures and controls the content and delivery of a pre-determined curriculum where previously the child was learning from experience (an experiential learning mode).

On starting school, children find themselves in a new physical environment. The classroom is new, most of the classmates are strangers, the centre of authority (the teacher) is a stranger too. The structured way of learning is also new. If, in addition to these things, there is an abrupt change in the language of interaction, then the situation can get quite complicated. Indeed, it can negatively affect a child’s progress. However, by using the learners’ home language, schools can help children navigate the new environment and bridge their learning at school with the experience they bring from home.

Second, by using the learners’ home language, learners are more likely to engage in the learning process.

The interactive learner-centred approach – recommended by all educationalists – thrives in an environment where learners are sufficiently proficient in the language of instruction. It allows learners to make suggestions, ask questions, answer questions and create and communicate new knowledge with enthusiasm.

It gives learners confidence and helps to affirm their cultural identity. This in turn has a positive impact on the way learners see the relevance of school to their lives.

But when learners start school in a language that is still new to them, it leads to a teacher-centred approach and reinforces passiveness and silence in classrooms. This in turn suppresses young learners’ potential and liberty to express themselves freely. It dulls the enthusiasm of young minds, inhibits their creativity, and makes the learning experience unpleasant. All of which is bound to have a negative effect on learning outcomes.

A crucial learning aim in the early years of education is the development of basic literacy skills: reading, writing and arithmetic. Essentially, the skills of reading and writing come down to the ability to associate the sounds of a language with the letters or symbols used in the written form. These skills build on the foundational and interactional skills of speaking and listening.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Make the most out of that performance review

 

By Desire Mbabaali

The most part of school was usually fun, save for the time when you had to take that report card home. That same feeling goes for many when it comes to performance reviews at work.

“I think today things are a bit better. A few years ago, just the mention of the word appraisal would shake up everyone.

Towards appraisal time, that was when all the reports that had previously been stuck on people’s desks got finished. Everyone was early for work and of course, the whispers and rumours in corridors about who was likely to lose their jobs this year around,” Henry Luboyera, a former public servant says adding: “I think the scariest thing about appraisals was that people used them as weapons of shading others in bad light. Your supervisor would for example use appraisal time to have you sucked if you were at loggerheads with them or if they felt threatened by your potential. Again, they also used to happen after a very long period of time, say once a year.

So, it becomes tricky to assess someone over a long period of time, you couldn’t do a thorough job. However, Nuriat Rehema Nanyonjo, a human resource manager, notes that the working climate and the work place have all together become turbulent in the recent time that employees and employers have to keep progressing with the changes necessitating frequent reviews of the general market environment and employee performance and thus, appraisals have taken another shape for the better.

Though performance reviews are still dreaded by some employees, how can one utilise the benefits they come with and change attitude by looking at the brighter side of performance reviews?

Know your contribution

Frederick Tumushabe, a human resource personnel at a bank, notes that people are employed as part of a bigger team that works together to realise set goals in an organisation and therefore, taking part in performance reviews helps highlight your contribution in the whole team. “Out of experience, we know that there are always those people who try to get lost in the crowd – without really doing their job. Having individual performance reviews, therefore, help employers know who is putting in the real work and who isn’t.

Of course, if you are one who puts in the work, this performance review might be the thing to get you to the next level or get you noticed out of the crowd,” he says.

Know where you are

Among things that performance reviews aim at measuring are your strengths, weaknesses, and ultimately how you can improve or capitalise on these, Tumushabe notes.

“One can, therefore, decide to pursue a passion or even a career in that area where they have built competences over the years. But it is also a good thing for your employer and you to identify where you are best suited and where your skilled can be used to the maximum in the organisation.

Imagine if we went to school but never had to be examined or reviewed, we would perhaps be stuck in the same class for the rest of our lives. It looks like that even with performance reviews, so look at it as something that can propel your career,” he encourages.

Track progress

Conrad Mutiibwa, a career guidance counselor, says since performance reviews are documented, one might be surprised to look back on how far they have come and gauge whether there has been progress in their career. “Not many of us are vigilant in tracking and assessing our own progress, and determining whether we are moving forward or backwards or even taking the right path, so by taking that performance review as seriously as possible, one can use this for their self-assessment. This kind of assessment can help one in determining whether it is time to move onto their next job or they still have a long way to go,” he says.

Motivation

“It might be hard to consider performance reviews as a motivation, but if an organisation takes these reviews as seriously as they are supposed to be taken, then the benefits with both the employer and the employee will be realised,” Mutiibwa says, adding that whereas performance reviews may come with bad news at times, they are often a motivator, especially for employees who are always willing to receive constructive criticism and those who learn from their short falls to better themselves professionally.

Frequent conversations.

Mutiibwa further adds that due to the nature of the work environment, more companies and organisations are moving toward constant conversations and continuous feedback with their employees other than annual or periodical performance reviews. “Managers are encouraging their employees to always talk about their performance and likewise, performance managers are moving on to addressing performance issues of individuals in organisations on a conversational and more frequent basis,” he says.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What does your Team want?

 

By Miranda Naiman

Dear Boss,

I want you to know that I love my job. I believe fervently in the organisational vision. I joined the company to make an honest living for myself doing what I’m truly good at. Did you know I spend an average of 16 hours per week in traffic, commuting to and from the office? I usually have my headphones plugged in so I can catch up on the day’s headlines; listen to a motivational talk or vibe out to calming music and pretend to mediate as I tolerate the inevitable journey. I know I am one of many; and that you have an overwhelming amount of responsibility to maneuver, but in return for the countless hours I dedicate to my work I merely ask for three things:

Know Me: It doesn’t hurt to understand my background; where I grew up, whether I have siblings and my position in the family. You should know whether my parents are still alive or not, and whether I am a parent. I am intrinsically motivated by my own unique fire and I challenge you to understand what drives me. What gets me up every morning, and keeps me focused on the work I do.

Sometimes I come to work carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and fake a smile just to make it through the day; read me and see through the superficial mask I’m wearing to protect myself. See beyond the surface; know my talents and flaws, my mannerisms and gestures – You spend more time with me than my family does, you should know me best.

Grow Me: See potential in me that I can’t recognise in myself and open my eyes to the opportunities that lay before me.

Push me to be the very best version of myself so I can charge forth with valor flying our company flag in the wind. Teach me your craft; share your vision; indulge me with stories from the early days of your career and fill me with the passion of future possibilities.

Take me to meetings; introduce me to your contacts and induct me into your world so I may soak up the wealth of knowledge and experience you possess and squeeze it all out like a sponge. Cajole me out of my comfort zone; for you alone can recognize the delicate balance between failure and magic. Let me try out new projects, rotate around departments – allow me to travel when the opportunity arises and let me lead my peers so I can put on my managerial hat.

Value Me: When all is said and done, it is recognition that keeps me engaged in what I do. Tell me when I exceed expectations so I can celebrate my growth with you. Point me in the right direction when I go off-track so that I can realign myself. Sing my praises to others if you feel it will inspire the rest of the team; a simple ‘pat-on-the-back’ goes miles and will have me bouncing into the office for weeks to come with a permanent smile on my face.

Affirm that everything I do for the company is having an impact and that I matter. Remind me that I am wanted, needed and appreciated as a team member. When the time comes for me to move on, wish me well – stay in touch and continue to be a shining example to me.

To Know me, grow me and value me will have me fully unleashed – an engaged employee with boundless verve – unstoppable in our synchronicity.

Yours faithfully, Me

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Business progress as an entrepreneur



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

When you take a step back and look at entrepreneurship, it becomes apparent that there is no single formula or process for success. In fact, if you try to follow another individual’s game plan, you’ll quickly discover that what works for them likely doesn’t work for you. That’s just the nature of entrepreneurship.

However, in the midst of your own unique process, you can find comfort in the fact that all successful entrepreneurs share similar experiences.

If we look at the launch of a first business like the birth of a newborn, the next phase involves the baby growing into a child, teenager, and ultimately, an adult. Depending on how successful your business is, this growth phase could take one year, five years, or multiple decades. As Bill Carmody (Founder and CEO, Trepoint) says, “Survival is the name of the game at this stage.” While this is certainly true early on, there comes a point where growing also involves a healthy amount of adventure and confidence.

You’ll experience a wide array of emotions during this phase, so be prepared for anything. As you may also be stopped in your tracks in the face of challenges posed by regulations, advances in technology or the overall economy. But a successful entrepreneur is someone who, regardless of the challenge, keeps moving though not always forward.

In this article we will discuss about the growing stage after business launch – and I deemed it to budge in three phases.

Moving on: While many entrepreneurs are happy building a single business and operating it until they retire, other entrepreneurs enjoy the thrill of ideation and growth. These serial entrepreneurs eventually reach a stage where they move on. This comes in the form of selling the business.

Selling your first business can be very emotional, stressful, and scary. It’s like sending a child off to college for the first time. You know that child is still going to be there — and you can visit any time you’d like — but you’re relinquishing control and parting ways.

While this is the ideal scenario, it’s also possible that your business might fail. In this case, you’re forced to move on and don’t have the luxury of a large check to fall back on. This is much more stressful, but requires similar strength to move on.

Losing your business is painful, but it isn’t the end of the world. Give yourself the time and space to grieve your failure but don’t forget that there is still a lot of fight left in you. Bounce back because the world moves on and so must you.

Starting fresh: This entrepreneurial stage may seem familiar in many respects — and that’s because it is. Whether your previous business flopped or you sold it to an investor, now comes the time where you start fresh.

While this will resemble the launch phase you experienced years ago, it will also come with a fresh perspective. You’ve now been on both sides of the business world — working for the man and being the man — and have a better idea of what you’re doing.

When starting fresh, the key is to leverage past experiences while avoiding the mistakes that tripped you up. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, your second, third, or fourth business idea will actually be much more successful than the first.

Mentoring others: Late in your career — once you’ve experienced financial success — you’ll realize that there’s more to entrepreneurship than simply growing a business and making money. You’ll come to the conclusion that helping others achieve their dreams is equally powerful (and, let’s be honest, it can be lucrative in its own right).

At this stage, you’ll begin mentoring others and helping those around you to achieve the skills needed to become successful entrepreneurs themselves. This may look like one-on-one mentoring, speaking, writing books, or even teaching classes. It’ll look different for everyone.

In fact there is no standard formula for what life looks like as an entrepreneur, it’s clear that many enjoy the same experiences and similar paths.

If you’re in the game long enough, it’s quite likely that you’ll go through each of the above entrepreneurial phases at one point or another.

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

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Lessons from Lushoto on special education

 

By Salome Gregory

It is Friday morning at Sinza, in Lushoto District and like any other Friday children with disabilities are not going to school.

Instead, their teachers find time to visit them at home.

The practise is as a result of an effort by Lushoto District to improve education standards for children with disabilities.

Parents and teachers work in partnership to make sure children with disabilities get access to education.

On this particular Friday, two teachers from Irente Rainbow School visited two families to see how the pupils were coping with general knowledge skills at their homes.

Agnes Salumu, is a primary school teacher at Irente Rainbow School. According to her, pupils with disabilities need more of activities to keep them active instead of spending lengthy hours in the classroom.

The home visits help teachers to identify more of their strengths and weaknesses on the general knowledge skills within their own surroundings.

“When we talk about general knowledge skills, we refer to all the activities done at home at a family level as well as checking progress of the pupils at an individual level. We check on their progress with etiquette skills,” says Agnes.

She says, it is important because children with disabilities learn under three phases and not the same as other pupils who learn by changing classes each year. Children with disabilities stay at primary school for more than ten years unlike others who spend only seven years.

‘‘Visiting their home helps both parents and teachers to know which phase a pupil can remain and for how long before they can do some things on their own,” she adds.

In the first family two brothers Steven and Jackson were cleaning their compound under the supervision of their mother, Lucy Mambali. When Steven saw his teachers, he dropped his broom and ran towards them in an elated mood.

Jackson on the other hand invited us into the living room wondering wjether his face was clean.

His mother says, he is a bit reluctant to brush his teeth on most occasions.

The two boys sit quietly next to their mother as the teachers chat with their mother.

She says, her two sons are living with Cerebral Palsy (CP). It is a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.

She says, home visits has helped his two sons to improve in cleaning the house as well as washing the dishes.

Usually when teachers visit her home they have a chat on the pupils progress and discuss how they can cope with other challenges while at school.

“The home visit programme has brought teachers and parents closer to discuss on the better ways to support the teaching and learning process of our children. Currently the two boys are doing a lot of work here and I am very grateful that I took them to school,” says Lucy.

She calls upon other parents and other district authorities to emulate the efforts by Lushoto District to help children with disabilities get access to education.

He r advice to parents is that they should not lock children with disabilities as it denies them their right to education.

Speaking to Success Stephen Shemdoe, the District Special Needs Coordinator says, home visits on Fridays is a government initiative that Lushoto has managed to invest in to provide access and quality education to the needy children.

He says that most children with disabilities do not qualify to do examinations that are set by the government because their curriculum is completely different.

‘‘We are happy that through efforts to support the learning and teaching process for children with disabilities, two pupils with CP from Irente Rainbow School have manage to be intergrated to formal employment,” says Mr Shemdoe.

He says, living with disabilities has got nothing to do with being denied opportunities as long as the pupils are well prepared from the beginning at both family as well as at school level.

According to him Lushoto District is working closely with schools that have special classes and they are making efforts to identify more children in rural areas and see how they can be enrolled at schools with special classes for children with disabilities.

At the second family Rauf Mohammed, 17, and her mother Sadia Hassan washing clothes. Raufu has therapy complications which affects his ability to learn.

Raufu is among other pupils who are visited every Friday.

For some reason he finds it pleasant to listen to people to the extent that he can’t stop smiling. Raufu helps his mother with washing and fetching water.

“Though my son cannot talk well but he washes clothes and fetches water while at home. He knows he has to wash clothes every Friday. When he wakes up he collects dirty clothes and starts washing without waiting to be told,” she says.

She has accepted the fact that he cannot sit for the national examinations as they only learn in phases but she is grateful that his son can manage to take care of other duties just like any other child .

Yassin Shehagilo is the Head Teacher at Rainbow School. He says, at his school which was only meant to cater for children with disabilities they have projects that help pupils to learn more of the things that will equip them with life skills.

He says the school teaches poultry, carpentry, tailoring as well as gardening.

The school has enough facilities to support teaching and learning materials, however, with the home visit programme is a bit challenging as some pupils live very far that teachers cannot afford to visit them every Friday.

He says, since some homes are not easily accessible to teachers are forced to visit homes which are easily reachable. He calls upon well wishers to support the programme by checking on the means of how pupils can be easily reached by teachers.

“Since it is home visit, teachers dealing with children with disabilities do not come to school on Fridays. This helps them identify other challenges from home and advise parents on how to go about the challenges,” says Shehagilo.

Lushoto District Education Director Mr Adeladueus Kazimbaya Makwega says they have 8 primary schools that are dealing with children with disabilities. He mentioned the school as Rainbow, Irente, Handei, Lwandai, Shukilai, Mkuzi, Mbula and Kitopeni.

He says, his office is aware of the challenges that affect learning and teaching of children with disabilities and it is working closely with the schools by going extra mile to support some pupils by giving money that helps the schools with either food or medication.

