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Why say ‘evening meal’ when the word ‘supper’ is available?

Friday October 23 2020
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On Page 3 of the Saturday, October 10 edition of the tabloid associated with this columnist, there is a story entitled, ‘Sixth school razed by fire’.

In this one, our scribbling colleague reports what he learnt from the Kaloleni Islamic School Deputy Headteacher, Ms Hawa Thabiti, who explained that the fire which destroyed a dormitory started at 7.30pm when students were preparing FOR “evening meal”.

We note with concern two matters here: one, the omission of article THE before “evening meal”, which is mandatory, for the said meal was specific. Two; (we are fussing), why say “evening meal” (two words) while a single word, SUPER could be used instead?

That, while we all know, brevity is a key aspect of journalistic reporting. We suspect the scribbler was carried away by the Kiswahili expression from her news source, “chakula cha jioni”, which is directly translatable to English as “evening meal”. (Anybody out there with one Kiswahili word for “chakula cha jioni” should please communicate to this columnist).

The Moshi-based scribbler further reports on the fire that gutted a dormitory (may Allah, the Merciful One, protect our children’s learning institutions from these recurrent fire incidents that smack of something sinister!) by writing: “She said 32 students were rushed to Mawenzi Hospital after suffering from shock REGARDING the incident.”

From shock “regarding…”? Nope! It should be, “…from shock ARISING (or, that RESULTED) from the incident.

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Come Saturday, October 17, again in the tabloid close to this columnist, where we have a story on Page 2 entitled, “Chadema’s Mwalimu promises alternative”. Therein, the scribbler writes: “Mwalimu also campaigned for Mpanda-Urban candidate, Ms Rhoda Kunchela, saying that it’s time the constituency had a woman leader because she has the confidence and the power TO DO SO”.

Our question, in the context of the sentence is: “To DO what?” This, we aver, is a typical case of a scribbler losing track of what he is talking about. Our colleague probably wished to say that Ms Kunchela…has the capacity (not power) “to be the next MP (not to do so).”

Still on October 17, when Bongo’s senior-most broadsheet ran a Page 2 story headlined, ‘Chadema government will establish crocodile, hippopotamus meat butcheries’.

In Para 2, our colleague, who was covering a Chadema Civic seat candidate in Sumbawanga, writes: “He said after the general ELECTIONS on October, 28th, 2020 and his party ascends to power…”

General “elections” on October 28? No comment! However, we must note that mentioning the year of the forthcoming elections (2020) is sheer waste of print paper space because that is obvious!

Our colleague further writes: “At Nkasi North Constituency, Ms Aida Khenan (Chadema) is seeking FOR votes against Mr Ally Kessy (CCM)…Seeking for votes? No, sir; electoral power hunters SEEK VOTES (not for votes).

Another story on Page 4 is entitled, ‘Guidelines on reproductive health for PLWD in progress’, and therein, the scribbler writes in Para 6:

“MATILDA JAMES, SRHR Youth Champion Academy Coordinator explained that the programme targeted youth…”

In the subsequent paragraph, the scribbler writes: “Ms MATILDA said the organisation has been working with Wadada Centre…”

Ms Matilda, in reference to Matilda James? Nope; it should be Ms James. It is all about rules of etiquette as per the English naming system that we have adopted (ahem!). Prefixes such as Mr, Mrs, Miss and Ms, Dr and Prof, go with either the FULL NAME or the SURNAME.

The CEO for MCL, which publishes this tabloid, is Mr Bakari Machumu or, if you like, Mr Machumu. If you are old buddies, and you happen to be with him at an informal setting like, say, having a drink together at Mlimani City, call him, simply, Bakari, not Mr Bakari.

The immediate former Deputy Speaker for our Parliament is Dr Tulia Ackson or, simply, Dr Ackson (not Dr Tulia). And the NIMRI Director General is Prof Yunus Mgaya or just Prof Mgaya (never Prof Yunus).

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