Picture it, East Africa, 1964, two newly established nations just emerging from the grasps of colonization, came together putting in what little they had in hopes of creating something bigger, stronger and long lasting .
Forward 53 years later those two nations are no more, what stands in place is one brimming pot rich in diversity (in more ways than one), culture, history and most importantly acceptance. Tanzania, a union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, a union that instilled
the principle of oneness, tolerance and acceptance in its people, a union that has made the nation what it is today.
Today we not only celebrate the anniversary of this union, but also what it has brought upon us, today we let our pride show.
To be honest, our country is the definition of ‘FREEDOM’ –in every meaning of the word.
I feel so lucky today that there hasn’t been a day where I was bullied, because of my religion or the color of my skin. I am not saying that there aren’t any kind of discrimination, because there will always be evil people who are hateful and unhappy of their lives, so they take it out on other people.
However, majority of us Tanzanians unlike any other country out there, accept everyone as they are. I can wear whatever I want without being judged by the choice I made or by the fact that I follow a certain religion. We have such unity, that a Tanzania is just that, a ‘Tanzanian’.
You will never hear phrases like ‘Black Tanzanians’ or ‘White Tanzanians’ or ‘Asian Tanzanians’. We all fall under one category. We are all just Tanzanians. Period.
Admitted, we are not the most civilized people in the world. Duh. We can complain a thousand times on the things that our country does not have to offer, or the things that it has yet to do for us, but for one thing –we are accepting and united.
So today I will stand here today and be proud and grateful by the fact that we have abundant acceptance, without random labels, or separated tribes. Proud for a fact, that as a Tanzanian, I don’t have to worry being judged by class, or the by kind of brand that I wear. We are humble human beings, who have to worry day to day, on feeding our families and try to find joy in the simple life. Yes, we’re poor, but maybe that’s what makes us more understanding and more accepting in this union called Tanzania.
As we always say; ‘Umoja ni nguvu, utengano ni dhaifu’ – Unity is Strength, Division is weakness.
It’s the same mix of feelings I get every year on occasions like these; relief, for making it through another year of peace; pride, at how we handle our attitudes towards each other in this current world state; joy, for being a part of some of the most friendliest people in the world and most of all gratefulness, to the almighty for all that we’ve been blessed with.
Yes we are blessed, in more ways than one, however the number one blessing upon us is the peace and stability we continue to enjoy every year. The state of our country is one I took for granted while growing up, thinking it’s the norm everywhere. That people who share a home, identity, background will obviously get along, sadly that’s not the case. Exposure to this world opened up my eyes, that the riches and luxuries other countries may enjoy does not equate to that tranquil sleep you get at night, knowing your safe.
With upheaval in countries so close to home, it’s a wonder we remain the way we are. There have been instances, where I’ve asked myself, “is this it? where we go downhill?” then we managed to patch things up and move on. Our country is so beautifully diverse in culture, ethnicities (with more than 100 native tribes), religion, yet we haven’t let that divide, or dictate how we treat each other. We grew up very much aware of our differences, yet at the same time accepting of them.
We have developed countries preaching the idea of “free thinking” yet they let a few extremists or bad eggs dictate how they treat a group of people. Completely disregarding any prior exposure they’ve had. Quite the contrary with Tanzanians, no matter what the international media propagates, the only deciding factor on how we treat one another is our experiences.
There’s still so much I wish for my Tanzania, so much I know we can accomplish, but those wisehes are material in nature. The most important traits we already have, those that make my country great, Iwouldn’t trade it for the world.
We all know that we love where we come from whether in a mansion or under the valley. I love my country, my Tanzania. One thing I value that we have in our country…acceptance. I came across this question when I traveled “why don’t you look Tanzanian?” I didn’t know how to answer because I didn’t know Tanzanians had specific facial features and physique. I was shocked. I believe the people of my country cannot be pointed out because we are from all over the globe. There are many things to be proud of as a citizen but nothing can compare to being accepted in a place you call home! ♥
Tanzania. The origin of the name, beautiful. Its people, even more beautiful, call me biased but I was raised there, so I should know. I love it for its culture, its food, its people and their unity. The best explanations come with examples, so here goes. When you take the public bus, locally known as daladala, which I highly prefer over any private transportation offered, packed or not. With the radio playing in the background, a topic of interest usually arises, which everyone would have something to contribute. Be it about football, politics, entertainment, the daladala is the platform. The atmosphere in the bus is friendly and welcoming. In the countries that I have been to the environment feels tense to me, people barely converse and are usually most of the times, face down toward their phones.
Another love I have is our country’s scenic beauty. It has plenty for the eyes to feast upon, from the great lakes to the animal parks. The thrill and excitement of taking a safari through the parks, learning as you go, horror movie scenarios might subconsciously creep up on you, but fear not. Our animals are just as chilled as its people, ask the Maasai
Imagine a country where people live and walk around peacefully. Done? Now imagine them being of different races, ethnicities, with different religions. Is that not beauty in this era? An era where deaths are happening all around, the Middle East, the West, mostly about religion or race.
The presence of diversity ,has added spice (literally) to our lives allowing our cuisine to be quite interesting with cooking styles adapted from all cultures, Indian, Arab, Swahili even a dash of Chinese. If you’re foodie like me, it’s something you can appreciate
I could say more but I would like for you to see for yourself, come over, with an open mind, and be eager to learn. To see and feel what I do every day when I leave the house. Thank you for your time, till next time then.
Complain we might, but grateful we are. For in a world full of chaos we stand our ground as a humble nation from which many can learn from. Going forth,we pray for growth, health, endless stability,unbreakable unity hoping to do all that we can to contribute to it.
We may be “the poor”, but what we have,you cannot buy.
“MUNGU IBARIKI AFRICA, MUNGU IBARIKI TANZANIA”
GOD BLESS AFRICA, GOD BLESS TANZANIA