Zanzibar Film Festival – Safari ya Gwalu

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Image from google images

Every year Zanzibar holds an international film festival for one week, usually in July, showcasing talented local and international film directors work as well as music and art exhibitions in various locations around Zanzibar from the Old Fort to the Double Tree by Hilton, which is where we sat in a room to watch the two hour film, Safari ya Gwalu, written and directed by Daniel Magane, this was a film inspired by the Kenyan film called First Grader.

The film highlighted the struggles of, not only adult education, but also daily life in Tanzania for both the adults and children. It certainly captured the hearts of its small audience at the Double Tree, with spectators giving a round of applause and praise to the director and the main actor who played Gwalu, Salim Ahmad, who provided a question and answer session at the end.

The Director, Daniel, said that many people have said to him that, if they were able to go to school it would open up new opportunities for them and enable them to live a better life, this was the main inspiration for him to create this film and to emphasise that, even if you are older than the average child that attends school, it is never too late to seek an education and work towards living a better life.

Salim said the main reason he took up the role was the message of education and just how important it is to go to school, no matter what age you are. The message was that if someone really wants to go to school, they should just go to school, no matter what anyone else says.

This film was great at showing what life can be like living in Tanzania, if not in other parts of Africa too, it showed how important it is for the young to go to and stay in school and for those who never went or never finished school before, to go at whatever age they can and if they don’t think they have the courage to go, as Gwalu in the film says, bravery can make a man do things he never thought possible.

Kilimanjaro climb!

One of the biggest draws to Tanzania was the opportunity to climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro!

On the 23rd of July my six day adventure along the Machame route began. The three of us started on a fairly easy trail through the picturesque rainforest for about 4.5hours until we reached the first camp. Here we were met by our porters and chef who had already set up the tents and prepared a hot meal for us. This quickly became the routine for us over the next three days as we climbed up the mountain passing steep rocky ascents and alpine deserts along the way. Throughout the hike we were treated to fantastic views including the arrow glacier and lava tower, plenty of great food and brilliant service from all of the climb team.

Eventually we made it to the Barafu camp which stands at 4673m, this would act as our base camp for the summit attempt later that night. Then at about 11pm we set off into the dark towards the peak with only our head torches lighting the path in front of us. The steepness, dark and cold made this by far the most difficult part of the climb. It seemed to take forever but we finally reached Stella point, from here we knew that there was only an hour of relatively easy climbing to go. Sure enough, just under an hour later we made it to the summit and all of our hard work was rewarded as we watched the sunrise above the mountain. For a short while we weren’t tired or cold, just elated at what we had achieved.

However, reality soon kicked in and so after about 10 minutes at the top we started to make our way back down. The loose gravel surface made the first part of the descent very tough, but we stuck at it and finally made it back to base where we could truly reflect on what we’d just achieved. Then after a short period of rest we went down for another two hours where we made camp for the final time. Here we had a brilliant view of the summit which really put what we had achieved into perspective.

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After our final night on the mountain the only thing left was an easy descent through the rainforest. Here we saw various species of monkey who distracted us from our tired legs and made the last few hours that little bit easier.

When we finally made it to the bottom all three of us were given our golden certificates for making it all the way to the Uhuru peak at 5895m above sea level, the feeling of achievement I had at that moment is one that’ll I’ll never forget. I cannot recommend climbing Kilimanjaro enough to anyone, if you think you’re up to the challenge then give it ago, it might be one of the best things you ever do!

The climb itself would not have been possible without the help of our expert guides, cook and porters, what they all did for us throughout the climb was honestly amazing. From carrying incredible amounts of kit all the way up to the mountain, preparing us fantastic food and putting up with our complaining all the way up, I cannot praise them enough!

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Matt Jones

Weekend Safari trip organized by Art in Tanzania

Going on safari in Tanzania if you visit Africa is almost as compulsory required as a trip to Zanzibar. So a group of three already well settled in interns decided to go on a weekend safari provided by the organization. The preparation and arrangement of the trip was well organized. One week before we were registered by a Team leader for the journey. The payment was due to three days before we were leaving on Friday. The short briefing two day before we left hold by our actual safari guide was pretty informative and helpful in terms of what to pack or activity related questions. On Friday after the breakfast we left in our safari jeep to our first stop our accommodation for the first night. On the way to the place we passed the park entrance next to several animals and hers of impalas, monkeys, giraffes and elephants. After the first night we started early at half past seven to our game drive at the Mikumi National Park where we had the chance to spot buffaloes, zebras, hippos and a variety of many more species. In the evening we drove to the second station in the rainforest, to the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. At this park we had the chance to see numerous primates and a big amount of other plants and animals during our hike to the waterfalls as the park has also been dubbed the African Galapagos for its vast variety of endemic species. In the afternoon we went on the way back to Madale at Wazo hill. Summing up for all of us it was a quite pleasant weekend trip organized and conducted by Art in Tanzania.

