Wednesday, 1 August 2007

He was driving while Texting!

let us talk about cell phones and mobile phones and driving...

I am in a bus.
A few minutes ago I boarded this huge monster in Dar es Salaam. Dar Es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania means “harbour of peace” in Arabic.
I remember how touts invaded us as we rolled towards the bus station with suitcases and bags. It was something resembling safari ants attacking a fresh carcass of meat. These guys get a cut (“baksheesh”) as long as they get more riders. There are so many buses to choose and so the touts help sorting out the traveller’s mind.
And it is not just touts. Numerous guys sell you ice cream, sweets, cashew nuts, magazines even novels by the famous British author, James Hadley Chase. Now these Chase books are another interesting “globalisation” wonder. Today you don’t find Chase novels in Europe anymore. But a company based in India is publishing and shipping them to Africa. Once in London I was fishing around a second hand bookshop and the owner quipped:
“Used James Hadley Chase books? As soon as they come they are gone. They never last. It is mostly Africans who buy them…”
“Why don’t they print them anymore?”
“I don’t know.”
James Hadley Chase novels were popular back in the 1970’s. Chase (real name Rene Brabazon Raymond) who died in 1985 is a gripping writer who holds you through brilliantly plotted fast moving heart churning crime stories.
His books are plenty at these bus stations…
Cut to a few hours later.
The bus is speeding. Not only speeding, the driver is overtaking anywhere, be it a corner or a dangerous hill. I am thinking this might be my last day. In rich countries it is recommended that drivers rest after every two hours. Ours has gone non-stop for at least five.
The longest resting time is hardly more than three minutes.
I am especially sympathetic to the women who have it worse. We halt at some village. Men stroll out and piss by the road. The few ladies who manage a quick pee have to physically run to whatever available acacia bushes. But the shrubs are hardly large enough to give them any privacy. That is not the problem, however.
The impatient driver is already blowing the horn his itching foot on the accelerator pedal.
Meaning, the rumbling vehicle is never switched off. Smell of diesel and engine oil becomes part of our travelling oxygen. And then comes the theme of this story.
Somewhere along the route going at eighty kilometres per hour, the driver decides to send a text message.
His eyes dart between the road and his deftly held cell phone. I am thinking, here I am, in a sprinting bus wearing no seat belt my life in the hands of a lunatic who doesn’t care whether we will crash or not. Funny how, despite the lack of crucial safety seat belts nobody in the bus seems worried at all. It is as though, were death to occur, it would be acceptable and expected. And that is what I found to be appalling and sad about our contemporary African psyche. People have come to accept the saga of death. The macabre, sombre, morbid , grim nature of this saga is shocking. It reminded me of the expression you hear in Kiswahili all the time in Tanzania:
Watu wanamalizika kama nzi siku hizi!
(people are dying like flies nowadays)
That people are dying and death is common in a peaceful country (not Afghanistan or Iraq) is extraordinary. This is supposed to be a land re-known for never having fought any major war since the Maji Maji rebellion of 1905-1907!
A hundred years of peace…in a continent filled regular civil strife.
On a journey from Arusha to Dar Es Salaam I luckily find “Royal Buses” the only bus company with safety seat belts. It costs double the price. Not only is Royal comfortable (with air-condition, self contained toilets and music), it’s driver observes speed limits, the attendants are friendly and free drinks, offered. Despite complaints of regular users that Royal’s toilets are not as clean as they used to be (stank of urine) and that drinks are few; “Royal” is the only bus with foreign passengers and tourists. Around the country low income folk moan this particular fleet travels too slow; their “fees are too high.”
Meaning to be safe in Africa you must have money!
Grave yards have become part of the Tanzanian landscape and within that scenario the accepted outlook on life. Recently East African statistics tell us life expectancy (including that of Kenya) has dropped to 44 years for males and 46 for females while Ugandans have risen to 52 years. In an era of progress, where people communicate faster and eat better, life should also be better. In the old days our ancestors, who walked and drank sugar cane juice instead of Fanta and bottled beer lived longer. My great grand father Abraham Macha died aged 95 years old in 1935. He had 52 children. Those were the days with no speeding buses, petrol stations, chicken and chips with chemical filled tomato ketch-up.
Those were the days of our ancestors …they had certain fundamental secrets, that we need digging and exhuming.

-Abridged from the Tanzanian Guardian March, 2007.
www.ippmedia.com

4 comments:

Yona F Maro said...