He also extended his sincere gratitude to the Lutheran Church in Lushoto for being in the fore front to work together with the government to make sure children are learning despite their conditions.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Students recycling plastic for innovation

 

By Dorcus Murungi

Often they say our teaching is more theoretical than practical, which has crippled the drive for innovation in the country. Yet when people talk about innovation, majority think about computer-related applications?

And students of Nabisunsa Girls School are driving innovation through recycling plastics to save the environment.

The Agriculture class is using the recycled plastics for backyard gardening. A visit to their school will reveal their school compound has several backyard gardens and greenhouses designed from plastic containers and motor vehicle tyres.

According to Nusura Nambasa, the Agriculture teacher at Nabisunsa, the students collect all disposed of plastics in the school and use them during their practical lessons in urban gardening.

“Our students have hands-on experience which is making learning easy. They collect these plastics and use them to erect green houses,” she says.

Nambasa explains that these structures are not only used for study purposes but also help preserve the environment.

“Everyday tonnes of plastics are disposed of inappropriately, this not only gives us a poor drainage system but also greatly affects our climate. however, if students are taught how to recycle them in more creative ways, then our pollution problems will be minimal in the next few years,” she says. Asked how they acquired this knowledge, Nambasa says they were taught by an ECO action team from Banda Village.

Solving unemployment

According to Dr Grace Lubaale of Kyambogo University, if students are taught how to innovate using simple means, the problem of unemployment among the youth will be solved.

He notes that the adoption and exploration of innovative ideas in education is still a challenge that schools need to address.

“Instead of many educators clinging to old and increasingly ineffective methods of teaching, it is better to use innovative teaching methods. This will help to produce a type of students that think outside the box, who can use what is available to bring about something new,” he says.

According to Nambasa, giving students the opportunity to innovate makes learning interesting and engaging.

“When students embrace innovation in their learning process, it reduces the need for textbooks and other printed material, lowering long-term costs incurred by schools and students,” she explains.

“The amount of rubbish we create is constantly increasing because we have no proper disposal policy and if all our students are trained on how to manage this waste, they can extend the knowledge to the bigger communities,” says Reagan Kandole of Eco action village, Banda.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Conquer greater competitive edge through social media



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Landou Bulili

It is crucial for the business to be present on social media networks because this leads to better business credibility and improved brand recall in the minds of targeted customer slices. Based on this annotation, businesses need to get social media right.

Nonetheless, businesses consistently failed to notice that, a Like/Following social media Wall does not lead to advocacy or engagement. Consumers are inconsistent-minded, have lots of choices, constantlyunfocussed, and unless your restaurant cooks the best creamy pasta in the world, chances of them liking your Facebook or twitter posts in big numbers are low.

But there’s no need to bediscouraged, just take this as a timely reminder for you to get serious about your customer service and invest in ways to get your customers to like you more. Be so good that people can be happy with you and continually will recommendyou, and obviously, they will keep coming back to you!  This is really the easiest way to get more likes on social pages while also steadily growing your customer base. Honestly, it is a grave blunder to get too engrossedin the ‘Like’ Game. Just a quick one…! As a business owner, how many companies, in your industry only, do you personally like and how many have you formally given a thumbs-up on their Facebook or twitter Wall?

Let me remind you two ways in which you can spread awareness about your social media presence among your customers. Firstly, link to your social media pages via your website and newsletters. Yes, you will need to be sending out newsletters for this purpose. And secondly, promote entertaining and helpful content via your social media presence. In fact, these two are the fundamentals. Anything else is just tactics.

Of all tactics - again, I urge you to predominantly support your product/service with excellent customer service. Of course, it matters what you sell buddy!!!But equally important is how you sell it.

Do you do it with patience, consistence, enthusiasm, and consideration for your customers? Or do you do it just because you have to, bracing yourself each morning for dealing with insufferable people ceaseless in their demands and relentless in their criticism?

It doesn’t take a lot to figure out that the former is a reliably better strategy of entertaining people. Hire your customer service people with great care. You want them to be calm, articulate, and skilled at interpersonal dealings.

They should be able to measure the sentimentalities of the customers they are handling. They should love to talk to people and help them out. These are all very important criteria. Short-tempered or indifferent people, no matter how skilled, should be nowhere near dealing with customers; bad customer service can ruin a good product.

In its place, please! Please, deal with all customer queries promptly and politely, whether on the phone, via email, or in person. This means, if you mess up at any point, apologize quickly and offer to set things right. Such simple strategy, right!!!

Buddy, Never ever ignore a customer!! That’s the fastest way of losing them and creating bad business ambiance. Customers whom you ignore may find you on social media and post uncomfortable questions on your FacebookWall, running away from which will be practically impossible and this would cause considerable harm to your credibility. Your best bet is not to let things come to such a regretful pass.

In many findings social media has been renowned among the best ways of presenting how businesses handle their customers.It is a great platform for you, as business owner to showcase your customer service and reap all-round praise. I could say, the payoff here is huge. But things can get tricky here because ofthe real time nature of conversations and thousands of potential customers lurking in the background. More importantly, respond on time to any query, do not keep your customers waiting. Engage your followers in lively discussions by posting relevant content, preferably produced by you, or encouraging them to share their experiences with you. Accept customer feedback gracefully. Be proactive than reactive. Offer to help out your customers in any which way you can. Ask them what they like the most about your business. Keep them up-to-date about new developments at your end. Customers need to know they are being valued, and the above will show them you care.

My friend! The more people think you care for them, the more they will like you.

If you want to getmore likes on social media from customers, itrequires a holistic approach on your part. If you want more people to be attracted and become loyal customers, you will have to make excellent customer service a priority. You’ll have to hire the best people that you can find, and master the strategies that are guaranteed to win you a bigger fan base and consequentially a greater competitive advantage!

Julius Landou Bulili – M.Sc. (Economics & Econometrics); CPM, S.A.| SME Coach |Email: lucbulili@yahoo.com

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

How do you prepare for that dream interview?

 

By Miranda Naiman

I recently received a call from a company that I applied to. However, I am finding it difficult to tell my current employer that I have got interviews to attend. How do I get time off to attend an interview?

This is a tricky scenario that needs to be handled with care and maturity.

First, I would like to congratulate you on landing an interview with prospects of a better job in the offing.

Assuming that you have adequately prepared and done your research with regards to the role and organisation, I would suggest you confirm how long the interview will take and countercheck the location.

Once you are armed with this information then you can request for an interview slot during your lunch break, or before/after work. Some potential employers may be willing to interview you over the weekend in certain special cases.

If none of these options are feasible, I would suggest you take a day off from your current employer, and utilise it fully to prepare and attend your interview without putting yourself under unwarranted pressure.

I recently attended an interview and felt really interrogated. The interviewer kept trying to find out why I left my previous employer. To prevent this in the future, could you please advise me on how to go about such questions that relate to leaving your former workplace?

This is a frequent question that you will encounter in most first-round interview and a very legitimate one.

A potential employer has the right to understand why you would want to leave your place of work as it gives them an insight into your core motivation and ability to problem-solve.

Rule number One, never talk negatively about your current employer (even if the situation is dire) – be honest without incriminating yourself.

Tell them that your growth path is limited, or that you would like to transfer your skill set to a different sector/industry.

Talk about your interest in your potential employer (interviewer) and pick out two or three things that entice you about working with them (for example, market share, training opportunities, or a senior leader who could become a potential mentor).

In short, be prepared to give answers to this question as it always comes up during an interview.

Can you provide tips on what to say when you are asked about your salary expectations during an interview?

From my experience in recruitment, a candidate can usually expect an increment of between 20 and 50 per cent from their current salary.

Anything beyond this will make you come across as ‘greedy’ or overly-ambitious. Share your current package (don’t forget to detail any perks/benefits that you are currently eligible for), most employers will use your current salary as a starting point.

Create a personal budget, be clear on what you need to be comfortable in your budget and mark this up by say 20 per cent.

When asked why you expect an increment, explain that taking on a new role and adjusting to a new environment comes at a risk; also explain that you have personal financial goals that you would like to realise.

Something else to note is that candidates move jobs for a variety of reasons.

I once met a candidate who took on a job with one of our clients for less than what he was previously earning simply because the new employer was closer to home, therefore, allowing the candidate to spend less time in traffic.

Before that she was spending almost four hours per day on the road commuting to and from work, something that left her family life shattered as a result.

Think outside the box, and really ask yourself why you are contemplating a job-move in the first place.

This will help you make rational decisions on the impending movement otherwise you would be moving for all the wrong reasons.

Miranda is the Founder & Managing Director of Empower Limited; Email: AskMiranda@empower.co.tz

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Seeding first move advantage as you edge out your competitors

 

By Allan Kajimbwa

Seeming better than others can sometimes be dangerous, but more dangerous of all is standing out to have a competitive edge in a competitive world of opportunities. When you demonstrate yourself to the world and exhibit your potential, you naturally stir envy, resentment and other manifestation of insecurity to the competitors.

Not everyone cherishes competition and especially when you are their main competitor. But this isn’t your focus regardless you’re out pacing them. You want what’s best for yourself, start-up or business. Henceforth, your focus is to continue growing, been better, competitive and out smarting those who can’t strengthen their competitive edge in that field.

And so, with the changes in patterns of technology in business, skills required, market demands, and opportunities that comes with competition, mitigating a first move advantage is important. It doesn’t matter what field you’re in.

Be it, agriculture or HR, unemployed or a start-up, a student or a job seeker but for as long as your aim is to stand out and lead the way, do take notes.

Investors, employers and funders all over the world are seeking for start-ups, employees and even businesses which can stand out different, competent and are visionary goal-oriented to do justice in the field of winning opportunities. Then why not be the job seeker, start-up or business with the qualified qualities to win it big. It’s through been prepared to step into that opportunity with the right type of resources or skills for you to obtain a competitive advantage over others.

Being able to see the opportunity, seeding a mentality of having first move advantage and realizing the advantage is the key to success to pioneering first mover advantage. Then, mastering and learning more skills, and being able to combine them in creative ways is the bridge to winning big a first move advantage.

For the world is changing, and with technology and innovation sparkling everywhere, so is unemployment, competition and demand for new game changing products and skills. So where do you want to stand as opportunities knock? As a First Mover or Last Mover?

Writer; Allan Kajimbwa Email: Allankajimbwa@gmail.com

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

When they have to go to a new school

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

When Neema Timothy’s daughter was shifted to another school , her academic performance dropped drastically.

The change of environmemnt had affected her, every thing was new to her, from the teachers to the neighbourhood.

Neema, who currently resides in Tabata, surbub in Dar es Salaam, was to transfer her daughter to another school after the family moved to a new house.

“We were shifting and so we decided to look for a nearby school, my child was always top of her class but when I transferred her to another school, she dropped from position one to three,” she says.

“She studied at the second school for a year and we shifted her to the third school because we wanted her to have better performance. We thought that it might add some value,” explains Neema who is also a lecturer at Tumaini University.

However, she says despite her daughter’s impressive performance since she was transferred from the first school, she has never been position one.

Neema feels that changing schools could have affected her child’s performance. “I think changing the school environment really affected her class performance,” she says.

Educationists are of the view that changing schools can affect social and emotional experience for pupils and students, as they have to deal with not just a change in their school environment but it also affect their social network of friends from previous school as well.

The same way change affects grown up people children are also affected. This always happens when parents change jobs, it forces them to shift their children too.

However, for others, the change of school can be a motivating factor for improvement in case there is a stiff academic competition among pupils in the new school.

It is very likely that most parents would not take note of the improvement as it takes time for a pupil to adjust to a certain environment.

Some parents also have the feeling that the first teacher would be able to do thorough follow up compared to a new teacher in another school. Despite not accepting the blames, most teachers say such lack of close follow up could be due to overcrowding in classes.

Michael Mwakilasa, a parent, says when a student is attending school, most of the time gets comfortable with the environment especially, with classmates, schoolmates and the teachers as well.

“Transferring student to another may affect his/her performance because he/she has to start getting used to the new environment before he/she starts performing at his/her best,” he argues, saying on rare occasions, when the student has a jovial personality it’s easy for him/her to adjust quickly.

“For example, my two sons used to go to the same school, one was in Grade 5 and another in Grade 3. I moved them to another school. It took the youngest one a bit longer to adjust and cope with the new school environment. From getting used to new teachers to making new friends in class and transportation to and from school. On the other hand, his brother quickly coped with the changes despite a drop in performance,” he says

“If I had to do it all over again, I would have done more research, finding out everything about the intended new school, including academic performance of the school they would be shifting. I think this is what parents are supposed to do,” he says.

A Senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam John Mwakyusa, agrees that moving students from one school to another affects students’ performance negatively.

“When a student is moved to a new school he/she needs time to adjust to the new environment, readjustment takes time and by the time she/he settles other students will be miles ahead. The trigger to transfer students is mostly from students themselves, from their friends or from parents,” he notes

“It is thus important that parents do thorough research before enrolling their children to a particular school. Parents need to collaborate with school management to monitor and address challenging issues affecting children. There is need to be open communication between the two parties for the betterment of the child,” he adds.

He advices that students should have their rights without compromising their moral, physical, mental and spiritual growth. Students can be transferred from one school to another for justified reasons such as health reasons, change of school management for the worse or when parents are required to relocate to another region or country.

Recalling his good old days in school, Dotto Mnyadi says for three years he enjoyed the company of his friends. “From standard one, we were all strangers and we learned to live under one roof. I never thought one day this company will be disbanded. We lived in rented house, one room and sitting room, we were four children with our maternal sister. Clearly my father had another plan to relocate to a more decent house. He had built his house and we were obliged to relocate,” he says.

“I never wanted to leave my old friends, we were doing quite so well for ourselves. My brother did not handle it, the minute we got transfer his performance dropped drastically. I was luck to make some new smart friends, and to blend in I had to prove to them that I was also smart. My bet was to be among the top 10 in overall results. My brother, however, lost to his football crew, he could not blend very well and studies become a challenge to cope,” recalls Dotto.

“Students get some difficulties in syllabus coverage, this may happen when the new student finds his fellow students are far in coverage of syllabus in different subjects so the new student would have to work very hard in order to update his notes and he should have to consult teachers for remedial classes. Additionally, students who transfer to another school take long to learn new school rules and regulations and to make new friends, all these may affect their academic performance,” he comments.

Machella says sometimes new students are exposed to new learning facilities which were not present in their former school therefore students would need extra time to be instructed on how to make use of the facilities.

Another teacher from Atlas School in Madale Reinhard Bonnke agrees with Machella that different schools have different syllabus coverage hence different time lines.

In most cases, the choice of which school a student should study is entirely the parent’s decision. Those studying in government schools sometimes don’t enjoy this privilege due to several reasons. On the other hand, the number of privately owned schools in the country has currently increased rapidly and this raises a challenging question: Which is the best school to enrol your children?

A Royal Elite School teacher Mathew Levy says parents have got themselves in the mid of this controversy and they keep on shifting their children from school to school in quest for quality education.

“Shifting students from one school to another may be as bad as it can be good for all the parties. In most cases, it is the students who fall victim of such decisions made by their parents. If a proper analysis and choice of a good school is not done, the students end up facing a lot of challenges in their new school.

