Friday, July 31, 2009

Food for Thoughts: Is Vijana a Solution for Tanzania Problem?

In recent years Tanzania has experienced the tsunami of vijana joining different political organizations. We also witnessed the mushroomed of CCM branches across the global from Bangalore to Helsinki. The interesting part is majority of individuals from generation Y and Z believed they do have the skills necessary to overturn Tanzania into prosperity land. On the other side of the coin, most of them undermined the challenges ahead of them when it comes to a country which has chronic poverty, corruptions, and economic imbalance.

The movement of this generation motivates me to write this article. There are many legitimate questions that we should ask our self before jumping into a conclusion and say that generation Y and Z have the medicine for our problem.

First, what will make this generation different compare to the previous generations, and how will it develop intellectuals leaders that the previous generations failed to do? To my understand Leaders are individuals who establish direction for a working group of individuals, who gain commitment from these group members to this direction, and who then motivate these members to achieve the direction's outcomes. So, leadership is an apprentice trade. Most of the leaders develop leadership skills over period of time. The challenge part is majority of the leaders of this generation develop most their leadership skills under the watch of the so called corrupted leaders. So, how can someone convince the society that this few individuals have necessary leadership skills which will revamp Tanzania for good, despite the facts that most of their skill developed under the watch of the so called corrupted leaders?

Second, to my understand education plays the big role to shape the mind of individual. Tanzania education system hasn’t change for quite sometime, we all know in Tanzania teachers at primary and secondary level are the one who failed or receive lower grade at one point of their life. So, what role do these individuals play to shape the minds of the leaders of this generation? When it comes to university majority attended local college where most of the teachers come from the generation which disappoints us in the first place. How will these instructors shape the minds of our generations different from their generations?

Third, the few individuals who received their tertiary education in the West believe they have what Tanzania need. In addition, majority in this group believe that the strategic plan which Western applied in the early ages can be also be applied in Tanzania, which is not necessary true. Apart from that, most of Tanzania looks at these individuals as traitors or the kids who were born with the silver spoon on their mouth. How will this group incorporated their leadership skills to the group which doesn’t trust them in the first place?

Lastly, President Kikwete appointed several individuals from this generation to become leaders on several sectors. For instance Hon. Masha and Ngeleja are from our generation, are they succession stories or disappointments? If they’re disappointments then can someone convince the society that why should they believe on us? How about those few young managers at different private sectors are they non corrupted and accountable individuals?

Make no mistakes; majority of Tanzanian are hungry for change. Tanzanian wants more transparency government, more accountable government and responsible government. However, can the leaders of this generation meet those needs? Or we’re joining CCM in numbers because that is the only way we can stay in comfort zone? What make this generation believe they can deliver, while the generation of their father failed?


Mchangiaji said...


I think I praised you before, but I might need to take it back! lol

I really dont understand the close mind as to why you are so obsessed and undermining the so called views/ideas, regarding the direction of our country, particularly comming from the so called vijana. our skepticism and criticisms about the future of this country are undermined, I am really worried about that, it seems to me and, you probably feel the same, THE PERCEPTION is that, we dont have a vision and leadership skills within the political ranks in our country, and if we have, either comming from opposition and vijana seems to be underminded and rediculed, and this is where you fit onto the spectrum, I really dont understand that concept and such a tight close mind people who really seems to ignore such a problem, seens you raise this subject you may, need to explain it further, why we feel that way??

Lakini hata hivyo, lazima ufahamu, sehemu moja ya msingi katika maendeleo ya nchi yoyote ile, ikiwa bara Hindi, Asia au Western Countries, Vijana play an important role in shaping the future of their perspective countries whether providing leadership on economies, politics or senistive issues about the direction of the country, similarly can be said about The ongoing inferno in IRAN,

Or to give a another specific example on indian economy, the high Tech experts and Leadership skills appreciated in India in ICT and IT sectors, which brought the expansion and growth of economy in India, same can be said of CHina, the US and so on..

So getting back from specifics, if it wasn't for VIJANA, Obama wouldn't be in the office to promote cha CHANGE, he proclaimed to do when he took over the office, I think you are getting an idea now.

and I personally think our elders and particularly in CCM government should embrace this force for goods of our Country, and that is an obvious scenario, You cannot deny our leadership skills that we are showing over the years. VIJANA needs to be thrown right onto the political spectrum and economic discussions, their ideas should be looked at and discussed in such a respect they deserve, and thats is when you will see maturity as a country, on our understand of the issues concern both VIJANA na WAZEE.

