Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jane Apio, the queen of mixing at cocktail hour

Trained as a nurse, Jane Apio has found her

Trained as a nurse, Jane Apio has found her place behind the bar after discovering her passion for mixing drinks. 

By Edgar Batte

        In 2015, Jane Apio was just another waitress at Carmel Club in Nakasero.

After three months, she hungered for more than waiting on patrons. Her supervisor had also noticed her zeal at giving her best while on duty so she started training her to become a bartender, a step which she took positively.

Then opportunity struck

Months into the new position, she heard about the mixology competitions. She shared with a friend who told her it is an event which is largely dominated by men. This motivated her to go in and prove that women too, could compete and win.

Apio was the only woman among 30 mixologists from bars within and outside Kampala. She was keen to use the competition to learn all she could about mixology and the drinks, for example she learnt that a mixologist helped customers make choices of drink flavours they wanted to blend in the mix while her other job as a bartender was simply about taking orders and serving them as ordered by customers.

“As a mixologist, I would be consulted on what drinks to mix. A customer would walk up to me and ask to take a gin. I would then give them a range of drinks that would blend well with the gin. In the end, they would be happy with the cocktail,” she recounts.

Apio qualified as a nurse at the Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery but her passion led her into a bar setting, one where she envisioned becoming a bartender.

Before going to work as a bartender, she felt more women needed to move away from simply waiting on customers to working behind the bar counters. “The bar industry is full of men and this gave me the motivation to become a mixologist which introduced me to the Master Bar Academy sponsored by Uganda Waragi. I took my chance. There was an opening at Riders Bar so I applied and I was taken on,” Apio recalls.

Seeking enterprise

When people go to Mythos Greek Tavern & Lounge, where she currently works, she says customers always place orders with male bartenders who in turn consult her on the best cocktail choices.

On top of hungering to compete with men, she was also motivated to become a mixologist on the night when a colleague served her a cocktail. She was curious to find out what the drink consisted of.

Her colleague told her it was a margarita which had tequila, orange cure with lemon and sugar. From then on, she took special interest in drinks that were used in making cocktails. On a daily basis, Apio makes many cocktails but the one that she is most proud of, was one created by a team she headed. It is called ‘The Queen of Katwe’. “It is made from Uganda Waragi, lemon, sugar and a dash of pineapple juice,” she adds.

For someone who dreamt of becoming a pilot, Apio feels she cannot switch careers now because her job exposes her to many people, which allows her to widen her network. She could have chased her childhood career aspiration but says that her father, a medical doctor, always pushed her to study something in the medical line. That is how she ended up doing nursing. Apio is the first born in a family of nine. She has five brothers and four sisters, all raised in a Christian family.

Bar Academy

Master Bar Academy is an annual programme in which bartenders and mixologists participate to improve skills, customer service care and ultimately better drinking experience for consumers.

By rewarding and recognising the top bar tenders, the local brewery aims to transform bartending from what is often seen as a part time job to a viable career.

Email: Life&     


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Meet Mabou, the multitalented pop singer


By Compiled by Devotha John

        Seven languages. Six musical instruments. Two types of dance and two sports. It all adds up to one busy little Queens girl.

Five-year-old Mabou Loiseau’s parents spend $1,500 a week on tutors and lessons – and she spends seven hours a day in some type of instruction, with Sundays off.

She grew up speaking French, Creole and English, but her immigrant parents didn’t want to stop there. She’s also learning Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and Russian.

“Russian is my most favourite. I just hear something, and if I don’t understand I say, ‘What does that mean?’ and they’ll tell me,” said Mabou, whose Laurelton house is plastered with flashcards in different languages. She can sing her ABCs in Spanish, count in Mandarin, read fairytales in Russian, and already has an ambitious list of career goals.

“I want to be a firefighter, and I want to be a doctor, and I want to be a dancer, and I want to be a princess,” Mabou said with a smile, sitting shyly on her mom’s lap. “And I want to be an actor, and I want to be a musician, and I want to be a singer, and I want to be a veterinarian, and I want to be a mom.”

Mabou has her own dance studio with a mirrored wall where she learns tap and ballet. Her mom recently got rid of the kitchen table to make room for a full-size drum set. She’s also learning to play the harp, clarinet, violin, guitar and piano. When she’s not taking ice-skating or swimming lessons.

“All the sacrifices in the world for her,” said her mom, Esther Loiseau, a piano teacher who taught French at an American school before leaving Haiti for Queens 15 years ago. “Furniture is not important. Education is.”

Loiseau, 47, said friends and neighbours were initially shocked that she was starting Mabou on such a regimen so early – instead of just letting her be a kid.

“But I make sure I leave enough time for her to play,” Loiseau said. “All she knows is learning. What becomes fun for someone is what they know.”

Loiseau tells the tutors to play with Mabou, speaking in their native language, for half of the lesson. They spend the other half reading, writing and practicing vocabulary.

She said a sure way to make the opinionated only child behave is to threaten to cancel one of her lessons – especially Russian.

Mabou’s dad works 16 hours a day as a parking attendant in Manhattan to pay for everything, and the Loiseaus have also started hosting other students for classes at their house.

Mabou is her mother’s princess.     


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Kasenge’s dating island is a sanctuary to rare bird species


By Matthias Mugisha

        A combination of birding, nature walks and canoeing in a mysterious lake culminates in the courage to get down on one knee at the “Dating Island” and ask: “Will you marry me?” Under the setting sun, with magical reflections of a tropical jungle dancing in the water, amid protesting swans, the answer will be: “Yes.”

The Dating Island, measuring a few metres, is part of the wider mysterious lake at the Forest Resort Beach Kasenge in Lama Sub-county, Mukono District, a few kilometres off Mbalala Trading Centre along Kampala – Jinja highway.

Mysterious water body

The origin of this small lake, complete with islands is a mystery according to the director of Forest Resort Beach, Prisca Mbaguta Sezi. “Natural water was tamed into a lake,” she says. Some of the water has been diverted to make beautiful waterways with cascading miniature waterfalls in the compound of the resort. Activities such as sport fishing, canoeing and boat rides can be done on the lake. For lovers, “The Dating Island” which is usually guarded by highly territorial geese conjures romance.

Birding haven

The neighbouring forest is a popular destination for skilled birders as it hosts one of Uganda’s most sought-after birds – The Green Hylia. Being a forest bird, the Green Hylia (Hylia Prasina) is not easy to see. It has not been easy either for scientists to place it in a particular scientific family.

My guide Stephen and I spent half a day looking for it in vain. It was not until we played its song that it came peeping through the foliage, giving me a few seconds to snap a grainy picture. Apart from the elusive Green Hylia, Kasenge hosts a variety of other bird species such as the Shining Blue Kingfisher, Grey Parrot and Western Nicator. According to Mbaguta Sezi, renowned birding expert Hebert Byaruhanga, has so far counted more than 150 species.

Money mine

According to Uganda Tourism Board Executive (UTB) Director Stephen Asiimwe, birding is the future of tourism in Uganda. He revealed that birding is one of Uganda’s top tourism products. We have 1,067 birds which is 50 per cent of the birds in Africa and 10 per cent of the global population.

“People who love birds are affluent, passionate, have deep pockets, are mostly retired and stay longer. UTB is strategically growing the birding segment. To do that, we have been at the forefront of the annual Birding Expo and Birding Week. We are big participants in the British Birding Fair,” he said, adding that Uganda gets 3000 birding visitors paying $7000 (Shs25.5m) and staying an average of 16 days earning the country US$336m per annum.

According to the UTB boss, the $336 million that Uganda currently gets from birding is nothing compared to the potential the country has. “If Uganda had 100,000 birding visitors per year paying $7000 (Shs25.5m) and staying for 16 days, we would earn $11.2 billion. Currently we get Shs1.4 billion,” he concluded.

Forest walks

Apart from birding, a walk in the forest yields a lot of tropical forest creatures such as butterflies and delicately weaved spider webs. The nature walks include hiking with trails going as far as Ssezibwa falls, about 7 km away.

The vast compound around the lake is used for camping among other functions. You can carry your tent or hire one from the resort. The high- end accommodation is in form of cottages/ bandas at the edge of the mysterious lake. One isolated cottage is reserved for those who want to go deeper into meditation.

And great nights await the couples fresh from the Dating Island under the shy peeping moon.

Birds of Kasenge forest

Birds to be found within Kasenge Forest Beach Resort include; the Cattle egret, Hadada Ibis, Lizard Buzzard, Woodland Kingfisher, Black- headed Weaver, Bronze Manikin, Tambourine Dove, Shining blue Kingfisher, Grey Parrot, Western Nicator, Egyptian Geeze, Pin-tailed Whydah, Willow Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, White –headed sawswing, Hamerkop, Little bee-eater, Marsh Sandpiper, Brown- throated Wattle Eye, Jameson’s Wattle Eye, Black and white casqued hornbill, Red-tailed Greenbul, Bronze Sunbird, Palmnut vulture, Green capped Eremomela, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Crowned Hornbill, Red-chested Cuckoo, Tawny Eagle, White -spotted Flaftail, Speckled mouse bird, and Vieillots black Weaver.

Email: life&     


Sunday, January 21, 2018

How to raise a caring child (age 5)


By Life&Style Reporter

       Children don’t have the cognitive skills to truly understand the concept of empathy until they’re 8 or 9. But 5-year-olds, usually highly preoccupied with fairness, are concerned about being treated well, and they want others – friends, strangers, even characters in books – to be treated well too. Here’s how to nurture these budding displays of empathy.

Label the feeling. Your kindergartner will be able to understand and manage her emotions much better if she can recognise her feelings. So put a name to her behaviour as often as you can. Say, for instance, “It was very kind of you to talk to that boy who was all alone on the swing. He might have been feeling lonely.” By hearing that you noticed her behaviour, she’ll learn that you recognise and value her responsiveness.

She needs to understand negative emotions, too, so don’t be afraid to calmly point out when your 5-year-old’s being less than caring. Try saying, “It made your baby brother really sad when you grabbed his rattle. What could you do to help him feel better?”

Another way to teach your kindergartner to understand and define her emotions is to have a “feeling of the week.” Each week, put up on the refrigerator or bulletin board a picture of someone experiencing a basic emotion – sadness, happiness, surprise, anger. Work your way up to more complicated emotions, such as frustration, nervousness, and jealousy. Talk with your child about times when she felt the same way.

Praise empathetic behaviour When your kindergartner performs an act of kindness, tell her what she did right, and be as specific as possible: “You were very generous to share your special stickers with Tommy. I saw him smiling, and I know he was happy.”

Encourage your kindergartner to talk about her feelings – and yours.Let her know that you care about how she feels by listening intently. If she has a story about someone else (“Tommy got in trouble for shoving Therese, and I don’t think that was fair”), listen to her views before offering your own. And when she says she’s mad, paraphrase what she says – “Oh, you’re feeling grumpy today?” – so she knows you’re listening and feels encouraged to elaborate.

Similarly, share your own feelings with her: “It makes me feel bad when you yell at me. Let’s think of another way for you to tell me you’re angry.” This is also a fine time to share some of your feelings that don’t relate to your child’s actions. You can say, “I’m frustrated that I didn’t meet my deadline at work today” or “I got annoyed with Aunt Mary today, just like you get mad at your sister. But we’re still friends.”

Your 5-year-old will learn that adults have feelings and emotions too, that they’re a normal part of life, and that learning to cope with them is an important part of growing up.

Point out other people’s behaviour

Teach your kindergartner to notice when someone else has behaved kindly. You might say, for example, “Remember how friendly your new teacher was on the first day of school? She helped you feel less scared.” By doing this, you reinforce her understanding of how people’s actions can affect her emotionally.

Books also provide wonderful opportunities to explore emotions. Ask your 5-year-old how she thinks the children in a fairy tale are feeling, and whether she thinks she’d be scared or brave in the same situation. Tell her how you might feel too.

Teach nonverbal cues. At the playground or park, find a quiet place where you and your 5-year-old can sit and observe others without being rude. Play a game of guessing what other people are feeling, and explain the specific reasons for your own guesses: “See that man? He’s walking really quickly and his shoulders are hunched, and he’s making a mean face. I think he’s angry about something.”

Teach basic rules of politeness

Good manners are a great way for your kindergartner to show caring and respect for others. “Please” and “thank you” are phrases 5-year-olds should use automatically. Explain that you’re more inclined to hand over her sandwich when she asks for it politely and that you don’t like it when she orders you around. Even if these phrases sound rote at times, they teach kids how important it is to treat others with respect. Of course, being polite to her is worth a thousand rules and explanations. Say “please” and “thank you” regularly to your kindergartner and to others, and she’ll learn that these phrases are part of normal communication, both at home and out in public.     


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Why you need a house plan

A house plan gives the home builder a good

A house plan gives the home builder a good overview on its house design and guides him all the way through the entire project. PHOTOI FILE 

By Beatrice Nakibuuka

        It is every person’s wish to live in a beautiful house. We all therefore yearn for a day when we would be proud owners of our dream homes. That is if you don’t have one yet.

We visualise in our minds the type of house it will be, the exterior and interior design, the number of rooms it will have, the colour, the garden, you name it. Well, you can not own a house unless you have enough money to buy a plot on which to build the house.

Once you buy the plot, you need to have a plan of how you want your dream house to look like. This is where experts come in. The experts help you with the house plan which you need to have before you lay the foundation.

A house plan is the architectural representation of a client’s idea on how the different purposes of the house will be arranged. In a modern day building, architectural plans are one of the requirements needed for a building to be approved.

You will need to hire a licensed structural engineer to analyse the design and provide additional drawings and calculations required for your house plan.

According to Rashid Ssenyonjo, a structural engineer with HIL Consults, everyone who plans to build a house must have a plan of what you want your house to be.

Why have a house plan

The blueprints will clearly illustrate what the homeowner expects the finished house to look like when construction is complete.

“Plans are a useful tool in preparing your building site, planning the interior space and creating a building schedule with the builder. House plans outline the home’s complete structure from the foundation and wall framing to the roof framing and interior layout,” says Ssenyonjo.

The house plan gives a clear map of boundaries for each room, indicating the correct measurements; depict major elements on the floor plan such as bathtubs, sinks and many more.

According to Moses Kinobe, an architect at Kinobe & Partners, a house plan outlines the expected functions (rooms and other structures in the house) of the house and required spaces to suit the health status of the person. Architects usually consider the light intensity, ventilation and positioning in relation to the environment and climate.

“It defines the sizes, designs, finishes and relationship of the different functions on the plot. The planner can also recommend particular type of materials and builders to ensure your safety,” says Kinobe.

The house plan controls the finances and costing of building because you have defined direction so you only build what you have budgeted for and minimise unnecessary breaking during the construction.

Do not rely on online plans

If you are buying an online house plan, you should know that many online stock home plan companies sell inferior plans. Some of the plans do not include all the necessary information needed to safely build your home.

Kinobe says, “Family needs and lifestyles differ from individuals and families, depending on their stages and future plans. Using an online house plan may not, therefore, be valid because for instance what newly- wed couples look for in a home plan is different from the characteristics that a retired couple might find important.”

“If you must rely on an online house plan, make sure that the designer knows the site of your plot and its land status, says Ssenyonjo. This is because different environments need different plans. For example, the wetlands and hilly areas require different plans.”

This will require different materials, and for the houses to face different directions. Using an online house plan can just be a mismatch of structures and ideas considering the size of your own plot and the interest of the client. All the functions as defined on the plan may fail to fit.


How much privacy you need from other occupants and the neighbours is another important consideration while you think of your house plan. You may consider a U or L shaped design for privacy, especially if you are building in an urban area.

The details of your construction drawings are critical to ensure that your home is built using proper structural and building methods.

When you have your own house plan, you get the satisfaction that your tastes are going to be implemented.

Costing for a house plan

There is no particular price tagged to a house plan but different factors play a role, to Ssenyonjo.

The location is one of the determinants of the house plan pricing because the planner has to physically inspect and see what is exactly on the ground.

“The type of house you plan to have can affect the price of drawing your plan. For example, if you want to have a bungalow, you may only require consulting an architect for the plan but a storeyed house will require that you consult a structural engineer which will likely increase the prices,” Ssenyonjo says.

A good payment should match the durability of the investment so it is important that you consult an expert on how best you can use your land.

Going to a licensed expert is more recommendable because there many who pose around town as engineers and architects. They should be able to give advice on the best materials to use.

Sally George, a resident of Kinyerezi moved into her new home a few months ago. She concedes that it is very important to have a plan before you construct a house.

Sally and her husband bought their plot a few years back and started saving money for construction. When they were finally ready to lay the foundation, they sat and planned on where exactly to build the house on their plot.

“We considered many things when planning this. There is a college near our house and because we thought it would be noisy at times, we decided the gate would be on the side of the college,” says Sally.

