Tuesday, February 26, 2008

So, What’s the Point…?

I think I have taken this road before, but I will dare take it again just for the sake of clarity. I typically don’t like to open up a whole new post just to respond to my readers’ comments, but I am prompted to do that in order to clarify my position.

Recently, one of my readers pointed out that this blog has “increasingly become irrelevant”. Let me try to draw an analogy to that. If I were a soccer player, that would mean that I am increasingly getting tired and losing my “juice”, can’t dribble and juggle anymore. If I were a soda, I am getting flat as flat could be. Man that is heavy.

I have to admit that I didn’t do a good job of being specific and articulate of what I wanted to say in my last blog. If I say something that leaves room for two thousand interpretations, I have failed as a writer. So I am shouldering the blame, 100% of it.

The biggest question that I have; in response to the reader’s comments that this blog is increasingly becoming irrelevant, who decides the relevance of any blog? At what point was this blog so relevant? And if there is such a concept, how do we determine a blog’s relevance, given that the subjectivity of all blogs? Could it be that I undermined the expectations and responsibilities that were unofficially placed on me?

I don't know.

So what exactly is the point of this blog? It is my personal reflection of what is happening in Bongoland. There are plenty of things that happen in Bongoland on any given day. So I have to pick and chose what I want to say and how I want to say it. At the end of the day, this is not a newspaper with a strict editorial concept. This is my field. This is where I open my mind and my heart to the entire world.

I can only guess why some readers feel that this blog is losing its juice. The issue is really not with me, the issue is with the Tanzanian society that is not changing. As such, by pointing out the same ills over and over again, I find myself in a position that could be viewed as nagging. That is a tough position to be in.

Seriously though, let try to explain the foundation on which this blog is standing on. My view is that issues facing Tanzania are not due to lack of money or resources. The problem is a wrong mindset. As simple as that sounds, it is not easy to see if you are part of a typical Tanzanian mindset. So my attempt is to connect various stories and incidences to that central theme of mindset. Occasionally, I would venture away from that, but the mindset thing is the major theme of this blog.

Does it get boring at times to hammer the same thing over and over again? You bet it does. Honestly, sometimes I don’t feel like writing on the same crap from Tanzanian leaders. Sometimes I don't feel like writing, period. So I find ways to keep myself going. Does it also feel like that I am only critical? That also is true, and that is because I feel my calling is not to hold hands and sing love songs with a typical destructive Tanzanian mentality.

If you don’t get what I am saying, check the difference between Michuzi and Mjengwa’s blog. We all have a voice and I acknowledge that mine could be a little bit harsher. Nevertheless, that’s my calling and I have to live with that.

My plea is this: if you think I am pointing out is irrelevant, think again. Let me just give you a good example. Recently, a Daily News columnist, Makwaia wa Kuhenga reflected on donor dependence syndrome, That was Thursday, February 21, 2008. I don’t mean to brag, but I have reflected on that on the same concept on July 18, 2006. If you do a little bit of math, that was over one and a half years ago!

That defies the irrelevance of this blog, wouldn’t you agree? Perhaps my biggest shortcoming is being ahead of many Tanzanians.

My point is this: I try to talk about fundamental concepts that are universal. We don’t have the same talents, so I don’t expect every Tanzanian to jump on my bandwagon. Nonetheless, failure to embrace universal principles I am pointing out will just result in our Tanzanian society being stuck on the same spot year in, year out. I wonder if Makwaia reads my blog, but even if he does not, it is thrilling to know that he has finally found a voice of reason and seen those universal truths.

Pointing out those fundamental truths have been the mission of this blog all along. I don’t see that mission changing anytime soon.
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Photo credit: Michuzi

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hear you brother, You do not have to change a thing when it comes to the style of your blogging. You are who you are and we need You in this day and error. Just don't be carried away so much that you loose the people you are trying to reach on the way. May be you are right that you are way forward than most TZ's think. I would say break it down sometimes to reahc us all. You are an inteligent man. I love your writings.

Anonymous said...

Metty,

Why are you becoming harsh to the comments of the readers who tend to despise you? I wouldn't respond to such censures for one good reason; this is a blog for critical thinkers! Haven't you realised that you have very narrow audience and this can tell you how do most fellow Tanzanians think?

If you can remember sometimes back I told you that it is very unfortunate that most of our people read tabloid news rather that such resolute opinions and constructive ideas for our nation.

Don't quit a keyboard. Keep on doing your commendable job!

Onyango Jashitati

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anony 3:53PM
Thanks for encouragement. I will keep on plugging away. Nevertheless, that does not mean that I don't welcome constructive criticism.

