Saturday, 3 December 2011


Example of a super duper, well known brand...
Tanzania and Africa are lagging behind in establishing effective, recognisable brands, an investment forum was told in London on Friday.
Jasmine Montgomery, Chief Executive Officer of Seven Brands, a marketing, branding and advertising agency explained that the developed world dominates branding by 80% while the Asian continent holds 10%.
“In the next 10 years things are going to change and that will be the time for Africa which has no brand at the moment.”

Ms Montgomery (pictured) compared branding to reputation. Quoting Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon, she said branding is “what people say about you when you leave the room.”
However, the Seven CEO explained in proper branding one takes charge of how one’s reputation should be like.
“How do you build your global brand?” She asked.” You have to make people feel like you are connecting to them and allow them to make choices.”

Kilimanjaro, wildlife and animals is an image conjured and associated with Africa and therefore a touristic attraction. Can it be turned into a positive brand or is it already one?

Jasmine has worked on the creation and repositioning of many global brands including Zain in Africa and the Middle East, Barclays Premier global, The London Stock Exchange, ING Bank, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She has made regular appearances on BBC, Sky News, CNBC and BBC Radio 4 and is also writing a book on branding in emerging markets.
Earlier UK Tanzania High Commissioner, Peter Kallaghe said an article in this week’s “the Economist” has highlighted new hope for Africa’s economies.

Ambassador Kallaghe with Tanzanian Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr William Ngeleja (middle) and Dr. Adelhelm Meru,Director General of Tanzania Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) at the conference. Pic by Baraka Baraka of Urban Pulse.

Under the headline “ The sun shines bright” the article quotes an example of self made African billionaires like Nigeria’s “cement king”, Aliko Dangote, whose ten billion dollars fortune is money earned “not expropriated.”
Ambassador Kallaghe was opening the one day Tanzania investment Forum 2011: Mainland Tanzania at 50 at May Fair Hotel, London.
The guest of honour was Minister for Energy and Minerals, Hon William Ngeleja.

Sweet Bananas (Ndizi Kisukari) snapped in Nungwi, Zanzibar;another enduring everlasting, association. Pic by F Macha

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Tuesday, 19 July 2011


Do you have problems on how to kiss and so on...???

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Thursday, 7 July 2011


No African mentioned in this so called Poll of ten most beautiful people in the world.
Bring to mind the effect on our younger mindsets.
Whenever I am teaching children and ask them which one is African ...the Africans feel ashamed to either raise their hands, say what language their parents speak, etc.
Mainstream media image of Africans don't help this either. It is always about starving kids with flies hovering in their eyes, emaciated village women with hanging breasts, corrupt despots who dont want to step down after 30 years, etc. Add this type of Poll nonsense and is where we need to continually hammer the message: we are ok. There is nothing wrong with us...

And to those famous, powerful black women who keep on wearing glossy, imported, superficial hair...well, are you helping the cause of African natural beauty?

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Maasai image by Raza

Various residents have been visiting and buying paintings of the well established Tanzanian painter, Raza Mohammed whose exhibition kicked off last Friday at the Charlton House in Greenwich, South East London.
An official at the 4 century old building created by King James 1 in 1607, said this is the first time an African artist had exhibited at Mulberry Tea Room.
During the ceremony Tanzanian Deputy High Commissioner in the UK, Mr Chabaka Kilumanga thanked Global Fusion Music and Arts the Greenwich based organisation that helped promote Raza’s exposition.

Deputy High Commissioner of Tanzania in the UK, Mr Chabaka Kilumanga (left) chats with Raza Mohammed (centre) and Eddy Raza at the opening party. Pic by Louisa Le Marchand...

Expected to last until Wednesday July 20th, Raza’s pictures are also accompanied with his 40 year old son Eddy Mohammed who has been painting since he was six.