 

Volunteering for the ’International Day of the African Child’ event

 

At Thursday the 16thJune a bus full of volunteers headed out at five o’clock in the morning to do some volunteering work for the International Day of the African Child at ’The Jakaya M. Kikwete Youth Park’. This is one of the biggest youth parks in Dar Es Salaam opened in October 2015 by the president of the United Republic of Tanzania. Which is compared to other sport venues quite developed as they had artificial football fields for example which is not that common for Tanzanian standards.

The event was apparently created for children which means a lot of colours, laughter and fun. But these colorful balloons weren’t blowing up them self from alone. Decorating was one of our tasks at the event next to judging and conducting of the reading and drawing challenges, taking pictures and collecting video footage, face painting, acting as a mascot or participating at one of the numerous sport challenges like football games or basketball matches. Supporting all these activities, helping to arrange the challenges and cleaning up is concluding our day at the event quite well.

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But next to the hard work (for some it was a tough day especially for our athletes and our mascot volunteers) there was a lot of joy for everyone as the kids who were participating organized several performances from traditional Tanzanian dances to singing performances. Also reputable sponsors like unicef or the Tanzanian government by itself were providing us for all these efforts with a lunch break and refreshing drinks. Next to the events it also had several stalls about nutrition elucidation or little healthy checks as well as technology companies presenting their electronic devices.

All in all, this day was quite a diversification as it was a pretty long and exhausting day for everyone who participated comparable to working at an exhibition day.Even more thankful was everyone for the already prepared food of mama Neema in the evening at home.

For more Information, you can have a look at the Wikipedia entry.

If you want to see more pictures of that day visit the Facebook page of Atte Leskinen Photography

 

The Real Kids

By Anna Kevin and Emilia Sten Photos by Edward Sixtus Busungu (Originally published on May 18, 2014)

The co-operation between Real Kids FC trojafootballand Art in Tanzania started already in 2001, and now it was time for them to get new clothes. Real Kids FC is a football club on Zanzibar. The club consists of two teams Junior league and Central. Junior league is from 8-13 year olds and Central for 16-20 year olds. At the moment the younger team has 37 players and the older 25. The players are really committed, they practice every weekday and have games almost every weekend. Since 2011 the Central team is playing in the ZFA Central league, which is the “national league” of Zanzibar. The road hasn’t been easy for the Real Kids FC. They didn’t have much in the beginning, but since the coach Salum Ahmed Mahadh knocked on Edward’s door they now have much more resources.

First game with the new shirts, against Rolling Stones. Unfortunately they lost 1-2. It was only a friendly game, the real league starts 15th of October.

First game with the new shirts, against Rolling Stones.

Edward Sixtus Busungu is the manager of Art in Tanzania on Zanzibar and he puts his whole heart into helping the team. He has spread the word of the team in the aim of getting as much support as possible. Donated footballs have arrived even from England. Last Saturday the team got brand new football clothes from Art in Tanzania. The design and the making of the clothes were made by Detroit Sober House – one of Art in Tanzania’s community development projects. The team now looks like a professional team and maybe that takes them one step closer to their dream – to be part of the national team of Tanzania.

Volunteers and staff from Art In Tanzania show off their football skills

By David Kiarie (Originally Published on Sep 26, 2013)

Volunteers and staff from Art In Tanzania will this evening flex their muscles when they meet for a football match at Kondo grounds of Bahari beach.

In the last encounters, the volunteers overpowered their hosts winning two of the three matches they have played.

In the first match the volunteers crashed the 222633_10151235851051930_601836986_n-300x200staff two goals to nail. The match that followed saw the staff spirit dampen further after they lost to the volunteers 2-1. The staff team however managed to beat the volunteers’ 2-3 in their third match.

This evening, the two teams will be meeting for the fourth time this year and the game is expected to be action packed with each team yearning to win.

Besides bringing the volunteers and the staff together, the games offer an opportunity for the volunteers most of who come from other countries an opportunity to interact with locals who turn up in sizeable numbers to spectate.

How copyright issues have hit music industry hard in Tanzania

By Katie O’Reilly-Boyles (Originally published on Sep 16, 2013)
Stalls with counterfeit products are as common in Zanzibar as in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Stalls with counterfeit products are as common in Zanzibar as in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Lack of copyright law enforcement is ruining artists in Tanzania. Some brand names like Kilimanjaro, for example, are common and likely to be used uncontrollably by many companies in Tanzania, especially due to its association with the tallest free standing mountain in Africa.The name is prevalent and commonly used for a range of different products and services whose businesses are not connected in any way with the famous mountain– this is due to the diluted copyright laws in Tanzania. But consumer goods companies and services are not affected in the same way as artists, who are struggling even more with this problem.

Although there is some legislation which aims to protect artists and producers from copyright theft, the counterfeit market still flourishes and the creative industry continues to be affected. We interviewed Katasinga Ngoi, a local guitarist and singer, about his views on the issue.

Follow the link below to watch the interview

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151581819526930&set=vb.142930706929&type=2&theater