SAFARI NJEMA

November 16, 2019

"Couldn't there be more intercultural exchange OUR way?"

November 13, 2019

Who talks about refugees in Tanzania, and what do they say?

November 10, 2019

#SudanUprising in Copenhagen

June 23, 2019

On 26 June I moderate talks & debate on #SudanUprising in #Copenhagen.

The Sudanese artist Khalid Albaih joins via Skype.

Kindly read Khalid's article a...

Update: Everyday Poetics: Instagramming Life in East Africa in Belgrade

April 26, 2019

PHOTO EXHIBITION: EVERYDAY POETICS - INSTAGRAMMING EAST AFRICA

April 12, 2019

Owl in Tanzanian Parliament - bad omen for freedom of speech and assembly.

January 30, 2019

On 29 January, when the Tanzanian Parliament (Bunge) was assembled in Dodoma, an owl flew in and watched the assembly. The owl is seen in Tanzanian (e...

''We've died''

January 22, 2019

Bikozulu tells the stories of the people making it through last week's terror attack in Nairobi.

See the Instagram post here

If you ask me, and someti...

FILM: Wakamba Forever

January 21, 2019

Colonianism revisited:

..''a hilarious take on Masaku and McMillan’s first encounter set in the 21st century. From a dramatic re-telling of the Kamba o...

Chuchu: ''We are not the audience. We are the story''.

January 20, 2019

Two important tweet threads (see below) which take point of departure in the New York Times coverage of the Riverside terror attack on 15 January 2019...

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'Mvua za kwanza' - the first rain

Friday, February 24, 2017

 

In early 2013 I worked with the launch of the findings of an agricultural research project in Tanzania, RIPAT. Having grown up among farmers in rural Denmark this was particularly interesting to me. Down to earth, basic stuff. I learnt one interesting thing during the preparations which I had to go back and share with my dad in Denmark:

 

When Nyerere said 'mvua za kwanza' on the radio back in the 1970ties, it was a message to the Tanzanians: 'The first rain' - implicitly telling them: 'Go out and dig'.

 

Nyerere knew.

 

Now, during the preparation of the launch a Danish researcher was explaining to me the fine importance of why you have to have your soil prepared before the first rain starts as it must benefit from the nitrogen flush. Part of the research project had shown that using a cheap hoe, typically used in Zambia, which is stronger than the regular hoe used in Tanzania, has increased impact for farmers in Tanzania. He, however, had never heard of 'mvua ya kwanza' - that input came from an mzee, the seasoned Tanzanian journalist Jenerali Ulimwengu.

 

Suddenly everything made sense. I took notes:

 

Why is it so important that you dig your soil right at the first rain? 

 

Case is that a farmer may loose out on the impact of fertility of the soil the more days he or she delays. Facts also show that the farmers who usually miss out digging their own soil during the first rains are the poorest because either they lack tools or may have to dig others' land first before their own. 

 

When I worked with South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda I learnt to ask about the shift of seasons. Persons with access to a piece of land and seeds do not sit for a workshop, and miss out on the opportunity to dig

 

 

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PhD Student, MA in African Studies, journalist and former development worker. Heart tilted towards the Balkans & East Africa: Refugees, Peripheries, Imaginaries & Humanitarianism