Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Change Starteth In the Mind…

For a long time I have been in denial. I just come to grips with the fact that I hate conformity. I love for things to evolve, change, move, whatever. I abhor being stuck on the same spot forever.

It is for that reason, this mwenge thing is driving me crazy…I mean seriously, and why in the world do we still need mbio za mwenge in Tanzania, in 2009? I know, I know, it is the Mwalimu legacy whatever. But, hey, isn’t this just another indication that the Tanzanian society is dormant to the extent that we can’t be creative?

Let’s just review the very essence of mbio za mwenge, if not for a meaningful reason, just for kicks. Mwalimu had an idea. Let’s light this thing up [ I can clearly visualize Mzee Kawawa nodding in approval]. Put it up on Mount Kilimanjaro so that it could accomplish the following: 1) shine beyond Tanzanian borders 2) bring hope to the hopeless 3) bring love where there’s hatred 4) bring respect where there’s plenty of disrespect.

The above really sounds great, brilliant and magnificent. The only problem is this – that’s all political manure.

Let’s ask this practical question – how the heck is an annual torch relay going to accomplish all those grand goals? The answer to that question is obvious. Never.

See, the goals Mwalimu had in mind were great. I’d be insane to discredit the spirit behind the mbio za mwenge. Nonetheless, there are practical sides of things that separate those that should be confined to a mental institution from those that should be consulted for a strategic plan. The practical outcome of mbio za mwenge speaks volume of what Mwalimu could have been.

The most insane of all, if you ask me, are those Tanzanians still running after that stupid mwenge.

My point is this – mbio za mwenge will forever remain a meaningless symbol that will never accomplish anything [please don’t give me the ufunguzi-wa-miradi-ya-maendeleo crap]. That is because the spirit behind mbio za mwenge is about human transformation. And human transformation, honestly, starts in the mind, the heart, and the spirit.

You may not like my argument, but let’s be practical for a minute. How many people do you know got transformed in Tanzania this year, simply because that stupid smoky torch passed through their village?

The point is this; we can transform human beings through other meaningful, practical means. What about education for starters?
Photo credit: Mjengwa