Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It Is Also About Desire...


I have to admit it. I liked the last blog post and the comments that followed. I was delighted to know that most folks agreed that the main issue crippling Africa, and Tanzania in particular, is the mindset.

Looking inward could be hard to do, given our past historical experiences. That experience, in some ways, has pushed Africans into looking outwards for justification of our circumstances. While I could make a good political speech in an African setting by blaming everything on Westerners, I would only be fooling myself by taking such a route. I think it is about time for Tanzanians to have a paradigm change. Lets have a new attitude. Lets do the best from within and then we could be justified to blame some robbers from the West.

Unless we change our mentality, I will continue to challenge and question the intelligence behind a Tanzanian president getting his regular health check-up in Germany instead of building top-notch hospitals in Tanzania. I will continue to cry for change in our thinking unless Tanzanian leaders will get it in their heads that buying expensive cars before building good roads is plain stupid.

Seriously, I am passionate about a change in attitude and mindset. I strongly believe that this will open doors we never imagined.

Despite the fact that a change in attitude is needed, I believe that another key ingredient that is required for true progress is desire. So what’s this thing called desire? My Google search for the meaning of the word revealed that desire is the feeling that accompanies an unsatisfied state. In essence, desire is to covet, to earnest wish for. To desire something, one has to passionately long for it and not casually.

The following quote came from my pastor and I liked it because it is right on the money: There are things that we wish for in our lives that will never come to pass until we are desperate enough to earnestly desire for them. It’s the heart’s desire that will fuel passion in you, and passion will overcome obstacles.

As the quote above indicates, there are two things that having a desire for something will bring up: passion and the ability to withstand and eventually overcome obstacles. Looking at the definition of the word and what desire can bring in us, I seriously doubt whether Tanzanians (generally speaking) have a desire to eradicate poverty. I doubt that because we appear to lack neither the drive nor the passion for change.

I know this is a call for self-introspection and it might rub some folks the wrong way (based on my past experiences as some folks would rather find a scapegoat than take personal responsibility), but I believe it is about time we look inside and question whether we, as Tanzanians have the right mind, attitude and a true desire for change. I am challenging that because we do plenty of things very casually. We do things in a manner that indicates the bora liende mentality.

I hate to do this, but I will go back to the kilimo ni uti wa mgongo wa taifa mantra that Nyerere came up way back to highlight the fact that Tanzanians can be truly be a joke. You can agree with that if more than 80% of the population derives employment from agriculture, there would have been deliberate policies and strategies to make Tanzania the best country in the world when it comes to agriculture. Even true, the drawn strategies would have been fully executed. But you know the story; the issue of pembejeo is still the talk in the Parliament. The reason for this blah blah is because nobody, including Nyerere himself, was passionate enough about developing agriculture. It is a joke that we can the name Tanzania could be synonymous to agriculture, yet we still face hunger.

Folks pursue things they are passionate about. Folks pursue things they desire. Folks give priority to things they desire. Folks become obsessed with their desire. I don’t see such a fight in Tanzania. I don’t see a true hunger for progress. All I see is a country stuck in the mud. I see a country that is passionless. I just see leaders who have given up. I see leaders who are hopeless. I don’t see a burning fire for progress. None.

The sure sign that we don’t have a true desire for progress is we don’t yearn for results. I know someone will scream that Tanzanians do yearn for results. Nonetheless, you could not be serious about results, yet hold nobody accountable for failure to produce. Dr. Msabaha and Richmond, anyone? Folks who desire progress will go to the extent of demanding zero tolerance for stupidity and lack of accountability. But we both know that lack of accountability and doing things that don’t make logical sense is the norm in Tanzania. You know what they will call you in Tanzania if you have high expectations? They will call you a mzungu. They will tell you how your ideas and aspirations are not workable. They will ridicule and laugh at you.