For instance, it takes several days, weeks or even months for a student to get along with the environment and the teachers in the new school,” he adds.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Digital evolution now creating more career choices

 

By Gladys Mbwiga @gladysmbwiga news@tz.nationmedia.com

The evolution of the digital world that has brought with it many changes in the communication and information world is opening doors to what would have seemed impossible 10 years ago.

The most impressive thing is the jobs that are now being created giving opportunity to youth to access employment.

This in the process has reduced the unemployment rate across the world as well as bringing about the desired social and economic impact.

Digital evolution has opened opportunities for consultation agencies, advertising agencies, Software Companies, mobile app and many others.

Speaking to Success, George John who is the co-founder of a startup tech known as ‘Dalali App’ says the digital evolution has given opportunity to innovative individuals to create projects which have created both temporary and permanent jobs.

George who majored in Computer Science is currently employed but together with a group of friends came up with the idea of the App which is something that he does as a side job to make ends meet. “Although it is something extra but there are people who have been able to develop a career out of the project that we have created and are able to earn a living for themselves,” says George.

According to George the App brings together individual who are either selling, buying or renting properties together with Real estate agents. Agents are required to register and upload anything they have available in the market and post them on the app, and an individual who hasn’t found what they are looking for can also place their orders.

This platform has opened opportunity a formal platform for them to be able to reach more people in short period, this has also established a career for most who were used to doing things informally”.

Reuben Mbwiga is the chairperson for ‘Dalali App’, he says the reason why he joined digital platform is because it provides opportunity for solution technology.

“Digital evolution provide easy solution for problems and can reach a wide range of people in only a short period of time, example in education, health or real estate at the same time building career for those in charge,” he said.

Reuben who is responsible for all the long term decisions for the startup said the digital evolution has established career grounds for different fields.

According to him for a digital evolution to even be possible there are different skills that are required to create careers in the field.

He believes digital evolution has opened opportunity for data scientist because they are the ones making the revolution possible.

“This group in the digital world are responsible for taking care of how much data is used, how is the data used and how much data is required, without the necessary data then the problem in question won’t be solved,” he said.

Reuben says both digital or technical engineers are now required more than ever before.

“These individuals are responsible for all the designs, hardware and software creation,” he says.

“Another career that has blossomed are researchers. Researchers make it possible for the data collected to be translated and also play an important role in collection of data,” he explains.

Marketing according to him is a key factor especially after the creation because the world has to know that the app exists.

Lilian Madeje the Co-founder of ‘Niajiri App’ the digital revolution has enabled her to start something which will help build and provide career opportunities as well as provide competitive candidates to companies. “I believe through the Niajiri App I will be able to bring changes in the world of employment in the country and I believe through digital evolution I will be able to reach a lot of youth and companies within a short period,” says Madeje.

Niajiri App provides placements for young people especially graduates by connecting them with companies who later introduce them to the graduate trainee or internship program. Madeje says the digital evolution in my case will not only help me establish my career but also the career of thousands of youth who will get an opportunity to be paced with different companies to begin their career journey”.

Janet Mwalemba an IT Specialist from Mbeya who believes digital evolution is a revolution, stating that in this era of digital transformation the opportunities created have fueled the growth of the economy.

“Digital revolution have significant impact on both the economy and society. It plays a great role towards economic growth, job creation, increased productivity, and have significant impact on inclusion and poverty reduction,” says Mwalemba.

According to her the building block toward achieving digital transformation is through availability of affordable broadband internet as well as capable individuals.

Explaining on how Tanzania catching up with the evolution of the digital world the University of Dar es Salaam Computing Centre (UCC) Branch Manager Mr Athuman Hamis said the country still has a long way to go.

According to him still there still people who do not have access to means that will allow them to use the technology and there are some who have access but lack the knowledge on how to use it.

“There are people who are very innovative and have creative ideas that can contribute a lot towards the digital evolution but it happens that most lack the knowledge on where to start or who they should consult in order to be able to work on their ideas,” said Mr Hamis.

Mr Hamis states that more emphasis should be promoted on the opportunity that are available and how digital evolution makes it easy for people to obtain certain information for more people to look at it breakthrough and not something that is only done by a few.

Speaking on how job have been created through the evolution Mr hamis said so far has created chances which without them a great number would have been in the list of unemployed.

“For the evolution process to even be possible there a number of people behind who makes everything possible, there individual who have obtained careers out of the digital system and something which was not there 10 or 20 years ago,” he said.

Furthermore Mr Hamis added that because of the emerging of digital evolution that is institution and centers such as UCC are available so as to provide knowledge to individual who will be able to create software, web programmers as well as people who will be responsible for maintenance.

“Us at UCC we are all here because of the digital evolution, it has enabled us to create career for our self and we are also using our knowledge to create careers for the younger generation all which would not have been possible without the digital evolution,” he said

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I have always wanted to serve as a missionary

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

On December 27, last year at the staff worship service in Severance Hospital in South Korea, Dr Seung Kon Huh, Professor Emeritus of Yonsei University College of Medicine, was appointed as Dr Avison Missionary Professor in Africa, particularly in Tanzania.

Dr Avison Missionary Professors are sent by Severance Hospital Mission Centre to foreign mission fields. They work in the local hospitals with local doctors, assisting them in the area of education, research, and patient treatment as well as doing other mission activities.

In the past, four emeritus professors were sent to Mongolia. But this time, Dr Huh is the first Dr Avison Missionary Professor to be sent to Africa by Severance Hospital. It hadn’t even been a year since his retirement from Severance Hospital, which is affiliated to Yonsei University College of Medicine, when Dr Huh embarked on his new journey to Tanzania on January 2, 2018.

Despite struggling for almost seven months to get work and residence permits for long term stay in Tanzania, Dr Huh did not turn down an invitation by Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) to come to Tanzania to offer his expertise in treating patients, performing surgeries, teaching medical students as well as evangelising in the community.

Coming all the way from South Korea to work in Tanzania was a dream comes true for Dr Huh. “I have been waiting for this moment since the day I graduated from medical school,” says Dr Huh, who is the first Dr Avison Missionary Professor for Tanzania.

“I am following my vision I’ve had for almost forty years. I have been dreaming of becoming a medical missionary so that I can share what I know as a doctor with those in need,” adds Dr Huh, who is a neurosurgeon.

It is very lucky that the state-of-art hospital opened in November 2017 with a 600-bed capacity has one of the world’s best Neurosurgeons. “What is more important than having good facilities is the medical staff,” says Dr Huh at currently serving at the MUHAS Academic Medical Center (MAMC), the high tech medical facility, which South Korean government funded its construction at the tune of $76m.

In the past, all four missionaries from Dr Avison Missionary Professor served in Mongolia. Dr Huh has been preparing himself to be a missionary with his wife, Young, for years. Before making a final decision to serve in the country, Dr Huh and his wife visited many countries including Tanzania.

“We went on a mission trip to several countries in Africa and Southeast Asia during my sabbatical,” he says. Dr Huh and his wife also visited Angola and he played a great role in helping those in need of medical services. He performed the first aneurysm clipping in Angola.

While in Cambodia, he operated on a patient with aneurysm at a Preah Kosamak National Hospital. He also played a vital role in extending invitation to young neurosurgeons from Africa and Southeast Asia to South Korea and trained them for several months.

Dr Huh and Young finally chose Tanzania as their mission field. Not only Tanzania seemed to be the perfect place for Dr.Huh’s vision, but also the relationships he developed with over forty Tanzanian doctors who were receiving training at Severance Hospital under the sponsorship of Lee Jong-Wook Fellowship Program moved his heart towards Tanzania.

“I am excited and so thankful that God provided this opportunity and gave me good health to follow my dream. I do know that I have great responsibility as a medical doctor and professor.”

Many of his colleagues and co-workers showed their support by raising fund for his missions. Dr Huh hopes that people will remember and keep praying for him and his wife as they do their mission work.

“Please pray that I will save people’s lives by healing them as apart from offering medical treatment, I will have the opportunities to share the Gospel with them,” he says. Dr Huh hopes that the success of his mission to Tanzania will serve as an inspirational factor and put him as a role model for many doctors in South Korea. “I’m optimistic that they will be encouraged to embark on similar missions and hopeful there will be many more medical missionaries in the future,” he says.

Dr Huh says his mission will focus on the settling down of MAMC and training young doctors in neurosurgery. “Although vital special medical instrument for cerebrovascular surgery have not yet been fully installed at MAMC, my ambition to set up the Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery at the hospital is still in place,” he says.

Outside of the hospital, Dr Huh will be working together with a Korean NGO, Global Together, for youth soccer teams in Kibaha and Mlandizi.

ers at the area for their medical needs. He will also work with the Tanzania Korean Church as part of his missions to have worship services for the staff, patients, and their families.

The shortage of human resource supporting him is also one of among myriad of challenges. “I have been assisted by orthopedic doctors. I cannot start performing major surgery as I planned. Currently, we are installing special equipment donated from Korea as we are waiting for recruitment of general doctors who will be supporting me,” he says.

“I think there are about 15 neurosurgeons in the country with less than 5 who are residents. I think most of them are working at Muhimbili Orthopedic Institute (MOI) and may be in other well established medical facilities. I’m afraid that it would be very difficult to get their support every time you need,” he adds.

“I have been waiting for their joining since last January. I cannot perform major craniotomy. My dream is to establish East African Microneurosrgery education center. More than 10 million usd is needed for that including for setting up of angiography unit. I am trying to find supporters for that but not easy. I am praying and praying for that. God will make my 40 year dream come true,” he notes .

Having been worked in the health sector for so long, Prof Huh says experience he had shared with doctors and patients in several countries he visited had left him with good memories of education and surgical care for most critical patients. “Saving people’s lives is the most precious thing as a doctor,” he says.

“MAMC is best place to be and I’m optimistic that it would become the centre of excellence in East African region. It is a place for educating and developing cerebrovascular surgery skills for the young neurosurgeons in East African countries. It would make me more proud if I would be part of medical professionals who had contributed towards realization of MAMC dream,” he adds.

According to him, establishing resident training system at MAMC would play a great role in bridging the shortage of medical personnel. “In Korea for instance, there are more than 2000 neurosurgeons in South Korea,” he notes.

“Tanzania and Korea have almost same number of general population. Resident training program should be separated from the master program. I hope MUHAS and Yonsei University (YUHS) already have close relationship for exchange scholarship program,” he adds.

Dr Huh says what would make him more happy is to see more young Tanzanian doctors explore training opportunity in South Korea and come back home to help people in deed of medical services.

“I will find several young doctors and give them the chance to study in YUHS. Dr. Issac Rugemalila, a gynecologist will have the first chance to studying endoscopic gynecological surgery. One or two medical student will have chance to study at YUHS for one month every year,” he says.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Entrepreneurs still have some sleepless nights



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

It is a fact that many entrepreneurs do experience many of the sleepless nights linked to their businesses that they run on daily bases. A number of researchers have found that entrepreneurs admit a number of things that keep them up at night.

Predominantly, entrepreneurs and small business owners say they are worried about how they will generate new sales. On top of that, they also say they worry about expenses eating into their profits, time management and managing their employees. Additionally, they also admit worrying about keeping their existing customers happy, not growing fast enough and finding the right and reliable employees. As if it is not enough other things commonly mentioned are: cash flow issues making them toss and turn in their sleep, contracts being negotiated, not spending enough time with their family and the list goes on.

In the face of the above narrated worries, Mid-Year Survey conducted by PEX Card in 2013 depicted that nearly half of the businesses surveyed say they are doing better than they expected at the start of the year. Thirty-eight percent of business owners say they are performing as expected, while 13 percent of business owners say they are doing worse than expected.

It further showed that most of the small business owners and entrepreneurs responded in a bit of anxiety that they would prefer to see their businesses grow more quickly and at rapidity pace of which in most cases was not happening.

Truth be told, running a small business is no easy gig and with the increasing number of people willing to try their hand thanks to the advent of technology, it is only getting harder.

In today’s busy society, there’s an increasing need to work beyond the traditional nine to five. For small business owners and entrepreneurs in particular, the lines between work and personal hours blur even further. In this context, the most imperative question to ponder up till then is, how these busy people can help themselves deal with the daily stress and grind so that they can eventually fall asleep.

If you do need to work at night, try ending on a positive note. By leaving one simple task to the end, you can check something off your to-do list right before bed. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and gives your mind closure as you turn in. This is rather a positive decision in dealing with the associated challenges of your business, tackle things bit-by-bit.

The worst thing you can do is operating in denial, or putting challenges in the too hard basket. The underlying worry will still be there and of course the problem may get worse over time, increasing stress. It is critical and important to deal with things as they are, not as you wish them to be. Being logical rather than emotional also helps. Ask yourself great coaching questions like what can I reasonably control? What are the steps I can put in place to mitigate potential challenges? What is the worst thing that could happen and can I deal with that? Etcetera-etcetera.

It is relatively crucial talking when a problem emerges as this is the best way to deal with issues, because if you let them drag on, they will cause more stress. It is a neuro-scientific proof that, we tend to not make great decisions under stress, so identifying your triggers for stress and acting at that stage is important.

It is also an accepted business strategy that you seek professional support to assist you in working through those above mentioned business challenges (common stresses of an entrepreneur). Sleeping can be just as important as having a strategy. The days of glamorizing the stressed-out, overworked entrepreneurial lifestyle are as passé as the dot-com bubble’s bursting.

By Email: lucbulili@yahoo.com or jullybulili@gmail.com

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Knowledge is power

 

By Miranda Naiman

If knowledge is power, and books are readily available to the vast majority of us; why do we read so little? In my humble opinion, our negative (and lazy) attitude towards reading – and I’m generalising on a national scale – can be considered a significant reason that we lag on the development index.

Many lack access to books and libraries – sitting on the Board of READ International, I know firsthand the great work being done by the team to spread the joy of reading by building libraries in local schools across Tanzania. However, providing access to books only solves half the problem; our attitude towards reading constitutes the other. There are countless benefits to reading more which I will duly list shortly; yet the most powerful component remains our attitude which in turn affects reading behaviour.

As a teen, I used to be envious of bookworms – their nose firmly lodged in a book – this certainly wasn’t me. If anything, reading used to feel like a punishment when our English Literature teacher would give us the list of books we were required to read each term. Our parents used to urge my siblings and I to read more; we were coerced, cajoled and even forced (where necessary) but in honesty, we still read the bare minimum.

It all comes full circle; I understand their apprehension when dealing with my 10-year-old son – seems I haven’t produced a bookworm either – as frustrating as it feels for the parent, I completely understand his perspective. Want to know one crucial habit of ultrasuccessful people have in common? They read a lot. Warren Buffet was once asked about the key to success; he allegedly pointed to a stack of nearby books. Here’s how reading more can transform our lives for the better (mine included!)

Boost Knowledge – The purpose of reading is to connect the ideas on the page to what you already know. If you don’t know anything about a subject, then pouring words of text into your mind is like pouring water into your hand.

There are no limits to what you can explore through books. Those that read have higher GPA’s, higher intelligence, and general knowledge than those that don’t.

Mental Stimulation – Just like going for a jog exercises your cardiovascular system, reading regularly improves memory function by giving your brain a good work out.