The bedrooms were put in areas where they thought there would be good ventilation and enough lighting. Privacy was also something they considered and this determined the location of each room.

Their master bedroom for example is located far from the porch for privacy purposes and to avoid noise once the porch is occupied.

“Our house is located by the roadside, something we also put into consideration when we were planning the design of the house. The fence is raised on this side to minimise the dust from the road,” says Sally.

When she and her husband were done with the house plan, they engaged a professional to put it on paper for the fundis to make reference to during construction.

Email: Life&     


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Blind tailor who is giving back to the community

Nyangalio shares a light moment with one of his

Nyangalio shares a light moment with one of his students at the training centre. PHOTO | SAID HAMIS 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

At one of the stalls at the Saba Saba grounds in Dar es Salaam, 57-year-old Abdallah Nyangalio happily goes about his work, training students how to sew clothes.

Wearing a cream shirt underneath a navy blue jacket, grey trousers, a tape measure around his neck and dark sunglasses, Nyangalio who is visually impaired moves around the class with the aid of a walking stick as he instructs his students.

It’s amazing watching the way he interacts with the class, facing them as if he can see them. He cracks a joke here and there, making the students burst into laughter. He is such a talkative teacher with a good sense of humour and there is no mistaking the students enjoy being in his class.

Nyangalio was not born blind. The father of eight children lost his sight in his 30s after an operation to lower his eye pressure. The doctor told him before the surgery, that there was a risk he could lose his sight after the procedure, which is exactly what happened.

“At least the severe headache that I experienced as a result of the eye pressure stopped following the operation,” Nyangalio says jokingly, his voice implying he has since accepted his condition and moved on with life.

Nyangalio will always be grateful to the Russian doctor who performed the operation, one Dr Alexandra, who he later learnt had died, for teaching him how to make clothes. It’s because of her caring spirit that he is able to put food on the table today.

“As a way to thank God and the doctor, I decided to share my new skill with others,” says Nyangalio, happy that the job keeps him busy and because he earns a livelihood through it, he is not a burden to anyone. Although he does not earn much, he is satisfied with what he gets.

Nyangalio who has made clothes for the likes of former President Jakaya Kikwete and other dignitaries partnered with Buguruni ward councilor, Nuru Awadh and together they opened a training centre, Anaa Fashion Centre, situated at the Sabasaba International Trade Fair grounds.

The centre was launched last October by the then Temeke District Commissioner, Sophia Mjema. During the ceremony the DC donated two sewing machines to the centre. He thanks Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade) for their generous support. “The room I use as a classroom belongs to TanTrade and I don’t pay them a single cent. Not only that, TanTrade also gives me fare for coming here every day and back.”

On top of that, the organisation donated four sewing machines to the centre after which more support kept pouring in. The centre received ten sewing machines from Global Education Link and two more machines from the Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon Phillip Mpango. Today Anaa Fashion Centre owns a total of 17 sewing machines.

Urafiki Textile Mills also has been generous enough to support Nyangalio with materials, hence making his work easier.

Because of this support, 35 students have so far been equipped with clothes making skills. Currently, the centre has 21 students, the majority visually impaired. Nyangalio charges Sh20,000 per month for the three months course and offers the training free of charge for those who are visually impaired.

The eldest of four children in his family, Nyangalio lives in his parents’ home in Mbagala Kibonde Maji. Those who have seen his work call him Dr Nyangalio, a name he takes pride in. “People call me doctor because of my expertise in making clothes,” he says with a smile.

However, some people doubt his ability to make clothes since they can’t imagine how a person who cannot see can make a dress. Those who try him have never regretted, he says.

“Those who doubt my ability bring their children’s school uniforms to test me and end up bringing me materials to make them their own clothes,” he tells me.

Commenting on the business, Nyangalio says the market is not that good at the moment and that he only does good business during the saba saba trade fair.

Nyangalio calls upon people with disabilities to not despair but always believe in themselves. They should make the most of what life provides, he advises.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

She’s giving drug addicts another shot at sober life

Pili in a group photo with some of the addicts

Pili in a group photo with some of the addicts at the rehabilitation centre in Kigamboni.PHOTOS | COURTESY 

By Devotha John

Pili Misana dreams of a world free from drugs. It pains her to see the national workforce being wasted due to drug addiction.

The 32-year-old mother of one felt obliged to intervene and therefore set up a rehabilitation centre in Kigamboni. PilliMissanah Foundation, which offers counselling to addicts opened its doors in 2012 with 15 addicts. The number jumped to 17,000 clients five years down the line. Their ages range between 15 and 55 . Today she runs four rehabilitation centres, three in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam and one in Mwanza. Both the addicts’ families and well wishers help run the centres through financial contributions.

“After seeing a good number of youth being trapped into drugs, I thought I needed to come up with something to help them get away from the malady. That’s how the foundation was born,” she notes.

Pili grew up seeing her father help the destitute and believes this has had an influence on her. A holder of a diploma in computer science, Pili believes rehabilitation is the best thing that society can do to help addicts.

When she started, Pili used to go to drug-prone areas where she would identify abusers, counsel them on the effects of abusing drugs and encourage them that breaking away from the chains of addiction was possible. The exercise also involved identifying those who were ready to quit using drugs and the ones who did not show the interest to quit.

“At the centres we probe their historical background inorder to know them better and come up with the best ways to help them,” Pili says.

After that the addicts are taken to health facilities for medical check-ups, where they are screened for HIV, brain cancer and hepatitis B among others. The screening is done for early intervention if need be.

Apart from telling them the side effects of engaging in drug abuse, the addicts are advised to make peace with their God since according to their religious beliefs, drug abuse is a sin.

“Through prayer and meditation, drug addicts have been reformed. They are transformed from worse to better,” says Pili.

Six months after they are admitted to the rehabilitation centres, the addicts conduct anonymous group meetings every evening to share experiences on life challenges. During the meetings, they give each other hope, discuss ways to solve their common problem and help each other to recover from alcoholism and drugs.

“These meetings help them to overcome shyness and open up on their addiction,” Pili says adding that many addicts become responsible citizens after rehab.

Running the centre is not a bed of roses, though. Pili faces challenges like paying rent among others. Lack of cooperation from some addicts’ families and community members is another challenge. When they return home, the addicts need support from their loved ones in order to make their journey to recovery easy. Unfortunately, some families still consider them addicts even after rehabilitation when they return home hence they isolate them. This makes them feel neglected, leading to relapse.

Pili is encouraged by President Magufuli’s decision to wage a war against drugs. She says supporting him to end the vice should be everyone’s task. She also commends the move to nail drug dealers, something she believes is a major step in the fight against drugs. However, Pili says this will only be a success if we all join hands with the government to nip drug business in the bud.

Pili calls on parents and guardians to be much closer to their children, saying it is through closeness that children can be taught good morals and get away from crime.

“Parents should not let the world teach their children how to behave. They need to play their role. Morality and traditional values begin at the family level, short of that is creating a society full of confusion,” says Pili.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Young woman with a passion to transform lives


By Devotha John

Loureen Juma, author of the recently launched motivational book, titled It’s You is a jack of all trades. Apart from being an author, Loureen is a graphic designer, a singer and a motivational speaker.

Born Zubeda Juma, 23 years ago in Arusha, Loureen discovered her calling in writing and motivational speaking through Compassion International, a Christian humanitarian aid child sponsorship organisation dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world.

She spent a better part of her childhood with the organisation after her father disowned her for converting to christianity.

It’s You tells a lot about her. She wrote the book to motivate and teach people about life and the fact that it is one’s responsibility to make their life better.

“I have written about various angles of life and this has helped me realise that I am personally responsible for my own life,” she says, adding “I hope people will understand they are responsible about everything that happens in their lives. That is why the book is called ‘It’s You.’ As a child she always wanted to become an international public speaker and an author. She has so far written two books, her first one ‘Amazing point to note’.

It’s You, she says can completely transform one’s life if one takes time to critically read it.

“I have seen a lot of people who live all their lives blaming others or blaming circumstances for their failures in different aspects of life.

People blame their origin, their past, their friends, everything around them thinking that their failure isn’t their fault while the honest truth is, their failure is their very own fault.”

The book consists of 10 chapters in which she offers advice on how to overcome the dependency syndrome. She tells people to live positively and carry their burdens.

“The first book wasn’t a testimonial of my life but it was a collection of ideas and points that I noted from my pastor’s sermons over faith. It is a small book of about 50 pages which didn’t go viral like the second one did. I was an amateur author at the time,” she says.

Loureen says Dr Ben Carson, an American author and Joel Nanauka from Tanzania inspired her writing talent.

Ben Carson is her inspiration because he writes about his own life and experiences. “His books are a testimonial of his life and so are mine.”

Joel is her role model because he inspires youth by writing on effective living and life modification, which is what Loureen wants and does herself.

Hers was not a happy childhood and that’s why she writes about it to teach and motivate others.

Her father was an alcoholic who did not take good care of his family. Going without food on some days was something they had been used to.

“We lacked parental care in my family. My father was an alcoholic, my mother was a housewife and so we lived in abject poverty.”

Loureen who converted to Christianity after joining Compassion International went to Felix Mrema Secondary School under full sponsorship of Compassion International.

She joined the Institute of Accountancy Arusha in 2012 for a certificate course in accountancy.

Loureen calls on authors to write so much for the society, to fill it with knowledge and make it a better place. She advises Tanzanians to make reading a habit inorder to acquire knowledge.

She says a reading culture should be inculcated in children from a young age. She believes it is at a young age where a lot of foundations can be established in youngster’s minds.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Just tell her the truth that you are married


By Jackson Biko

The Bible says married men shouldn’t admire other girls because they might fall flat into temptation and then possibly break the eighth commandment. Then God will not be happy with them, and nobody wants to let down God, even though we all end up really disappointing Him throughout the day in some way or the other when we say things like “I swear to God,” or when we drive past a beautiful house and go, “My goodness, that’s a great house. Where do people get money to buy such digs?” And just like that you have coveted a neighbour’s house.

So anyway, so you are married man and you are going about your business, keeping your nose clean, staying out of trouble, not admiring your neighbour’s garden or car, and then boom, you see this girl one day and you think goddamn! So you remember your teachings and your vows and you remember how this can go horribly wrong if you act on it. So you don’t act on it. The devil goes away.

By the way, are you married?

But then one day you are getting into a bus or an ATM and guess who you see again? That girl who made you break one of the 10 commandments! She’s waiting to get into the ATM booth. You see how the devil follows you everywhere? You see how God allows good men to succumb in the face of great temptation? Anyway, so this time you say hello and then somehow you end up with her phone number and you call her up one day and you meet her at a cafe where you sit at the window and she orders a kettle of mixed English tea and you proceed to make her laugh so hard she chokes on her tea. Finally she asks you the big question of the evening “By the way, are you are married?”

OK, gentlemen. Let’s hold that date right there for a minute, shall we? There is a fork in the road here, where two types of men are distinguished. The first type is the man who answers this question by saying with a straight face, “Uhm, no. Not married.” The second guy is the kind of guy who will say, “Yeah, I’m married with five fantastic kids.” So this guy will probably not see this girl again because she will block him. (“I keep meeting this creepy married men!” she will moan to her pals later.) Our story is with the first guy who lied.

I have a theory about this first guy. He’s not on Facebook. If he is, he doesn’t post anything and he hasn’t been told “Kwani how come you don’t put your relationship status?” He isn’t on any social media platform. There is no picture of him or his wife or his kids anywhere. He doesn’t have a mobile phone. He’s a ghost. He doesn’t exist. He could as well be living in the 80’s when you could only be reached on landline or via telegram or snail mail. Or maybe he gave her a fake name and she will search for him on FB and not find him. Or if she does find someone who has his names they will not have his face.

Otherwise if he is on social media and he has a phone, how does he plan to navigate? Are these the guys who say their houses have no network? (Haha.) Or the guys who, when they are called and the girl asks, “Kwani what child is that crying in the background?” say, “Oh, that’s a cat.” The guys who have to keep two phone lines – one which they leave in the car when they get home? The same chaps who now have to play hide and seek and stress about keeping a whole wife and kids a big secret? Then you wonder why some of us grow old so fast – because we can’t sleep well knowing what big cover up to hatch.

Our fathers could get away with lying about their marital status because back then if you didn’t have a landline, you could step out of a cafe and disappear! You could be anywhere! You could be on the moon. Now it takes just one of her girlfriends digging for about two hours for your marital records to be retrieved. They will even throw in a picture of you in high school when you were skinny and dark to show how dedicated they can be with the task of investigations. So it’s pointless to lie, really. Just say you are married, boss. You aren’t the first married man to fancy a girl who isn’t their wife. You won’t be the last.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Time to face the reality

A woman helps a girl try on a school uniform at

A woman helps a girl try on a school uniform at Buhongwa market in Mwanza in preparation for school. The new school term starts on Monday. 

By Mnaku Mbani

After the happy New Year electronic cards and messages we all received on our phones last week, WhatsApp is now awash with funny messages on tough January.

Discussions on WhatsApp groups seem to have taken a totally different direction this time around. The messages and discussions are now centred on the tough times many are going through after merry making during the holidays.

One popular message that did the rounds on the messaging App, especially towards the end of December and that is still trending is the one cautioning people to be careful in spending as January approaches.

“Do not spend all your money in December because January is around the corner,” reads the message.

As funny as it might have been taken in December, the reality is now here with us. Everyone’s mind is busy pondering on how they are going to survive the tough month. Everyone tends to spend a lot during the holidays and the fact that most people receive their December salaries well in advance makes matters worse. A majority of people had spent their last cent well before Christmas.

We all know that January has always been a tough month especially for those with school aged children. January becomes a challenging moment for those who did not spend carefully in December now that they have school fees to pay and uniforms and other necessities to buy.

December has always been such a busy month to many, both in rural and urban areas, with everyone trying to make the most of the holidays. Some people opt to travel to their homeland, while others decide to go for holidays far away from their homes.

It is evident that December really is a month when everyone tries to heal their body, soul and mind. It is a time when families and friends come together, eat and drink to celebrate the end of a year and usher in a new one. December is also a time when people celebrate their year-long achievements and make plans for the following year.

While some people opt to remain at home when others travel, they too do make plans on how to celebrate the holidays.

With the feeling of completing 12 months of the year, people always tend to postpone their year-long suffering for two weeks, others for a whole month until January when life resume to business as usual.

Those whose children go to boarding school use December to entertain their children with different treats such as taking them to big hotels to swim, amusement parks, trips away from home either to visit relatives or to tour national parks. Then comes Christmas when they buy them new clothes and shoes. All these are done to relieve the children from the six months of schooling.

Preparing in advance

Most people forget the responsibilities in January and spend like there is no tomorrow.

In developed countries, people always make savings for year end holidays as well as January financial commitments earlier, infact as soon as the New Year starts. This makes it easy for them to celebrate the end of year holidays stress-free.

It is different here. Most of us spend the December salary for the celebrations, yet we depend on the same salary to pay school fees and survive in the whole month of January.

“Everyone spends time looking forward to Christmas in the weeks leading up to it, and when it’s over, we can’t help but feel disgruntled that the short-lived fun and family bonding is over,” says Stanford Peter, a businessman and financial expert in Dar es Salaam.

“Sure, we might come home with gifts that may make our lives a little ‘easier,’ but in essence, we come home so liquid with more stuff to buy,” he adds.

Stanford believes the end of year holidays can be used as a time to forget one’s problems for a while, but it does not completely heal you from economic problems.

It is not only the pockets that get affected during the festivities. Most of us destroy our bodies with alcohol. Other people around the world start their year off being extremely hangover. The year starts off in a fog of mystery.

Psychologists assert that many people experience post-holiday depression in January. The majority, they say, will experience this during days following Christmas and New Year.

Interviewed doctors said January experiences higher than normal numbers of patients due to emotional issues.

Mariam Usi, believes that January is the most challenging month because people associate it with a lot of financial obligations.

“Many people struggle in January because they spend every cent in December,” she says.

January is when most people are faced with obligations such as paying school fees, paying rent and taxes. Mariam says people end up borrowing to settle the bills. The problem she says is that, many plan for things that are beyond their reach. They buy everything they come accross just to please their egos.

“When December comes, people do not think about January. The month seems to take them by surprise when it sets in while they had spent their last coin. She calls most of the spending in December unnecessary.

Dr Blandina Kilama, a seasoned economist based in Dar es Salaam, says those complaining about “bad” January are those who don’t prepare in advance for the month.

“January always comes after every 11 months and no one can deny this fact.

I think those who complain about January do not realise that they destroyed themselves in December,” she points out. Dr Blandina advises that planning ahead for the end of year festivities is the best way to avoid January blues.