@Omera Onyango,
I am sorry if I sounded harsh. I just wanted to educate and revisit the objective of this blog, in case that was not clear to some folks.

I am welcome ideas and comments from my readers. Nevertheless, I will always come down hard on comments that are still stuck on the same old destructive Tanzanian mentality. The intent, of course, being to educate.

Thank you for the encouragement. Certainly, I will keep doing this.

Anonymous said...

You could build more solid case for your views. What is required is more constructive criticism. Not because the what is happening in Tanzania is not to you liking or to your pace, it does not mean that it is not happening.

Not all Tanzanians are dumb, not all politicians are corrupted or incompetent, to lash out at the whole system and generalize your sentiments, only indicates that you have misplaced issues about your country.

Democracy like any other process or organism, it tend to follow its own pace, and within its cultural, social, economical and political ideals of that society. It took Europe several vicious wars and revolution to get to this point. China and India are going through the steps.

Change is happening in Tanzania, not to your "theoretical" or "imagined" view, but its real, peacful and democratic.

People, the media, legislative branch(parliament) are ready for it. Not certain about the legal though.

This process needs to be nurtured, so point out the positive and the negative and perhaps how to fix those negatives, now that is what I refer to as certain relevancy.

Do not just throw stones at the glass house, while you are safely tucked far away in your brick house.

Also drop the cynicism, that you are so smart and other people are just learning to catch up to you.

Cheers,
Heriki Sali

Jaduong Metty said...

@Heriki
Again, it seems that you are missing my point. As I pointed out earlier, all blogs, newspapers, magazines, books, etc are full of subjective and opinionated ideas. As such, it would be impractical for me to fulfill the desire of every reader. And I am not going to attempt that.

I have said it over and over again and let me just repeat it for your benefit. When I lash out at the system, I know exactly what I am doing. Don’t you think it would be a little bit stupid of me to discuss individuals instead of a collective social order which is affecting the majority? Besides, who doesn’t know there are plenty of individual Tanzanians who are brilliant and making us proud?

Please go to my blog post on September 12, 2006.

As I said, it is not my calling to hold hands and sing love songs with the system. Don’t we have plenty of media outlets which do that? I think Daily News and Uhuru are dedicated to drumming up government achievements. You may not like it, but my job is to point out the other side of the coin and bring balance into the equation. You don’t have to agree with me on that. Besides, I have always pointed out the positives.

Please go to my blog post on January 20, 2008.

I can’t help it when people fail to see alternatives that I provide. Let’s go the most recent issue – the Rorya HQ. Well, in my post I said this “Getting around the ethnic tensions could have been achieved by impartially making the decision from Dar-es-Salaam, then educating Rorya folks as to the technical and logical reasons for the decision. Any feedback from the constituents could have been implemented in the final cut...

So you still think I don’t provide alternative thinking?

It is absolutely your right to be satisfied with progress in Tanzania. But we all have different expectations and I am not apologizing for having higher expectations. And that is based on the fact that I believe we can do better as a country. So when I see something I don’t like, I will point it out. Are my expectations merely “imaginary” or “theoretical” as you are trying to say? I don’t think so.

Give me a good reason, for instance, for the government to fail establishing Rorya district’s headquarters effectively. Oh by the way, there is none so you couldn’t name any.

Anonymous said...

Whats this fuss all about? My blog is not loosing its taste?

How many visits do you get per post? 100? 1000? more? How many people said its loosing its taste...one? And that was a reason enough to make you go all wild? cmon Metty...you're better than that!

I've made a habit of visiting this blog on weekly basis for over a year now, this doesnt mean I always share your opinion..infact most of the time I dont. but that doesnt stop me from coming over and over coz you know what? Critic of a critical critic is part of being mature!

Let the readers handle comments for themselves.

Heriki had a point in his last paragraph though.

Eric Lwambura

Jaduong Metty said...

@Eric,
I am far from going wild. I just wanted to make a point.

And as far as stopping being cynical and "sounding smarter than the rest", that ain't going to change. It is not that I am smarter than anybody, I just chose a writing voice that apparently irks the heck out Heriki.

I am actually glad I caught his attention...

Hiza said...

It looks like comrade Herik has his own agenda. Just to echo what Eric said--- “I've made a habit of visiting this blog on weekly basis for over a year now, this doesnt mean I always share your opinion” Exactly to the nut. I have some idle time during my work hours—and I always visit this corner. I don’t always agree with you and it doesn’t mean your blog is extraneous. Keep it up my brother! May be we need to gossip malumbano between Kiula and Warioba, Ole wa Naiko and Ukabila then it will make other folks happy.