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Today Tabora School is reported to be one of the oldest schools in Tanzania, and its publicity is partly because the founding father of Tanzania Julius Nyerere pursued his studies there in 1937, graduating in 1942. The missing part is that the colonial government was pleased by the high rate of tax collection which was done by Chief Fundikira of the Nyanyembe area.
There’s a house there which was constructed by the colonial government as a gift to this traditional leader. It has a similar design to the houses of Tabora School, and was awarded to him for his good work of tax collection. All these elements and many others have been ignored, and should be somehow connected.
A similar trend can be found in Mwanza, home to the famous Bismarck Rocks. The online data does not explain what really went on there, nor does it highlight its historical significance. Bismarck Rocks were actually named after the most famous German Chancellor in the days prior to the World Wars. Bismarck served Kaiser at a time of the Berlin Conference (which divided Africa and Africans into colonial possessions).
According to the now deceased Fr. Paul Van Chon – a French Canadian priest who taught at St. Mary’s Nyegezi Seminary and stayed at this school for more than 40 years – this place was barred from entrance from non-members as it was a beach for colonial elites, senior government officials, and there were seats for them to enjoy the breeze. However these were submerged during the 1961 heavy rains known in Tanzania as ‘Uhuru Rains’.
Uhuru is independence in Kiswahili. It was a coincidence of its coming to Tanzania and the heavy pours that natives interpreted that the rain was ‘sent’ by God with a special mission of independence.
Then there is the Nyamagana Stadium, in the mid of the Mwanza city centre. This was a place where hundreds of people were parked and murdered when they resisted Germany Colonial rule. ‘Igana’ means one hundred hence ‘nyamagana’ means hundreds.
There was a time when this stadium was ‘baptized’ the ‘Ukombozi’, which means redemption; but natives protested and the name Nyamagana was re-instated.
Just about 16 km east of Mwanza, off the Musoma road, there is also the famous Bujora Museum. This is a place where a French Canadian Priest Fr. David Clement chose to establish a museum centre in 1954, after realizing that the Sukuma culture was not well documented. The Sukuma tribe cut across almost five regions in the Lake Zone and part of the Central Zone.
At least one can say the Missionaries in Bagamoyo have done a lot to preserve archives and other historical artifacts, which have attracted a number of tourists. Particularly from Germany where a number of their soldiers were killed during the war with Arabs in the wars of conquest for this area.
The Bagamoyo story has a lot of narrations that need to be re-excavated to go with a new trend of honoring historical sites. Many of its ruins are now in bad shape. Probably the new efforts by the Tanzania Government to construct a new port would return Bagamoyo to its old glory. One can revisit this in one of my previous travels there.
While in Singida I came across Chief Mulali Senge’s residence, which has seriously been neglected (the house remains closed and bees are now permanent residents). This chief was famous for his ability to ‘speak’ to lions which were kept in his zoo. Today the lion dens lie idle. First President of Tanzania banned traditional chiefs in 1962. Some of them with good education at the time were accommodated in his government.
The story has it that during holidays people would go around this residence, and the chief would order the lion to greet his visitors. It would roar sending shivers and uncontrolled tremors to a good number of them. There were some family members too who could ‘speak’ with the lions. It should be the duty of the municipal council to find ways to put such historical sites into a fully livelihood.
In the same municipality there is what used to be a shrine during the formative years, according to narrations by Mr. Hussein Ahmed Elimi (55), a native of this place. This is where the Nyaturu natives believed their gods resided. It was a holy place where no one was allowed to move close to.
The traditional priests used to call hyenas, recognized as messengers of those gods. There were special narrations to them and there were writings which were done on top of hides. They were sent to these shrines by them in order to communicate the demands of society. But all this is already a neglected history!
I have visited some of those tourist attractions on numerous occasions. I hope the Tanzanian Government will find ways to furnish them so that they can cater for modern touristic demands. My experience in China has shown that a lot of efforts have been done in order to make tourism a self-sufficient industry. My visit to Tibet where I had a horse ride can also be done in so many places in Tanzania as well.
Let me conclude by sharing a link of what I previously wrote about the northern tourist town of Arusha.