“People should save money in the eleven months and spend some of the savings during yearend holidays, while retaining some for financial obligations that come up each January.”

The economist says during December cash businesses tend to grow. People start offering short term loans with exorbitant interests taking advantage of borrowers’ cash thirst.

“It takes people up to four months to cover up the financial gaps created during December,” says Dr Kilama.

Behaviour change is important to avoid stress in January.



Sunday, January 7, 2018

Why they are excited to join the next class


By Elizabeth Tungaraza

When children start school, most of them have already had some experience from the nursery school setting which means hat they have already faced lot of challenges and have different experience to share. For both the beginners and those who have already been in school for several years the experience of moving to another class is always exciting.

Young Citizen visited different schools where several children spoke about their expectations and experiences of moving from one grade to another. Martha Bonaventure 12, is a pupil at Tusiime English Medium School, Tabata, says she feels happy and excited to be moving to another grade though she knows the challenges that await.

“I feel like I have taken a big step. This shows that I and other pupils in the class will be having more knowledge and skills,” she says. “It’s fun you know, you might also get new friends. It is like a new beginning. You gain confidence and self respect.

You become happy when you enter a new grade because you acquire and learn new things,” notes the soft spoken girl . Martha has the motivation to become the best pupil in the final examinations. “I want to become the overall best pupil in 2018. Entering a new grade is like an adventure because you have to study harder than before,”says Martha.

Vanessa Austin is a pupil at Maximillian Primary School in Dar es Salaam,says the feeling of changing classes and sometimes even teachers is a bit scary but that is mainly because of the challenges that one expects. “I am supposed to be joining Grade Three I know how to manage my things on my own and being independent.

For me this is good experience because every year I meet new pupils and we become friends.

Also this is the time for me to learn new skills and to compete with others,” says Vanessa. Going to school for the first time is a big event for children, although every alteration is stressful.

The first week of school in every year, children expect to meet new people, new classes, new teachers, and the same fears. Ethan Jonah from St Mary’s Mwanza told Young Citizen that most of the time he face the fear of not being able to speak fluently in the class, This always makes him think of what his fellow classmates will say about him. “Speaking in front of people is scary if you are not courageous enough,” he says.

According to it says that when children enter a school, they are confronted by standards of behaviour, teachers’ expectations, and social pressure to fit in with their peers. Children who are different in any way often have difficulty adjusting to new environments.

Hyperactive and special needs children may find conforming difficult and may require individual consideration.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Why children resist bedtime


By Sound Living Reporter

If you’re like most parents, you’re all too familiar with this scenario: You put your preschooler to bed at 8:30 at night, hugging and kissing her and wishing her sweet dreams.

It’s been a long day, but still the dinner dishes await, you have bills to pay, the dog needs to be walked and the cat fed, and you haven’t had a spare moment to put your feet up.

But instead of spending the rest of the evening catching up on your chores and clocking some precious time with your partner, you’re in and out of your child’s room, cajoling her to sleep. She finally nods off — about three hours after she first went to bed.

Take heart: Bedtime can be rough for a preschooler. On the one hand, she’s learning to assert herself and her newfound independence. On the other hand, she’s fearful of what it means to be on her own. “Fighting sleep is a way to take control, but it’s also a way to stave off fears that come with the night,” says Jodi A. Mindell, associate professor of psychology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and the author of Sleeping Through the Night. Monsters under the bed, boogiemen in the closet, thunderstorms, bugs — those are pretty scary things to deal with when you’re all alone in the dark!

What you can do about bedtime battles

Set aside some time to talk to your child about her day. Your preschooler may be fighting sleep simply because she needs time to check in with you at the end of her day. Especially if you work long hours yourself, allot some time before bed to chat with her about goings-on at preschool and to get the scoop on the latest dramas in her social life. You may find that she’s more amenable to sleep if she’s had a chance to unburden herself.

Stick to a bedtime routine. Make a pictorial chart for your preschooler to follow — including her bath, teeth brushing, bedtime story, and goodnight kiss. Also include her usual (and reasonable) requests — like that second sip of water or a peek at the moon. Give her some notice before it’s time to start the routine each night (“Sophie, five minutes before bath time!”). Try not to let her dawdle, or drag things out with activities that aren’t part of the ritual — no third glass of water or round of “Baby Beluga,” for instance.

Motivate her. When your preschooler goes to bed on time, the rewards for you are obvious. Make it clear what’s in it for her too. The morning after she sticks with the routine, praise her and give her a sticker to put on a special chart. Offer her a reward — like a new book or a visit to her favorite playground — once she stays in bed three nights in a row. (Start small — for a preschooler, a few days is a long time to hang in there!)

Offer choices. Refusing to go to bed is a powerful way for your child to assert herself. So it might help to find an acceptable means of allowing her to be assertive. Let her decide whether she wants to hear Silverstein poems or a Ranger Rick story before lights-out, for instance, or ask her if she’d like a sip of water before or after she climbs into bed. Be careful to offer only choices you can live with; if you ask “Want to go to bed now?” you probably won’t like the answer you get.

Be calm but firm. Even if your preschooler cries or pleads for an exception to the going-to-bed rule, stand your ground. If you’re frustrated, don’t engage in a power struggle. Speak calmly and quietly but insist that when time’s up, time’s up. If you give in to her request for “five more minutes, please,” you’ll only hear it again tomorrow night.

Teach your preschooler to fall asleep alone. If your child depends on you to stay with her while she falls asleep, now’s a good time to encourage her to doze off on her own. You might give her some incentive by reminding her that it’s time to go to sleep, and if she stays quiet you’ll be back to check on her in five minutes. Reassure her that she’s safe and that you’re nearby.

Take the stepladder to success. You can’t expect your child to learn, in one fell swoop, how to go to bed and sleep all night according to your perfect scenario. Take it one step at a time: If your preschooler’s used to falling asleep in your bed, maybe her first step is to fall asleep in her own. Her second step could be learning to limit her nocturnal “escapes” to one per night, or calling for you only once without actually getting up. Build your way to the ultimate goal (sleeping through the night without a peep) in successive, successful steps.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Exploring historic Meru tribe capital, Ifulong

Visitors get the opportunity to learn the

Visitors get the opportunity to learn the history of the Meru people 

By Elisha Mayallah

The good thing about the end-of-year festive season is that there is no one set way to celebrate it. Everyone will have their own special, unique way of celebrating.

I celebrated the festivities my own way last week. I spent the time in Ifulong village nearly 17 kms from Arusha where I joined a couple from Austria and some locals.

Ifulong is still mostly untouched by globalisation. Slowly, but steadily – since the country has opened up to cultural tourism, coordinated by the Tanzania Tourist Board through the Cultural Tourism Programme based in Arusha, after years of being unexplored – many visitors are now visiting.

According to Emanuel Ndelekwa, Coordinator of culture tourism activities at Ifulong, Njoro and Poli areas host a culture capital and the Nringaringa traditional historic trees site.

Definitely, this is one-of-a-kind cluster of Meru villages which offers visitors opportunities to learn their great history. There are many attractions such as waterfalls that are worth the visit.

The isolation from other areas is what keeps the ethnic groups and tribal cultures thriving. Locals live their culture and it is the centre of community life.

The beautiful, tropical nature of Ifulong is huge and our first contact during our guided cultural walk was a natural water spring.

Other than seeing the spectacular landscape with the scenic backdrop view of ferule farmlands, we saw one of the oldest Lutheran churches in the area which is partly in ruins. Emanuel gave us a thorough briefing as he identified different flora and fauna found in our walks across the village.

Change of landscapes with lowlands included, valleys and hills took us up to Rumale hill, the second highest in the village. At 1,400m, Rumale hill offers interesting views of lower parts of Arusha town.

We visited homesteads built in or near coffee and banana farms. Here we got to learn about different species and uses of banana. We proceeded to one of the popular waterfalls from here.

We were treated in a special way when we reached the base of Mwakyoo waterfall with water thundering nearly 15 metres above us.

The trail to hike down was so steep and walking was a bit of a challenge and surely a glass of fresh cold juice was the best fitting drink to take to cool our bodies.

Emanuel told us that visitors can swim in the cool waters, and it is a good place for healing the mind and meditating before lunch.

Hiking up was quicker than descending though I had two young men to assist me, one in front and one behind.

When we got back to the village at Seela, we tested the different local banana beers. After leaving the pub we passed along a narrow trail to find a banana farm along a river. After Emanuel’s brief of various banana plants we were given the opportunity to plant one banana lade finger.

It was already lunchtime when Emanuel announced that ours was a traditional food lunch – a delectable local food menu.

For starters, we had pumpkin soup mixed with coconut oil and sweet potatoes including fried bananas.

The selection of the main dishes varied from Rice cooked with carrots and peas, spiced beef stew, including milled maize cooked with soya beans (locally known as Makande). The flavourful food was accompanied by salads and fresh pineapples.

After lunch Mama Rahabu Ignatio briefed us about the women activities starting from the farm to handicrafts (batik making). Farming is organic and on display were onions, garlicky and by-products of coffee.

Later we were taken around to see one of the local houses used as a homestay for visitors who may wish to stay overnight in the village to interact fully with locals.

To end our full day tour we had the opportunity to experience the traditional coffee making process and plant an Arabica coffee nursery tree. We learnt how coffee trees are planted, pruned at different stages and how ripe cherries are picked.

Later Emanuel took us through what it takes to dry, roast, grind and then we prepared a personalised cup of coffee to taste.

Across the road from the coffee farm we were treated to a glass of banana wine at a local pub.

I would call the trip to Ifulong my best trip so far!



Sunday, December 17, 2017

Online lovers


In the days gone by, there was something like the perfect meeting place where men and women in search of partners found each other.

Places like church or even being introduced by a relative formed some of the top ways how and where couples met, whereas it was taboo to meet a future spouse in a bar or disco.

Times have changed and the millennials are doing it slightly different from what their forefathers believed was the sanctified ways of meeting a spouse.

When the internet first arrived not many believed that it would change several facets of our lives including how we find marriage partners.

To most Tanzanians this was once upon a time a very alien thing that they only heard about in Europe and America, however this is fast becoming a reality with more dating sites opening daily.

But with changing lifestyle with many people too busy to get involved in the conventional dating game, they prefer searching for partners through the several sites that offer local solutions.

Here young men and women put forward their strongest features that they believe will attract potential suitors plus some of their best pictures that form the basic profile.

The sites such as Tanzania Dating, FirstMet, InterracialDatingCentral, Twoo, and many others are a hit with both young and old alike.

To the proponents of this new lifestyle, meeting singles from Tanzania has never been easier for the sites offer those in search of partners that are in their proximity.

Though many people might not publicly admit using these sites, they actually do gauging by the numbers that are displayed on the sites and they are all local.

Mary Urassa, 29, admits to have tried this route more than once and the first time she had tried was out of boredom after she had spent some time quite alone in the wake of a very nasty break-up from her boyfriend.

Single and desperate

The type of friends she had at that time did not help her cause for they always advised her to go back to the same man whom she considered very abusive. She had to gamble!

“I was bored and wanted to meet a man, but I didn’t know where to meet one, so I signed up with an online dating service and the result was spontaneous,” she says.

All she needed was to post a photo of herself, write a paragraph or more about herself, and complete their questionnaire.

“You answer questions such as your age, height, eye colour, interests, marital status, and personal information. You have expectations of meeting someone just right for you,” she says.

Though she had reservations about the whole arrangement, her match was probably close to what she had envisioned and they got on quite well.

“He happened to be living some 30-minutes drive away and was in the same profession as me, so after a couple of exchanges online we exchanged our phone numbers and the rest was history,” she says naughtily.

As awesome as this might have been for Mary but what happens when something goes wrong, and they aren’t your match at all?

One of the biggest and most common problem with online dating and relationships is lying. Men lie mostly about age, height, and income, while women lie about weight, physical build, and age.

Although most women are seeking someone to have a great relationship with and enhance their lives, many men are seeking women for other reasons.

As Rachael Abraham confides, the two men that she has met online were not anything close to what she had prayed for, they were consummated liars that she is yet to see.

He lied about almost everything about himself and was very insecure.

“In the beginning, he had an extreme interest in getting to know me, making me his top priority, and making me feel more special than ever. He reel me in with promises of the great life he was going to provide, and said everything any woman would love to hear including how much he loved me, rather quickly,” says Rachel.

Master manipulator

According to Rachael she found herself falling in love rather quickly to a man who was a master manipulator who was out to reap from her.

But it is not all about men telling lies, women too have had a myriad of issues in the dating game as Arnold Vedasto recounts.

One of the most important features of creating an online profile involves having a profile picture that is part of one’s identity.

During his search for someone, Arnold came across a certain Christina, she was quite an eye candy, her beauty was quite startling, besides, at 29 she bore the looks of a 23-year-old or there about.

After the early exchanges, a date was set, and guess what, the woman who introduced herself as Christina was far from what Arnold had seen in the different pictures on her profile.

“Her pictures were heavily photoshopped and she looked considerably older and to a greater extent several kilogrammes above the 70 kg she had spoken of,” says Arnold.

This was a complete put off and the relationship never took off for he just couldn’t imagine what was in store for him, she had crossed the line.

These are some of the treacherous paths that one sometimes has to navigate to find that elusive romance and sometimes at such a cost that is unbearable.


Monday, December 18, 2017

That one dinner when I decided to use a stick

Steamed rice with Mongolian beef chinese curry.

Steamed rice with Mongolian beef chinese curry. 

By Tasneem Hassanali

Have you ever googled on how to eat your food? Most likely, the answer is no, perhaps with a moan. I must confess, this one evening, I did so.  I have a ‘so called’ bucket list that I mentally prepared with my better half – that includes perfecting, rather imitating other cultures and experiencing the other side of life.
I decided to check-off one of it last week, practising if not perfecting on how to use sticks like the Chinese to eat a meal. We went looking for two sets of chopsticks in the streets of Kariakoo where culinary shops are plenty. Rarely you’ll find just two sets – it’s usually a pack of six or twelve sets and can cost anything between Sh5500 and Sh8500 per pack.
My cooking skill for Chinese food is undoubtedly above average if not exceptional. Just before dining, we googled videos on the right way to hold and use the Chinese chopsticks. From a muscle spasm to collision – our efforts seemed a fail. It’s surely a herculean task for the beginners.
Chopsticks have been used as a key eating utensil by the Chinese for centuries now. It’s a culinary etiquette that involves equal pair of sticks that have been smoothed and shaped with the thinnest ends used for picking up pieces of food. Most are quite familiar with wooden or plastic chopsticks offered at several Chinese restaurants in the city.
I suggest when buying, go for the wooden or bamboo chopsticks as the plastic ones can get slippery for the beginners.
It surely is a culinary experience that took time to learn, but we managed to finish the steamed rice and Mongolian beef curry platter using the Chinese way of dining. But like they say, if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.
Do you have any interesting culinary experience? If yes, write to me.



Sunday, December 17, 2017

My life turned a new page after certificates scam


Early this year the government embarked on an exercise to identify civil servants who did not have genuine academic certification. More than 9,000 people lost their jobs as a result.

37-year-old Nicodemus Munema, a resident of Ilemela District in Mwanza was among them. He had to leave his teaching job because he could not produce his academic certificates for verification. He had obtained a job using someone else’s certificates.

The father of three completed secondary education in 1994 but did not pass his final examinations.

“I had to repeat school, and my father wanted me to go back to Form Two. Unfortunately I scored the same zero division in Form Four,” he recalls.

The firstborn out of Mzee Alex Munema’s five children, Nicodemus, had a passion for teaching but his examination results did not allow him to go for a teaching course. He tells me he was a bright student in class and wonders why he never did well in the final exams.

It reached a time, he says, where he thought those in charge of marking exams had something to do with his failure.

College at any cost

In 1998, some months after the Form Four national examination results were out, he approached his father, a retired soldier with an idea.

“It was hard approaching him given that my plan was not genuine. I had planned to use a cousin’s certificates because I so badly wanted to continue with studies,” Nicodemus shares.

His cousin, Nicodemus Mahende, was at the time pursuing further education in Uganda. He had agreed to give him his certificates to present to college for enrolment.

“My father said he did not want to be involved but agreed to pay my tuition fees if I managed to get admission.”

With his cousin’s certificate, Nicodemus enrolled for a teaching certificate course at Bunda Teachers Training College in Mara Region in 2000. He was now known as Nicodemus Mahende instead of Nicodemus Munema.

“It was not easy at the beginning considering that I was using someone else’s name. Thank God none of the students I went to school with was studying at the college. They would have found out my little secret.”

Nicodemus says he was among the best ten students in college. He wondered why this never happened in secondary school even after repeating classes.

When he graduated two years later, Nicodemus obtained both a teaching certificate and a wife, whom he believes was attracted to him because he was smart in class.