The brain-stimulating activities from reading have even shown to slow down cognitive decline in old age with people.

Stress Reduction – Reading is the best way to relax and according to new research, as little as six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds.

Improved Critical Thinking - Through reading, you expose yourself to new ideas, information, and alternative ways of solving problems.

Reading also increases the understanding of the rules of life, impelling you to adapt, adopt and accommodate into society better.

Gain Experience from others – There is a mountain of gems for you to discover in books, which contain people’s successes, failures and advice. Life is too short for you to keep repeating the mistakes that have been done by others in the past – gain counsel and potentially dodge bullets!

Boost Imagination & Creativity - Reading exposes you to a world of imagination, showing you nothing is impossible in this world.

The process of reading can be likened to a vastspider web; linking current and new knowledge that in turn allows you to find new solutions to your challenges.

Better Writing Skills - There are two things that writers recommend to others who want to improve: more writing, and reading. More writing is an obvious one, since practice makes perfect yet writing in a vacuum won’t do us much good.

Reading exposes us to other styles, voices, forms and genres of writing.

Self-Improvement – Through reading, you create a structured path towards an enhanced understanding of self and the ability to make better decisions when faced with all life has to offer.

Let’s all set a personal reading target (and stick to it!) – if not for the reasons above, then just simply we can’t afford not to keep growing. Mental stagnation is a silent killer.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The story of boys who overcame disabilities

Left: Two siblings with cerebral palsy Ally and

Left: Two siblings with cerebral palsy Ally and Abdallah with their father Mohammed Baweni at their home in Lushoto. Right: A woman helps her child on to a motorcycle (boda boda) PHOTO I SALOME GREGORY 

By Salome Gregory

Living with any form of disabilities is in many cases considered as a condemnation to lifelong misery.

From the unfriendly infrastructure, stigma to unjustifieable myths are some of the things that hold back people with disabilities from failing to realise their dreams.

Though a recurring story which has been told very many times, to Abdallah Baweni, 25, and Theofan Remmy,23, residents of Lushoto District, the case has been different.

They both have Cerebral Palsy (CP), and against all odds they managed to go to school and are now employed and supporting their families.

This was all made possible through their tireless parents and teachers at Irente Rainbow School, which was established in 2005 by the Lutheran Church in Tanzania Diakonia Diocese.

The school is dedicated to teaching children and young adults with disabilities.

They do not only teach all subjects but also basic home skills.

Abdallah is the first pupil from Irente to be formally employed.

He was first appointed at Irente Biodiversity Reserve in April 2014, after six months he was confirmed as an employee.

His job is to take care of the environment by keeping the lawn well trimmed and tidy.

Abdallah’s father, Mohammed Baweni 72, says that, raising one child with any form of disability can never be compared to a parent raising even 10 children. Though he is attentive throughout our conversation the two boys can only respond to questions that with the mentioning their names.

The answers as expected are equally very brief and they do this looking at the interviewers direct in the face.

Abdallah does not earn much to speak home of, however, he feels contented to be of help to his family with the little money he is paid.

He calls upon other parents to support children with disabilities by giving them education and not hiding or locking up at home.

To get to where they are it took some commitment from their parents Mr Baweni who says, he had to work closely with teachers and health workers to make sure his two sons are treated just like other children.

“I have 11 children from three different wives. Abdallah and Ally were diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP) several years back. Raising children with disabilities requires more than extra efforts to make sure they are not a bad reference in the community,” says Baweni.

According to Baweni, his sons were born with no signs of disabilities. It all changed when Abdallah turned eight and Ally at Six years old. They were both at Kana Primary School in Tanga, this was before the family moved to Lushoto.

It all started with high fever and when taken to the hospital at Hindu Mandal he was told they have CP.

He was given different medications just to stabilise the high temperatures.

They responded positively to the treatment but the worst was yet to come as their situtaion would detoriarate further.

They didnt like school anymore, , lazy at eating and walking, crying most of the times.

Ally developed speech problem and with time he completely stopped talking despite the fact that he understood everything he was told.

“It was never easy coping with the changes we never expected and never had from the beginning. We left with no option but to accept the condition and building ourselves up together and take good care of our disabled children,” says Baweni.

When the family moved to Lushoto, the two children were taken to Kitopeni and Mbula primary schools but they could not cope with the environment.

“I was advised to take them to Rainbow school, by then it was a special school for children with disability,” adds Baweni.

As the years went by the burden grew bigger and he had to involve the school board to make sure the two children get support.

Commenting on his son’s employment he says, through the tireless effort he put and the supportive teachers, Abdallah managed to learn other life skills that has helped him become relevant to his community.

Theofan on the other hand becomes the second pupil from Irente to be employed at Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University (Sekomu), a private university in Lushoto.

It has three faculties: Education, Science, and Law. He has been employed at the University as a gardener since August last year.

According to his mother, Selina Msumari,47, Theofan also lives with CP.

He was 4 years old when his father abandoned the family after learning that he was a disabled child.

She thanks teachers at Rainbow school who taught his son and later made efforts to find a job for him.

She has never had a permanent job to support her family of two children.

She depends on odd jobs, most of them household chores such as washing clothes, tending farms and sometimes fetching water from the wells. “I am happy that my son has a job now. It was not easy to keep him at Rainbow School for more than 10 years. Apart from him learning life skills Theofan came out of Rainbow School a complete child with plenty of knowledge,” says Selina.

Theofan can now manage his finances, he knows so many places and he is not afraid of meeting people. From his salary he pays Sh40,000 as rent for the house where they live, he save Sh40,000, and Sh20,000 spent on his personal needs. Theofan’s love for modern gadgets such as mobile phones is quite evident and he is happy he has been able to buy one that helps him to communicate mostly with his mother. According to his mother he sometimes forgets to come back home until his mother calls him.

Lucy Mwinuka is the coordinator of outreach programme at Rainbow school. The school is run in collaboration with the church and the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

She says, through daily activities she realised Theofan can manage employment.

She says, it is never easy to convince most employers that people with disabilities are able to perform certain tasks, many see them as a liability.

The outreach programme a disability community rehabilitation programme aims at supporting and educate disabled children, youth, families and care givers.

“The outreach strives to build wider understanding of disabilities, changing attitudes and providing awareness to communities and empowerment to the people with disabilities,” she says.

Commenting about the two boys, Yassin Sheghalilo the Rainbow Head Teacher says, Abdallah and Theofan has made the school proud and they are referred as good examples.

He says, since pupils with special needs do not go through national examinations instead they are only taught life skills through different four stages. During the stages pupils are taught how to take care of themselves, helping parents and others out of school, managing finances and how to look for opportunities to employ themselves.

At Rainbow there are several projects to enrich pupils with disabilities with a wider knowledge on developing skills. The projects include carpentry, batiki making, candles and beads making, poultry, cattle keeping and tailoring.

The school has seven teachers with a deficit of two teachers and 43 pupils.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

She earned her PhD at just 28!



Dr Alice Nabatanzi PHOTOI NMG

Dr Alice Nabatanzi PHOTOI NMG 

By Abdul-Nasser Ssemugabi

Dr Alice Nabatanzi is not just a pretty face, though. Last year, the lecturer at Makerere University’s College of Natural Sciences earned her PhD aged only 28.

She proudly tells an enviable tale without the usual abyss-to-bliss challenges synonymous with most success stories in Africa. “I don’t have those emotional stories. I did not face challenges as such,” she said with reasonable content. “God planned my story well.” While most return to the lecture room under the pressure to consolidate our job positions or win promotions, Dr Nabatanzi’s rise was different and swift. After her Bachelor’s in Ethnobotany in 2011, she immediately enrolled for her Master’s in Natural Products Technology and Value Chains. She had no sooner finished her Master’s in 2014 than she started her doctorate in Natural Products, (Phytochemistry and Nutraceuticals) which she accomplished in 2017.

Dr Nabatanzi chose science because “in science you are dealing with facts. You prove them or dispute them; not the complicated stories of wars that happened before we were born.”

But even sciences like anthropology, genetics delve into history of humans and their environments, I reminded her. She insisted: science is easier.

Dr Nabatanzi was introduced to university science while working at the College of Engineering in her Form Six vacation.

“From Standard One, dad gave us over 100 mathematical numbers to solve every holiday.

That is how we got used to mathematics.” No wonder, all her brothers pursued sciences: one is doing his Master’s in engineering, in India, another graduated in commerce and their last born, in his A’ Level is offering a science combination.

At school, Dr Nabatanzi was always among the best. Even at university, she said, her CGPA never went below 4. She was also into leadership: timekeeper, counsellor, deputy head girl, and church usher.

Mentorship

Dr Nabatanzi describes her mother as “a very strong woman with a big heart for helping others,” a mentor of sorts. When Ssempala died in 2003, their last born was only in Primary Six. Annet Florence Ssempala, a typical stay-home mother, quit her comfort zone and took on the mantle as the sole head of the family.

Granted, she did not begin from scratch because her deceased husband had invested in a big school and other property such as land. But her choice not to remarry and her ability to manage her husband’s estate, oversee the academic advancement of their five children is why Dr Nabatanzi has great admiration for her.

Significance

Medicine was her first choice but after 10 years at university, she believes that “finding scientific solutions to key problems affecting society like maternal and infant mortality; malnutrition among mothers, children, and people living with HIV is the most beneficial research one can ever do.”

To drive her point home, she drew me into her PhD research about nutrition for pregnant mothers in rural areas. The study “justifies the nutraceutical significance of Wild Edible Plants and their ability to meet the maternal pregnancy nutrient requirements.”

She mentioned physalis peruviana (gooseberry), raspberries wild tomatoes, wild mushrooms, yams, among others as foods rich in vitamins, iron, proteins, folic acid, carbohydrates, vital to the mother’s and foetal health.

She recommends these foods as “the best option to improve the dietary quality and quantity of marginalized rural pregnant women because of their availability, accessibility, affordability and sustainability.”

Indigenous knowledge about such foods is passed on from generation to generation and the role of scientists like Dr Nabatanzi is to subject it to test to either validate it or dismiss it—and disseminate the findings to the respondent communities. She is cynical of the ‘wannabe nutritionists’ and herbalists who enjoy vast media space yet their knowledge is based on mere assumptions.

Some of the women in Nakisunga, Namayuba in Mukono and Buikwe where she did her survey, picked the idea.

Dr Nabatanzi admits that the prevalent Westernisation of African societies is greatly eroding this valuable knowledge and promoting bad nutritional habits “but we can preserve the remaining knowledge by documenting it.”

Recognition

Dr Nabatanzi has been lucky that her postgraduate education was fully sponsored by the Carnegie Co-operation of New York through the Science Initiative Group under the Regional Initiative in Science and Education for African Natural Products Network (Rise-Afnnet).

Last month Dr Nabatanzi was the only Ugandan among the 28 African participants having been selected by virtue of having a PhD before 35. The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in Toulouse, France is the largest interdisciplinary science meeting in Europe dedicated to scientific research and innovation.

Since 2004 the biennial forum brings together over 4000 researchers, educators, business actors, policy makers and journalists from all over the world to discuss breakthrough.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

What do you stand for?

 

By Miranda Naiman

As global citizens, we have a moral responsibility to contribute to the wellbeing of our environment and society-at-large. Consciously choosing to ‘give back’ or ‘pay-it-forward’ doesn’t necessarily mean you are in a position of privilege; but rather that you have embraced your social obligation to humanity. There is a myriad of challenges plaguing our local communities – employability, water and sanitation, health & nutrition to name but a few. Add to this the numerous global problems that transcend national borders and need our urgent attention.

Choosing how to align your social obligation is a deeply personal process; you are likely to make a bigger impact dedicating your resources – be it time, energy and/or money – to a cause you are truly passionate about. So where does one start? What causes are closest to your heart? Social responsibility is not just a way of acting, it’s a way of thinking.

Your relationship with society and the environment can (and should) be an opportunity to create shared value whilst making a difference by forming ongoing partnerships with amazing organisations whose impact is felt at the roots of our community.

I personally support a few causes close to my heart; one of which being ‘The Kilimanjaro Project’ that aims to plant 1 Million trees on the slopes of Kilimanjaro on Earth Day. As education flows through my blood (I come from a lineage of educators) I strongly support READ International in their mission to build libraries and promote reading in Tanzania; and the all-powerful Student-led organisation AIESEC that promotes skills development and leadership development in our universities.

If we come together, we can have a collective impact on our society. Your life experience to date will give you the strongest clues as to where to focus your efforts – follow your instincts. Where can you best lend your expertise?

Once you have understood where your passion lies; identify what situations are most critical in your local context. Consider where your strengths lie – if you have skills in demand, donate them pro bono. Several civil society organisations need professional legal and accounting support.

If you have knowledge in abundance; volunteer your time to disseminate it. If you have physical resources that are collecting dust in your garage at home (or wardrobe) give, give give! If you have the power to influence public opinion, wield it for the greater good. Small acts of kindness – Lest we forget how important small acts of kindness can be; we don’t necessarily need to work through a third party; the way we choose to engage with those around us, and the change we can affect is limitless. Our impact is collective; if we all come together to play our part.

The bonus-benefits of giving back include, boosting self-esteem – doing for others stimulates the release of endorphins which has been linked to an improved immune system.

Giving is one of the most powerful principles of all time. Our individual efforts have a collective impact on society, and can alter the course of history if applied effectively. Reflect on the following:

• When was the last time you were involved in a small act of kindness? • What do you stand for? • How can you give more to society?

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Importance of managing business Cash-flow



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

Cash flow is nothing but keeping track of the money coming in and out of your growing business. Cash is king when it comes to the financial management of a growing company. The lag between the time you have to pay your suppliers and employees and the time you collect from your customers is the problem, and the solution is cash flow management. At its simplest, cash flow management means delaying outlays of cash as long as possible while encouraging anyone who owes you money to pay it as rapidly as possible.

As an entrepreneur it is imperative to frequently measure your business cash flow. You need to prepare cash flow projections for, say, next year, next quarter or even next week. An accurate cash flow projection can alert you to trouble well before it strikes.

Understand that cash flow plans are not glimpses into the future. They’re educated guesses that balance a number of factors, including your customers’ payment histories, your own thoroughness at identifying upcoming expenditures, and your vendors’ patience.

Watch out for assuming without justification that receivables will continue coming in at the same rate they have recently, that payables can be extended as far as they have in the past, that you have included expenses such as capital improvements, loan interest and principal payments, and that you have accounted for seasonal sales fluctuations. For accurate cash flow projections you must have detailed knowledge of amounts and dates of upcoming cash outlays. You must know when each penny will be spent and on what. Have in hand your projection for every significant outlay. In business projections, cash flow projection counts as one of the most important thing you can do as a successful entrepreneur.

On Cash flow management process improving receivables is imperative. If you got paid for sales the instant you made them, you would never have a cash flow problem.

Regrettably, that doesn’t happen. The basic idea is to improve the speed with which you turn materials and supplies into products, inventory into receivables, and receivables into cash. To ensure this happens, I do advice you to use various but specific techniques like offering discounts to customers who pay their bills rapidly; also by asking customers to make deposit payments at the time orders are taken, etcetera.

