Hello, hello, hello Comrades!
I’m just back from an exciting trip to Tanzania where I was working on my first feature documentary project, taking the first exciting steps of it that is. And what a fabulous time it was to be there, not only reflecting on the legacy of Tanzania’s leadership from our founding father Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, but being there at an election time where I got to witness the transition to our 5th Tanzanian president, Dr. John Pombe Magufuli.
Okay, let me first pause here to say, that the fact that we have a 5th publicly elected president in an African country is a VERY big deal. Like huge. Africa’s republics are young, and elections tend to have a way of going south and being hijacked and interfered with by Western countries as well, so this is an accomplishment of epic proportions. And then the fact that (despite some rumblings and tension) there was no violence either? Miraculous!
So this guy took over and he is shaking things UUUUP!! I mean, candidates promise all sorts of things while they’re campaigning but I don’t think anyone (anywhere in the world) really expects them to live up to things anymore. This guy has done more to change the public healthcare system and public cleanliness in a month than the last presidents have done in years. Hopefully he can keep the stamina up.
So today in honor of Tanzania’s Independence and the foundation that we worked to lay (as a people, as a country) for ourselves and other African peoples to realize independence and self determination, I salute us! I salute that we pitched in to make today a day of service to clean up our own backyards; I love how enthusiastically everyone looked in pictures and videos cleaning up the city…a renewed sense of hope it seems.
Today, more than most days, I feel very proud to be Tanzanian. I feel proud that we still have hope that things don’t have to be the way they’ve always been just because they’ve always been a certain way. Things CAN change. Ideas CAN change. Our continent CAN change. Tanzania will show you how baby!!
And for more on the Magufulization of Tanzania, follow the hashtags #WhatWouldMagufuliDo and #HapaUsafiTu, and read this fabulous little article along with the comments at the end!