After graduation in 2002, Nicodemus left for Mbeya to look for a job. His elder brother lived there. He left his wife with his family in Musoma.

He taught in several schools in Mbeya Region for two years and because he only had temporary contracts, he decided to return home. All this time, his newly acquired name, Mahende gave him a hard time. He always feared people would find out he was not Nicolas Mahende. He even missed many opportunities because he did not want people to ever find out about it.

He did not apply some of the job opportunities because people knew who the real Nicodemus Mahende was.

“I never even told my wife about my real name. I had decided to do what I did because of the passion I had for teaching since I was young,” he reveals.

In 2006, Nicodemus finally received a job offer letter to teach English and Social Studies at Mabatini Primary School in Mwanza city. Because he did not want to disclose his second name, he introduced himself at the school as ‘Mwalimu Nico’ (Teacher Nico).

“I made sure the name Nico became popular rather than my full name. This would put me on the safe side and would also make me feel more comfortable at work.”

Mwalimu Nico says his pupils adored him.

“At Mabatini where I worked for about four years, my pupils nicknamed me ‘mtaalam’ (expert). They said I was good at what I did,” he says.

Nico taught at various schools in Mwanza city and from time to time, his cousin, Mahende would ask for his certificates when applying for jobs. This annoyed Nicodemus. What if the papers would be needed at work at the same time his cousin needed them? He found this so inconveniencing.

His cousin landed a job in one a financial institution and worked as a teller for several banks. In 2014, he got a job as an auditor with a big private firm. “I worked in Mwanza while my cousin was based in Songea Region. But the tendency of sending him his original Form Four certificates became annoying. I had no choice though. He was the rightful owner of the certificates. It reached a time when I wished I had bought them or even obtained them from another person.”

Nicodemus did not have the certificates to present for verification when they were needed this year because his cousin would not give him the certificates to present for fear of risking his job.

Saved by father’s wisdom

He thanks his father for he cannot imagine how his life would be like today had it not been for his precious words of wisdom. His father used to advise him to save money for the rainy days and thanks God he heeded his father’s advice.

“When I started working, I made sure I saved at least Sh150,000 every month. I mostly invested in land and livestock. My wife’s salary would cater for the basic needs at home and the needs of our three children,” he says.

Nicodemus who used to earn Sh 360,000 a month has several pieces of land back in the village and in Usagara, Misungwi District. He bought the land at cheap prices back then. When he quit his job, he sold some of this land and some livestock and invested in livestock business.

He is grateful his livestock business is doing well. Nicodemus buys cows and transports them to various places including in neighbouring Kenya. But what was his wife’s reaction after the truth about her husband unfolded? Scolastica, who knew her husband as Nicolas Mahende all this time says she was dumbfounded to learn the truth.

“I had to tell her the truth. I could not continue playing hide and seek,” says Nicodemus.

He says his wife took it easy considering the situation that was looming at that time. He says his wife is always polite and that she just asked a few questions, like ‘you never told me, is there anything else that I do not know about you?”

“Teaching was my childhood dream and that is why I cheated to get a place in college. I did so to fulfill my heart’s desire. I don’t advise anyone to even think of trying what I did as it can lead one to jail.”

Nicodemus will always miss his beloved pupils and the songs they used to sing together before breaking for home.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

The unique charm of travelling slowly

The train between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri

The train between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia runs twice a week in every direction. PHOTOS|ROGER BRAUN. 

By Roger Braun

        When people travel from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya, they usually think of two ways. The wealthy opt for the plane, the less well-off for the bus. Few though think about a third option, the train. It is surely the most time-consuming means of transport, but in some way, it is also the most rewarding.

Our trip starts in the early afternoon at the Tazara train station in Dar es Salaam. A place appearing abandoned for most part of the week, comes to life on Tuesday and Friday when the train to Zambia embarks. Hours before departure, the waiting hall is packed with people, eagerly waiting until the gates to the platform open up. The train is about 15 wagons long, comprising four different classes. The first and the second-class compartments are equipped with bunk beds.

“The train will leave on time,” the loudspeaker announces. And indeed, the train starts rolling at 1. 50 pm. There are four of us in our compartment. The train moves leisurely with no more than 50 kilometres an hour. Leaving Dar es Salaam, we pass different neighbourhoods, cemeteries, cropland, soccer pitches, churches and the airport. They are all marks of civilisation.

The train stops about every 15 minutes. Some people get on the train, others leave it. It is not a freight train, but some people still use it to ship stuff. They would load big bags of vegetables or fruits into the wagon.

“Lunch is ready,” the conductor makes an announcement in every compartment promoting the meal they had cooked. The restaurant wagon looks like an American diner with blue-coloured couches on both sides of the aisle. The menu is all Tanzanian though: kuku na wali. Next to the restaurant, there is a bar, including a good selection of beer.

My colleagues and I spend most of the time in the restaurant wagon. It is great to see the landscapes passing while you have the airstream in your face. It’s a good way to feel how big this country actually is, something we would have missed out using the plane.

Along the rail, children keep popping up. They would stand in the middle of nowhere, amazed by this long chain of wagons. They wave hands, jump and chant when the train passes, their faces lighting up when somebody waves back.

The night is about to fall when we approach Selous game reserve, Africa’s second-largest wildlife sanctuary. At daylight, you have a good chance to spot giraffes and zebras from the inside of the train. We luckily spot three impalas before the night falls completely.

The small town of Kisaki is the last substantial stop that day. From a distance, the station looks a bit scary, candle lights flickering in the night. It turns out to be vendors highlighting the food they are selling. People are getting on and off the train, many have dinner on the platform. The ambiance is very animated. Forty minutes later, our journey continues.

Most people go to bed after dinner. The compartments turn silent, the train is rattling through the night. Even after midnight, it keeps stopping regularly, and no matter how late it is, there will always be people waiting. The night passes surprisingly smoothly. We feel well-rested in the morning.

A train trip to Mbeya takes a long time, and yes, 900 kilometres in 29 hours is not efficient at all. But it’s worth it. The leisurely pace of travelling, the landscapes that pass by, the charm of an old train: the trip has almost meditative character.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Is your child at risk of suicide?


By Life&Style Reporter

        Teenagers who feel their parents rarely express interest in their emotional well-being are far more likely to consider suicide than youths who say their parents are involved and proud of them, US researchers said Tuesday.

The findings by the University of Cincinnati come as the suicide rate among teenagers rises in the United States, adding to concern among parents, educators and health experts. In the past month alone, a 10-year-old girl in Colorado and a 13-year-old in California have hung themselves. Their parents say bullying at school contributed to the girls’ deaths.

“Parents ask us all the time, ‘What can we do?’” said Keith King, who coordinates the University of Cincinnati’s health promotion and education doctoral program.

“Kids need to know that someone’s got their back, and unfortunately, many of them do not. That’s a major problem.”

King and his colleague, Rebecca Vidourek, based their findings on a 2012 national survey of people 12 and older that revealed a significant link between parental behaviours and thoughts of suicide among adolescents.

The age group most affected by parenting behaviours were 12- and 13-year-olds. Children in this age group who said their parents rarely or never told them they were proud of them were nearly five times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, said the researchers.

They were also nearly seven times more likely to formulate a suicide plan and about seven times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.

An unusually high risk of suicide was also seen in 12- and 13-year-olds whose parents rarely or never told them they did a good job or helped them with their homework.

Teenagers aged 16 and 17 whose parents rarely or never said they were proud of them were three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts and almost four times more likely to make a suicide plan and attempt suicide than peers whose parents sometimes or often did express pride in their children.

Positively connected

“A key is to ensure that children feel positively connected to their parents and family,” said Vidourek, who serves as co-director of the Center for Prevention Science, along with King.

Teens may also be more likely to try drugs or risky sexual behaviors if parents are not adequately engaged, King said.

A report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this year found that the suicide rate among teen girls doubled from 2007 to 2015, and rose 30 percent among boys.

Experts say a range of factors contribute to suicide risk, including depression and mental health, negative influences on social media, bullying, financial struggles and exposure to violence.

So what can parents do?

“You can tell them you’re proud of them, that they did a good job, get involved with them and help them with their homework,” said King. The research was presented at this year’s American Public Health Association conference in Atlanta.

Warning signs to look out for

If you’re concerned that your child may be suicidal, be on the lookout for changes in behaviour, anger outbursts, significant mood changes, withdrawal from family and friends, and changes in daily patterns like sleep, appetite, or energy changes.Keep an eye on children who perceive and remember most events as negative, and disregard positive events.

If your child lets you know he is thinking about suicide, or if he is talking about suicide, or if you sense that he may have a plan to attempt suicide, don’t hesitate to access help right away. Experts suggest using the acronym IS PATH WARM? to help parents, teachers, and others who work with children to determine if a child is at risk for suicide.

• Ideation (or thoughts of suicide)

• Substance Abuse

• Purposelessness

• Anxiety (agitation, restlessness, insomnia)

• Trapped

• Hopelessness

• Withdrawal

• Anger

• Recklessness

• Mood Changes. ?You must ask.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Grand restaurant, place where chefs don’t sleep


By Tasneem Hassanali

        Sometimes what makes a restaurant stand out is an aspect that you rarely see elsewhere.

Grand restaurant, located in the premises of harbour view towers in the city centre is a diner that doesn’t go to bed. Yes it is open 24 hours, seven days a week. I think it is a catch, especially for travellers/ backpackers who arrive late in the city or employees at night shift.

The red and black interior hosts neatly arranged tables in a squared space for singles, couples or a group and the order is taken reasonably quickly. Their menu is extensive with options such as Chinese, Indian, seafood, barbeque, all day breakfast, desserts, continental and snacks. The price for the food is on the high end, for example curries range anything from Sh15,000 to Sh26,000 – but I don’t think it would stop a hungry tummy from getting a meal at 3am.

What’s interesting?

I don’t know if you picked up the ‘all day breakfast’ option when I mentioned it earlier. To be honest, I’m a breakfast person – when I say that I mean I can have my breakfast plate for dinner too. So this option was definitely a ‘hit the spot’ for me. And I’m not alone. The breakfast list has vegetarian, East African and English selections.

Homemade feeling: We ordered prawns curry, jeera rice and flat bread. The prawn curry was cooked in coconut cream and I must say it reminded me of home. Spice, coconut, chilly, prawns and lemon was blended faultlessly and it was neither too creamy nor too watery – just the right consistency. There was nothing I would change in that curry. The portion was enough for two hungry folks.

My verdict: Good atmosphere, quick service and a decent crowd on a weekday gives you an indication of what you’re in for. If you’re a person looking for privacy, then this is not the place for you since it is an open diner spot with businesses/shops surrounding it. Otherwise if you’re looking for a late night good meal in the city of Dar es Salaam, this is your place.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

This’ why music training is important to children


        Music has positive effects on children and people’s emotion and creativity. When they sing together, they synchronize our breathing and feel more connected.

Music is also an effective, almost magical medium for learning and retaining information, it activates three different centers of the brain at the same time: language, hearing, and rhythmic motor control.

Some parents opt on raising music talents to their children for making them attending Musical classes during holiday and even after classes after knowing that by inducing emotions, it also creates a heightened condition of awareness and mental acuity.

Words paired with music are far easier to retain. As an example, most people can remember the words and meanings of songs we haven’t heard for years.

This week Young Citizen speaks to children who are learning music at Koshumas Training Institute- who say why they find learning music a good thing. Noreen Michael 8 says she likes learning music because it boosts her power to think on a daily basis.

According to her music simply stimulates parts of the brain that are related to reading, math, and emotional development. “Here at KTI we learn, different things including Piano/Keyboard playing, singing, harmony, rhythm, note reading, ear training, composition, ensemble Playing, recorder, the guitar and drum,” she says.

Malpa Dominic 11 says music has that universal language. Regardless of where you are from or what your background, a good melody is something that everyone can enjoy and understand. There must be something behind that is why she has chosen to learn Music.

“I like learning music because it improves our memory at school we learn different subjects so through music it helps us to remember everything we have been taught in school,” says Malpa.

Muhsin Mohamed,6 is good at drumming that’s why he is leaning and taking drums lesson seriously.

“ I really have fun with sticks and hand drumming, so I’m learning basic drum notation while building timing ,listening and coordination skills,” he says.

However Oscar Koshuma, the CEO of Koshumas Training Institute-Raising Musical Talents and an expert on children’s music says he started in 2012, and now has 3 branches located in Mwenge-Mpakani, Kunduchi beach and Oysterbay in Dar es Salaaam.

He says they focused on training children from age levels 3-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-12 years and 13 years –adults.”     


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Social media bullies fuelled by hunger for gossip


By Mpoki Thomson

        The surge of social media is really on hot heels in Tanzania; soon it’ll be a fully fledged point of self-employment for the urbanites who like indulging in chit chats and devouring gossip, with no time to prove facts. For those with an abundance of appetite for hot topics that circulate the social circle, online arenas such as instagram, facebook and snapchat will be your faithful homes.

Times have truly changed, a few generations ago, computers were non-existent. But in the recent past there has been a reclusive club of a notorious few who have embraced social media, especially instagram in a different way. They use it as a personal portal for spewing vendetta and innuendos. These are what we call online ‘bullies’ on a rampage.

People love gossip, it’s an undeniable fact. Even though we know that we shouldn’t talk about people behind their backs, most people just can’t help themselves. Whether at work or with friends, the urge to engage in the shameful, but oh-so-enjoyable little betrayal cannot be tamed. That is why many of us follow these gossip pages on social media, so we can be ahead of all the scoops.

It is for this reason that these cyberbullies have little to no regard for what society might think of their unfiltered thoughts that find passage online. Since we entertain their acts, these bullies cause mayhem and leave a trail of victims along the way.

Boosting their egos, online bullies thrive at the mere thought of having a growing audience willing to read and listen to what they have to say.

According to Statcounter, a web traffic analysis tool, as of October 2017, 74.51% of social media visitors in Tanzania use Facebook, 10.99% pinterest, 7.63% twitter, 2.5% Youtube, 1.95% Instagram, and 0.81% Google+.

Globally, there are more than four billion mobile phone subscribers, two-thirds of whom are in developing countries, with the fastest growth on the African continent. Each year, there’s an increase in the number of mobile phone subscribers in Tanzania.

Growing influence

Such statistics paint a picture of the growing influence of social media in Tanzania. For the most part, social media is used for relaxation – an indulgence to pass time. It is for this reason that gossip pages or those that post sexually explicit content surge in popularity.

Social psychologist Laurent Bègue from France says that however much we may disapprove in theory our intrigue to gossip, it is very common behaviour. “About 60 per cent of conversations between adults are about someone who isn’t present, and most of these are passing judgment,” he says. Cyberbullies are fed by those who find intrigue in gossip. Some are even commissioned to insult someone for a fee. That’s why it is said that gossip builds bonds because shared dislikes create stronger bonds than shared positives.

The issue of online bullies is not alien to Tanzania, due to unfiltered, often vulgar slurs spewed online; Tanzania Communications Regulatory authority (TCRA) monitors online interaction pursuant to the Cyber Crime Law that’s an addition to the list of penal laws regulating freedom of expression. The enacted law acts as a point of reference for proper use of social media, and in the process puts to task those who contravene the law.

Such legal parameters are put in place to restore decorum and a sense of mutual respect. However, often times you come across a few pages online that persistently air insults unabated and without any form of restrain.

Local context

When it comes to the issue of freedom of speech, the legal system plays a pivotal role in trying to balance the interests between the human rights, on one side, and the need to regulate the society, on the other.

To put in proper perspective the umbrella under which social media bullies fall under, the US legal system is more definitive; it states “Cyberbullying could be limited to posting rumours or gossips about a person on the internet bringing about hatred in others’ minds; or it may go to the extent of personally identifying victims and publishing materials severely defaming and humiliating them.”

In the Tanzanian context, we have a plethora of people who qualify under the bracket of “cyberbully”.

There are notable names in the local social media circles when it comes to controversy. These tend to evoke emotions by posting controversial content that stir debates.

Some live in the Diaspora and have garnered fame back at home for their often heated content on their social media pages. They claim to be on a mission to bring salvation to the agonising Tanzanians.

From politics, entertainment to religious matters, you name it, they always have an opinion, be it positive or negative. Whatever tactic they are using must be working wonders because new followers are pouring in by the numbers on their social media pages.

Frank Chondo, a follower of one of the controversial figures on instagram in Tanzania (name withheld) says he likes visiting the page because that’s where he finds all the scoops, including content that trolls on other people.

“To me, she is not a bully, but a patriotic Tanzanian. She helps us in so many ways,” he says. Opinions are divided amongst those who devotedly follow her. But with each passing day, her slurs and vulgar language have become part and parcel of her instagram posts.