Most importantly, you have to watch expenses carefully. Don’t be lulled into complacency by simply expanding sales. Any time you see expenses growing faster than sales, examine costs carefully and cut or control them instantly.

Sooner or later, you will foresee or find yourself in a situation where you lack the cash to pay your bills. Those are shortfalls and as an entrepreneur you need to survive them. Having shortfalls doesn’t mean you’re a failure as a businessperson-you’re a normal entrepreneur who can’t perfectly predict the future. However, there are normal business practices that can help you manage the shortfalls.

Foremost, become aware of the problem as early and as accurately as possible. Banks normally prefer lending to you before you need it, preferably months before. When the reason you are caught short is that you failed to plan, a banker is not going to be very interested in helping you out.

If you assume from the beginning that you will someday be short on cash, you can arrange for a line of credit at your bank. This allows you to borrow money up to a preset limit any time you need it. Since it’s far easier to borrow when you don’t need it, arranging a credit line before you are short is vital.

If bankers won’t help, turn next to your suppliers. These people are more interested in keeping you going than a banker, and they probably know more about your business. You can often get extended terms from suppliers that amount to a hefty, low-cost loan just by asking. That’s especially true if you’ve been a good customer in the past and kept them informed about your financial situation.

Choose the bills you’ll pay carefully. Don’t just pay the smallest ones and let the rest slide. Make payroll first-unpaid employees will soon be ex-employees. Pay crucial suppliers next. Ask the rest if you can skip a payment or make a partial payment.

By Julius Landu Bulili – M.Sc. (Econometrics); CPM, S.A.| Business Coach Email: lucbulili@yahoo.com or jullybulili@gmail.com

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Amini shares his insights in Cinematography

Amini Kassim dur-ing a workshop at the Zanzibar

Amini Kassim dur-ing a workshop at the Zanzibar International Film Festival 2018. 

By Salome Gregory

Briefly explain how your career contributed to the win at ZIFF 2018.

I a m a filmmaker by profession and I specialise in cinematography, a department that deals majorly in creating the images for the film with camera and lighting but I also teach. All I do is impart the experience that I gain in the work that I do and the things that I know to the students in my class. I also mentor them throughout the making of the film, so we worked together to ensure we create a beautiful and powerful documentary.

What is ‘The Pearly Boxer’ all about?

The story follows a female boxer in her late-20’s who has been boxing for more than half a decade. In this documentary we go through her journey as a female boxer in Tanzania where boxing is male dominated. We also go through her challenges and hardships that she has to overcome to pursue boxing. The aim of the documentary is to break stereotypes and give a voice to women not only in boxing but those trying to break the glass ceiling in all fields within the country.

Why did you choose to become a cinematographer?

I chose to become a cinematographer because I did not want to take the same route everyone took after school, the usual options being medicine, engineering or IT related studies for a PCB student. But another very important factor is the talks we had with our teachers on careers at my A-levels (Feza Boys’), they encouraged us to be different and venture out to things that may not be particularly common but are needed within our country. I was advised to venture into the creative arts and especially in to film making as I had an interest for films.

You specialised in camera and lighting. How does it work in film making?

So a cinematographer basically is the right-hand person for the director of a film. His main purpose is to translate the director’s vision and the script into images in collaboration with other key members of the film crew – mostly what we call the art department, which deals with creating the look of the film from sets, to costume and make up. The cinematographer comes in as the painter, who uses the camera and lights to create an image that will tell a visual story to the audience.

What challenges did you encounter during the shooting of the film and how did you overcome them?

We had very little challenges to be honest, the hardest thing was to wake up super early (around 4 am in the morning) because we had early call times. So we had to motivate the students to accept that psychologically and to make sure we come together before shooting time considering that people came from different places around Dar es Salaam. But it worked out, those were two amazing days.

What does the recent award mean to you and your students?

The award is a motivation to do more, to be better, to make better films. I also hope it will be the big break for the institute and that people will notice its importance for the growth of the film industry in Tanzania.

What are your roles as a cinematographer?

The main roles of a cinematographer apart from leading the camera and lighting departments is to protect the vision of the director, to make sure the film doesn’t exceed schedule or budget. But also a cinematographer should understand the needs of other departments such as sound and work together with and not against them.

Is it a well-paid/highly appreciated job?

In Tanzania, not really, yet we’re far from where we came from. Most of the time people think one person can do everything. The pressures of making a film are high so having different people for different tasks really helps strengthen the core of the film and gives people more time and space to do one specific thing they are good at. With the globalized world we are in, people have started noticing the need for different departments in film making, it is a matter of time I believe that things will grow for the better.

What does it take to be a good a cinematographer?

A good cinematographer is like a good painter, sculptor and photographer at the same time. He has to shape images with light, color and camera techniques. It takes immense discipline and practice. A good cinematographer should be a good learner, always learning from other forms of art, from nature, from the people around him, observing light, observing movement, observing people. A good cinematographer should understand art, psychology, philosophy, architecture. It’s not just about setting up a camera and putting up lights.

What are some of the emerging issues and challenges you are facing as a cinematographer?

The biggest issue is getting work or might I say good work, and also the right work that will also pay you well to sustain a living.

Another issue is getting recognised, it takes time, a lot of networking and self-marketing and a lot of creating too. It also takes time to find the right collaborators, those that fit your values and artistic vision. Another issue is keeping up with the ever increasing technology, everyday we see a new camera, a new light, a new gadget. With little money to invest in equipment it is hard to have such high-end gadgets in your arsenal, yet in reality these gadgets shape the cinema landscape in an international level.

Does the job affect your social/family life?

Yes, the job does affect my social life. I currently do a lot of traveling because my job requires me to do so for things like workshops, trainings and film work as well. So, you end up having to leave home for a big chunk of time.

How many big films have you been involved in? If yes, which ones have been the most interesting?

I haven’t been involved in any big films yet. But I’m hoping to tell my own stories going forward.

What is the most challenging aspect about your career?

The greatest challenge is to be a good storyteller, with camera, lights, sound, editing, directing, script writing, design and every other aspect. Whatever budget you have, whatever equipment, whatever crew size, if you are not a good storyteller, the film will fall short.

Where can one train?

A film school like our Institute is a good place to start. It gives you time and also people to collaborate with. School is a safe space to network and learn. Another method is to ask for mentorship from a master, participate in workshops and master classes, learn from Youtube and online resources. The world has become smaller

If someone wants to take up this career, what would you advise them?

I would say, have passion, love what you do but also lock away your ego and always be a student. A student of art, nature and all forms of knowledge that will help shape you as a filmmaker but also as a person. No one wants to work with a person who has a big ego, humbleness is key.

Be a better person than you are a filmmaker. Read, read, read, then watch films, then read again. I read and watch films a lot and I advise my students to do the same. A good filmmaker needs to be aware, to be knowledgeable and have a wide scope of information. To be an artist is to be burdened with a tool of shaping society, so it is important that the artist be awake.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tackling teen pregnancies in Mtwara

 

By Haika Kimaro @Haikakim news@tz.nationmedia.com

Mtwara. Teenage pregnancy is still on the rise despite government efforts to ensure that every child goes to school under the free education initiative. The government of the United Republic of Tanzania provides free education to every child from primary to secondary level.

Mtwara is among regions affected by pregnancies among school girls in the country. According to former Regional Education Officer, Sulum Masalanga, between 2015 and 2017, a total of 461 girls in primary and secondary schools dropped from school after conceiving. In Mtwara district alone, there were 49 girls, 11 from primary and 38 from secondary schools who got pregnant.

Among many factors, prevalence of video show stalls in Mtwara Region is cited as one of major causes of teenage pregnancies.

In recent years, such stalls have become common in many parts of the country, capitalising in live broadcasts of football matches. Because many people do not own television sets and majority of those who own one cannot afford to subscribe to channels beam football matches especially during the European leagues season , these stalls have become dependable to many people.

Nevertheless, while others go to these stalls to watch football matches and movies, other use them to prey on school girls.

Many of these stalls operate until late in the night leaving the children who go there without close parental watch or guidance.

Normally, during the night, if there is no live football match, these stalls are used to show phonograph movies. No one cares about the age of the revellers as long as they pay to watch the movies.

A girl who was impregnated and forced to drop out from school confided to Success that she met the boy who was responsible for the pregnancy at a video show stall.

The former Nalingu Primary School pupil aged 16 has since delivered. She says she started relations with the boy last year while she was only 15. “I was standard six then and our main meeting point was at the video show stall,” she confesses.

She notes that they used the opportunity to make love as their unsuspecting parents thought they were watching videos in the stall.

“We asked for permission to go and watch videos. But at the end I found myself pregnant and that was the end of my schooling,” she says.

But she claims innocence stressing that none among them thought that whet they were doing would result into pregnancy and cut short her dreams.

“After getting pregnant and kicked out of school the boy ran away. He was afraid that he might be jailed,” she says that she has never seen him since then.

The girl, who lives with her mother and brother, returned to school last September and asked if she could be readmitted so as to sit for standard seven exams but she was turned away because the government does not allow teen mothers back to school.

Poverty

Another girl, *Happiness aged 16 was impregnated by a man who promised to give her Sh7000. The man met her at the local market where she was sent by her mother to buy some items.

“I am forced to go to the market because my mother is constantly sick. Besides this I am also forced to do some work to earn money for the family. That is why I was easily lured by a man who promised to give me Sh7000 for me to get intimate with him,” she recounts.

Because there is no one to leave her two months only child, Happiness says she is forced to carry the baby wherever she goes.

Hedaya Baraka, has completed primary education, she says most girls are tempted by material things and money. This according to her is because most parents cannot provide for their children.

“And usually it is not a lot of money. They are given peanuts but because to them that is too much, they find themselves trapped,” she says.

Poor upbringing

Talking about school girls pregnancies, a head teacher from Nalingu Primary School, Riziki Mwilombe, said poor upbringing was another major factor which fuels teen pregnancies. As a result of poor parental care, she says, many girls engage in premarital sex at a very tender age.

She noted for instance that many young girls are left to roam in the streets and even attend the video shows.

“Even the community does not fulfil its obligations. In the past, an adult would start to question a child whom he finds in a video stall at the middle of night. But I think because of globalization, this culture has died and no one cares about children if they are not his or hers,” she says adding... “No one cares about someone else’s child. We are too selfish and we don’t care about children of other people.”

Ms Mwilombe notes that in 2017 three pupils from her school, two from standard seven and one from standards six, dropped out due to early pregnancies.

She also blames the video show stalls as one major factor which contributes to school girls’ pregnancies.

Alawi Kaliasi, a resident of Nanguruwe village in Mtwara District says apart from the video stalls, poor parenting was also to blame for the problem facing school girls.

“According to what I have observed, many children roam the streets. Parents have stopped to take care of their children and the community is not helping as well,” he says.

In his suggestion, Mr Kaliasi says stiff regulations should be introduced to those who operate the video show stalls or else such stalls should be outlawed altogether.

Nassoro Issa run a video show stall and he defends the business noting that their business does not target students and pupils.

“This is business like any other business. We do not encourage children to come here. It is upon the parents to ensure that their children are kept safe away from areas where they might be tempted,” he says. He notes that according to the law children aged under 18 are not supposed to frequent such areas and they have been observing that.

“If a child tell her parent that she is coming to watch movie but go elsewhere that is not my problem. Parents should make sure that they keep close watch over their children,” he insists.

Government intervention

Mtwara District Commissioner Evod Mmanda, has already issued a notice barring schooling and other children from visiting video show stalls. He has directed local leaders to ensure that children do not set foot in such establishments.

Speaking during the education stakeholders meeting in the district, Mr Mmanda also ordered that each parent or guardian should closely follow development of child under his or her care. He said parents and guardians are obliged to teach their children discipline and good manners.

“Everyone should fulfil his or her responsibilities. A parent or guardian should make sure that his child is always at right place. If we find a child watching movies in these stalls or playing pool we will start with the parent,” he said.

On school girls pregnancies, Mr Mmanda said the government will take legal measures against all men who impregnate school girls. He warned that parents who collude with men who impregnate their children, will also be prosecuted.

Assistant Village Executive Officer at Nalingu, Amosi Byabato, says they have started to implement the District Commissioner directives and they were now closely supervising operations of the video stalls.

“We have enacted bylaws under which such stalls are not allowed to operate during working hours. The operators are also not allowed to permit children into the establishment,” he says.

For his part, Mtwara Regional Commissioner, Mr Gelasius Byakanwa, says wide ranging measures should be taken to address the teen pregnancies problem in the region. But, he says, the most important thing is cooperation from all people starting from the community level.

Mr Byakanwa says notes that there is no single entity which can solve that problem single handed.

“It is the community which should spearhead this war. If members of the community decides, we can easily overcome this problem. For instance, if people will be ready to testify against those who impregnate school girls, we will easily prevail over them and men will be scared to approach school girls,” he says.

In a bid to find a lasting solution to the problem, the Regional Commissioner says they have commissioned a research to establish environments under which the girls are lured by men.

“We know that the problem is pronounced in Tandahimba and Masasi districts. In one of these district number of impregnated girls ranges between 80 and 90. It is better to get data periodically. We should know how many girls went on leave and their conditions when they return for school next term. *Not real name

“But the problem also lies with our girls. Let me appeal to them they should not engage in these activities until they finish their studies. If others have tolerated, they can also do the same,” he said.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Student-centred teaching is the future of education

 

By Desire Mbabaali

The teaching and learning experience in some institutions of higher learning is not very different from that in high school – for the largest part, according to Harriet Karungi, a third-year education student from Makerere University. “During lectures, the lecturer does most of the talking. Though they keep on asking questions to prompt students to engage in the discussion, sometimes students are not interested or did not read anything at all about what the lecturer is talking about,” she says.

Though there are specific lecturers who tell students to read/ research about a topic before it is taught to improve interactivity, some are deemed uninvolved by most students, she adds. “We have all been there, inside the neatly ordered classrooms, struggling to sit still behind a desk, and listening to the teacher drone on and on and on about meaningless facts. Gnawing at the end of our pencils, rocking back in our chairs, passing notes to our friends, and wondering when it will end…” writes Lawrence Muganga in his new book, “You Can’t Make Fish Climb Trees: Overcoming Educational Malpractice through Authentic Learning.”

In the book that seeks to highlight the importance of teacher-centered learning, Muganga shares his own experience in the Ugandan education. He advocates for what he terms ‘authentic learning’ which he says is not only student centered but practical. Building on the research of Steve Revington, the pioneer and leader of authentic learning in London and Canada, Muganga explains the need for a shift towards authentic learning not only in the African education system but world over, implementation, and the benefits of this mode of learning to both learners and teachers.

Quality and skills

Like Karungi notes that even at tertiary level, students expect their lecturers to be the ultimate source of information, Muganga argues that because of this, students experience low quality lectures, unprofessional teacher behaviour, poor instructor preparation, and the sole use of lecturing and handouts to disseminate information.

True to this, handouts have become the new normal in many institutions. In fact Deogracious Mulumba, a Procurement and Logistics student from Kyambogo University shares that, “Lecturers keep sending you handouts which you never read or discuss with them. When a lecturer cannot make it for class, they leave a handout at the stationary shop for you to photocopy. Some of these you only read during examination time.”