Sharing love of Jazz seen here posing with Jazz music CD's ...Eddy Raza and Louisa Le Marchand, Project manager of Global Fusion Music and Arts. Both Eddy and his dad admit getting inspired by Jazz while painting...Pic by F Macha

Apart from an international audience were also a wide range of London based Tanzanian academics, students, business community, artists, media and their families.
Omar Bakari founder of Greenshank, the Arusha based tourist company with an office in Birmingham said there was a good connection between Raza’s Tanzanian paintings and the attraction of investment and trade visitors to the country.
Seema Gill a London based Asian artist said the artwork reminded her of Tanzania where she lived and worked with children over twenty years ago.
Tanzanian music was also played at the opening.
Raza Mohammed began painting in 1952 at the tender age of six, after being encouraged to carry on by an English teacher in Mombasa, Raza went on to become one of our major artists. Apart from drawing realities of ordinary Tanzanians, he has done portraits of all four Presidents, designed stamps, illustrated books for schools and commercial purposes.
Some of Raza's stamp designs from the 1970's...
He is currently in the art committee of the State House headed by another fine art icon, Professor Elias Jengo.
Eddy's abstract style... contrast to his dad's.

Eddy Raza, his son, an Eastham College graduate, is expected to have his own major exhibition at Charlton House early next year.
The blogger and the painter (Raza) jostle around ...pic by Louisa Le Marchand

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The Society for International Development (SID) Tanzania Chapter on Saturday 18th June 2011 elected new office bearers for its chapter.

Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, pic coursey, Issa Michuzi

Mahmoud Thabit Kombo has been appointed chapter’s President while Richard Kasesela will serve as Vice-President. June Warioba becomes the chapter’s Secretary General, Muhidin Issa Michuzi, Programs Officer and Yasmin Said Chali is Treasurer.

Blogger Issa Michuzi

The following were elected members of the Executive Council: Ally Masoud (Kipanya), John Ulanga, Fatma Alloo, Salma Moulid and Chambi Chachage.
SID Tanzania is one of chapters of SID International and acts as an independent platform organisation, bringing together policy makers, academics, NGOs, the private sector, journalists and others to drive forward the development debate in Tanzania, and subsequently influencing the policy discussion.
Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, Vice President of SID’s Global Governing Council, said: "We are thrilled to have such thoughtful and knowledgeable members to lead SID Tanzania during this challenging period."
“We need to provide a forum for individuals and institutions that are seeking long-term solutions to issues such as good governance, food security and agriculture and gender in development to name a few” he added.

Tanzania and developing countries need better infrastructure...
(Pic courtsey Full Shangwe blog)

On his appointment, the in-coming President thanked members for the honor to serve SID Tanzania. “More than ever, we need the kind of forum that SID provides for enhanced collaboration, informed debate, and a steady focus on learning and innovation. I look forward to working in these areas with other members.”
“My colleagues and I are committed to broadening the dialogue on crucial development issues and promoting effective economic growth for our people” said Kombo.

An advert in London's underground station to attract tourists in Kenya. Jambo means hello in Swahili...Jambo means business too. Pic by F Macha

Mr. Kombo succeeds His Lordship Chief Justice, Mohammed Chande Othman.
Founded in 1957, SID is an international association of individuals and organizations concerned with sustainable economic, social and political development. SID has over 3,000 individual and institutional members in 125 countries and over 65 local chapters worldwide, including in Tanzania.

The SID meeting in progress

For more information on SID Tanzania, contact:
June Warioba,
Tel: 0782/0655 004436

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Tuesday, 14 June 2011



"Zanzibar Girl" by Raza.
On Friday 17th June, 2011 at 7-9 pm remarkable Tanzanian artist, Raza Mohamed will be exhibiting his amazing paintings accompanied by his son Eddy Raza. The exhibition will be opened to the general public until Wednesday July 20th, 2011. The venue, Mulberry Tea Room at Charlton House is a legendary building built in 1612 during the reign of King James 1.

"Bao Players in action" by Raza. This is a very popular urban game which used to be loved by the founder of Tanzanian nation the late Julius Nyerere

Raza Mohamed described as a “national treasure” in Tanzania has been painting, illustrating books and designing postal stamps since 1952. He was born August, 1946 and has participated in a number of art exhibitions in East Africa and many countries including Germany, USA, Denmark, France and Nigeria.