Wikipedia defines cyber bullying as the use of information technology to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner. With an insatiable appetite for gossip, lines of loyalty are blurred when facts that were laid bare before friends in secrecy become public news.

Personal attacks?

When you visit @TZShaderoom (Milly) on instagram, you’ll notice a common pattern of alliances on her comments section. These are groups of followers who use ‘tags’ to seek attention, they troll on different people thereby victimizing them.

In an interview with Milly, she is quick to negate the assertion that she’s a cyberbully. She says that she doesn’t use insults on any of her posts. Commenting about the various celebrity posts she uploads on her IG account, some of which come off as personal attacks fuelled by spite, she says; “I do not have anything against the celebrities I post. My daughter follows some of these celebrities and tries to follow their footsteps, so what I try to do is shed light on the negative and positive things that they do in society,” she says.

With each passing day Milly’s online presence receives an upsurge in traffic due to her content that tends to stir conversation.

Fuelled by attention

Cyberbullies are fuelled by the attention they receive from online followers. Neema Rashid* has been using instagram for four years now. She admits to following a few ‘gossip’ pages because she finds what they post to be interesting. She might have a point; anthropologist Robin Dunbar suggested that gossip is a vital evolutionary factor in the development of our brain.

Neema has never been a victim of social media bullying but has witnessed a few of her friends fall prey to hired instagram pages paid to insult them. She says that most of the disputes which lead to an all out war of words online stem from personal misunderstandings. “The third party (bully) is brought in to either settle the score, or mark the beginning of a new race,” she says.

Another social media user who is active both on Facebook and instagram and uses the online name ‘iam-brihannah’ on her instagram account says that cyberbullies are cowards who hide behind fake accounts and names to spread hate.

She works as a model/video vixen and has on occasion encountered a few spiteful comments on her instagram posts, which she is quick to delete and block the user.

Unlike the US, Tanzania doesn’t have many cases of suicide as a result of social media bullying. But with the rising trend in popularity of gossip pages that feed off rumours, it won’t be long before we hear of tragic news of a fatality that’s directly connected to cyberbullying.

* Not her real name.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Upcycling bottles into beautiful flower vases

        Stella puts finishing touches to some

        Stella puts finishing touches to some of the flower vases.PHOTOSI COURTESY      

By Jonathan Musa @jonathan_ink

        It is every graduate’s dream to get a job after college. Unfortunately, only a fraction of the thousands of job seekers who enter the job market every year are lucky to find employment.

Stella Mutta, 27, a resident of Igoma suburb in Mwanza, decided to venture into business immediately after she graduated from the College of Business Education in Tanzania’s capital, Dodoma, in 2014. Like the rest, her expectations when she was in college was to land a good job and finally live her dream life.

“I studied with great conviction that I would get a formal job but I did not stay at home idle, waiting after graduation. Everyone knows how difficult it is getting a job these days,” says the diploma in accountant holder. With this in mind, Stella decided to throw a hook in entrepreneurship to make ends meet.

“It took me some months to weigh out the kind of project that did not require investing a lot of money in it given that I had no capital,” Stella says.

She chose a home décor project whose only requirements were used bottles and paint. She has no regrets. She recycles used bottles into flower vases. Stella curves the bottles into shapes desired by her customers and paints them in different designs. The vases vary in shape and size depending on the type, shape and size of the bottle itself.

Stella learnt the trade from a friend and considering that she has a passion in the art, it did not take her long to master cutting and curving the bottles into different looks without breaking them. A room in her home serves as the workshop and she is a proud employer of two workers.

She cannot imagine what life would be like had she kept tarmacking the roads looking for a job. She thinks she might end up doing just that for a living. Star Shine Foundation is the name of her project.

“If all goes according to plan come 2020, my project will be known throughout the country, more prosperous and we will be among the best producers of high quality products. Negotiations are on with some companies that have shown interest to fund my project,” she says.

Stella says the business is well paying although it requires a high level of keenness if you want to have the best results. Sometimes you have to dig deep into your pockets to order paints from Dar es Salaam when you can’t find them here,” she says.

Like all businesses, things were not easy in the beginning as she faced some challenges. The major one being identifying the market. Her major customers are hotels, bars and even individuals who have a passion for flowers.

When she started, Stella used to walk around wealthy neighbourhoods like Capri-Point, Nyegezi and some parts of Isamilo to hawk her goods. She then started receiving orders for her products. She sells a vase at between Sh20,000 and Sh50,000 and receives more orders during wedding ceremonies, Christmas and other similar events.

She makes between Sh1 million and Sh1.5 million in profit a month, depending on the flow of customers. Her education as an accountant has been a very big asset too. Stella is currently in the process of obtaining a licence to open a shop in Mwanza. For customers out of Mwanza, she sends them the products through courier service.



Sunday, December 3, 2017

Meeting the famous chimps of Gombe


By Elisha Mayallah

        It was the chimps that drew our interest to visit Gombe Stream national park on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in Western Tanzania.

My companion had read and learnt about the incredible life of Jane Goodall and in particular – her book ‘Shadow of Man’ and a visit to Gombe was calling and seeing its inhabitants was irresistible.

Being a return visit for me to Gombe I knew of the long road to Kigoma from Arusha.

We set for the journey around ten in the morning and drove away in a small group of three people.

Our late lunch was in Singida town and later left to catch up with the daylight and spend our night in Nzega or Kahama depending where we would reach before dark falls in.

The drive was peaceful and I enjoyed seeing the countryside and many businesses along the raid.

I was happy to see many locals particularly women engaged in selling cooking oil made from sunflower which is grown in Singida region.

To support the local communities each one of us bought a few containers of cooking oil.

Thanks to the smooth road we passed Igunga and reached Nzega around 5 pm and were convinced that we would get to Kahama in three hours which was acceptable to all of us.

We hit the road to Kahama and branched at Tinde town when already it was falling dark. Tinde town is a junction of the highway leading to Shinyanga.

We were in Kahama before eight in the evening and had dibber at a local eatery place before settling back to our rooms for the night.

Early morning after breakfast we set off to our destination Kigoma.

It was good to see how the road network has improved travelling in this part of Tanzania.

There were many interesting villages along the Kahama to Nyakanazi highway which drives to Rwanda.

From Nyakanazi we drove through Kakonko, Kibondo, Kasulu where we stopped to take our late lunch.

As we left for Kigoma shortly after I started wondering what is behind the names of town along this area dominated by the word K – Kakonnko, Kibondo, Kasulu and Kigoma!

We arrived in Kigoma around 4 in the afternoon and drove around to find accommodation,

Our night in Kigoma was interesting for me. I had a fish menu popular in the area Migebuka which I had been told as one of the delicious fish from Lake Tanganyika, one of the deepest lakes in Africa.

Next day after breakfast we drove to take our boat ride to Gombe Sream national park which was booked through an agent.

It took ustwo hours to reach Gombe National Park from Kigoma and given our limited time there we were happy to meet our guide on arrival.

We set off almost immediately on our first trek within ten minutes. We entered the thick bush with varied trees to begin looking for the chimpanzees.

It was humid and we were sweating within minutes, the paths were steep and in some areas it was blocked by fallen trees in which we had to climb over.

Along the trail our guide started making chimp noises as we marched along, and not long enough his calls were answered. Not by the chimps but by the parks trackers.

The trackers usually set off before sunrise each morning to find and follow the chimps, recording everything they do for the researchers to analyse. Their other purpose is to inform the guides the direction of chimps so visitors are able to find them.

Our first glimpse of the chimpanzees did not disappoint. We found a mother and two children fishing for termites. Not only were they doing something so fascinating to watch but the mother was none other than Gremlin, one of the chimps mentioned in ‘Shadow of Man’ although she was just a baby at the time.

Gremlin was part of the community that lived in the centre of the park and who Jane Goodall had first been accepted by.

We sat watching the three of them for around few minutes, including a crew filming for a local TV station.

And soon it started to rain Gremlin and her kids took cover and they gave us a great opportunity to take some clear good pictures.     


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Does my child really need to drink water?


By Life&Style Reporter

        It’s a good idea to offer your child something to drink often, especially during warm weather, because young bodies can become dehydrated so easily. Children are also more likely than adults to ignore their thirst when they’re busy. In fact, by the time your child realises she’s thirsty, she’s probably already a little dehydrated.

In most cases, your child will ask for a drink before serious symptoms set in, but lack of fluids can make her tired or dizzy or give her a headache. (Unless your child is having severe vomiting or diarrhea, it’s unlikely that she has become dangerously dehydrated from not drinking enough.)

Getting plenty of liquids also helps regulate your child’s body temperature by allowing the body to sweat, helps prevent constipation by keeping the stool soft, and helps prevent urinary infections by flushing bacteria out of the urinary tract.

Just about any beverage – or even an ice pop or a juicy fruit like watermelon – can help slake a child’s thirst and keep her hydrated. But water is easier for the body to break down than other beverages, leading to less stress on the kidneys. And water is free of calories, sugar, fat, additives, and preservatives, so it’s a good first choice.

Children get an added benefit from drinking fluoridated water: It helps their teeth grow strong. Fluoride strengthens the outer coating of the teeth and makes teeth less susceptible to decay. It can also help repair damage to teeth. Fluoride even strengthens teeth that are growing in the gums, so if your child still has her baby teeth, getting enough fluoride helps to ensure the health of her adult teeth.

Here are some ways to make water more accessible and appealing to your child. Read our list of tips from other parents on how to get kids to drink more water.

• Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator (water often tastes better cold) and have your child drink from it at will.

• Keep bottles of water available so your child can easily grab one on her way to school or sports activities. (Note: Bottled spring water may not have fluoride in it.) Your child might enjoy having her own refillable, eco-friendly bottle instead.

• Set a good example and drink water instead of soda.

Parent tips: Water is crucial to a child’s health. It hydrates, helps regulate body temperature, and helps prevent constipation and urinary tract infections – all without adding calories or sugar to the diet. But what if your child doesn’t like water? See how other parents got their kids to drink up.

Make it available

When I think my child is thirsty, I hand her a water bottle. She often says she isn’t thirsty, but I ask her to drink five sips. Half the time she ends up drinking way more than that. Once she starts, she realises she is thirsty after all.

I always leave a sippy cup with water where my child can reach it so when she does get thirsty, she sees the cup and drinks. If she’s thirsty, she has no choice but to drink the water.

Make it fun

My child loves drinking ice water through a straw. I think he loves the cold feeling in his mouth and the sound of the ice clinking in the cup.

My toddler wouldn’t drink plain water for the longest time. So we bought that fizzy fruit-flavored water for her and mixed it with 3/4 water and weaned her onto regular water. Now she loves it!

Our city water has a bad taste, so I mix the smallest amount of juice with my daughter’s water and she’s none the wiser. It gives it a hint of flavor but is still 90 percent water!

You might also try putting a little lemon wedge or squeezing a little bit of fresh orange into it.

Use a special cup

When my daughter was almost two, she fell in love with princesses. We found BPA-free plastic sparkly goblets and told her she can only use them to drink “princess water,” which is just filtered water. Whenever we say, “Do you want princess water?” she always says yes so she can use the glasses. She is now threeand it still works!

Have them pick out their own special cup to put it in. Also, maybe have a special straw to use. The more they have ownership in the process, the better.     


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Going rogue with city’s popular street food


By Tasneem Hassanali

        Back in Arusha, the only street food I knew of was fried cassava with homemade salsa sauce and some kachumbari [combination of tomatoes, onions and cabbage mixed with salt or lemon] that was either served on a plastic plate or wrapped in a newspaper for take-away sakes.

When I moved cities, as usual I was excited to try new foods. But in that endeavour I never thought that I will be biting meat off a bicycle spoke. Sounds familiar? Sururu, miniscule cubes of beef poked on a skewer, usually the one that looks like a bicycle spoke - and skewered or roasted over a charcoal grill has long been a delicacy of Dar es Salaam.

The meat is usually marinated simply with salt that also adds as a natural preservative.

Popular sururu spots:

You’ll find plenty of sururu grills on the streets of city centre, kariakoo and upanga. It’s also quite common to find sururu grills next to a Zanzibar Mix spot.

Served with:

Sururu is typically enjoyed with warm rojo (a puree of tomatoes, chillies, salt and lemon cooked over medium heat), ripe bananas and flat bread known as hajam. Two popular ways of having it are: One is to dip the meat in rojo and bite off the spoke [for the hygiene freaks, some places use disposable wooden skewers], second is to pluck the meat off the spoke and serve them over the flat bread.

Each sururu stick costs between Sh80 and Sh100, while a banana and flat bread cost Sh500 each. Rojo is served free and unlimited.

My verdict:

Choma (barbeque/roast) foods are not a new thing among locals, in fact it has a rich and storied history in the Tanzanian cuisine. Sururu likewise is not a taste that needs to be adapted – it’s just a simple, fast way of enjoying smoked meat on the city’s busy streets. Like the saying goes, ‘street food is the salvation of human race’ – and this couldn’t be any truer when it comes to savouring sururu.



Sunday, December 3, 2017

A beach resort doing business with a difference

        Michamvi Sunset Bay Resort management

        Michamvi Sunset Bay Resort management believes that to run a sustainable tourism business, the human interaction matters. PHOTO | ANNE KIDMOSE JENSEN      

By Anne Kidmose Jensen

        The road to Michamvi Sunset Bay Resort is bumpy. A sign by the tarmac road points into a green and dusty wilderness, and suddenly the car falls into the potholes, which the rain prepared for it. A few smaller houses and convenient fruit stands pass by, and there it is.

A gate separates the dirt road from a front yard, which at first resembles the courtyard of an English lord, but in fact is one of the island’s high-end resorts.

Michamvi Kae village and the luxurious resort next to it seem like belonging to two different worlds, but the managing director of the resort Brad Cousens, 45, perceives the resort as part of the village.

“Without knowing anyone from the village you would be isolated. You would be an island on an island. And you want to be part of the community,” he says.

Since he arrived in Zanzibar in 2010 from his home country South Africa, he has tried to run the resort as a business integrated into island life. Previously the business did not take a social or local stance, but now the dinners are composed of fish, vegetables and fruits from the nearby village, while much of the staff is also from the village. “Some of the hotels import a container full of salt from somewhere. I don’t think that is right. We should get it in Zanzibar,” he says.

He considers himself a guest in the fishing community of Michamvi, and while he is here, it matters to show the hosts respect rather than just accumulate a fortune. “I want people to say good things about me when I leave. I would rather have a legacy of saying ‘he was a good guy’ than a pocket full of money,” Brad Cousens says.

Tourism’s flip side

Michamvi Sunset Bay Resort is not the only tourism enterprise on Unguja Island that has sensed a change in the time and adopted a business model friendlier to its surroundings.

One of the initiatives is a group of smaller hotels that have started performing clean-ups along the stretches of beach near Paje on the island’s east coast. According to one of the organizers, 28-year-old Salum King from the hotel Mustapha’s Place, the local environment is an immediate priority.

“But this is just the start. Later we will help the community and tourists can donate to them as well. People here are very poor, so we do this to help them,” he says.

While tourism in Zanzibar, and especially on Unguja Island, has seen a rapid increase during the last years, the islands remain poor. A recent assessment from the World Bank noted a slight drop in poverty rates on Unguja, but a large part of the population continues to exist just around the poverty line with about TSH 400 per adult per day.

All the while, Zanzibar is welcoming over twice as many tourists compared to 2013 with over 370,000 visitors arriving by ferry or plane last year, according to the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism.

From a TED Talk to Unguja

Back at Michamvi Sunset Bay Resort, Brad Cousens has a view over Chwaka Bay and the sun, which slowly sinks into it. This is one of the few hotels on the island’s east coast with a sunset view and guests pay from TSH 600,000 per night to watch it from their veranda or from a beach chair.

The charge of staying here is among the reasons that Brad Cousens can prioritise to pay a recycling company to manage the trash.

“It is expensive, and all hotels don’t want to join in. If many of them did it, perhaps we could get a better deal. But a lot of people still burn rubbish or pay guys who will go and throw it in the forest,” he says.

At the same time, being socially and environmentally conscious is good business. “We do it for the good business, and secondly we do it for the marketing,” Brad Cousens says.

He first got inspired to run the hotel in balance with its surroundings when he saw a TED Talk about the mission to save the environment of islands “one at a time”. Then Zanzibar came to his mind and the first step was to make a social statement by shopping locally. Not just from around the island, but from Michamvi village next door.

Projects need to be community driven

As one of the next things, the resort initiated a farming project in the village, but soon they realised they were off balance.

“Michamvi is a fishing village, not a farming village. We can’t just do things we think are cool. The projects need to be community driven,” Brad Cousens says.