That brings us to another attribute of folks with a true desire. They hardly accept the word impossible. This is a word that easily flows in the lips of Tanzania. We are quick to ask why, but why not. If you have desire for change, you will certainly find ways to solve your problems. But we both know Tanzanians are quick to point fingers and tell you why attaining a certain goal is impossible. Honestly, I sometimes look at the simplest things as snow removal in the United States and wonder: hivi hii ingekuwa Bongo si tungekufa?

The impossible attitude is clearly indicated in the way that the Tanzanian government has recently embarked on the hiring of foreign “consultants” to run Tanzanian companies. I know the issue is somebody’s 10%, but on the other side of the coin, it is an insult to wazalendo Tanzanians are painted as incapable of managerial skills. Worse enough, it is confusing, given the fact that the President promised to create 1 million jobs. It is that bad. But may be it is because we have no sense of urgency (which is another sign of people who have no desire for change). or may be it is because we’d rather celebrate the “No hurry in Africa” crap than quickly change.

Regardless of what we do, I know that we ain't going anywhere unless we build a desire for progress.
Photo: Mjengwa

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

We don`t buy those cheap propagandas you are trying to sell so hard. There is no way you can convince serious people with their money on the table that We need to waste time worrying about our mindset. We have never had a mindset problem, the serious problems are poverty, unemployment, and poor productivity.

Once poverty is reduced and wealth creation is increased, more jobs are created, and producvity are increased you will see a better society with a better life.

Stop perpertuating ideologies that are useless. You have wisdom but don`t try to sell cuz we ain`t gonna buy those propagandas unless we want to follow the bandwagon technique.

Anonymous said...

Please, the so called "Thinkers on the Blog". Stop perpetuating mythologies, it is the last thing you would want to do earth.

Anonymous said...

It is the last thing you would wanna do on earth.

Anonymous said...

When you don`t fight against low productivity and poverty you lose your say, that`s when folks from places like Canada buys you out. A TTCL story tells it all, not just that story, there are many. When would you have the time to think about your mindset when you have no say. More money, more productivity, more say,equals more power.

When you talk about the mindest, what is the equation of that mindest. It is very simple, identify an equation that would solve the problem. Most problems are solved by maths, if you use wrong fomrula you would get a wrong answer. The fundamental question is are we good in Math?
If the answer is yes then we can start working on our calculations and our formulas to get the answers. Any one who gets it wrong did not calculate it right or slacked somewhere and has to suffer the consequences of slacking and miscalculations.

To all people,there is no problem with your mindset. I`m not gonna preach about that kind of myth. Find out what kind of Math is involved to solve your problem and work on it period.

Anonymous said...

There is no any misconception, that is a word problem. God created man through word and man invented words to create problems.
man is capabale of deceiving himself through invention of words. man is capable of confusing himself through counfusion with words. Stop inventing more problems by creating more chaos.
African have the right mind set. Some folks from Oxford and Harvard made trade policies to screw Africa. No matter how African countries would try to have a competitive advantage against the rest of the world they would fail. Why? They are operating under trade poicies which were constructed by folks from Oxford and Harvard, who never cared about African prosperity. We can`t blame them for all the problems, we have an obligation to solve those problems and answer as many questions as possible until we achieve sustainable progress.

I don`t buy people talking about puzzles mindsets, and desires. We just need to use our common sense more often and be more practical period.

Anonymous said...

We are poor? Why?
First,someone else`s calculations on us made us poor. Who are those folks? Folks from Oxford and Harvard! How? .........
Secondly, our own calculations made us poor. How? After independence we depended on revenues from exporting cash crops to UK and other countries. We should have diversified our cash crops and decide who should be our trading partner and how to trade with him/her. There is a high risk in building trading relationships with countries like UK, USA, and China. What is that risk?
We can learn a lot by just analyzing all revenue sources.

Simple accounting equations,
Revenues-Expenses= Profit
Assets= Liabilities + owners` Equity

Many calculations could have saved us billions and we could have made billions. Our revenues never grew as they were supposed to grow! That is the simple reason why are poor today. Nothing is new brothers and sisters. If your revenues are too low you would be poor, and if your expenses are hmuch higher than what you are making you would face serious financial problems. If so, why do we think IMF and World Bank are the ones to give us money and advice on how to make progress?