The largest social effect of such an inadequate education system, Muganga writes, translates into a gap between the quality of education offered at the university and the skills required in the labour market.

According to the ‘global employment trends for youth 2013 report by the International Labor Organisation, there was a persistent and growing trend of skills mismatch, attributed to the education systems world over.

Though in 2011 Uganda launched the ‘Skilling Uganda’ strategic plan 2011 -2020 to address the skills gap and create employable skills and competences through the Business, Technical, Vocational Educational Training (BTVET) other education fields outside, these largely remain unchanged in their delivery of information. “Teachers still use methods such as direct lecturing, memorisation, rote learning, factual information, and summative assessments with paper-and-pencil tests,” Muganga writes.

Authentic learning

Although authentic learning can occur successfully at all levels of education, the scope of this book focuses solely on authentic learning at the postsecondary level; (universities, colleges, and technical institutes).

At the core of authentic learning, the book emphasises student centered learning as it’s driver. Revington, who also gives the book’s foreword defines this as “real life learning … that encourages students to create a tangible, useful product to be shared with their world”.

It is learning that goes beyond the classroom. The teacher’s role in this experience is, to guide on the side, be a facilitator not a dictator. every way in the life of a youth at risk.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

When your customers complain



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julili Bulili

In today’s Internet-driven world, customers have more power than ever. A satisfied customer may share their good experience with three friends, whereas an angry customer has the potential to tell thrice thousand friends in social networks and communities. And for each customer that complains, there are anywhere from tens to thousands of people that don’t complain – And they simply stop doing business with you.

The fact is, customers with issues that are resolved quickly can often turn into loyal customers and even brand advocates. In nutshell, a customer complaint can become very profitable when you can resolve their problem.

A customer complaint highlights problems with employees or internal processes and you can fix them before further problems arise and cause a bad customer experience. In receiving customer feedback, both positive and negative, you can use positive feedback to provide social proofing and attract new customers and use negative feedback to fix any internal processes and make your customers happy

Your company will hear about a complaint either from the customer directly, in written or verbal communication or by leaving your brand to shop with a competitor due a negative experience.

The number one reason customers leave a brand to use a competitor is not due to pricing or faster service, but due to poor quality and rude customer service.

In analyzing the complaint, it is imperative to review a number of factors, like, who the complaint came from and how often this customer complains. Analyze how often this complaint occurs and then take the necessary actions to ensure it does not happen again.

When it comes to dealing with complaints, you need to consider your organizations service, quality, communication and response time. Look at the cost, billing issues and if problems are regularly followed up. Also you can launch customer service software that allows for more advanced reporting system. Through manual reporting, you are limited to reports.

In managing complaints effectively, you have to ask yourself a number of questions like, has this happened before? Have the complaints been recorded into your customer service system? How often does the same compliant arise? Is there a pattern to this complaint in how it was received? Has the same customer reported this previously? Etcetera

In handling customer complaints you need to be extra careful as this will help to transform into a golden opportunity for your business.

Always listen to the customer. They have complained for a reason and it is important to understand why they are complaining. Take the time to listen and understand what their problem is. Also maintain quality from all support personnel all the time.

Don’t be afraid to apologize for the mistake. Many customers are simply looking for an apology and acknowledgement of their complaint. However, don’t just stop at the apology - follow through with a promise to resolve the complaint.

When your customer has a legitimate complaint, your customer service teams need to find a solution and fix it. If the issue has been or can be repeated, make the necessary changes so you do not receive another complaint.

Make sure that you follow up with your customer to make sure they are satisfied with the solution. This can be in the form of a follow up email or survey asking for feedback on how the complaint was handled. 68% of customers leave a company because they believe you don’t care about them.You have acknowledged the mistake, fixed the problem and followed up.

By Julius Landu Bulili – M.Sc. (Econometrics); CPM, S.A.| Business Coach Email: lucbulili@yahoo.com or jullybulili@gmail.com

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Don’t hate the player; hate the game

 

By Miranda Naiman

Top leaders and co-workers spend years learning to “play the game” and create a trail of drama as alliances are formed, favoritism is shown, credit is taken and people suck-up to one another.

Thriving in the workplace while simultaneously navigating competing interests, scarce resources, ambiguity in authority and lack of transparency can feel like being a thirsty zebra at a crocodile-infested watering hole.

How does one best approach this necessary risk? There are some perceptive managers in our midst who are skilled politicians without having to resort to questionable or embarrassing antics in the workplace.

They take a realistic approach to managing politics at work, and astutely do four things with diligence and thoughtfulness:

Build Strategic Networks – Quality and diversity rein over quantity when it comes to building a strategic network. The most astute leaders carefully connect with the right people to increase their insight and have greater say.

A strategic network helps you to bridge different groups of people and cross organizational, geographical and functional lines.

Your strategic connections should support your understanding of the formal and informal structures so you gather accurate intelligence, insight and support when you need it. Likewise, developing the right network will involve affiliating yourself to the ‘right people’ and cutting ties with those whose values differ from your own.

Consider your connections: What people or functions or groups are your strongest connections? Which are weak or distant ties? Who should be in your network but isn’t? Who knows the people you want to know? With this insight, you can strategically ask for introductions, seek opportunities to get to know and work with key people.

Be a Savvy Observer – Social astuteness and the ability to effectively read and anticipate

situations will allow you to prepare, adapt and tailor your behaviour to your environment. The power of perception will inevitably put you poles apart from your co-workers as you perceptively learn to study the people and conditions around you. Boost your observation skills by paying attention to the nonverbal behaviours of people – body language speaks volumes – get a sense for how people are feeling in addition to what they are saying.

Active listening allows you to hear and understand the perspectives of others – pay attention, hold judgement, reflect, and share. Start to view your workplace the way a scientist would; take a mental note of the things you notice.

Think before you Act – Impulse control is critical to surviving workplace politics; resist the need to always say what is on your mind or jump in with your solution.

People are more likely to be at ease around you when you stay composed (especially when things don’t go your way), this in turn allows you to have difficult conversations, gain support and build your influence.

Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is as important as your IQ; neuroscientific studies confirm that your ability to self-regulate can be developed and improved over time.

Pay attention to your reactions this week: Who and what trigger emotional or impulsive responses from you?

What might be the political and relationship fallout from your actions?

What would happen if you pause to gain perspective and then choose the best response? If self regulation is a big challenge for you, consider working with a coach or mentor to help you identify your hot buttons and find ways to deal with them.

Always leave a good impression – Office politics can get manipulative and the antidote to this is to build trust with those around you.

Be honest and sincere in your relationships and requests to inspire others to rely on and have confidence in you. A lack of integrity will weaken these relationships, bring your credibility into question and undermine your influence.

Learning to manage office politics is an obligatory aspect of leadership development. It’s about building and strengthening relationships, knowing yourself well, having a good sense about what’s going on around you and acting in an authentic way.

Acting accordingly will assist you in getting the resources, access and information you need to lead effectively.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mwakyusa walks us through the pages of his new book

 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

John Mwakyusa is an Author of the book ‘It Can’t Be True’. It was at Njombe Secondary School where the author honed his writing skills under the tutelage of his teachers Isaac Nyagawa and Cecilia Kabyemera. Before joining the university for his first degree, he wrote a short story titled ‘’Caught Red-Handed’’ that appeared on Sunday News. He studied Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) at University of Dar-es-Salaam and in between pursued a Masters in Business Administration at Makerere University Business School-Uganda before returning to Dar es Salaam for his PHD.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?

Albert is a special young man who struggles against all odds to reach where he is. He loses his parents to the brutality of government of Uganda soldiers who kill them in cold blood. However, years later, Albert joins a new government as a security operative. He is a patriot, corrupt free lad and has sacrificed a lot for his country but has a dangerous brutal trait that seems to taint his otherwise good character. He fights against the evils in the society with a vengeance.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am currently working on a sequel to the book. It is a follow- up book that has been inspired by many readers of the ‘It Can’t Be True’ who wanted to read more on Albert and other characters. I obliged and decided to go for it. I have a title for it but it is still work in progress. I am also searching for a publisher who will translate the book in Kiswahili.

What’s it about?

The protagonist of the second novel that I am working on currently is the same Albert of the ‘’It Can’t Be True’’. As Albert tries to address murder issues left over from the earlier book, he finds himself face to face with the challenge of child sacrifice that Uganda is grappling with.

What genre is your book?

My book is a hybrid of romance and crime. It also touches on the love for self, love for other, love for family, love for country and love for God. On the amazon.com, the book is under religion and spirituality.

What drew you to this genre?

I have seen love and crime or lack of them in my life and so it is something that flows naturally from within. I have experienced love of God and people in my life and the lives of others.

How much research do you do?

While pursuing my MBA at Makerere University-Uganda I had an opportunity to personally experience the Ugandan cultures and its people. I observed people’s lives, read and reviewed various reports and magazines and newspapers on the people, scenes, sights and sounds. And even after coming back I have lost touch with the country. Some think I fell in love with Uganda. They even spoiled my accent!

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

It is not very common to collaborate in writing a novel. This is so, I imagine, because, an inspiration and ideas to write springs from within. So, to be brief I have not except for a very short Swahili testimony I co-authored together with my wife Teddy Aloyce Mwakyusa.

Why did you decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?

I did not write to make sales. I am happier to see my book read than my bank account bulge.

When did you decide to become a writer?

Decide? Did I? Well. When I was doing my ordinary education at Njombe Secondary School (famously referred to as NJOSS) I realized that I can write more easily that communicate orally. My first serious story writing was 1996 when the story caught red handed appeared on a newspaper.

Why do you write?

Like I noted earlier, I wanted to share a story. So I don’t write because I am capable of writing, rather I write because I have something to share. In this case, after living in Uganda I realized that there is something unique about the country that is worth sharing. Every time I would come back on holidays I would try to share orally. However, I realized I am not a good orator and the story seemed not to strike the same nerves as it did to me. I then thought I have to write it down for impact and posterity.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I was forced by a desire to share what I have with a wider audience. It is believed that communication is as important as breathing. Indeed, sharing of information facilitates the spread of knowledge and forms relationships between people.

Where do the ideas come from?

Ideas come from within and from outside. The people I meet, the stories they tell, their life experiences blend to bring something unique and original.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

There are times as a writer you experience what is known as writers’ block. The creativity is gone and nothing flows from within.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I am myself a young old writer. I would advise them to dare to write. So long as you have lived on this earth, then you have something to share. However, you also have to read a lot. Read everything that comes your way. Remember, there is no one was born an expert. We all learn and don’t stop until we have perfected the art. And that will be at your graveyard!

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

Currently, the publishing industry is struggling. However, in the globalizing world, writers have become global citizens so no one is supposed to limit his or her publishing avenues locally. Books are the fountain of knowledge. Writers, publishers and the government should work together to support local publishers who are capable of publishing quality works. We truly need people who read and read and read.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t asked?

Two things. First, the book ‘It Can’t Be True’ is about youth as they endeavor to pursue their lofty dreams of careers, partners, and life purpose and love. The common thread on almost all the main characters is dysfunctional families due to civil wars, HIV/AIDS, and family feuds among others. It also bares the hypocrisy of multinationals and faith-based missionaries who exploit Africa natural resources under the guise of religion by manipulating the masses and violating human rights. Second, the book is dedicated to Salay Sambogo and Steve John.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Readers can access my book from various bookshops and other frequently visited places like Shear Illusions at Mlimani City and Hillpark Super Market at the University of Dar-es-salaam. They can also follow me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/john.mwakyusa.3. My readers from across the globe can access the books through https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Be-True-Uganda-Africa

Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

This is one of the questions I have been asked severally by whoever has seen the book but has not read it. However, I challenge readers of the book to decipher the meaning behind the cover. The cover is a combined work of my own ideas and those of the designers of the publisher. I threw them the ideas and they came up with several options. I ended up with the one you see.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

Mhhhh, I don’t read novels as much as I used to. I generally prefer local authors such as the late Prince Kagwema, Agoro Anduru, Shafi Adam Shafi, Maundu Mwingizi, Elieshi Lema, Elvis Musiba, Lorna Dadi, Hussein Tuwa, Beka Mfaume, Laura Pettie and many more. Each one of these brings something unique to the table. I find it hard to pick my favourite. Two books by non-Tanzanians that left an indelible mark in my life are Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer and A Stone for Danny Fisher by Harold Robbins.

For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hardback books?

I am a traditional person. I would always go for traditional paper/hardback books.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I am at present reading WHO WILL CRY WHEN YOU DIE by Robin Sharma.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Can education become truly equal worldwide?

There are many issues that still need to be

There are many issues that still need to be addressed in order to make the education system throughout the world be more accommodative to everyone. PHOTO I COURTESY 

By Success Reporter

The Dakar (Senegal) international summit on education concluded earlier this year, on February 3, with the hope to raise $3.1 billion “over the next three years for programmes to support basic education in 65 developing countries”. World leaders and experts attended and discussed how to make quality education accessible to all children.

As found by a 2016 Unesco study, approximately 263 million children and youth worldwide are not in school. This includes 61 million children of primary, 60 million of lower secondary and 142 million of those of upper secondary school age.

Of all the regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of exclusion: 20 per cent of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by 33 per cent of youth from 12 to 14. Almost 60 per cent of youth from 15 to 17 are not in school. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 65 of the poorest children for every 100 of the richest go to school.

In Northern Africa, Western Asia and Southern Asia, this rises to 90 of the poorest for every 100 of the richest. Globally, 35 per cent of all out-of-school children of primary age (22 million), 25 per cent of all out-of-school adolescents of lower secondary age (15 million), and 18 per cent of all out-of-school youth of upper secondary age live in conflict-affected areas (26 million).

So what are the issues that still need to be addressed? Why are so many children still out of school? And what has been the progress so far?

Attaining gender parity everywhere

Progress has been made toward gender parity in terms of primary-school enrolment, with approximately 70 per cent of countries reaching this quantitative goal, but local cultural perspectives on the value of education to girls in some contexts have also led to exclusion.

For example in Tanzania, thousands of teenagers are expelled from school when they are found to be pregnant and recently, a new law stated that can’t re-enter even after giving birth.

Yet providing girls with an education helps break the cycle of poverty: educated women are less likely to marry early; less likely to die in childbirth; more likely to have healthy babies; and more likely to send their children to school.

The 144 countries covered in the Global Gender Gap Report (2017) have closed more than 95 per cent of the gap in educational attainment. The report’s country profiles provide information on additional gaps between out-of-school children of primary and secondary school age, education attainment rates, advanced and vocational degrees, and gender gaps across various fields of study.

The Unesco Institute of Statistics estimates that 15 million girls of primary-school age will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school compared to about 10 million boys. Over half of these girls – 9 million – live in sub-Saharan Africa. In Northern Africa and Western Asia, among the poorest in the region, gaps are far wider: only 85 girls for every 100 boys of lower secondary school age attend school. Among those of upper secondary school age, only 77 of the poorest girls for every 100 of the poorest boys attend.

Even in egalitarian societies, gender differences exist in students’ performance and motivation, in vocational aspirations, in salaries and in participation in different fields. A recent campaign launched by a feminist lobby in Sweden claimed that after 4 pm, women’s work was actually unpaid. It emulated thousands of women over Europe to fight for equal pay.