Instead of planting seeds, the hotel hired a teacher from Stone Town to give English lessons in the village. The project ran for a while, and Brad Cousens believes it made a difference for some of the residents. But the company failed to measure and monitor the project and with time it slipped out of their hands.

It has been a while since there were language lessons in the village, and now the hotel offers lessons in English and German to its staff from the village.

Brad Cousens thinks the community is quite aware of its own needs. “Now we tell them: Just give us a list of what you want. If you need a new mosque or something like that, we can help,” he says.

In the bigger picture, sustainable tourism is first and foremost about the encounter between people, he believes. 2017 has been proclaimed as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the UN, and to run a sustainable tourism business, the human interaction matters.

“It is exchange of information. To see that not all Europeans have a lot of money. It is about seeing it differently. Locals are free to talk to guests and tourists are getting a glimpse into their lives. Maybe they will contribute back,” he says about the tours around the village, which the hotel arranges.

Environmentally, the future of tourism lies in the hands of technology, Brad Cousens believes. If he could start again, he would go for a design less demanding of the environment. “I would like to start from the bottom. If you wanted to have A/C for instance, you could do it without electricity and be off the grid,” he says.


The semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar is popular with foreign tourists, with the historical town and sandy beaches of Unguja Island being major magnets of both backpacker tourists and pre-packaged high-end trips.

After a safari in the Tanzanian national parks, many of these tours choose Unguja as a place of relaxation. The tourist destination is particularly popular with visitors from Italy and Germany.

The Zanzibari government made tourism a priority in 1987 with establishing the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism and in 1992 the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency was set down to promote overseas investments in tourism.

In 2013 the Zanzibari government estimated the tourism sector to account for about 20 per cent of Zanzibar’s gross domestic product, but since then the tourism sector has grown steadily.

According to Zanzibar Commission for Tourism, the islands received 181.301 foreign tourists in 2013, while last year 376.242 come to visit the islands.

Sources: Zanzibar Commission for Tourism, Zanzibar Government.     


Sunday, December 3, 2017

I called it quits because she was overly jealous


By Eugene Mugisha

        I do not know if what she had could be called jealousy, but if it was, then she was super jealous. She gave a new meaning to the word, redefined it in ways that one would never have thought possible.

And in all this, she maintained that there was nothing wrong she was doing, she was merely being protective of her interests. Which was true, yes, but only it just was not the thing to make a relationship grow and thrive.

I met her through a friend who at first refused to give me her number. I pestered the man to introduce me to her for a while before he finally relented.

Even as he gave me her number, he told me that she was a bit ‘weird’. Instead of asking about this strange remark, I quoted for him that famous phrase about one man’s meat being another man’s poison.

High level of possessiveness

And for extra measure, I even told him that he should keep his opinions to himself because I was a very open minded fella who likes making his own judgments about people.

But even before we started dating, I started noticing a high level of possessiveness, but hey, I was a man who wanted this girl to like me so I welcomed whatever attention I could get from her.

Every friend I introduced her to, male or female, asked me what was up with the girl; “she seems a bit strange, the way she watches everyone who talks to you”, they said. But I laughed about it and told them she was in love, and love does strange things to people.

Then we started dating properly and things quickly escalated. Now that we were accountable to each other, I had no right to privacy; of any sort. Well she also told me everything she did and who she talked to. She even took me through her entire phonebook explaining who each person was to her.

I did not need this level of disclosure but if she wanted to tell me, that was fine with me. So, we would meet or talk nearly every day and I had to tell her in minute detail everything I did and everyone I met. If there was something she did not understand, she asked me to explain.

It then became boring

It seemed quite charming at the start but I soon grew tired of it, especially when I started noticing that she did not like me telling her I met some friends and we had a good time.

She would frown as if fun was something I was supposed to have only with her. Then when I would tell her I met a new person, a girl, she would insist on me repeating the whole conversation to her. It became tiring.

So I started making up lies about what I had done during the day. But then she started insisting we meet every evening after work.

Hanging out with her was tricky business because she tended to ignore every other person present; to her it was just her and me.

She was visibly aggressive to other girls, even friends that I had known before I met her. I told her to take it easy, but she said she did not trust any woman - or man- with her man. “The men too?” I asked her.

She said the men help me to get other girls. I took a moment to think about the future of our relationship and its sustainability. But I did not have to think long because a friend - a girl - called me right then and asked me why “my girlfriend was harassing her”. “What do you mean by harassing you,” I asked.

“She called me and told me to stop throwing myself at you. At first I thought she was joking then I realised she was dead serious. Tell her to stay away from me,” she told me before hanging up.

Email: Life and     


Sunday, December 3, 2017

No need to lose a life due to blood shortage

Elizabeth Maginge also deals with community

Elizabeth Maginge also deals with community works such as helping orphans. 

By Devotha John

        While donating blood is always optional for the donor, for the recipient there usually is nothing optional about a necessary transfusion.

Donating blood embodies the notion of “seeds of compassion” in that it comprises a small act that has the power to grow into something greater and more powerful over time. It takes sacrifice and empathy for one to donate blood. Elizabeth Maginge, 34, recounts a bitter experience where she witnessed a woman losing life in a labour ward over blood shortage in 2013.

The mother bled to death after giving birth. The incident took place during the birth of her second born child five years ago and the experience haunted her for a long time. She decided to do something to save mothers from dying.

Her first step was to donate blood herself every time the nation held a blood donation campaign. Her aim was to save mothers’ lives. Eliza started donating blood immediately after she weaned her child and has since been doing so. This year, she decided to take her initiative to the next level.

She embarked sensitizing the community in early November to raise awareness on the relevance of blood donation. The Mbeya resident founded a non-governmental organisation, WECARE, in 2015 through which she serves the purpose. The organisation supports the government in ensuring availability of blood banks at health facilities.

National statistics show that 80 per cent of maternal deaths are caused by blood shortage. The country faces acute blood shortage in the national blood bank due to poor collection. National Blood Transfusion Service’s target still falls short of the 450,000 litres of blood the country needs annually, according to 2015 statistics.

Her sensitization campaigns kicked off with a group of 200 bodaboda riders in Mbeya who donated over 104 units of blood,.

“Before organising the event I started with a community awareness campaign on the relevance of safe blood donation,” says Eliza appreciating the boda boda riders’ kind-hearted spirit.

Eliza says a good number of people were ignorant about the necessity of donating blood. Eliza says she sampled a good number of boda boda operators, picked from 25 wards in Mbeya Region. The sensitization campaign was done daily until she was satisfied that they were ready for blood donation. She targeted boda boda riders because of the big number of youth involved in the business.

She itemises groups in dire need of blood as expectant mothers, road accident victims and people with sickle cell.

“After this year’s event we plan to create awareness to other community members starting from ward officers, ward executive officers, who will also educate other community members at the grassroot level,” she says. Eliza says sensitisation at street level because society members are still ignorant about the relevance of donating blood.

She advises that death could be avoidable if there was awareness and support from experts in the health sector, especially the safe blood unit.

“People should not wait to buy blood nor should they talk about blood shortage at health facilities in case the responsible units ensure there are well established blood banks, she notes.”

Eliza calls on the government and NGOs to encourage people who are ready to donate blood, especially by continuing to create awareness and using friendly language when calling upon society to donate blood.

She says of institutions encourage workers to donate blood, there will be no blood shortage anymore. t would be better if the government establishes different awareness programmes among community members, on the necessity of donating blood, including private institutions so as to make blood shortage a thing of the past.

Elizabeth who is a mother of two children completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Dar es Salaam in 2009. She did her master’s degree in public health at the Muhimbili University College of Health and Allied Science in 2015.



Sunday, December 3, 2017

When it is more than just clothes


By Devotha John

        Children fashion shows are more than a mere showcase of dresses , inteads it’s a form of expression like art. It makes the little ones to be creative and develop talents, which in the long run moulds them to become potential designers.

Nonetheless, parents have been advised to develop children’s talents as earlier as possible. They are also encouraged to understand that every child is unique and has their potentials which need to be unlocked.

Speaking to Young Citizen, children have expressed their concern about fashion show. Some of them take it as an opportunity to have fun while others aspire to capture the art for their future career.

Naila Efraim, 9, is a Grade Four pupil at Rightway Pre and Primary School , she loves fashion and over the days she has become a regular partcipant at fashion events at their school.

“I love fashion and I love looking smart even my mother recognizes my talents. It is because of this that she makes sure I appear in fancy dresses, shoes, dresses up my hair too,” she says.

Brian Lukas, 9 goes to East Africa International School he too has an eye for fashion but does not aspire to become designer.

“I want to become a pilot. I see different pilots looking smart so through this I want to feel that I always be like these talented flight experts.”

Roseline Joshua who is is just as old as like Naila says every child has something unique about themselves and that is why their choices are different too.

“My mother supports me so I will continue to study in the class and to learn more about fashion because when I grow up I want to become modal like Flaviana Matata,” she says.

Roseline looks up to famous models such as Flaviana Matata, Miriam Odemba, and fashion designers like Hassanali as a source her inspiration.

Nancy Japhet from St Mary’s Mbezi beach says she really enjoys looking smart and pretty that’s why she loves fashion.

“I love fashion and I want to be a fashion designer. This will make me to earn money like other designer now I’m learning some of the early stages,” says Nancy.

However Rose Mugasa mother of two children living at Mbezi Beach says she supports children who love fashion because there is need to develop children’s skills at an early age.

“ The love for fashion helps people to dress well that’s why we have to wear different clothes to the different for different events such as church, outing sports,” she says .

“When a child dresses well she or he will look presentable. Learning to love fashion is a way of inculcating in children a behaviour of appearing smart all the time.”     


Sunday, November 26, 2017

No need to worry about snooping

Kaaya in his office

Kaaya in his office 

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

        Imagine someone gaining access to your phone without your consent. This means they will get their eyes over your personal space. They will see your text messages, emails and photos among others.

This is all possible due to advancement in digital technology.

Unfair, right? ...Worry not. You can now prevent unauthorised access to your private information, thanks to a recently launched instant messaging service, Secure SmS, developed by 36-year-old Noel Kaaya, CEO and founder of Kaaya Computing Education and Research Network.

Through Secure SmS, one can send encrypted messages, which can only be decrypted by the intended recipient. Kaaya does not trust apps that promise end-to-end encryption since there is no way of telling the messages are encrypted for they get to the other end as clear messages (which can be read by anyone). He says his app provides security assurance as the message gets to the other end as an unclear text. This is so to prevent unauthorised access and only the intended person can read the coded message as they need a password to decode it. Apart from protecting your private texts from prying eyes, the App which took nine months to develop will enable users to enjoy chatting provided they have credit on their phones.

“You don’t need data to use Secure SmS. The app relieves users of the data burden. Not everyone can afford to have data all the time,” Kaaya says.

Secure SmS is a paid messaging app for Android phones with a great privacy box that protects personal chats and texts with five different local encryption algorithms.

“The messenger app can be your best privacy guard for it has a privacy box and both online and offline modes. There is no need to worry about snooping anymore! When using Secure SmS, you can choose any type of algorithm that you need to use to secure your communication and your designated private messages will be hidden forever. Nobody will find your messages, financial, business, and sensitive information,” says the father of three.

Affordable service

The app, acording to him gives you the freedom to choose different message themes. It also enables one to change texting background to any provided HD texting wallpaper background themes to make your mobile more attractive.

To keep your private information on your digital device secure, all you need to do is download the app from Google Play store and install it to your Android mobile phone. You only need Sh2,000 annually to activate subscription.

The idea to create the service followed President Magufuli’s call to local companies to target working with the community and not with the government.

“I realised privacy was a problem and came up with something to help protect people’s privacy. Every one needs privacy and that’s why we lock the door when we are in the toilet. We also don’t share everything with everyone but a select few,” says Kaaya.

He says technological advancement puts people’s privacy at risk as a lot of people are involved in our communication. Mobile operators, agencies, government, institutions and companies. Kaaya says his app provides 100 per cent user privacy on communication, both offline and online.

“Our clients are very happy so far because we have addressed a major problem, which is communication privacy and security. We work hard daily to improve our application to make sure our customers are happy and enjoy our product,” says a proud Kaaya.

It’s possible for one using the app to send messages to whatsApp and still be assured of security as the message gets to WhatsApp as an encrypted text that can only be read after it is decrypted.

Protection on both ends

“We protect your messages from sending point to receiving point,” says the Diploma holder in Computer Science from the University of Dar Es Salaam.

Kaaya started his computing career as a freelance computer maintenance and repair technician in 2007. Things did not go as he had envisaged and so he decided to look for a job. He luckily got one as a computer teacher at Green Acres Secondary Schools in 2009.

“After one year I joined my uncle’s computer programming company so that I could learn more. I worked as a customer support for one year, then as a website developer. It was while working at this company that I developed an interest in self-employment.”

Kaaya needed money for capital so he joined Women’s Dignity as head of the ICT Department. He left the organisation after he saved enough to start his own company.

He established a website development and hosting company and started by developing a small hospital management system, which he named 4Pay HMIS. He managed to have Tumbi regional referral hospital in Kibaha, Coast Region, on his client list, a feat that marked the beginning of his success. He installed the system to more than 35 government hospitals in Morogoro, Mbeya, Singida, Dodoma and Tanga regions.

4Pay HMIS is a system support responding to facility needs, which is used to manage a hospital’s daily operations. The system monitors cash collection, reduces work burden, increases efficiency and effective service performance and data handling. It is locally generated and customised to suit local needs and is cost efficiency in terms of operations. The system is currently used in all government hospitals and has since had its name changed to Government of Tanzania Hospital Management Information System (GoT HoMIS).

“Today I have a team of nine employees, four of them programmers. We have several projects in web application and mobile technology for different clients,” shares Kaaya. He believes there is a lot of potential in computer and mobile phone technology and challenges the youth to grab the opportunity to solve social problems and earn a living too.



Sunday, November 26, 2017

Burger boys who conquered Dar es Salaam’s gastronomy

       Murtaza Taibali, Hussein Zavery,

       Murtaza Taibali, Hussein Zavery, Aliakber Hakimjee, Mustafa Ebrahimjee and Idris Khanbhai.      

By Roger Braun

        The rumour goes that there is a burger place in Dar es Salaam that can keep up with the best burgers served in the United States.

It is Burger53 at the Dar es Salaam free market, a place that is unique not only for the quality of the food, but also its origin.

It was in October 2016 when the religious leader of the Bohora community, a sect within the Shia Islam, chose Dar es Salaam to address his followers in the yearly Ashara commemoration. The Bohora community in Tanzania was all excited, 45,000 people convened in the city to mark the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad. Among them were five friends, Idris Khanbhai, Hussein Zavery, Mustafa Ebrahimjee, Aliakber Hakimjee and Murtaza Taibali.

After pondering how they could contribute to the event, these friends decided to put up a burger stand. At the beginning, business was slow. They sold 60 burgers on the first day and 50 on the second.

And then it took off. The faithful started talking about the burgers, and at the end of the 10-day-festival, the five friends had sold nothing less than 8,000 burgers. And the talk didn’t stop after the event was over.

“We got viral to a point of fanatic fans calling us after the religious aftermath to encourage us to continue making burgers,” Hussein Zavery, one of the five friends, recalls. And that’s exactly what they did. They put their money together and decided to open an innovative burger place in Dar es Salaam. In March this year, Burger53 opened its doors, the number 53 making reference to the 53rd religious leader of the Bohora community that stood in some way at the beginning of this endeavour.

Seven-metre container

Mr Zavery sits in the backyard of his burger joint, wearing sun glasses on this hot day. There is a mixed crowd sitting on wooden benches that are connected to the tables: a group of African women in their 30s, an Indian couple in their 40s and a Westerner wearing ear phones watching his iphone. A couple of trees in the yard provide much-needed shadow. In the background, there is discreet chill-out music playing.

The centrepiece of Burger53 is the seven-metre container that can be easily spotted from the main street. It hosts not only the kitchen but is also where customers order and pay for their food. Originally, it was mainly a way of getting a roofing for a good price.

Meanwhile, the container has become a defining and eye-catching characteristic of Burger53. Mr Zavery recalls the difficult beginning of the business. Money was scarce, the five lads in their late 20s had hardly any capital to bring in.

“Our equipment was very basic when we started,” Mr Zavery says. “With every burger we sold, we bought new machines.” It was also a challenge that none of the five young men had any experience in hospitality management. Especially on Sunday, long waiting lines emerged and it could take nothing less than 45 minutes to get a burger.

While Mr Zavery talked about the challenging start, his business colleagues would show up one after the other to say hello. It’s not evident that they are all here. Despite the success of Burger53, each of them has still another professional life. Mr Zavery being an economist, there is an artist, a pharmacy owner, a chemical engineer and a fabricator in the group.