Anonymous said...

Our poverty increased our vulnerabilities,it became easier for richer nations to bribe and corrupt the poor nations through weak leaders. Leaders who are self-seeking bastards kept on betraying their fellow countrymen, they eroded the system, the rich nations continued to get richer and the poorer continued to get poorer. The leaders of poor countries never had a say on their own economies, if they had a say they lost it or were given sanctions by the west.
Just imagine Our first president had a Convertible Rolls Royce back in the days, how many Rolls Royce do you see on the road? Was it a gift? If it was a government expense, let`s go back to our equations. High expenses and low revenues equals?

We need to get our numbers together and our calculations right. We are fucked up not only by the Oxford and Harvard folks but also by even the founders of our nations. Without a clear understanding of those issues we can not build competitive models for our future progress.

In Africa ,we need competitive models such that we are not fucked up by smart folks from Oxford or our own governments. If we know and use just basic Maths, Economics, Science, and Business we`ll get far. We can spned our money wisely to buy the technology we need to compete with others and educate our people how to compete in the global economy. Knowing which skills are essential and capitalizing on those skills. We must defeat our enemies, which are poverty, unemployement, and low productivity. All we need is good business skills and decision making skills. Why? Life is business and you don`t want to be a loser as an individual and as a nation. For national development to happen, indivuduals have to be able to make their good decisions. These individuals have to have money in order to make good decisions for themselves. More money more power. This money has to be well managed and well supplied in the economy. This money has to be stable to withstand other currencies and other fluctuations.

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anonymous 12:28 AM
Please read yourself: "We need to get our numbers together and our calculations right"

Sounds like you are accepting the fact that we need to change our mindset. Unless otherwise you don't have a full understanding of what the word or the concept of mindset means.

Anonymous said...

No,No, I did not suggest that there is something wrong with the mindset of the people, I suggested that people should believe in themselves and do the necessary computations instead of wasting time on having the righ mindset? What is the right mindset?
You need to tackle issues instead of wasting time to think that you don`t have the right kind of mindset. You have a different philosphy, I strongly disagree with it, those who seem to agree are practising "groupthink".

Anonymous said...

Clarify in simple words exactly what you mean by the mindset. It`s a word game. You can even write what you think in Kiswahili.

Nnachosema nikwamba hamna haja ya kupoteza kuazima maneno katika lugha za mataifa ya magharibi kufanunua kitu. Vitu vingi vinahitaji kujiamini. Toa mfano una maana gani katika dictionary au context yako? Labda mwenzetu huwezi kujieleza kwa kiswahili ukaeleweka ipasavyo.

Anonymous said...

As I said before man is capable of deceiving others through word games. You gotta have better techniques in your school of thinking,otherwise choose one thing preach about salvation or speak about issues affecting people.

Anonymous said...

@ Metty'z Well put as usual !

@ all Anonymous !

Duh some people just dont get it ! I am glad you dont even bother mention your screen name. I mean How else can a guy ellaborate ? Let me put this in swahili context.

Kwa ufupi mjomba Metty anajenga hoja kuwa wabongo wengi na taifa kwaujumla hatuna usongo, ubishi au tumekata tamaa na kuridhika na maisha ya ulimbukeni tunayoishi.Ili kubadilika ni lazima basi tuanze na fikra pamoja na kuwa na usongo ambao unatokana na njaa kali ya kutaka kupata jibu na kubadilisha maisha kwa ujumla bila kuangalia na kutupia lawama kwa wakoloni na watu wa nje.

To anonymous! you are brain washed and a weak follower you still stuck on conspiracy theories ! How sad kama ndio Wa tz wote wanafikiria hivi tumekwisha.!

Sema Metty usiogope sema japokuwa ni wachache wanaoweza ku comprehend
ndio maaana i had to break it down in local tangue

peace Msemakweli

Anonymous said...

Another member of "groupthink team"
Who are you to generalize about 30 million people? I said stop perpetuating cheap propagandas and groupthink or bandwagon. Stop selling useless ideas on the blog.