Inequalities also lie in gendered perception of work. Men are expected to develop traits related to agency (as aggressive, forceful, independent, and decisive), whereas women are expected to develop traits related to communal virtues (as kind, helpful, beautiful, and concerned with others); and these expectations lead to self-fulfilling prophecies that perpetuate biases and lead to differences in vocational aptitudes, positions and incomes.

The stratification of education systems

At the same time, education systems are stratified in terms of the prestige and opportunities provided by different types of schools and universities, and access and achievement are strongly correlated with the social conditions of students and their families, leading some authors to argue that the main effect of education is to maintain and even reinforce existing social inequalities and the monopolies of social status through the administration of credentials. The role of education in reducing inequality depends on schools’ ability to compensate for the effects of the student’s pre-existing social and individual disadvantages, providing them with equal opportunities for learning, social participation and work.

The Coleman Report, published in 1968 in the United States, influenced research and policies for decades by showing that public schools had little or no effect in reducing the inequalities associated with race.

Since then, the assessment of the “school effects” on student achievement became a major subject of education research. There are many strategies to make education more attractive, meaningful and accessible, building upon the children’s familiar language and culture, stimulating participation in collective tasks, and paying attention to the students’ individual difficulties and needs.

Yet, the fact remains that millions of students go through school without learning to read and understand a simple text, to solve a simple arithmetical problem, or to have a grasp of very simple scientific facts. Not only access to and years of education matters, but also the quality of education.

Lack of equity in schooling choices

Inequality of outcomes is also impacted by lack of equity in access to distinct forms/types of schooling: public fee-paying, public no fee-paying, self-funded private or grant-funded private schools. Other factors follow such as class size, student-teacher ratios, teaching and learning time, ability to learn at home, language choice, technology, infrastructure. Finally, inequity in quality (teaching standards, pedagogical methodology, materials, curriculum and curriculum coverage) need to be addressed. More schooling is therefore not necessarily equal to a better education.

Inequality in education achievement starts in the early years, and can be cumulative. That is why good-quality preschool education is crucial to reduce differences in language and literacy development. In primary education, inequality can increase if students arriving with different conditions are not supported with differentiated action to ensure that they acquire the required competencies in reading, writing and arithmetic in the first one or two years.

In highly unequal societies with decentralized school systems, poor students may end up enrolled in local schools with fewer resources and lower teacher quality, which can increase the gap between them and those coming from richer and better educated families that go to better equipped and pedagogically stronger schools.

Teachers are not mere carriers of knowledge

There is high consensus among researchers about the crucial role of teachers. Teachers are not just carriers of knowledge and information, they also have a significant impact on children’s quality of life – including their relationships with peers and adults, and their dispositions towards learning and life more generally. Consequently, the quality of teacher education is an issue of high relevance.

Source: theconversation.com

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

When children visit their parents at work

Children get an opportunity to see how their

Children get an opportunity to see how their parents work. PHOTO I ELIZABETH TUNGARAZA 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

Babies are born with no understanding of what surrounds them, they start filling in their minds little things they come across as they grow up. The first school is their home and family members are their first teachers.

Parents are undeniably their children’s first role models. As children’s brains start to absorb and understand things, they see their parents as their role models. Indeed, as livestrong.com puts it, “parents become role models not only through direct interactions with their children but also through examples they set with their attitude and behaviour within the family and in the outside world”.

Parents are the ones who address their concerns, sharing their lives, and maintaining a constructive perspective. Most children would tell you that they want to be like their parents when they grow up. This is due to the fact that parents can contribute to their children’s personal growth and development.

It is unfortunate that most parents do not see the importance of exposing their children to their work environment. However, such an act is as important as sending them to school.

“Taking children to their parent’s office would inspire them to strive to learn and develop their dreams at a young age,” says Emmanuel Akunay while observing children asking questions to staff at the Human Resources department when children, whose parents work at the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) head office in Dar es Salaam toured the office.

Lilian Kisamba, a Cooperate Social Responsibility Project Manager, says the children’s tour at the bank’s headquarter was not just a coincidence. According to her, “Bring Your Child to Work Day” is a programme aimed to inspire children to succeed in their future life by learning from their parents.

“We have established the programme this year and we are expecting to do it once every year. The aim is to enable our children understand what we (parents) do at work places and be able to experience our work environment,” she says.

Dorice Kilale, a Communication Officer, says bringing children to work encourages leadership. “This reminds them how to lead by example as it helps to foster leadership characters to your children. This is an educational program for children as they tour our offices to learn what their parents do at their workplace,” she says.

Emmanuel feels that children would at least have a clue in mind when their parents tell them that they are going to work. “It will help them answer many questions they have in mind about what their parent’s work is all about,” he says, adding: “For me this was a good opportunity to show my children what I really do for a living.”

“Apart from asking too many questions, at least they see how the working environment looks like and of course they (children) get inspired,” adds Emmanuel, saying it is one of the ways that can inspire children to take their parent’s path, opting for a similar job when they grow up.

He urges parents to be open about the hard times they experienced in life as well as where their successes came from. “This would help to show children the way you struggled hard and kept on trying after several failures. It teaches them that you can still reach your goals even if you fall,” he adds.

A 12-year-old Daniel Thadius, who was among the children who toured the bank’s headquarter during the programme, says he did not have any clue on where his parents worked and how the office environment looks like.

“I am very excited to see where my parent spends the day working, so now wherever he says I’m going to work at least I know where he is going,” says Daniel.

Joshua Zaipuna, another child, was also happy to see his mother, Ruth, busy at work. “When I grow up I want to take my mother’s career path. She is my role model. Bringing me to her office today has opened up my mind,” he says.

Joshua, who confessed that it was his first experience in a modern bank office set-up, says it was a great opportunity he had, wishing that his classmates would have such an opportunity too.

“It is a great opportunity to me. This is my first time attending such an event. I have never heard any of my friends at school sharing a similar experience. I wish they would have attended such a programme,” he notes.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Dealing with badly behaved and selfish children?



Paul Owere

Paul Owere 

By Owere

Hi, I am a mother of two boys, the first is eight and the other is five. They attend the same school. My problem is that the first born is badly behaved whereas the second one is very selfish that he does not want to share ordinary things like toys with his friends , this worries me a lot.

How to behave can be difficult to teach to children. This is a long-term job for parents if they want their kids to have good manners. As a parent, you need to keep an eye on every sign of bad behavior they show and disapprove these acts.

Children are usually active by nature and have so much spirit in them. They tend to be impulsive in their actions, thus, creating some habits that parents do not think are good in other people’s view. They tend to do things which they easily observe from other people or from other children. They are fond of “mimicking”. So, in teaching them social skills, you also need to be a good example for them. In addition to that, everything in the eyes of a child is right. You will know the parents’ personality by looking at their children.

Setting some boundaries is the best thing to do in dealing with behavior. Make sure they know you approve or disapprove an act. And when you see them acting the wrong way, let them know immediately. Well, on the other side, you do not want your children to see you as a mean person who is negative about all the things they do. If you impose too much strictness, the child might feel you are torturing him with rules.

The child will then respond unfavourably if they feel too reprimanded. For sure, they will not learn the situation. Instead, they feel discouraged. To avoid this, you must make it fun for your child to cultivate good behavior. You can do this by playing a game with them about good behavior.

Naturally, children have this reluctance in sharing. This trait of being able to share is quite a tough job to teach kids, most especially when he is the only child in the family. You will expect that he is not fond of sharing for there are no other kids around except him. So, you may want to teach kids about sharing at a very young age. Try to persuade him to share his toys while playing with his brother or sister, other people, or even you. Make it a habit to let the child play with others, or even outdoors, so it would make learning how to share easier.

In addition to that, you may even arrange an activity that involves the idea of having good social skills and behavior.

One suggestion for this is board game activities. The children will then ask for some assistance in understanding the rules, take turns in playing the game, and ask for permission before doing something.

If you have a burning question, send it to: powere@tz.nationmedia.com

What these kids could see from adults, are what they perceive are good and right. For your child to be well mannered, expose him to adults who always behave well, encouraging him to act in the same way.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

I quit my job to start a daycare

 

By Jonathan Musa

Lydia Josephat, 36, is one among the few people in this world who’ve managed to achieve their dream job.

The jovial woman runs a daycare and learning centre at Msumbiji Street, Mwanza city.

As a wife and mother, Lydia is thankful that she’s managed to pursue her passion at the right time. Born in Kagera Region, Lydia says she worked in various places before finally landing her current occupation.

She graduated from Kampala International University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. After graduating, Lydia managed to land various jobs with good remuneration.

“I have worked in Dar es Salaam at a company called Informedia, I stayed there for a year and later moved to Data Handlers, for two consecutive years,” she says.

She discloses that, for example, in the first company, her employer would pay her Sh1.5 million and the other one was Sh1.2 million net pay per month.

Lydia states that despite all the monetary benefits she received working at those companies; she felt that there was a void that needed to be filled. Her heart had a different desire from what she did.

“Since my early days, I loved hanging with fellow children, even when I was a bit older than them. No matter how dirty they were, playing with them was part of me – I felt complete,” Lydia says.It reached a point people started calling her names. Some people would say the ‘older’ girl had a different mission with small children.

Her passion for hanging with many children is something that she says is naturally within her.

In 2014, Lydia managed to get back to Mwanza, a place where she had studied her secondary education.

She got a job with an NGO called Busega Children Development Assistance, which was responsible for providing care to vulnerable children. The centre was based in Busega district, Simiyu.

“I stayed there for two years 2015/16 working as a matron. If at all there is a job I enjoyed, this is ranked first, despite of the little salary they offered. Pleading with children to keep calm, playing hide and seek, were some of the highlights of working at such a place,” she says.

Self-employment

Her contract with Busega Children Development Assistance expired in December 2016. It is then that she thought of having her own baby care centre.However, she says her plan or objective to establish a baby care was to teach children and provide them with required care which most families ignore providing.

Lydia is a director at Samara Day Care and Reading Centre under Community and Social Economic Development, CSED, based in Msumbiji Street, Mwanza city.

She started this project late December 2016, some few days after winding up her contract with Busega Children Development Assistance as a matron.

“I started with two kids and I operated in my own house. It seemed dramatic at the beginning but I thank God it picked up within a short period of time,” she says.

Mission

Her aim is to provide education to all street children, even though her daycare caters for regular children with parents and legal guardians.

“In good faith, there were some parents who read my plan on what I was doing and decided to help me get a spacious place for the purpose of accommodating many kids,” she explains.

The routine is; parents take their children to the daycare in the morning, especially those who have no maids and go for them later at 4pm.

Lydia however says apart from providing hospitality to the children, they as well offer them religious studies.

“I have few teachers here, children who are now five, are taught on how to write and read and also religious studies,” she informs.

Reaction from society

Lydia reveals that most of her friends started avoiding her after realising that she had quit her good and well-paying job.

“Some claimed that I was bewitched while a big percentage acknowledged that I had the passion of what I wanted to do,” she says.Among the few friends who understood Lydia, was her husband. He always supported her since she resigned from working under someone.

Lydia says payment at the daycare is done through negotiations because her five teachers report at school on shifts.“Some are paid Sh300,000 while others get Sh200,000 a month,” she reveals.Lydia states that the little she gets from the guardians and parents at her baby care, caters for basic needs like food.

“Also, I have some friends who are successful in life and can at times give me a hand of support when I’m down, so as to meet my target,” she says.One child pays Sh20,000 per month. The money is used to purchase food and other basic needs.

Challenges

Lydia says everything on earth has its challenge; the secret behind staying consistent is how to tackle the challenge.

“There are times some children stay at home even up to a week while their colleagues are in the centre learning, when they report back, we are forced to restart again,” says Lydia.

She unveils that sometimes, the little amount that is charged either for porridge or lunch, is not paid on time and hence she is forced to dig into her pocket to cater for the children’s meals.

In five years’ time, Lydia plans on owning two baby care centres in the city. One will be there for children from vulnerable families while the other will concentrate on children willing to join.

She says she has made progress from when she first started at her home back in the days. She has managed to have her own premise where the learning exercises are being conducted.

“By the grace of God, I will strive to ensure that my institution is ranked internationally on assisting all children with special needs,” she explains.

Parting shot

She gives advice to all young people with different passions and ambitions that they all can start living their dream once they decide to take the leap forward.

“I am living the exact life I planned when I was still young. My life has taken some turns and changes that I did not anticipate and it has brought me different things. I’m happy to be where I longed for most,” she concludes.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Grow your profits through customers



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulil

Most of us talk about target customers as a fundamental part of business management—you know who your targets are, right?

However, there is also a business saying that you need customers with a problem only you can solve, and it’s for you to identify that unique selling point and communicate it clearly to your would-be customers. Well said, right?

As I get to know a client, one thing I usually ask is how do the salespeople decide which leads to follow up on or which phone calls to return first? I assume they use some hierarchy of criteria that defines a target customer to guide them.

For the most part, I haven’t found that to be true. They will generally return calls of current or past customers and have specific companies they are trying to sell to that are on their radar. Beyond that, it is rare for a company to know who their best prospects are.

Why does it matter?

Simply because all customers are not made equally!! Some buy more, some are more loyal, and maybe most importantly, some are more profitable for you. So as you begin to gather the list of names of potential target companies, it is a good idea to know why they make a great target and how to ensure they will add significantly to your profitability.

One of the key furtive to targeting high-profit customers is to identify prospective customers that you can serve at best. Remember! Not all customers seek product benefits equally. Some care most about price while others are looking for a product that meets specific needs and will pay more for it. Others may buy based on relationship or service. Bottom line is, each of those reflects a different strategy, and in developing a strategic plan you need to emphasize one over the others.

That means that certain customers will respond best to what you offer, and you want to define the characteristics that describe those types of customers. Maybe it has to do with company size or complexity of solution.

Possibly they value total cost over initial price. Perhaps trust matters most of all, and that requires a strong relationship. It is important to understand the variables that the customer you can best serve uses to select the vendors they will select. Those are the high-priority customers for your company. Trying to satisfy a customer who wants the lowest price when your business model is not built on that strategy is a self-defeating prophesy—you might win the customer, but you will lose profits.

That is not a success. Be willing to walk away from customers who want what you don’t provide.

What’s more, you ought to define which customers are profitable. It may sound basic, right? But many companies don’t know the profitability of an individual customer. Yet, research has proven that 2 out of 5 of any business’s customers are unprofitable.

Do you know which customers are profitable for your business? If not, then find out! Then discern what sets them apart. Is it the size of their order, what they order, what industry they are in or even what they bundle together when they order?

Once you know who is profitable, your goal is to seek more customers like them. Once you know who is not profitable, your goal is to increase their profitability.

Finally you need to determine which customers your company can grow with all along. The customers who brought you here may or may not be the ones who will get you there. If your business model or strategy has changed, if you have grown substantially, or if market trends and technology have evolved significantly, you may have to rethink your target.