Time factor

“We all wished the day had more than 24 hours,” Mr Zavery says. The 28-year-old himself works around 16 hours a day. He is convinced that it is this devotion that makes the difference.

“’It’s blood, sweat and tears that has made our business so successful,” he says.

Mr Zavery says they are humbled and thankful for the achievements they have made. Asked for the reasons, the 28-year-old is unequivocal. It’s simple, he says. “Before us there was simply no one who did good burgers in Tanzania.” What follows is an extensive commercial spot; about the careful selection of meat, the selected spices, the exclusive bread, the freshness of the products, the high standard of hygiene, the home-made sauces. “We are very passionate about food and are not ready to compromise on the quality,” he promises.

The customers present that day seem to share Mr Zavery’s enthusiasm. Sarah Smiley is a geography professor from the United States, the home country of burgers. “This is the best burger I have ever eaten in this town,” she says without hesitation. For her, the crusty buns are much better than at other places, “and the meat really makes you think of a barbecue,” she says.

Local people seem to be equally satisfied. “This chicken burger is very nice, I love it,” Dar resident Felix James says. He has eaten a lot of burgers in town, “but the quality here is just better and the ingredients are fresher,” he says.

It’s not only about the food though. He also likes the buzzer that tells the client when the meal is ready. “I have seen this only on TV, I think it is a clever ordering system,” he says.

Another argument comes up with a group of students from an international school based in Masaki. “Compared to other burger joints the prices are rather cheap,” says Veer Visaria. He thinks Sh6,000 for a burger is fair. Especially for the quality. “The burger tastes fresh because it doesn’t lie around before it gets served,” Fatema Bhalloo says.

For the future, Burger53 has big plans. “We all have a common vision,” Mr Zavery says. “Our goal is to have multiple branches, not only in Tanzania, but in Eastern Africa.” They plan to open a second restaurant in Dar es Salaam.



Monday, November 27, 2017

Would you pay Sh13,500 for a cheesy beef wrap?

The cheesy beef wrap platter at Cafe Aroma in

The cheesy beef wrap platter at Cafe Aroma in Dar es Salaam. Photo | Tasneem Hassanali 

By Tasneem Hassanali

I asked a few people around (of course salaried friends like myself) over the weekend if they would be willing to pay a sum of Sh13,500 for a beef wrap. My survey guinea pigs answered ‘no’. Then I thought of rephrasing my question: Would you pay a sum of Sh13,500 for a beef wrap at Café Aroma – for those who’ve been there, responded with thumbs up and that it is definitely ‘worth it’. Taking the word from the foodies, we thought of giving it a try at Upanga’s popular coffeehouse, ‘Café Aroma’.
The cafe, located in the puma energy petrol station along the ocean road looks super cosy and striking for any passer-by. With enough parking spaces available, there is an option to sit inside and high tables are set outside (a pointer for smokers).

What’s new: I found an interesting section in their food menu, ‘bagels’, not a popular pick at the cafes here but quite a common choice in the West. A bagel looks more or less like a doughnut but traditionally rolled by a hand. The sub section stretches from the classic cream cheese to a chicken avocado bagel. The other options to choose from were waffles, hot and cold drinks, salads, wraps etc.

The wrap: Cheesy beef wrap was our obvious pick. It literally took minutes for the order to arrive. It came on a platter with chips I could count and fresh salad, neatly presented and stuffed to perfection (cheese, steak, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, in-house sauce). Gets all the points for taste and enough for just one person.

My verdict: Though I would not pay Sh13,500 for the wrap again, I would definitely suggest it to anyone. The price for the food is steep but nevertheless, I guess a good conversation with your loved one over a beef wrap is priceless!



Sunday, November 26, 2017

How to keep children busy during holidays


By Elizabeth Tungaraza

        School holidays are almost here, it is great time for children to bond with their parents and relatives. For almost six months, children were busy with school. To them, the end of the year is a perfect time to relax and enjoy the holiday.

This is, therefore, a good time for children to play as well as take on some house chores in order to learn a bit of responsibilities on their personal life.

Children know that, this is their great and quality time to meet and spend with their parents, brothers and sisters as well as grandparents, other family members and friends.

It is also a perfect time for them to travel.

Laura Honathan believes parents and guardians should not deny them this rare opportunity which comes only twice a year because it allows children to meet new people and explore the countryside to get that extra exposure and relax after several months in class.

“For the children, it is always a new experience and above all they get exposure during travel, which can inspire them and help strengthen bonds between family members,” she says.

According to her during such vacation parents should encourage children to mingle with their good peers and make new friends, play together and engage in fun activities.

“Therefore, visits to amusement parks or theme park over the weekend will be a perfect place for them to enjoy,” she adds.

Denis Jonathan is a Grade Seven teacher, he believes that parents need to prepare a time table on which a child holiday is based on, the time table should take into consideration time to do school work and domestic activities, sport, rest and more extra activities according to your desire.

To make them more active children can also be enrolled for a dance, music or painting classes.

“It is good and advisable for children to say what new skill they would like to acquire or whether they would like to sharpen their existing skills over the holidays. Apart from that children can learn new art and craft,” he says.

It is most common for some religious organisations or even schools to organise holiday camps for children and most of the time, such holiday camp offer programmes that involve a bit of training in art, sports, music, camping and outings.     


Sunday, November 26, 2017

PARENTING : How to build a child’s self-esteem


By Sound Living Reporter

       Parents of grade-schoolers hear a lot about the importance of helping their child develop self-esteem, but what is it, really? Self-esteem is your sense of worth as a person – unrelated to particular talents or personality traits.

“Self-esteem comes from having a sense of belonging,” says family therapist Jane Nelsen, co-author of the Positive Discipline series, “and knowing our contributions are valued and worthwhile.”

Here are some ways you can nurture your child’s self-esteem.

Give love unconditionally: A child’s self-esteem flourishes with the kind of no-strings-attached devotion that says, “I love you, no matter what you do.” Your child benefits the most when you accept him for who he is, regardless of his strengths, difficulties, temperament, or abilities.

Listen attentively: Put your phone aside long enough to give your child your undivided attention and answer her questions. Eye contact lets her know that you’re really listening to what she’s saying. This does wonders for your child’s feelings of self-worth because it shows her that you think she’s important.

Encourage healthy risk-taking

Inspire your child to explore something new, such as trying a different food, making a new friend, or riding a skateboard. (Activities that promote cooperation rather than competition are especially helpful for building self-esteem.) Though there’s always the possibility of failure, without risk there’s little opportunity for success.

You’ll build his self-esteem by prioritising his need to tackle new tasks.

Let failure happen: The flip side of taking risks is that your child is bound to fail from time to time. If she can’t master that difficult skateboard trick she’s been working on, praise her for trying and encourage her to keep at it. Your constructive feedback and appreciation of her efforts can offset any sense of embarrassment or failure she might be feeling, and this can help her move ahead feeling motivated and optimistic. With this approach, your child will start to accept setbacks as a normal part of life and learning.

Children learn by example, so be aware of your own response to setbacks. When you fail or make a mistake, admit it, advises Daniel Meier, assistant professor of elementary education at San Francisco State University. Acknowledging and recovering from your mistakes sends a powerful message to your child – it makes it easier for her to accept her own difficulties.

Celebrate the positive: Acknowledge the ways your child contributes to the family. Congratulate him when he does his chores without prompting. When you sit down to dinner, say, “Thank you for setting the table!” This will enhance his sense of self-worth while letting him know exactly what he did right.

Empathise: If your child needs to talk, tune in to her feelings and let her know that you understand and respect her views. She needs to know that her thoughts, feelings, desires, and opinions matter.

Help her get comfortable with her emotions by labeling them. Say, “I understand you’re sad because you can’t go to the birthday party.” Accepting her emotions without judgment validates her feelings and shows that you care about what she has to say. You can also share similar experiences from your own childhood to show your child that you understand where she’s coming from.

Resist comparisons

It’s human nature to wonder how your child compares to other kids and worry whether he’s keeping up, but remember that comparisons are meaningless because your child is a unique individual. Comments such as “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” or “Why can’t you be nice like Evan?” just remind your child of how he struggles in a way that fosters shame, envy, and competition.

If your child compares himself unfavourably to his siblings or peers (“Why can’t I throw a football like Nicholas?”), show him empathy and then emphasise one of his strengths. Say, “You’re right. Nicholas is good at throwing a football. And you’re a fast runner.”

And if he goes into a tailspin of negativity and self-doubt, help him see things in a more realistic light. Say something like, “You’re a good student, you just have trouble with math. Let’s work on it together and see if we can figure it out.” Help your child realise that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and that he doesn’t have to be perfect to feel good about himself.     


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Waking the interest of Tanzanians in yoga


By Roger Braun

The midday heat settled over the International School in Masaki in Dar es Salaam that Saturday. Cheerful buzz of chatter blended with upbeat background music. It was an all peaceful ambiance in the school courtyard.

“Was that enjoyable?” Christina Gianacopolous, the founder and owner of Zen Spa, asks a young woman who just enjoyed a massage. She nodded dozily, looking relaxed as if she had had a long, deep sleep.

Zen Spa was just one of the more than 20 Tanzanian businesses participating in the inaugural Wellness Expo recently. Ms Gianacopolous had two massage therapists giving out free sessions, as well as other services and products to promote from her growing wellness spa and beauty salon. She was situated across from a table covered in verdant green.

Mother and daughter, Divya and Veenita Bhatt had everything from herbs, to wheatgrass and cactuses sprouting from their table.  Many of the plants were potted in quirky and ornate objects and ornaments. More plant life - in this case that of the vegetable variety - vibrated with colour and energy a few paces away at Lise Wienand’s table.

It was the first time a big chunk of wellness providers came together in Dar es Salaam. “We’ve been too isolated!” Life Coach and Empath, Shaz Alidina exclaimed, while a yoga teacher was nibbling on a banana leaf bowl of humus, saying that it was first and foremost about rubbing shoulders with other wellness businesses.

For Grace Kasinde, a Yoga for Wellness Tanzania team member, the event was not just about creating a networking opportunity for wellness businesses, but about raising awareness among Dar es Salaam residents. “People sometimes don’t even realise what’s right on their doorstep. There are more businesses like these developing all the time. We wanted to bring them together in one place so people could see how much wellness is really being offered,” she said.”

The expo was also an opportunity to join any number of a variety of yoga like the ancient Chinese tradition Tai Chi, a non-competitive martial art known for both its defense techniques and its health benefits. Like Yoga it has evolved over centuries to become a means of alleviating stress and anxiety, a form of “meditation in motion.”


Spreading yoga in Tz

This was facilitated through Mukti yoga studio in Masaki, in an expansive sports arena on the school grounds. There was something for everyone - from the advanced to beginner yogi, from the first-time meditator to the experienced.

The Wellness Expo demonstarted all the different aspects of wellbeing that day. From diabetes to hypertension, there were expert opinions and thoughtful reflections on what constitutes as an integral and holistic approach to wellbeing.

The Wellness expo was mainly organised by Yoga for Wellness Tanzania (YWT), a non-governmental organisation that aims to spread Yoga and alternative care techniques in Tanzania. Ayesha Samji founded the YWT in 2015 after she realised that Yoga could improve the health and well-being of many Tanzanians. Hospitalisation of a close member for nine months brought about the realisation. The Tanzanian of Indian descent felt first-hand to what extent other patients, relatives and caretakers in the hospital were stressed out and at the end of their nerves.

“I realised how fortunate I was to have Yoga and meditation to cope with the stress,” she says. It helped her to go through this difficult period of her life and she vowed to share her knowledge with other people in Tanzania.

It’s well established that Yoga and other relaxation techniques have positive health effects. They help in particular to absorb stress, and they can ease anxiety, depression as well as back pain and headaches. For Samji the potential of Yoga is huge in a country like Tanzania where the technique is hardly known yet.

However, it’s not an easy task to make Yoga popular over here. Most participants of her Yoga classes in Masaki are still expats from countries where Yoga is well-known. Tanzanians in contrast are hesitant, not exactly knowing what this fuss is all about.


Nadia Ahmed is a psychologist in Dar es Salaam learning to be a Yoga teacher at YWT. She says the main reason for the reluctance of local people is cultural.

“It is the psychological and spiritual component of the alternative care techniques that turns many locals off,” she says. As a psychologist, she meets reservations to psychological counselling on a daily basis.

“To many locals talking about psychological issues is still considered a taboo,” she says. That’s why she developed specific strategies to overcome these cultural barriers. Meditation for example tends to meet more resistance than Yoga at the beginning. “Yoga is more welcoming because it is connected to physical activity,” Ms Ahmed says.

People relate Yoga with a way to lose weight or build up muscles. This gives Ms Ahmed the opportunity to motivate locals without overstressing the spiritual and psychological aspects of the technique. These just come as extra benefits cherished only later.

Promoting Yoga in Tanzania requires explaining what it actually is. That’s why the YWT organises events like the wellness expo, expected to be an annual event in the future.

“We want to provide an easy access to the method,” Samji says. They would give short explanations about the concept and short sessions to check out the techniques. YWT wants to give everybody the chance to do Yoga, regardless of their financial ability.

 “I am sure sooner or later this knowledge will diffuse in the general knowledge of the people.” the people,” says  Samji.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Grano Coffee: Why I would go back again

A serving of hot chocolate and chocolate cake.

A serving of hot chocolate and chocolate cake. Photo | Courtesy 

By Tasneem Hassanali

As of late, there has been a lot of buzz about new cafes coming up in Dar es Salaam’s city centre and I have heard pretty good reviews about them from my café-geek friends.
But for me, things are a little different. I go to a café for simply two things – good Wi-Fi or to try a new kind of sandwich.  At our recent stop-over to Mlimani City shopping mall, we stepped in Grano Coffee. If first impressions are said to be the best ones, then this café topped the winner’s list.
We entered at around 6.00 pm as the sun was about to set, that embodied the setting of the café through its tall windows that I simply admired.
We took a table by the window as the attendant happily placed the menu on the wooden table (another pointer for this café – happy chirpy attendants).

The food: The menu stretches out to both hot and cold beverages, including Turkish coffee, caramel macchiato, hot chocolate, homemade iced tea to mention a few. Light snacks and full meals are also spread out. I would give 7 on 10 with their pricing – it’s not very cheap but the prices are slightly reasonable from what I’ve heard about in city cafés.

Our order: Hot chocolate, cappuccino and chocolate cake to start with. For mains, our order stretched out to a fish and chips platter and tomato-cheese sandwich. Food came warm, well presented and we didn’t have to wait for too long. I personally was impressed with what the tomato-cheese sandwich had to offer.
 It came as a platter with fries, fresh salad (amazing homemade dressing) and a dip. The sandwich was layered and filled with at least two types of cheese – and the platter cost Sh6,000. Not bad for a person with a moderate appetite.
The place is pretty spacious but the interior makes it cosy, with a blend of sofa chairs and wooden furniture. There are sockets around the place where one can charge their laptops and make most of the Wi-Fi.

Popular orders at Grano: Beef delight, pizza and mixed grill.

Verdict: I was quite amazed by the culture of ‘meets at the café’ coming so alive at Grano Coffee spot where I witnessed a diversity of crowd – from students, couples to family. So here it is, off-city’s buzzy café that you must try – and it gets pretty busy during weekends. They are open from 8.30am up to 11.30pm - 365 days a year!



Sunday, November 19, 2017

Kid stars: The curious case of Elizabeth Michael

The actress was recently sentenced to two years

The actress was recently sentenced to two years in jail for accidentally killing her then boyfriend actor Steven Kanumba. 

               At 21 years actress Elizabeth Michael aka Lulu has almost seen it all, she dined and wined with the high and mighty in Dar es Salaam.

Life for the Tanzanian actress who was jailed this week has been one on the super highway.

Now languishing at the Keko Prison where she started her two year jail term, Lulu’s story reads like a fairy tale of some sort.

The jail term was perhaps not all that a shocker after the jury had unanimously agreed that the actress was guilty of unintentionally killing fellow actor and then boyfriend Steven Kanumba in 2012.

The judge cited a poor defense that the actress put up during the hearing and therefore in his own words Judge Rumanyika said: I was left with no choice but to convict the defendant.

The court session prior to her sentencing was quite a crowd puller as it was packed with relatives, artistes, and the general public who were anxious to hear the judge’s ruling.

It was a land mark case that drew emotions from different angles who had a version or two of their own story more especially because the involved parties were both Bongo movies’ stars in their own right.

Fellow celebrities seemed to join her in her time of need including Diamond, Wema Sepetu, Hamisa Mobeto, Zari Hassan and even Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda.

They all had one thing in common; they empathised with the actress whose age at some point was a serious point of reference.

But there were those who thought that the term was too lenient compared to the gravity of the loss that the deceased’s family had faced.

