Page 1

Issue 01 / April to June 2019

YO U R F R E E A I R TA N Z A N I A M AGA ZINE

T R AV E L / TA S T E / TA L E N T

Twiga A I R TA N Z A N I A Issue 01

SECRET SAFARI Ruaha National Park

Fast and the furious The rise of Dar’s Singeli music

Hasheem's hoop dreams

Basketball star eyes return to NBA

Dazzling interiors

Safari in style at Jabali Ridge


contents 8

18

Regulars

Features

3 CEO foreword 4 Air Tanzania news 6 My Tanzania

8 Hasheem Thabeet

Vanessa Mdee

16 Twiga trends

Coral is the colour of the year

18 Twiga interiors

A look inside Jabali Ridge

24 Twiga competition

Win a Scrubba wash bag

27 Tanzania’s treasures Mount Kilimanjaro

44 Sound and vision

Film, book and music reviews

50 Twiga tastes

Cantonese cuisine

54 Culture coming up 54 Yoga in-flight 58 Wheels car review 61 Wheels bikes 68 Kids fun and puzzles

Is published by: Land & Marine Publications Ltd 1 Kings Court, Newcomen Way Severalls Business Park Colchester, Essex, UK, CO4 9RA Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Email: publishing@landmarine.com www.landmarine.com Advertising: Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Cell: +44 (0)7769 110343 (WhatsApp) Email: ATCL-inflight@landmarine.org Printed by: Jamana Printers Ltd.

2/

Twiga

35

Tanzanian basketball star’s hoop dreams

12 Air Tanzania’s female pilots

ATCL trio hope to inspire other women to pursue careers in aviation

21 Breakneck beats

Dar’s underground dance movement, Singeli, is building international renown

40

52 Rock star

A tribute to the founder of tanzanite, Mzee Jumanne Ngoma

56 Award-winning film

Q&A with director of Pili, which explores the trials of women with HIV in Tanzania

62 Attack on the clones

Meet the designer behind fashion line Tanya Nefertari whose clothes are for people ‘who want to stand out’

25 24 hours in...Lusaka Tips for time-pressed in Zambia’s capital

30 Beat the Mumbai crowds by bike

64 The Comoros Islands

Fly in to this archipelago of amazing animals and beautiful beaches

See a different side of city in dawn ride

35 Art for all

Get creative at Nafasi Arts Space

38 First time in Bangkok

Tips for travellers to Thai capital

40 Stone Town star

Freddie Mercury tours in Zanzibar

46 Kitamu Coffee

Brews and baking are a hit in Arusha

On behalf of:

Air tanzania information 70 70 72 72

Travel information Air tanzania fleet Air Tanzania destinations Air Tanzania contacts

Follow us on:

@AirTanzania Air Tanzania Company Limited (ACTL) ATC House, Second Floor, Ohio Street, Dar Es Salaam. Toll free: 0800 110045 Office (JNIA) Telephone: +255 222113248 Email: info@airtanzania.co.tz

@airtanzania airtanzania_atcl For the latest flights, information and to book online, visit:

www.airtanzania.co.tz

The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, or any other organisation associated with this publication. No liability can be accepted for any inaccuracies or omissions. ©2019 Land & Marine Publications Ltd.

Twiga online:

View this issue online: www.qrs.ly/pc9q707


CEO foreword

www.airtanzania.co.tz

Karibu WHY TWIGA? When we were coming up with a name for our new-look Air Tanzania in-flight magazine, ‘Twiga’ stood tall. After all it’s Kiswahili for giraffe, the national symbol of Tanzania and the animal which adorns the tail of every aircraft in the Air Tanzania fleet. Tanzania has introduced strict laws to protect this endangered creature and its national parks are home to great numbers of the elegant animal. Herds of 40-plus Maasai giraffe can be spotted roaming the Serengeti. The giraffe is a graceful animal whose long neck represents the ability to be visionary while still viewing the past and present – a quality which can be seen as emblematic of the drive initiated by Hon. President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli in 2016 to revive Air Tanzania after fluctuating fortunes since its inception in 1977. Air Tanzania is proud to carry its heritage as national carrier into the future. Its new fleet and growing network of destinations across the country and internationally mean the airline can hold its head high, like its ‘Twiga’ emblem, in the world aviation market.

GIRAFFE FACTS • Tallest mammal on earth. Adult males grow to 5.5 metres • Lifespan around 25 years in the wild or 45 in captivity • A group of giraffes is called a tower • Giraffes are herbivores and use their long tongues to get leaves from trees

Follow us on:

@AirTanzania @airtanzania airtanzania_atcl

It is my great pleasure to welcome you on board your Air Tanzania flight and to the first edition of our new inflight magazine, Twiga. Inside you’ll find fascinating features on the people and places across our network of destinations. That network is growing all the time. It now stands at 15 destinations, with ten inside Tanzania and five abroad. This year has already seen the start of flights to Harare, in Zimbabwe, and Lusaka, in Zambia, and we hope to add Mumbai, Johannesburg, Guangzhou, Bangkok and London very soon. With state-of-the-art jets, a Dreamliner 787-8 and two Airbus A220-300s, and three Turboprop Bombardier Q400 in our fleet (with more planes to come) we are able look into destinations beyond Africa such as Europe and America. These are exciting times for the national carrier and we are thrilled to be able to share them with our passengers. We want to be your airline of choice and one that always exceeds customer expectations. We must give thanks to our Hon. President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli for giving Air Tanzania the opportunity to regain its place as a serious competitor in the air transport market. The revamping program began once he was sworn in, following his vision of reliable, safe and sustainable high-quality airline services globally. We have a highly trained and motivated crew of pilots and flight attendants who will make sure these standards are maintained. Inside you’ll find a feature on our inspirational trio of women pilots and find out more about how Air Tanzania is creating opportunities for the young people of the country to follow their dreams with a career in the aviation industry. I have no doubt your flight crew today will make sure you have an enjoyable and comfortable flight. Thank you for flying Air Tanzania and we hope to share the skies with you again soon.

Eng. Ladislaus Matindi Managing Director and Chief Executive Air Tanzania

airtanzania.co.tz

/3


Air Tanzania news

Image: Mark Edwards

Airbus Nº2 arrives in style President welcomes latest addition to Air Tanzania fleet and promises more aircraft to come The latest addition to Air Tanzania’s fleet arrived in style at a recent launch event at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam that was attended by President John Magufuli among a host of other dignitaries.

Flypast Crowds at the airport were treated to a fly-past by the Airbus A220-300 before the 160-seat jet, named ‘Ngorongoro’, landed on the Terminal 1 runway to great fanfare. The brand-new aircraft, built by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, had begun its journey from the factory at Montréal-Mirabel Airport in Quebec.

‘Ngorongoro’ becomes the second Airbus in the Air Tanzania fleet after the first, named ‘Dodoma’, was introduced in December last year.

in Zimbabwe, and Lusaka, in Zambia, and there are plans for routes to Mumbai, in India, Guangzhou, in China, and Thailand’s Bangkok by the summer.

Air Tanzania is the first African airline to operate the Airbus A220-300, which is one of the world’s newest short-haul jets and has proved immediately popular for its genuine passenger comfort, aerodynamic efficiency, slick design and new levels of ‘hushed’ engine tones.

President Magufuli, who, since he was sworn in, has played such a pivotal role in revamping Air Tanzania and putting together its new six-strong fleet, said at the event that there were more aircraft to come.

Such qualities make the aircraft ideal to take on international routes . In February the two Airbuses began flying to Harare,

More to come “This is not the last aircraft. We are waiting for another Dreamliner aircraft with the capacity to carry 262 passengers. It is expected to jet in by the end of this year.”

ARE YOU READY ZI-ZA? HERE WE COME Air Tanzania now welcomes Zimbabwe and Zambia to its route network, with three flights a week to Harare and Lusaka from Dar es Salaam.

Tanzania’s flag carrier will offer flights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from Julius Nyerere International Aiport (DAR), in Dar es Salaam, to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE), in Harare, and Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN), in Lusaka.  The triangular route was launched on February 22 and is served by Air Tanzania’s state-of-the-art Airbus A220-300 jets. The flights will open up business

4/

Twiga

opportunities and share the tourist appeal of the three neighbouring countries. A flight to Harare will reveal a world of treasures beyond the gleaming skyscrapers of the capital, including Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the iron age ruins of the Great Zimbabwe National Monument. With its imposing political monuments and cosmopolitan populace, Lusaka is an attractive city break, but it also provides an

ideal stopover location before adventuring in Zambia’s wilderness with options including canoeing the Zambezi River and going on safari at Liuwa National Park. Of course, the flights also open up Tanzania’s treasures to our valued Zimbabwean and Zambian passengers. Arrivals in Dar have been timed to allow a straightforward follow-on flight to Zanzibar to enjoy the sun, sea and sand of the island. Book your tickets via our website www.airtanzania.co.tz


My Tanzania

VANESSA MDEE

Tanzania’s queen of pop and r‘n’b rose to fame as the country’s first MTV VJ. Here, the award-winning singer reveals what she loves best about her homeland and why she wishes she was a butterfly.

Q.

What was the best kiss of your life? A. The last kiss my dad gave me on my cheek before he got in his car on the last day of his life. Q. If you could be any animal in the world, which one would you be and why? A. A butterfly. I can fly, I evolve from different versions of myself and am very colourful. Very similar to myself! Q. What were you like in high school? A. Disciplined with a hint of mischief. Q. What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? A. I recently watched [the Bongo movie] ‘After Death’ with my girl [actress and director] Jackline Wolper. I am appreciating the local and African film industry more each day.

6/

Twiga

Q. To whom would you like to say ‘sorry’? A. Anyone who’s felt offended along the way. I mean love. Q. What keeps you awake at night? A. My dreams. Funny you’re supposed to dream in your sleep, but mine keep me up... and also indigestion (the worst). Q. Who is your hero? A. My mom, no contest. Q. Where would you pick for the ideal location for a first date in Tanzania? A. Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. On the roof of Africa you can see the curve of the earth apparently (can you imagine?). Also it’s such a source of pride to have the highest peak on the continent. Q. Who is the favourite artist you have interviewed and why?