…follow through my next consultative message. Email: lucbulili@yahoo.com or jullybulili@gmail.com

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Scale-up your Startup

 

By Miranda Naiman

Approximately nine years ago, I officially took the plunge. I resigned from my beloved job, and leapt into the chasm of ‘the unknown’. On reflection; if I could whiz back in time to Empower’s startup phase to give myself some advice; these would be my top 5 growth hacks:

Keep your finger in every pie – Your startup needs your attention at every juncture, ensure you understand how every aspect of your business functions. In practicality, this will mean you getting involved in technical, administrative and financial tasks as well as marketing, business development, and strategic planning to ensure your long-term survival.

Lest we forget that your business will naturally run in succession with your family and personal commitments – balance your energy effectively and you will be on to a winner.

Keep your paperwork organized – In the madness of launching your startup, you may be tempted to overlook your filing system and avoid thinking about not-so-minor administrative details. The least glamourous (and simultaneously the most important) part of running a business is compliance.

As I painfully learnt early-on from the revenue authority: ignorance of the law excuses no one. Get the right experts on board; this should include a dream team comprised of a solid lawyer, tax advisor, accountant and auditor.

Take heed, sometimes going-it-alone can be pricey – ensure you are aware of the regulatory environment and that your business adheres to these guidelines.

Build your brand identity early – It is never too soon to build a brand identity; this will pay off in a multitude of ways further down the line when it comes to attracting the best talent; reeling in the big fish (clients) and building loyalty.

Your brand is the lifeblood and personality of your business –Why are you in existence? What do you represent? How do you do things? What values do you and your people live and breathe? All of this should be translated in you brand identity – harness the power of social media early-on.

Effectively featuring your business across multiple social media channels can funnel leads your way that result in increased brand awareness and revenue generation.

Patience & discipline - All your work is a building block towards your empire – you won’t mind putting in the extra work because you know it will pay back down the road. You make the rules and you set the pace. Having complete autonomy as an entrepreneur will mean all decisions and responsibilities rest with you. While this can be incredibly empowering, you will also experience several sleepless nights.

Another key point difference is that you may find yourself financially up one day & down the next – when starting out, you will need to get used to being thrifty. Money won’t necessarily flow in consistently.

Running a startup will fast-track you through the School of hard knocks – you will learn some tough lessons when you’re self-employed; you will need to be thick-skinned and able to bounce back to survive. You never fully switch off; work never stops, and you will find yourself constantly thinking about your company.

Public holidays rob you of productivity – while your employees celebrate the time off, you will find yourself taking advantage of quiet time to focus on more strategic aspects of the business.

All your patience and discipline will pay off down the line; your focus must be unwavering.

YOU are a Company Ambassador – The success of a business depends on its founders and management – as we all know, investors invest in people not companies. Successful entrepreneurs can take a bad idea and make a good business out of it; just as an unsuccessful entrepreneur can take a good idea and create nothing out of it.

As such, new Business-owners will often take on the ‘Brand Ambassador’ persona on online and beyond, as they seek to create maximum impact for the company.

You need to become your company’s biggest fan, most loyal customer and perfect your elevator pitch so you can take advantage of strategic opportunities to talk about how you can add value.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The dilemma Choosing passion over money

Anthony Luvanda a famous Master of ceremony

Anthony Luvanda a famous Master of ceremony (MC) and motivational speaker decided to leave the banking sector to pursue his passion. 

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

Most people are driven by passion to get engaged in some jobs of their dreams. It has been noted that money alone does not push one to love their job but passion seems to have taken an intrinsic motivation.

No wonder, some people opt for jobs with meager pay all in the name of meeting their passion.

For Anthony Luvanda, a famous Master of Ceremony (MC) and motivational speaker, passion is what it takes for him to augment his job efficiency.

Being the managing director of the Home of Events Company Ltd, Luvanda deals with inspirational talks, corporate training together with event planning and management of corporate and private functions.

Having worked in the banking sector for over four years, Luvanda says he had to put aside his profession for the sake of his dream job. For him, entrepreneurship is the way to go.

Luvanda says his area of influence include: Personal Development, Time management, Goals planning, Stress management, Success Coaching, Effective communication, Team Building and Leadership.

A graduate in Political Science from the University of Dar-es salaam, Luvanda opted for self-employment rather than go for slim slots from the government and private sectors.

“When I was at University I had my own philosophy that life is more than academics so I had to get involved in extra curriculum activities. I was particularly engaged in motivational talks and preparing radio programmes,” says Luvanda.

He says from a development perspective passion is more than education curriculum and this philosophy helps one succeed because one takes after other people who are successful, who act as role models to cast their horizon ahead.

Luvanda says since then he craved for learning things that are far from the syllabus, noting that some authors like: Brian Adams, Richard Daddy were of utmost importance in helping him pursue his dreams.

“The major reason that pushed me to opt for creating own job was seeking solace and freedom. I noted that being employed is akin to enslavement,” he explains.

He mentions other factors that motivated him to seek for a dream job as: freedom to spend cash, since being employed means waiting for someone to pay you at the end of the month, long working hours was also another stumbling block---if one works from 8.00am to evening hours, he would have spent that time working to build his own dream.

On youth: he says youth have a huge challenge because employment slots are very slim, adding that graduates are supposed to think beyond carrying envelopes to ask for jobs.

“God has created everyone with their unique potentials. It is time they made use of them to generate an income,” notes Luvanda.

Talking about why most people work for passion or for money, Faraja Kristomus, a lecturer from University of Dar es Salaam, says people seek for jobs mainly to augment their income.

He says expectations are to blame, noting that some people expect good income when they get employed and when they start working they realise that money isn’t all that it takes.

He cites an example of university students who normally expect to land plum jobs but upon finishing studies learn that employment chances are so slim, a thing that leads to frustration and complacency.

Luvanda says lack of guidance is to blame for youth’s lack of life focus, noting that instructors do very little to motivate students about life after university.

According to Kristomus, the government should devise a mechanism that will see university students being given ways of getting integrated in the job market.

He says there should be special teachers whose role is only to coach students who seem to have demonstrated talents, adding that our education system should be overhauled where creativity would be the way to go instead of craving for regurgitating answers to pass examinations as per the set curriculum.

“There should be a link between the private sector and the universities so as to make sure those potential students are given room to practically demonstrate their academic excellence in the job market,” says Kristomus.

However, Starmius Mtweve, 33, an entrepreneur who resigned from journalism to realise his dream in agribusiness says, agriculture pays more than being employed.

“I decided to embark on agribusiness, dealing with farm inputs alongside growing cucumbers, strawberries and water melons. I found the projects paying off. In journalism I had not seen my career passion,” he notes.

The farmer-cum-journalist was born in Njombe Region where from a young age he had demonstrated a passion in agribusiness.

“I used to grow some vegetables on my home garden when I was a little boy. I also liked keeping bees because our home was surrounded with prime vegetation cover that attracted bees,” says Mtweve.

Mtweve completed his Ordinary education at Ulayas Secondary School in 2006 and due to his good academic grades qualified to join Malangali High School for his Advanced Secondary education.

The agronomist says he was fortunately selected to join an agricultural school, but at the end of form six the curriculum changed under the then Minister of Education and Culture, Joseph Mungai, who had changed the curriculum at the expense of unlocking students’ potentials in agribusiness.

Under such changes in the curriculum, agriculture was no longer a subject but a topic that was almost dissolved in the many other science subjects.

Mtweve says he was later on selected to join the University of Dar es Salaam in the department of Journalism and Mass Communication to the detriment of his other career goals.

The ambitious agronomist says he had planned to change the course along the way, thanks to enabling environment and motivation from his instructors and fellow students at the university.

On being an entrepreneur, Mtweve says it does not mean one becomes challenge-free, noting that all can be done if one has developed a spirit of shying away from complacency.

Mtweve says he feels at ease being his own boss, unlike in the past when he was pushed and pestered to implement other people’s goals.

Meanwhile having been employed for about 18 years, Mwamvua Mlangwa thought she needed independence and the ability to stand on her own feet rather than depend on month-end pay.

Being self-employed would give her enough time to be with her family. Mwamvua knew what she wanted to do before she made the decision to quit her job at the National Microfinance Bank (NMB), where she had worked for about a year and a half as a bank cooperative affairs coordinator. She previously worked with Vodacom for over 15 years in different positions.

She wanted to venture into agribusiness and invested in the project using the money she had saved all this while.

“I can say farming is in my blood. When growing up, I used to enjoy helping my parents on our farms in Kibaha, Ruvu and Chanika. This is what I wanted to do and I wanted to do it in a modern way,” says the mother of two.

With a diploma in marketing and business administration plus training in hydroponic farming, Mwamvua was ready to follow her dream.

Today she is the proud owner and founder of Mwammy Green Veggies Company, which supplies fresh vegetables in Dar es Salaam straight from the farm.

The technology she uses in her farming does not involve growing plants in soil but in plastic pipes filled with water containing mineral nutrients. Hydroponic farming, according to Wikipedia is a method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel.

The technology that provides better yields in a short time and on a small area is practised in Israel, which is where Mwamvua borrowed a leaf of inspiration.

She learnt this during one of her numerous trips to the country. Because she cannot find the exact type of plastic used in Israel, she buys plastic pipes used in construction in which she grows her vegetables.

“My visit to Israel inspired me a lot. Israel is a small country and half of it is almost a desert but they use advanced technology in horticulture. I was very much interested in this and thought I could do the same back home,” she says.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

How digitisation helps preserve Tanzania’s rich heritage

Edda Sanga (R) explores the stodio, an

Edda Sanga (R) explores the stodio, an important heritage asset. Photo | Esther Kibakaya  

By Esther Kibakaya @TheCitizenTz news@thecitizen.co.tz

Tanzania has made considerable strides in improving records and Information management system within government bodies. However, the needs of Tanzanian public and private heritage archives have remained largely unaddressed.

A situation analysis of the records and archives in Tanzania made by Unesco and European Union(EU) have identified the inaccessibility, lack of awareness and knowledge about content of the heritage archives as factors that hinder national ownership of its historical memory.

In addressing the above challenges, Unesco in collaboration with the partners and association of the European Union funded a project for safeguarding, preservation and promotion of the Heritage Archives of Tanzania. The African Liberation Heritage Archives in particular, inaugurated the Mwalimu Nyerere African Liberation Memorial studio at the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation.

The studio is an important heritage asset, as a monumental site that was prominently used in the Liberation era as a broadcasting station with an external service channel dedicated to the struggle in Southern Africa. Then known as Radio Tanzania aired programs and recruited journalists from nearly all the liberation movements.

The renovation of the space permits the facility to be used as a permanent display of the Liberation Heritage Archives through a Radio Museum, for greater public access to documentary heritage. The restored section currently hosts two digitization rooms and repositories, two listening rooms and a memorial space.

Dr Ayoub Ryoba, Director General of Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation applauds the project saying it has come at a right time, “technology is everything and this project has helped us to store the history which has started to perish because these records were stored in analogy. Because of time, some of them were at risk of being damaged but now we are sure that they will exist for a long period of time. Because of this project we have now started using some of the old programs which were recorded years back; this makes us more proud of our history. We are sure that the generation to come will have a lot to learn,” says the Director.

On his part, Charles Stuart, Charge d’ Affaires of the European Union to Tanzania and the Eastern African Community said Tanzania played a central role in assisting Africa’s movement fighting for liberation and Mwalimu Nyerere was a key figure in the efforts that were made to bring peace, freedom and unity to Africa.

“While celebrating its heroes and the role of Tanzania as a frontline State in the efforts of African Liberation, we also recognise the contribution of many ordinary citizens towards achieving the goal of Independence in various countries of the continent. The more than one thousand hours of audio records already digitized during the implementation of this project are precious testimonies of these efforts,” he says.

He went further saying, “This rich heritage is invaluable to Tanzanians as well as schools and Africans across the globe, who seek to understand the history of their nation. Audio and video records can provide a unique insight into this past and help us understand our identity as well as the legacy of our forebears. It helps us to comprehend our past, to make sense of our present and helps us consider our prospect for the future.”

He added that for these reasons audio-visual heritage should be safeguarded, but also promoted as broadly as possible and made accessible to everyone. “Preservation and dissemination must go hand in hand, they are interdependent. No widespread access of heritage archives is possible if these archives are lost as a result of decay, neglect or technological obsolescence

UNESCO Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, said the project helps to ensure the sustainability of the audio and print heritage archives by increasing accountability, accessibility and enhancing coordination of the management of this important heritage in Tanzania.

“This project demonstrates that freedom of expression is really very important for any form of freedom that we need. People must be able to speak freely.

Let us also make sure the heritage is open to the world by bringing scholars across the world and as they sit to enjoy the great work that has been done by the late Mwalimu Nyerere, they should be able to understand in their own languages too.

She said the achievement of the project will be sustainable under the Roads to Independence: The African Liberation Heritage Programme is a continental programme with its headquarters hosted in Tanzania, currently implemented in the SADC region countries in African with Tanzania as a lead coordinator for this very important initiative.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Business tips for an entrepreneur



Julius Landu Bulili

Julius Landu Bulili 

By Julius Bulili

Customary business advice is not always best served to small business owners. For many entrepreneurs what has worked for them does not impersonate the advice their large competitors may have followed. Keeping this in mind, it is imperative to consider a number of guidelines specific for you as a business owner regardless of the size of your operation in business.

A successful entrepreneur does not always aim at matching or beating the prices offered by the competitor. Price may win among retailers as well as countless other larger businesses in a variety of categories - but smaller businesses know all too well they typically cannot compete in this big-box space when it comes to monetary perspective. In substitute! This is where smaller businesses have the chance to thrive in offering other experiences that stand-out from prices alone. Of course, price will factor into the overall impression any business leaves on consumers, but when combined with other experiences price can often become overlooked thanks to many other factors that can outperform it.

To be successful in business an Entrepreneur must deliver customer services that make a lasting impression so to say. Literally most small businesses are not doing well due to a lack of good customer service and absence of quality control on product quality, the only strategy to embark on hence to bring new life and profitable success to the business is merely by making your business “customer centric”. That is, to provide the best customer service possible. To make this happen, you have to become more than just business owner, service provider, product maker, etcetera etcetera!!

Big or small, businesses gain the opportunity for increased customer retention and more frequent spending when loyalty programs are offered. You can create one that is digital, mobile, or even old-fashioned by using paper and a hole puncher, but the idea is that you create one that makes sense for your business and your customers. The key is creating a program that is accessible to all and easy to use. Another guideline to help your loyalty program thrive is, give it extra Tender Loving Care (TLC) so that it stands out among your other marketing efforts, including your business newsletters, via social media and of course, whenever you’re tending to customers and during any customer communication. Aim to have it stand out as a well respected perk to customers experiencing your business – and one that they want to experience again and again.

Finally, consider what motivated you to begin your small business in the first place. Was it a passion for what you sell? A motivation to offer more to a community or general business niche that was not being filled before? Whatever your “why” was, make sure your “why” continues to lead you in your small business efforts. This can fuel you to make smarter, more focused decisions that don’t have to blend in with what your big-box competitors are getting recognized for. So while it’s important to know what your competition is up to, make sure you also know how to tune them out when narrowing in on your own small business plans.

Julius Landu Bulili – M.Sc. (Economics &Econometrics); CPM, S.A.| Small & Medium Enterprises Coach| Business plans & Project Proposals writer| Assisting Small Businesses refocus their efforts in order to increase revenue. Email: lucbulili@yahoo.com or jullybulili@gmail.com

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