Eddy Raza his 40 year old son graduated from East London University, Docklands also seemed to have caught the family’s artistic bug and began painting when he was only 6 years. His work which has a slightly different approach reflects influences from Tanzania and certain European impressionists e.g. Claude Monet, Renoir, etc
Both father and son love jazz music and show a passion in this great art form in their versatile drawings.

"Chai Time" or rather tea time, a typical realistic display of the Raza family paintings.

During the opening ceremony music will be played by Tanzanian musician, Freddy Macha.

Painter Raza (left) and this blogger who will entertain during the opening...pic by Louisa Le Marchand of Global Fusion Music and Arts

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Sunday, 29 May 2011

"PIECES OF A MAN"- Brief notes on departed Gil Scott-Heron

Meeting the well known and famous has various sides. Could be fuelling the adulation and getting inspired. For me meeting Gil Scott Heron for the first time in 1987 (Bonn, Germany) then often when he came to London was not that dramatic. He was just a "regular" guy. Tall, self confident but very normal.
No airs, no innuendos...
I get this feeling whenever I meet extraordinarily gifted people in person. No intimidation, no awkwardness...because they are at ease with themselves. Any other tale tell signs would mean tilt the balance. They in turn inspire you like a good friend or favourite family member would.
It is like watching great footballers Lionel Messi and Zinedine Zidane. Totally comfortable with their genius...
Meeting Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in Rio in 1991 was similar. Nyerere was bigger than Mandela in his prime, but in person so, so easy going, like an old pal.
"We are not super stars..." Gil Scott Heron said seriously when I made a joke to the effect. This was manifest in the way he spoke. Always using the pronoun "we" instead of "I" or "me"...

Gil Scott-Heron performing with his Amnesia Express band @ Jazz Cafe, Camden Town, London, early 1999. Pic by F Macha

And this wasn't a modest gesture, Gil Scott-Heron did not see himself as some kind of celebrity; which he was and has been to us, his fans...
No wonder not many knew him and his music; despite being been labelled "Godfather of Rap"...Gil Scott Heron wasn't your usual mainstream musician; his style, his lyrics, his content had a purpose.A musician who is constantly saying truths and pointing melodic fingers and piano chops at our social political economic lies and injustice is hardly going to be mainstream. Honesty is rarely accepted worldwide.
I once asked him if he was not scared of those powerful who he is constantly chiding in his records.
"Only fear for those closely associated to me..."
He shrugged and reminded me of Bob Marley saying once: "My life is not important. The people are more important. Without the people my life has no meaning..."
These are individuals on a mission.
They want things to be better for all of us.
Gil Scott Heron's death left me gutted but at the same time I can feel sunshine on leaves, rooftops, cheeks and roads of this universe. Why? He left so many rich albums and said so much during his 62 years life. In other words he did his duty. Everyone has their destiny.
We have to contribute to Mother universe...

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Sunday, 9 January 2011


Recalling Gil Scott-Heron's London gig in 1999...
Back then most of us weren't as active on the net as we are now. I have upgraded some of the info below:

Jazz Café, Camden Town, North West London, has been his favoured concert venue for years.
We have been told the event shall start 9 p.m. but 25 minutes are gone. To make things worse it is a “standing” gig. Half way through the concert some people (especially ladies)massage their lower backs. If you want to sit, you have to book a table upstairs “and eat” says the regulations. Many of us have come to see a great musician, not dine.

Gil Scott Heron (left) and the blogger after his gig at Jazz Cafe, 1999.
Photo by : Amita Tiwari Macha

Nobody announces him.
There is no hint, either. The funk music from more than four JBL speakers is still on. Sometimes James Brown; sometimes Chaka Khan…we are in African American territory here.
A man with a cotton hat slides quietly down the stairs- there are ropes – barriers …so he steps under like someone doing something forbidden. The “I don’t care vibe” is on- it will colour the gig from start to end.

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