In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a tragedy (play) which was written in 1597, we got one of an ageless quote saying, “What’s in a name? That which we call a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
During our times, for students who were looking for secondary school enrolment, the name of a secondary school, that you got admitted to, could make you cry either tears of joy or pain.
Yes, the school name contained hopes, aspiration, dream and assurance of better life, and being a part of people who would play a role in the development of our mother Tanzania.
Those days there were some of the well known, best public secondary schools in the country. Every parent would wish to take his/her children to those schools due to the best performance.
For instance, for girls’ secondary schools like Tabora Girls, Weruweru, Kilakala among others, if you managed to have a chance to study there, it meant a lot to a student and parents as well.
This is because after the school life, you had a great chance of becoming “somebody” in the great motherland Tanzania.
For boys’ secondary schools, the best public secondary schools included Ilboru, Tabora Boys among others.
Those boys schooling at Tabora Boys, meant you could even become a president or a prime minister of our great nation.
Admission into the top performing schools means a lot, and makes your chances of doing well in national exams very high. By the way I am an alumni of Weruweru girls, where we have big names role models including Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, Dr Mwele Ntuli Malecela, Helen Kijo-Bisimba, Julie Makani, among others.
For students of Tabora Girls, we had great names like Anna Margareth Abdallah, who even President Samia Suluhu Hassan said, she and others paved the way for Tanzania to have its first female vice president.
The famous Tabora Boys, which next year celebrates 100 years of existence, was the ultimate “boys” club of who is who in Tanzania. Started originally to educate sons of chiefs, it grew into a household name taking in the brightest boys from all over Tanzania.
For instance, notable alumni include the father of our nation, Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere. He joined the school in 1937, as he was a son of Wakizanaki chief, and graduated in 1942. Likewise, his first government’s cabinet back in 1961, whereby out of eight ministers, five were from Tabora Boys! The late Rashidi Mfaume Kawawa, Oscar Kambona, Samuel Sitta, Edwin Mtei, Abdallah Fundikira, and so many others, were products of Tabora boys.
Some of the living legends include our retired prime ministers; Cleopa Msuya and Joseph Sinde Warioba. We have the ever green Joseph Butiku, Harrison Mwakyembe, Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, Prof Rwekaza Mukandala and so many others who are the products of Tabora Boys Secondary School.
Almost at 100 years after the school was crafted, it continues to produce a number of who is who in the country.
A few who are who-is-who today, from the school include Manyara Regional Commissioner, Charles Makongoro Nyerere, Hon. Kundo Andrea Mathew, MP for Bariadi and you can guess, many others who are in important positions.
One of my readers brought the issue of Tabora boys to my attention. Mr Sylvester Lazaro Kalamata from Morogoro, posed; “Cognizant that we have passed mid 2020, I would like to ask the following question.
Is there meaningful preparation worth the magnitude of the envisioned occasion come 2022 on the ground at school and ministerial level?”
Actually, I don’t have an answer, but I expect the famous “Taborans” to lead the way.
It should be a grand occasion and bring a debate about special talents school and the way to the future.