Tuesday, 8 March 2016


A year ago, I wrote an article entitled ‘Africa: Famous for the wrong reason’, and it is with pleasure that I continue to write the part 2 of this fantastic topic. Even though, the first part received mixed emotions, I glad to state that ‘African history is African history and we should not compromise on how we tell the African story because that will automatically change the content of our history. For African history must be told and celebrated so that the new generation know where we have come from as a people and continent respectively’.
Indeed, a lot has happened and changed since I wrote the first part and I must confess Africans are natural performers, if not comedians. Even more, this can be highlighted through a series of stories that made headlines across Africa such as, when a Kenyan man publicly offered President Obama a herd of 150 cows, sheep and goats for his Daughter’s hand in marriage. The man seemed geared for Obama’s daughter and was in high spirit airing out his emotional affection while claiming that it was an issue of destiny, not infatuation as most people might say.

Secondly, while waiting for President Obama to respond to the surprise proposal, another social media stampede was created in southern Africa, Zambia when President lungu’s daughter made rare public appearance alongside her father that captured everyone’s attention that led to a Mr. Eric Jere, to make his intentions known of wanting to marriage her while offering 50 cows and 200 goats. Besides the first proposal already made, another man by the name of Joe Moono, an economist by profession took a leap of faith by countering Mr. Jere’s offer by offering 17 cows and 50 goats for her hand in marriage.

In addition, what is even more interesting about the above is that the girl and lady involved in these stories had no idea marriage proposals were made for them and this can be seen in the lack of response on the ladies’ part, but no doubt the gentlemen made us laugh with their five minutes moments of fame.


Independence Constitution
1973 One-party constitution
Mainza Chona Constitution
Patrick Mvunga Constitution
John Mwanakatwe Constitution
And from funny moments such as the Nigerian’s missing budget documents to Zambia’s amended constitution that the opposition  claim  to discriminate against women and worse than the colonial master and I wonder what has led to the heated exchange when this people driven constitution was long awaited.

And the reason was simple and straight forward the government introduced a ‘senior secondary certificate clause’ as a requirement to run for parliament and this is huge because 2016 is an election year and this move is seen as a prevention measure by the government to create an elite only system. Though a question may be asked, where were the oppositions when such bills were being signed which can be answered by a simple statement like,’ they signed something that favored them upon appearance, but has backfired on them on the long run, hence they have to suffer the consequences of their actions’. And this can be attributed to the increasing poor reading and research culture among parliamentarians. 

And in this year’s segment of famous for the wrong thing, I would like to add a special feature ‘ famous for the right reasons’ to one leader who is making headlines for his bold decisions that seem to have awakened a new social revolution in his country. His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, president of Tanzania is indeed a 21st century model of African leadership. Even though, some information suggest that Magufuli lost to Edward Lowassa, he has smoothly led a remarkable wave of reforms that has united the divided electorates into one force that has forgotten about the elections rumors. And hardly in office for 6 months, are Magufuli’s reforms are more effective and popular than his presidency and in a time like this when most African presidents are ‘flying or tourist presidents’, Magufuli’s has resorted to cut on foreign trips due to the costs.

Hype Moments (characterized by the personalized decisions made)
Dr. john Magufuli
-cutting unnecessary government spending
-firing incompetent and lazy government employees
-cancellation of independence celebrations
-cutting of foreign trips
Bull blazers
Late Michael Sata
-more money in the pocket in 90 days
-fight against corruption
King cobra

It is important to know that the direction the president has taken is dangerous and in ordinary language we term it as ‘roadside politics’. Roadside politics is a strategy that is used to improve a person’s popularity and social image by making of popular personal decisions that create conflict of interests in the long run.   I believe decisions of this magnitude have to be debated and collectively agreed upon so that self-righteous individualism will not be the president’s middle name which is likely to be the case in Tanzania. And it is important to understand that governmental business should never be personalized because the presidency becomes a one man show that eliminate the power of collectivity possessed and displayed throughout Tanzanian history.

About the Hype
African politics is always characterized by a hype moment that ends up in a crisis for example, in Zambia, a country that borders Tanzania on the west underwent a hype moment when late president Michael Sata popularly known as ‘king cobra’ made personalized decision to fight corruption and a promise of putting more money in citizens’ pockets that ended up in enriching his supporters at the expense of the now disappointed Zambians. Today Zambia’s debts is huge and the government is yet to borrow more money to help revive the slowly collapsing economy.

With the above, in mind a similarity can be observed in sata’s personalized hype moment with the Zambian people to Magufuli’s current hype decisions. And therefore, to simplify this article all I can is a hype moment is not a reform or vice versa hence the sooner our leaders realize the difference the better. Magufuli’s decisions maybe truthful, but it will take him more time to fight against the internal system that benefit directly from corruption than the external factors.

Written by:
Sishumba Musanda
To read part 1 you can CLICK the following link: https://sishumbamusanda.blogspot.ru/2014/12/africa-famous-for-wrong-reasons.html
Happy International Women's day 

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