Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Darwin's Nightmare and Blinded Fools

If it was my choice, I would have been sharing my reflections on a daily basis. Nonetheless, some life realities are hard to avoid. When that happens, it is difficult to flick one's fingers on a computer keyboard regularly. This past Monday my wife had to go through an emergency medical procedure. As a loving husband, it was difficult for me to reflect on anything other than her. So I loved on my wife by sticking by her side. She is getting better and that allowed me to "roam" around the internet and get my blogging juice flowing.

I do not have a fondness for the American media. The reason for it is that I perceive the media in the great US of A to be in love with depressing news. I mean, anything to do with murder, sexual assault, or war is definitely going to be given the first priority. Is that depressing or what? If the story is losing its "juice" they will, by all means, juice it up by bringing some sort of an "expert" to provide a "new" insight on the story. Really?They will bring on an "expert" in Middle East and in this and that, just to depress you and fill the air time. Sometimes, I just have to switch to ESPN Classic to watch Tyson get whopped by Holyfield for the tenth time. I typically know the outcome already in that channel, but it is much better at times to watch hairstyles in the 1970's than a story about a serial rappist in 2006.

I know that was a bunch of blah blah, but what I really wanted to say is, excuse me for being like an American CNN. The Darwin's Nightmare story is old, but the most recent move by the Bongoland government left me with no choice but to "blog" them. Essentially, the Tanzanian government decided to sponsor a link in Google, that will supposedly "refute" Mr. Sauper's "negative" publicity. Read for yourself.

Reading the story from Tanzania Daima, I got the impression that the Tanzanian government "hacked" Mr. Sauper's website, only to realize that they managed (whether legally or illegally, I am not sure) to create a link in Google that will lead a reader to a more "positive" outlook about the whole sangara drama. The step, in general, is nothing new given the fact that the President, the Parliament and even some ignorant Mwanza residents have hit the street in condemnation of this documentary. We can leave it at that, because so many have been said about it those reactions.

I would regard the government's new move as foolish and childish. This is why. Controversy is a powerful commercial tool. Ask Holywood actors. Some of them have "stirred" things up a notch to bring enough attention to propel their movies to the top. I am not a psychologist, but I know that human beings are curious. More interesting is the fact that our curiousity is heightened by not-so-ordinary happenings. Given that fact, the Tanzanian government is actually propelling Mr. Sauper to the artistic pinacle as opposed to bringing him down.

Creating a "positive" website instead of addressing the central theme of Mr. Sauper's documentary does not really help the course or fool the world. Coming up with a general Bunge statement in condemnation of Mr. Sauper's documentary does not change the realities that Mr. Sauper addressed. Applying cheap political tactics that pulled ignorant Mwanza residents to demonstrate against this documentary is certainly not going to work for a London sangara buyer who is objective enough to know the difference. So why the trouble? It is definitely lack of common sense.

See, the reality is this: an artist is always successful when his or her work touches some nerves. Mr. Sauper's work has definitely sent some shockwaves in the Bongoland system. The problem, however, is that he sent a message to folks who are conditioned to refusing and denying realities. Consequently, these folks have decided to wage a war against him, ignoring the fact he has little to lose at this point than to gain. He sent a message to blinded fools who have eventually turned around to benefit him more than being a pain in his butt.

I can understand the government's desire to defend Brand Tanzania. That is a noble notion, for every country ought to defend its image. Nonetheless, it is one thing to defend your image and another to reactively and foolishly fall prey into the hands of your "enemies". Fueling controversy around the Darwin's Nightmare, especially by Tanzanian government itself, is nothing but blind foolishness. At the end of the day, we have made Mr. Sauper a couple of dollars richer through an increase of his documentary sales, while our folks in Mwanza continue to feast on the same old stinky "mapanki". At the end of the day, we will continue to help Mr. Sauper's course than ours.

If that ain't foolishness, I don't know what it is.


mapenzi said...

You bring about additional powerful thoughts that our dear government just doesn't want to bow their arrogant heads to.I agree with you,it is foolishness and frankly speaking sometimes hard to believe kind of moves.

Jaduong Metty said...


I couldn't have agreed more with you. It is a sad reality of how our leaders, despite their dot.com PhDs are not able to objectively think. Furthermore, it is a sickening thing to know that our leaders are incapable of understanding the "real" issues, instead chosing to dance around in circles. Uzalendo is not a concept of foolishly mobilizing poor folks to demonstrate against their own voice.

Sibala's Corner said...

Kwanza pole sana kuhusu mkeo. Let’s hope that she gets well soon.
You know our government is making blunders and they do not want to accept it. Now they are trying to use the banner of patriotism to fool ignorant citizens that they are doing their job well - no no we are not going to buy that!

You know – why didn’t the Bunge come out with a resolution that shows how they are planning to rectify the situation and solve the problems that are portrayed in the documentary? If they had done that most progressive Tanzanians would have supported them. But that didn’t happen!
Jamani mambo yanakatisha tamaa.

Jaduong Metty said...


I had an opportunity to watch the documentary myself, and I think my next step is definitely to reflect a little on that..so watch out for the next post..

Anonymous said...

More information about the so called "MAPANKI" are on