Mauzo ya simu za mikononi kwa baadhi ya sehemu duniani yanatazamiwa kufikia bil 1 mpaka mwaka 2009 na simu za mikono zinazotumia mtandao ni nyingi zaidi ya mara 4 ukilinganisha na computer zilizounganishwa katika mtandao .

Kampuni ya Dotmobi (www.dotmobi.net) inasema theluthi mbili ya watu wote duniani wameunganishwa na simu za viganja duniani leo hii na zaidi ya nusu ya watu wote ulimwenguni wanatazamiwa kuanza kutumia simu zilizounganishwa na internet hapo mwaka 2008 .

Uchunguzi uliofanywa na IPSOS unasema kwamba 29% ya watumiaji wote wa simu za mikononi uingereza walitafuta habari na taarifa kwa kutumia simu hizo kwa mwaka 2005 , sijui idadi ya Tanzania au afrika kwa ujumla makampuni ya simu yanaweza kutueleza zaidi .

Taarifa hizi zinavutia na kutia moyo na itaanzisha njia zuri zaidi za watu kuweza kutangaza bidhaa na biashara zao zingine kwa njia ya simu za viganja ingawa hatujawahi kusikia habari sana kuhusu matangazo ya simu hizi mara kwa mara na ni kampuni chache sana zinajitokeza katika kutangaza bidhaa zao kwa njia ya simu

Mfano Tanzania tulikuwa na sherehe za sabasaba makampuni ya simu yangewekeana mkataba maalumu wa kutangaza bidhaa za watu wengine ambao wako ndani ya mabanda ya sabasaba , au mfano niko katika gari naenda mjini nikifika mbuyuni natakiwa kupata tangazo katika simu mbele yako ni office za dstv mambo kama haya

Mpaka sasa makampuni mengi ya matangazo na watangazaji wenyewe hawatilii mkazo sana kutangaza kwa njia ya simu za mikono katika ripoti moja iliyotolewa na Forrester Research inayoitwa "Interactive Marketing Channels to Watch in 2007." Inasema ni asilimia 13 tu ya watangazaji hutumia ujumbe mfupi sms na asilimia 11 tu hutuma matangazo yao katika tovuti zinazotumia WAP .
Kwa Tanzania nimeona kuna mfano livingroom , kismati sms na kampuni zingine zilizojitokeza kutangaza bidhaa zao kwa njia hii ya simu za mikono , hata televisheni ya ITV ina mchezo wake wa kipima joto sina uhakika kama hutumia zile namba kutangaza bidhaa za watu wengine au biashara zao ila kwa Celtel mfano siku fulani niliwahi kupata tangazo lao kwa simu yangu walitangaza bidhaa Fulani za cocacola .

Inavyoonekana watangazaji wengi na makampuni mengi ya simu za mikono hawana uhakika kuhusu biashara hii , pia watu wengi wanaotumia simu za mikono hawajapata elimu ya kutosha na sababu za kutangaza katika search engine za simu za mikono kama CELTEL inawateja mil 2 kwa taarifa nilizonazo sioni sababu ya kwanini washindwe .

MIPAKA NA UJUAJI WA MOBILE SEARCH

Ingawa kuna itadi kubwa ya watumiaji wa simu za mikono ambao hutembelea mitandao kadhaa ya tovuti kuna mipaka na mambo kadhaa ambayo kwa kiasi Fulani yanaweza kuzuia ukuaji wa mobile search pia .

• GHARAMA NA UENDESHAJI – usafirishaji wa taarifa toka sehemu moja kwenda kwingine inaweza kuwa ni shuguli pevu ukifananisha na mtandao wa computer , mfano niko mbuyuni napata tangazo la DSTV kesho nikienda Mbezi Beach natakiwa nipate tangazo nikokaribu na WHITESANDS hapa wataalamu wanasemaje ? ITAENDELEA

• UKUBWA WA KIOO - ( screen size )Simu nyingi zina vioo vidogo kwahiyo inampa mtumiaji wakati mgumu anapotembelea tovuti zingine kwa njia ya simu yake

• URAISI WA KUTUMIA – ( Ease of use ) kwa sababu ya udogo wa kioo ( screen ) mtumiaji anapata wakati mgumu kutafuta na kuclick vitu katika kurasa.