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anonymous 2:28 PM
I'm not sure you are deliberately doing it or not, but you are stepping out the spirit of this blog.

It is not my intention to build a blog that is going to be about my ideas only. I like to learn from others. That being said, any challenge to me or to any reader should be accompanied by a sensible, respectful, logical, and coherent reasoning. Honestly, I can't follow you. I can't comprehend what you are trying to communicated, neither are you understanding what others are communicating.

That being established, I will take the liberty to delete all your comments, if they are not within the spirit of constructive and intelligent deliberation.

Anonymous said...

Nyie mmezidi kupigia watu makofi bila kutafiti hoja za watu, sikulaumu kijana kwani ndivyo ulivyolelewa kutoelewa mambo na kukubali mambo kwa kufuata mkumbo bila kufanya upembuzi yakinifu. Hamna kigeni anachosisitizia huyu bwana, Wee ukisema watu kuweni na usongo una maana gani? Kivipi? Watu wengine sana wana usongo hata Machinga wana usongo wa kupindukia. Kwa hiyo tatizo sio usongo, machinga na wakulima wana usongo wa kupindukia. Wabongo ndio kina nani?
Mimi wabongo ninaowafahamu wana usongo wa kutaka kuuondokana na umaskini wao, wana usongo wa kupata ajira ambazo hazipo. Wee mtu ana njia halafu unamletea theories zako za Kibritish au Kimarekani atakuelewa kweli?

Wamerekani wenyewe taifa kubwa wanalia njaaa, zaidi ya watu milioni 40 wako katika poverty. Poverty is not just an African issue it is a global issue. Extreme poverty is the issue that i want you to talk about. Kusema kuwa fulani kasema hiki fulani kasema kile hakuna maana, wewe hoja yako nini kama wewe ni mwanamme kuwa mwanamme na kama ni mwanamke kuwa mwanamke. Sema point yako ni nini hasa?

Anonymous said...

Consipracy theories maana yake nini?

Anonymous said...

Consipracy theories maana yake nini?

Patrick GK said...

Metty,

You could it be up against a troll, you know!

Anonymous,

After counting the number of comments you left on this post, it's a no-brainer to figure out who's trying way too hard!

You've put your foot in your mouth more times than I care to count. You basically deny having mindset problems and then go right ahead and bare yours in here, whew!

Here is just one example:

When you don`t fight against low productivity and poverty you lose your say, that`s when folks from places like Canada buys you out. A TTCL story tells it all, not just that story, there are many.

How do you find yourself facing low productivity in the first place? If you were doing things a certain way decades ago with glowing results, the same techniques might not produce squat today.

Let me suggest to you that to stave off low productivity you've got to change your mindset, the way you think and subsequently your methodologies. Otherwise, you risk "losing your say", as you so ineptly put it.

When would you have the time to think about your mindset when you have no say.

Another one of your classic foot-in-mouth deliveries!

Now, if you don't think about how to get your "say" back, how are you going to achieve it? If your past thinking(or not thinking, take your pick) got it (your say) taken away from you, it should be a no-brainer to see that you need a paradigm shift, and that starts with your thinking.

More money, more productivity, more say,equals more power.

Really?! And all along I thought we were having an intelligent discussion(the incoherencies notwithstanding), now I know better.

Anonymous said...

Most theorists consider that the key responsibility of an embedded power group is to challenge the assumptions which comprise the group's own mindset. According to these commentators, power groups which fail to review or revise their mindsets with sufficient regularity cannot hold power indefinitely, as a single mindset is unlikely to possess the flexibility and adaptability needed to address all future events. For example, the variations in mindset between Democratic Party and Republican Party Presidents in the US may have made that country more able to challenge assumptions than the Kremlin with its more static bureaucracy.

Modern military theory attempts to challenge entrenched mindsets in dealing with asymmetric warfare, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In combination, these threats represent "a revolution in military affairs" and require very rapid adaptation to new threats and circumstances. In this context, the cost of not implementing adaptive mindsets cannot be afforded.