By the time the ruling was made Lulu and the late Kanumba’s mother were no longer on talking terms as the actress at one point felt she was being a bully.

Steven Kanumba had risen to become the father figure of the nascent film industry which despite a myriad of issues had started making headways towards international screens.

Sources close to him say he was destined for Hollywood after several stints with Nigerian actors such as Ramsey Noah in Devil’s Kingdom.

Elizabeth Michael aka Lulu on the other hand was and still is considered Bongo Movies’ princess, whose career kicked off quite early at the age of five, becoming an instant sensation on Television.

Five years after the incident Lulu seemed to have moved on with a couple of movies under her belt, and even a high profile boyfriend in tow.

She went on to win two awards including the Africa Magic Viewers’Choice Awards in Lagos, a feat that has eluded many of her compatriots in the Bongo Movies.

She had triumphed on a stage that so many of her compatriots had failed to conquer miserably making her the latest point of reference in Bongo movies.

The premier of the award winning film ‘Foolish Age’ was one of a kind as celebrities from all walks of life were there to witness this milestone for it is not a common feature in Tanzania’s film industry

The red carpet affair at Dar es Salaam’ Mlimani City marked her return to the screens after the 10 months in remand before her legal team led by prominent lawyer Peter Kibatala navigated a bail.

The rise and fall will leave her fans wondering when the rays started beating the actress whose startling beauty could be the source of her downfall.

At the time when the incident took place, Lulu was but a minor who was always seen in company of mature friends who mostly belonged to the industry that she had chosen.

Little known to most, of the friends and mentors that the teenage beauty hanged out with, one of them was taking advantage of her and that was none other than Steven Kamumba.

Their connection was rather suspected, but even then no one lifted a finger to point out the rather bizarre liaison that the two were having.

A few times when they were put on the spot by the prying media, the two categorically denied any closeness of that nature.

The events of April 6, 2012 only confirmed what many suspected but as rumour had it she was already involved in many other relationships with high profile individuals leading a life style that many a girl can only dream about.

Though the rumours were sometimes unsubstantiated close sources maintain that she maintained these relationships alongside that of the self styled King of Bongo movies.

This, they say, was the constant source of squabbles between the two and even on the fateful night it is believed that the quarrel was sparked off by a phone call that the actress received while at the deceased’s house in Sinza, a suburb in Dar es Salaam.

Lulu started her acting career as a child actor when she was only five years old after she was spotted by actor Mahsein Awadh aka Dr Cheni who took her to Kaole Sanaa Group where she was polished and soon appeared in many television soap operas which were then broadcasted on ITV such as Zizimo, Baragumu, Gharika, Taswira, and Demokrasia.

In 2005, she made her film debut in the action film called Misukosuko, she went on to participate in projects such as Wahapahapa Radio Drama of 2009 that was produced by Media for Development International Tanzania directed by John Riber.

She played Mainda in the story that tells the importance of parent-child communication in protecting youth as they navigate through the difficult period of adolescence.

Her subsequent movies include Family Tears, Ripple of Tears, Oxygen, House Boy and Woman Of Principles.

Several months after she was granted bail, in August 2013, Lulu launched the movie Foolish Age, which featured her as the producer.

The movie was selected to be screened at the Zanzibar International Film Festival 2014. Foolish Age was nominated as Favourite Movie at the 2014 Tanzania People’s Choice Awards and Lulu won Favourite Actress for her performance in the film.

In 2015, Lulu released her second movie as producer called Mapenzi Ya Mungu. Just like Foolish Age, the movie was also screened at the 2015 Zanzibar International Film Festival and the movie won the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards as the Best Movie Eastern Africa, this was before she released ‘Ni Noma’.

At the time of her incarceration, apart from her social media account where she has some 2.5 million followers she had maintained a low profile.

It remains an interesting prospect of what the future holds for what was once the brightest prospects in Tanzania’s film industry.



Sunday, November 19, 2017

What to do about nightmares


By Sound Living Reporter

        If your child wakes up crying or fearful and has trouble getting back to sleep, chances are she’s had a nightmare. These scary episodes usually happen during the second half of the night, when dreaming is most likely to occur.

Your child will probably remember her bad dream the next day and may continue to be bothered by it.

Nightmares shouldn’t be confused with night terrors, a less common sleep disturbance that usually strikes during the first third of the night.

Children having a night terror episode remain fast asleep throughout, in a deep, nondreaming state, yet they’re extremely agitated and hard to console. Afterwards, they go back to snoozing soundly and won’t remember the incident in the morning.

Why nightmares happen

Most kids have nightmares once in a while, but 5- to 8-year-olds, with their rapidly expanding grasp of real-life perils (like car accidents, violence, and death), may be especially affected.

Your child’s nightmares may stem from listening to a story that’s scary (even if it doesn’t seem scary to you), watching an upsetting program or movie, getting excited or worked up before bed, or feeling anxious or stressed during the day.

Many things can cause stress – and nightmares – for a 5- to 8-year-old, from starting school to changes in childcare, parental divorce, a death in the family, or a parent’s layoff from work. For a child working through her feelings about these stressful events, nightmares are a normal response, and you’re not a bad parent if your child has them.

How to help your child after a nightmare

Go to your child when she cries out. Physical reassurance is important, so hug her or rub her back until she calms down. If you bring her into your bed to comfort her, be aware you could be creating a habit that’s hard to reverse.

Let her tell you about the nightmare if she wants to, but don’t press it. At this age she understands the difference between reality and fantasy, so you can console her by reminding her it was “only a dream.” But be patient if she’s still upset – we all know the emotions conjured up by a nightmare are very real.

You may also want to show your child there are no monsters under the bed or hiding in the closet. Be nonchalant about it to avoid getting drawn into an all-the-lights-on monster-hunt extravaganza.

Double-check that your child’s favorite toy or stuffed animal is tucked in with her, make sure the night-light is on, and remind her you’re right down the hall, ready to assure that everyone in the house is safe.

Teaching nightmare-coping skills can also help. Some children like coming up with a “happy ending” for their dream the next day. Others may benefit from drawing a picture of the bad dream and throwing it away.

Preventing nightmares

First, minimize overall stress by making sure your child gets enough sleep. A relaxing and predictable bedtime routine can help ward off nightmares – try a warm bath, an uplifting story, a song, and end with a night-light.

Some 5- to 8-year-olds are comforted by feeling they have control of a scary situation. Though not all children are consoled by methods like these, here are a few nighttime tricks to try:

•Write a sign that says, “Only good dreams allowed here,” or a similar sentiment, to hang over your child’s bed. Have her decorate it with stickers or drawings of things she enjoys and wants to dream about.

•Let her rub a little skin lotion or face cream – you might call it “good dream cream” – on her tummy or forehead before turning in.

•Fill a spray bottle with water scented with a couple drops of vanilla extract (“monster spray” or “nightmare repellent”) and let your child banish scary dreams by spritzing a little around her room before bed.

If you suspect anxiety or stress is behind the bad dreams, try talking to your child about what might be bothering her during the calmer daylight hours. If the nightmares persist and she’s extremely afraid of going to bed or fearful during the day, bring it up with her doctor – the dreams could signal an emotional issue that needs addressing.



Sunday, November 19, 2017

Cooking teaches children much more


By Devotha John

        Children learn better by doing or sometimes by just seeing things being done. When teachers train children how to cook in schools they are likely to promote lifetime skills and it offers an opportunity to communicate with them on a regular basis.

This week, Young Citizen visited St Joseph Primary School located in Mbezi Africana, Dar es Salaam whereby Pre-unit pupils were being taught how to cook simple foods. Speaking to the Young Citizen, the pupils who were excited expressed their joy on what it feels like to learn how to cook.

Dafroza Geodfrey, a Pre-unit pupil says she enjoys cooking spaghetti and sausages. “Every Friday we are taught how to prepare different meals. Today, we are learning how to prepare spaghetti and sausages. It is a wonderful experience,” says Dafroza, adding that she is eager to help her mother to prepare the meals at home. According to her, they earn life time skills through practicing counting, measuring and tracking time and also learn how to communicate while in the kitchen.

She says teachers teach them how to cook different food stuff and thereafter they eat together whatever has been prepared during the cooking lesson. Jackline Fredrick, also a Pre-Unit pupil says she enjoys cooking and her favorite food is chips. She explains how to prepare chips.

“First I peel the potatoes and cut them into pieces then I rinse them well, drain the water, after that put the potatoes into a pan then I turn on the heat,” Cate Florence says spending time in the kitchen gives her confidence, adding that she feels responsible to prepare meals for the family. However,their teacher Ms Fiona Mzambaka, says, teaching young children how to cook gives them lifelong skills because it is an opportunity to impart nutrition education, including planning meals and make smarter food choices and inculcating in children a culture of washing hands before they start cooking.

She explains that young children really like cooking that is why it forms a major part of their play as they immitate what they see in their kitchens. “That is why I make sure I teach them well because some of them may become talented cooks and you never know when they grow up they could opt to become business people, who own catering projects or become reputable chefs,” she says.

She says that children are much more likely to eat what they make. “Is there anything more fun than eating your art?” she asks.     


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dubai the home of Expo 2020


By Janet Otieno-Prosper

        A fortnight ago, I was part of five African journalists selected to attend the Global Business Forum in Dubai and meet the Expo 2020 organisers.

We were privileged to get business class tickets from Emirates Airline. So when I arrived at Julius Nyerere International Airport, I was given my boarding pass and ushered into the Tanzanite Lounge.

In the lounge, one can eat and drink anything they want and there is also a massage chair for those who want to relax their muscles. We then boarded and left Dar es Salaam for a direct flight to Dubai International Airport. There is inflight wifi on the plane and fully flat bed seats on the business class. And the inflight service is more than perfect with crew accommodating every individual’s need.

My abode in Dubai was at the Address Hotel in Marina, an upmarket part of the city, which is less crowded. The rooms are ipad controlled; the architecture is magnificent; the hospitable and polite staff service is quite unmatched. I was staying on the 11th floor with spacious lounge with my window overlooking the Infinity pool. The hotel is situated right next-door Marina Mall so you can actually walk from the hotel lobby straight to shop.

Global business forum

After our breakfast, we were picked and driven to Madinat Jumeirah located on Al Sufouh Road to attend the fourth Africa Global Business Forum which brings together government officials, business people and investors, focused on working together to ensure Africa becomes a long-term engine of global growth.

This was the main reason of our two-day visit to the Middle East and to meet the Expo 2020 organisers. You see Dubai won the bid to host the 2020 World Expo in November 2013.

Breathtaking skycrappers

Well, let’s go back to describing Dubai; to be frank, it is impossible to condense the beauty of Dubai and its people in just one article. Dubai is home to world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa at 2,717 feet above the ground. Even the sky is not the limit for these buildings, which are tall enough to pierce through the belly of the sky. What was a desert some years ago is now a home to beautiful capital of breathtaking skyscrapers, which are tall enough to aim for the stars, the sun and the moon. The skyline in Dubai is not so clear due to desert winds and sand.

On our drive out of town to the Southern District, we saw some residential areas with unique blend of modern and Arabic architecture.

Any hawk-eyed journalist like yours truly would notice a lavish lifestyle in Dubai if the sleek cars on the streets and huge shopping malls were anything to go by. Even dates are packed in fancy wrappers like candies.

What is interesting is that the authorities in Dubai have managed to dredge land from the sea floor to put up iconic and modern buildings. The architectural creativity is on another level thus giving Dubai the world’s most captivating city space. I managed to see the world’s highest twisting tower – the Cayan Tower which is a 75 storey building, we asked locals who told us that the building’s twisted shape reduces wind forces on the tower

You can imagine this is a country, which has evolved from a small fishing village in the desert to a one of the world’s most beautiful city. Perhaps any first time visitor needs to know that Emiratis are very humble people and are so welcoming.     


Sunday, November 12, 2017

How a case of mistaken identity paved the way for my business

It pains Gideon to see his peers being afraid

It pains Gideon to see his peers being afraid to go against the system and create their own businesses even though some of them are really talented.PHOTOI COURTESY. 

By Marion Maina

Gideon Kitili, 26, is the third born in a family of six children. He grew up in Kitui South and attended Makolongo Primary School.

Despite the harsh climatic conditions that left many grappling with poverty, Gideon’s parents created a comfortable home for him and his siblings. They also placed great emphasis on education. A dismal academic performance was simply unacceptable.

Gideon passed his KCPE exams and was admitted at Alliance Boys High School. His first few weeks in school were quite a roller-coaster.

On one hand he was excited by the new environment having lived in Kitui all his life; on the other hand, he was intimidated by his mates in the school.

Some of the children were from wealthy families.

In comparison, he felt of a lower social class. For the first time, he became aware of the many childhood indulgences he had missed out on simply because his parents could not afford them.

Brilliance not a redemption

“Although the school system tried to standardise us, some of these differences could not be obscured. The price tags on our personal effects shopping demarcated the social classes. Being brilliant in class was no redemption either. My classmates were rich and smart. It was tough. Some good came out of that experience though. I purposed to excel at school in the hope that I would end up wealthy like them.”

Once he overcame that temporary phase of inferiority complex, Gideon thrived in the new environment. In Form One; he developed an interest in Information Technology courtesy of his Computer Studies class.

He would spend all his breaks in the computer lab.

Had never touched a computer

“I had never touched a computer before joining High School. I only saw them in banking halls whenever I accompanied my father to the bank. The first time I sat in front of a computer during my computer studies class, I stared into the blank screen and it was like looking at destiny. That very moment, I knew that my future was in computers.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ran a program at Alliance High School equipped 40 selected Form Three students, with skills in industrial scale programming, information technology concepts and basic entrepreneurship.

The sessions were conducted in the computer lab. One day, the MIT instructors popped into the computer lab and started issuing out handouts for the program.

Since Gideon was always in the computer lab like, he was mistaken to be among the selected students for the program and given a hand-out. He was in Form Two.

Computer geek is born

Fortunately, the older students did not rat him out. Endless hours of hanging out in the lab had seen Gideon strike friendships with most of the older computer students.

He got trained along with them. With time, Gideon became an accomplished computer geek. By form three, he was helping out form fours with their computer projects for KCSE exams.

After high school, Gideon was admitted at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering as per his course selection.

“One day, the lecturer was taking us round the labs. I caught sight of a group of Fifth Years hunched over an old television model. Curious, I inquired what they were doing with such an outdated TV version. When I found out that they were learning how to fix it, I was puzzled. It was 2011, why would anyone want to learn how to fix old TV models? Why were they not learning how to make improved models instead? Appalled, I changed my course to Computer Science the following week.”

Gideon informed his mother of the course switch and requested her to purchase for him a laptop.

He enjoyed his new course thoroughly. He spent hours on end indulging in self-study of web design, web development, and software programming.

Mutual passion

He met Anthony, a freelance programmer, in his social interactions online. Anthony had graduated with a degree in Electrical and Computer engineering but couldn’t secure a decent job. Frustrated, he had resorted to learning computer programming. Their friendship was due to their mutual passion for computers.

While in second year, Gideon was assigned a project by Anthony to build an app. He did this successfully and earned a lean Sh 40,000. Henceforth, he was begun doing more commercial projects that helped him cope financially in campus.

“I was in fourth year when I landed this big project from one of my acquaintances. When I completed the project, I got Sh 70, 000. My acquaintance pocketed Sh 210,000. When I cried foul, he argued that the company was his thus he was entitled to the lion’s share. I felt cheated. I had put in all the work, but that did not count. That is when I decided to start my own company; Trendpro Systems Limited.”

Trendpro Systems Limited is a start-up that develops web and mobile apps for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and large enterprises in Kenya.

When Gideon started out, he did not have much capital to speak of. He got a loan from his brother, Ben Kitili, back in 2014. Ben was the financial muscle and Gideon took full charge of the operations. He worked from his house in Zimmerman.

His parents did not understand why he was not looking for employment like all his peers. However, that did not deter him; he remained focused on growing his company and developing an impressive portfolio.

Efforts bore fruit

In June 2016, Gideon opened an office at Hazina Towers. Once set up, he embarked on getting more clients in order to sustain the business. His efforts bore fruit. He hired three fulltime employees and two external consultants to help out with the increased workload.

“There have been a few challenges. Sometimes, potential clients doubt my ability to deliver because of my age. Other times experts in the field let their ego get the best of them and they refuse my contractual job offers. I have resorted to working with my former classmates and friends who are my age. They share in my vision for growth. Together, we have built a strong database of satisfied clients. That is the most important thing. Not age, not ego.”

Gideon is inspired by Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity. He is drawn to the fact that all of Elon’s inventions are geared to meeting societal needs.

He feels that the world would be a better place if everyone did something for society instead of demanding something from society.

He hopes to influence more young people to create jobs instead of looking for jobs.