• CONTENT NDOGO – Watoa huduma wengi wa simu hawawapi wateja wao content zima au zote za tovuti ay huduma wanazotafuta katika mtandao

USHINDANI NA KUPANUKA KWA WIFI

Sababu ingine ambayo inaweza kuzuia ukuaji wa mobile search ni kuongezeka au kukua kwa huduma za kasi za WIFI katika sehemu nyingi , viwanja vya ndege , mahoteli , vyuo , maduka makubwa na kadhalika na wakati mwingi ni bure , hii inawafanya watu watumie laptops , PDA na zana zingine zaidi ya simu za mikono .

Ingawa kuna sababu kama hizi lakini kampuni za usafiri na hawawezi kuacha kujiingiza katika E-Commerce , sababu zote hizo zinazozuia ukuaji wa Mobile Search zitamalizwa kadri tekinologia inavyozidi kukua siku ziendavyo .

Katika njia nyingi Mobile Search bado ni njia kamilifu ya utangazaji , simu wakati wote iko kwa mteja yaani mtumiaji mfano , wakati wote imewaka , inakupa au kutoa taarifa za uhakika kama mtu anakutafuta au wanakutafuta , na huduma zingine kama za malipo ziko moja kwa moja katika SIMCARD yako .

Kwa sasa , watu wengi wanatumia Simu zao kutafuta vitu vinavyohusiana na Milio , Habari , Burudani , njia ( kwa baadhi ya nchi ) mfano watu 60,000 kwa uingereza hutumia simu zao kuangalia muda treni zinaposimama katika vituo vyao kila siku .

Mahojiani ya karibuni katika Travelmole Manager wa huduma Nancy Lyndhurst wa kampuni ya 02 , alisema kampuni kubwa za kama Cathay Pacific, Accor Hotels na KLM wanafanya biashara kubwa na nzuri zaidi kwa kutumia simu za mikono na utangazaji kwa njia hii utafikia $11 billioni mpaka mwaka 2011 kampuni ya Informa Group ilisema .

Kwahiyo kampuni nyingi za mambo ya mawasiliano ya Mtandao nazo zimeanza kua macho na hata zingine za simu duniani kote sina uhakika kwa hapa Tanzania wamejiandaaje kwa shuguli hii mfano kampuni ya Google katika offisi yake huko London imesema MOBILE SEARCH itakuwa ndio biashara yao kubwa zaidi ikianza kufanya kazi ipasavyo

Google imeshatengeneza Search ingine ya peke yake na imeshaongea na baadhi ya kampuni zinazotaka kutangaza katika search engine hiyo , mfano kampuni ya Motorola Imekubali kuweka Button maalumu ya Google katika Simu zake , LG moja ya kampuni 5 za simu duniani imesema itaanza kutoa simu zenye huduma za google kuanzia mwezi wa 8 na kuendelea .

Yahoo ina huduma inayoitwa Yahoo Go Mobile ambayo inafanya baadhi ya huduma zake za mtandao zipatikane pia katika simu za mikononi kama hiyo haitoshi Microsoft Pia wameanzisha huduma ya Live Search tangia mwezi February katika 3GSM World Congress mjini Barcelona.

Pia kuna kampuni changa kama Jumptap na Medio ambao watakuwa wanaendelea kutuletea huduma mpya na za kisasa katika search engine hizi kadri ya siku na technologia zinavyozidi kukua zaidi .

Mwisho wa siku ni kweli katika inatakiwa Watengenezaji wa simu kama NOKIA washirikiane na jamaa wa search engine kama google , waongee na watoa huduma za simu kama wakishirikiana vizuri watafanya mobile search iwe njia kuu ya kutangaza kwa njia ya mtandao kuliko sehemu ingine yoyote ni suala la lini hichi kitu kitatoea je ni mwaka 2007 au 2008 ? Ngoja tuone

Wenzangu Mnasemaje kuhusu suala hili haswa watoa Huduma za Mawasiliano kama CELTEL , TIGO , ZANTEL , VODACOM , TTCLMOBILE .

freddy macha said...

Sawa bwana Maro. Lakini sijakuelewa. Maelezo yako yana uhusiano gani na usalama wa abiria katika basi wakati dereva hajali?

Ndesanjo Macha said...

I laughed so hard reading this story, particularly at the point where the driver started textmessaging. It is sad, but i could not help but laugh.

Steve Hayes said...

I drove buses in Johannesburg and London, and five hours without a break was normal. But that was before the age of cell phones, so I never tried text messaging!