Yes I would agree with you, leadership skills is more embroiled, wih the experience, but that assumption, should not be used to undermine VIJANA leadership skills, which comes by being visionaries of how things need to be in Future, my guessing is that, You seems to Indisputably believing the former, and that undermining your own beliefs, and becoming contradictory overtime. Cann't you see that??

By Mchangiaji

Anonymous said...

niungane na mchangiaji na author aliye post bwana mwanyoka, tatizo linalotukwaza sio chama au vijana kujiunga na chama fulani. ukiangalia kwa haraka haraka kwa sasa katika afrika siasa ndio inalipa zaidi, jaribu kuangalia kwa mapana zaidi ni maprofesa wangapi na ma doctor wangapi wameachana na chaki na kuingia mtaani kuuza sera za vyama mbalimbali, huku ni sehemu ambayo unapata hela kwa blah blah bila ya kuumiza kichwa. na hii ni kutokana na mfumo mibovu ya sera za nchi zetu, unakuta mtu kwa mfano daktari ametumia muda kusoma na mazingira magumu ya kazi tembelea muhimbili, amana temeke na hospitali nyingine za serikali wagonjwa wamelazwa mpaka chini matatizo ya ukosefu wa dawa na vitendea kazi, hali duni za wananchi kushindwa hata kumudu gharama za matibabu na matatizo mengine lukuki unaweza lia.

hawa lazima waangukie kwenye politics, pia na sisi vijana wasomi kukataa kufanya kazi huko vijijini unamkuta mtu kamaliza bachelor yake pale sua ya agriculture engineering anaenda vodacom customer care hakuna proportional kabisa,
na vijana walio nje ndio hawataki kuinvest kwao kabisa, kwa hiyo vijana ni solution km wataamua lakini kwao wao kuishia kufungua mashina ya chama ni kujitafutia nafasi za kuingia kwenye siasa siku za usoni na si vinginevyo, changamoto hizo kaka!!!

January Makamba said...


Thanks for a very good piece. You raise some valid questions!

My two cents: Let us start with the general context: one, 70 percent of Tanzanians are under the age of 30. The median age of Tanzanians is around 18 years. So, we are a very young nation.

In that sense, it is expected that the young will dominate almost all aspects of our nation's life. But this has not been the case. But I see things changing now. The middle class is increasingly young. Opinion makers are increasingly young as well. There are also more and more young professionals in areas of technical expertise. So, we are getting there.

But, to answer your questions:

1. The young generation of this era is more informed than the previous ones. The difference in "information" or "information assymetry" on everything going on around the world between kids in Houston and Dar is not huge. In 1960s - 1980s, it was huge. Information technology has narrowed the gap. So, we, of this generation, are not likely to be screwed up in interactions/engagements with our peers in London or New York because we know about the world as much as they do.

2. Yes, education, and the character and competence of those who delivers it, is critical. This is where the problem lies.

3. I don't agree that those who have studied in the West have the best solutions (by seeking to apply the Western models they have learnt). But, we will have to agree that studying abroad gives you a broader outlook and a different perspective. I also agree that some people may have issues those have studied abroad but I do not see it as a widespread problem. Most people appreciate the experience of studying abroad. Whether or not we agree, the West has an edge in education. Nyerere was to a large extent shaped by his Edinburgh education. The Chinese, the Malays, the Koreans, the Japanese - almost everyone who transformed - saw the necessity to train their people in the West. Of course this was a temporary measure before they developed their own capacity to train their own people.

4. I think it is important that we all root for the young leaders to succeed so as to provide inspiration for more young people to join public service.

At the end of the day, the young will have impact only to an extent that they choose to do so by engaging in civic life and by equipping themselves with skills and competencies appropriate for this era and by constantly engaging in dialogue, joining their efforts and networks to press for action on issues impacting the future.

Iddy said...

Thanks for the response, make no mistake i don't undermine the contributions of vijana toward Tanzania development. To my understanding Vijana make more than 50% of Tanzania of today, so at one point of their life they will have to participate in Tanzania development . However, most the questions that i put forward on that particular article are legitimate. Do we have the caliber needed for transformation of Tanzania into a land of opportunity?

I total understand that vijana are the core center of any country, it is Vijana who dominate Obama's cabinet. However, my question stays will Tanzania Vijana meet the expectations of twenty first century?

January put forward an interesting point that yes Vijana are potential leaders of Tanzania of today and tomorrow, however there some works need to be done. What am seeing is we're traveling on the same path. It frustrating to see some of us think the only way forward is to continue squeezing those who at the bottom.

We either agree or not but our system doesn't provides necessary tools for 21st century challenges. There is an urgency for change on education and the way we do business.

Finlay, I should say this, i put this article forward so we can challenge our self. Are we ready to take over? Jee tupo tayari kuwajibishana pindi tutakapo kosea?

salama said...


This is undoubtedly interesting post. I had the same thing in mind a while ago. Tell you what, Vijana WILL BE a solution for Tanzania's problems (IF) they won't engage themselves in "The business of seeking control and bending others to their will" a.k.a Tanzanian politics and the whole of Africa in general. Kuifanya siasa dili ni mchemsho. The notion that power, politics, society and things of that nature is the only way to accumulate fast wealth is ridiculously dumb especially at this age and era.

Vijana can be a smart investment for now and for the future of our nation kama watapikwa na kuandaliwa with passion, intergrity, respect, enthusiasm and dedication for Tanzania. Those are just few of many things, some of our past and current leaders lack and thus brought us most of this mess. January has pointed out that, Tanzania carries 70% of vijana in her population, under the age of 30, we're indeed a very young nation but need to be careful with how all these 'y'knows' will engage.

The shift of politics from scion's of politics to vijana can have a great impact in the development of our nation if, it's trasferred well and with dignity.

Thuwein said...

Nice post and I am not going to say whole a lot but I will quote RFK in a speech he made to young South Africans in 1966..

"It is a revolutionary world we live in... and this generation at home and around the world has had thrust upon it a greater burden of responsibility than any generation that has ever lived. Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation (Dr. King); a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth (Alexander); a young woman reclaimed the territory of France (St Joan of Arc); and it was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World (Columbus), and the 32 year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that "all men are created equal"

So kaka Idi the question is not vijana are the solution, vijana are the only solution.

salama said...


You made a good point of being ready and kuwajibishana tukikosea. That's important because, when vijana take over the political podium, they need to be careful not to get comfortable na kulewa madaraka. This is where we really miss the late mwalimu. Regardless of his shortcomings, the man actually worked, with passion, intergrity and committment, for our country. I wish there was something called 'Tukumbushane Training' (TT) for all leaders so they shouldn't just f**ing uza sura but WORK. This's where all problems starts, when some leader gets comfy with his/her position. Makes someone wonder, aren't their constituents enough reminder?

My opionion, for vijana to move forward and take over, what if they make politics/leadership both tactical and epical? influence people and at the same time work to leave a classy legacy, since most of us comprehend it in terms of command and control. Every human being feel good and powerful when the know that they can make others do as they wish but, I think that's where we go wrong, When we think that our leaders are governing Elites and combine responsibilities(work) with title, then overlook what's important, Results. We tend to give those who're supposed to represent and work for us, power, glory and our freedom, and become afraid to hold them accountable when they misbehave, as someone said in here before, "We, make our leaders" and for this case, We, deserve them and their baggages.

For vijana to be a solution for our nation's problems, they shouldn't pursue politics for the sake of power and wealth. I think it got to the point we need to get involved from the heart. When you think of many children who're eager to learn but, can't attend school, or don't have access to clean water, also many young and old Tanzanians who die unnecessarily every, single day, because they can't afford to buy the appropriate medicine.

In this age, in different parts of the world the political world is being harnessed by the young, the outspoken, the bold and without forgetting the women.
The political arena will be even more interesting when vijana add in it, their cool intellectualism.
That way they'll be able to elevate the importance of all things education. And I wish our government could do something to help our vijana with education. It's sad that many are struggling to get education they definately need but the gov. is too slow to act.

One more thing, for our vijana to have an impact in the development of our nation we'll have to plant in them, the seed of giving, turning the selfish individuals into public spirited citizens. Hopefully we will succeed without applying the, "you don't get anything clean without getting something else dirty"-by Cecil Baxter.
Each one of us, is an important link to our success.
This's the time, this's our time y'all!

Anonymous said...

I think we all owe to look at both sides of the coin.

We cannot allow fears to dominate our away of thinking about VIJANA and at the same time thinking thats the only solution. Yes we might have our doubts here and there, and we recognise that, but that shouldn't be a force to stall the debate for progress. and thats what I see in majority of us in here. We are pretty much saying! Naah! is an answer, Yes we can! should be our mantra to match foward! but I can understand negation, and I will tell you why.

This is my thought on Political system in Tanzania, I will say it bluntly IT IS CORRUPT, WE are made to believe, POLITICS is the only way foward to enrich ourselves with WEALTH, gaining RESPECT and acquiring easy OPPORTUNITIES, whether that being enriching our offspring, or gaining easy access to education, and we are prisoned by that, and it can be proven by seing our top intellectuals, educators, scientists, professors and so on and so forth, seeking attention from politics, rather than engaging on what they do best, because you know why ? They have been marginalised and ignored.

We created that old system, of POLITICAL CLASS(elites), Tanzania is not an exception, which in turn demonise/devalue every one except themselves.

I believe the only way out, is to break that taboo, by appreciating and encouraging those individual talents, to manifest themselves for the good of this country, whether that being in Economy, Science, technical, or in Education, We owe to listen to them, and act upon their expert opinion. currently we are not doing that.

I think there will be no harm for Politicians to work with these talents, and praising them for their work nationally and internationally. WE NEED NATIONAL HEROES TO MOVE FOWARD AS A NATION, and WE SEEMS TO LACK ON THAT ASPECT.

My next generations of bloggers need to say, a politcal expert Rweyemamu, quote say this and that, or economist Mwakuruzo of Digo School of Commerce says this and that.

I think you get my point, and that I believe, we will reach to a point as a nation, where we will be proud, and we will inspire the young men and woman to work hard to earn such RECOGNITION and looking at their heroes for leadership, rather than worsting talents on POLITICS, as the only course to earn it.

This can only be achieved by recognising and engaging those 70% of us.

My last point, POLITICIAN should be paid less than a top TALENT or a teacher at some instances, and not other way round. and thats come to a wage STRUCTURE, which it is another debate!.

Note:This remains my personal view
By Mchangiaji

Iddy said...

Salama, Mchangiaji and Thuwein Your contribution toward this nation will never be forgotten.

From my understanding you build a nation from family level to nation level. Bill Clinton once said "it take a village to build a nation". I become skeptical when it come to Vijana because of the character that most of us develop.

How can we transform Tanzania into prosperity land if we're not patriotic to our own nation? Make no mistake some of us love Tanzania with all of their heart, some understand that poverty is the killer, some think about strategic plan which will reduce HIV/AIDS. But the number is small according to my knowledge.

Mwalim Nyerere once said " My generation goal was independent liberalization, this generation goal is economic liberalization". So, Mwalim did his part, help other nations to archive independents and so forth. How about us? Did we archive even halfway of our goal which is economic development?

Today in Tanzania the moral values are not there anymore. It's fun to sleep out even though you're married. So, all this wrong doing will hunts us at the end of the day when we combine the forces to build a prosperity land.

Once, a friend of mine told me this: " why can't you work at TRA you will make money through deal" Nikamwambia rushwa will not build this nation, he said " usipo iba wenzako wanaiba". That is the worse mentality that Vijana need to stay away if we want to be agency of change.

I am glad we debate sensitive issue like this. I wrote this article because i do have doubt with US (Vijana). However, i believe we're the only hope that Tanzania have. I believe if we will mobilize, and start to inspire others then we will succeed.

Anonymous said...

Iddy, kwa kiswahili cha mtaani tunasema kwa kifupi tu 'kuntu'. Hayo maoni yako ni 'kuntu' (Valid).


Anonymous said...


Thanks a lot for informative and more importantly inquisitive article. I couldn't agree with you more, in order for Tanzania to develop then vijana must do the heavy the lifting. The question that continues to linger in my mind is, are vijanas equipped with proper tool that will enable them to achieve the aforementioned task? Sadly the answer is no! Our education system doesn't enable this young lad to become who they want be, and worst of all, it is too theoretical. It is no wonder that many vijanas have decided to look for shortcuts and temporary solutions.

Our education system must reflect the century we are living; in addition, we must teach our kids at the early age the importance of being truthfully to their colleagues and more importantly their country. Make no mistake, it will take years if not generation to quell this problem; however, I firmly believe that whenever there is a will then definitely there will be a way also !