A. Myself, constantly in my head.

‘Disciplined with a hint of mischief’ Vanessa Mdee

Q. Is it true former US president Barack Obama follows you on Twitter? Has he been in touch? A. Yes he does ... haha! No, he hasn’t really been in touch, but I have! Q. What music do you listen to at home? A. A lot of Bantu Jazz and Afro Pop, Afro Beat. Pushing the African agenda and culture is very important for me. I feel we are all we’ve got in the growth of our music.

LATEST FROM VANESSA Vanessa has a new single out, ‘That’s For Me’, her international debut with new label Afroforce/Universal Music. The track features DJ Tira, the Gqom duo Distruction Boyz and Prince Bulo and will appear on Vanessa’s upcoming album to be released later this year. Check out her social media platforms for the latest information. Twitter: @vanessamdee, Facebook: facebook.com/VanessaMdee and Instagram: @vanessamdee.


Hasheem Thabeet

HOOPS HERO HASHEEM BATTLING TO RETRIEVE HIS NBA DREAM BY MARK EDWARDS

I

n Tanzania, Hasheem Thabeet is seen as a saviour and a hero – the man who put his country on the world basketball map, mixing it with the slam-dunking millionaires of the NBA. However, there have been times when the Dodoma native has not always thought that way about himself. His five years in the NBA began in 2009 with much fanfare after he was selected as a number two draft pick by the Memphis Grizzlies – the first three picks are considered to be the most promising players of that year and are

8/

Twiga

awarded in a lottery to some of the worst-performing teams to maintain parity in the league. However, despite his undoubted abilities – seeing the athletic 7 ft 3 in Thabeet swat away shots above the rim of the basket is something to behold – the Grizzlies let him go after two seasons; and unfulfilling stints with five more teams, involving little time on court, followed. As a raw talent, new to the United States and new to the game – the football fanatic didn’t begin shooting hoops in Dar es Salaam until he was

Keeping in shape Hasheem jogging at Mikocheni

15 – Thabeet felt he was given little in the way of guidance when games were not going his way and admits to periods of feeling lost and low. Thabeet may have played his last NBA game in May 2014, but he hasn’t given up his dream of returning. Such determination and drive to prove himself should only strengthen his hero status in Tanzania. He doesn’t need to do it financially, and the smart, articulate Thabeet has other business opportunities he could pursue; but it’s the desire to make his country, family and friends proud of


/ Hasheem Thabeet

‘I believe I have the power and the will and all the tools to still play the game I love…I’m going to keep training and stay ready’ Thabeet has kept himself in the shop window for the NBA with a promising spell in its development league and a short-term position playing for the Yokohama B-Corsairs in Japan. Recently, he has been honing his skills with three workouts a day under trainer Keith Williams, who has worked with NBA alumni such as Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins.

Skills on show

him and repay their faith in him that drives his quest to return to the top of his sport. “My attitude, or approach, when it comes to this is to just keep working,” says Thabeet. “I understand that doing something special takes a special approach, and it won’t be an easy approach. I have a great supporting team, they have been there for me since day one, they’re the ones who really keep me sane. They love me and support me no matter what, I can’t ask for a better supporting group. I love them.”

Williams has helped get 32-year-old Thabeet into the shape of his life and pump up his attacking game. The results are reaching NBA executives, with Thabeet showcasing his new skills at trials with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks with more to come. Thabeet has wonderful memories of life as an NBA star and believes he now has the abilities and attitude to make the most of a second chance. “I believe I have the power and the will and all the tools to still play the game I love,” he says. “I’m going to keep training and stay ready for whenever the opportunity presents itself. He adds: “Playing in the NBA was a blessing to me. I loved and enjoyed every minute of it. You get to do something that you love as your everyday job. It doesn’t get better than that. Seeing my family at some of the games, it was just amazing times. I would run into these celebrities and stars who were our fans. It was always mesmerising and such a cool feeling.” Sharing his success with his family is important to Thabeet. His mother, Rukia Manka, plays

In demand Hasheem dealing with the media

a key role in his many charity projects and his father, Thabit Manka, though he died when Thabeet was just 16, still inspires his son to live his life the right way. “My dad was a role model. He was a soccer player, and architect. I wanted to be just like him. All the good traits and wisdom came from him. I wanted to travel and do things just like him. He went to college at Oxford [in the UK] and Perth [Australia]. I believe that he is still watching over me. As I’m doing this, I’m embracing all the things I’ve learned from him.”

Basketball journey The loss of his father came as Thabeet was beginning a basketball journey that would take him thousands of miles from home. When Thabeet was 15 years old, a coach, noticing his height and athleticism, suggested he try basketball and Thabeet proved immediately comfortable with the ball and could instinctively dunk. His aptitude for the sport aroused the interest of US scouts and he soon gained a scholarship to Stoneridge Prep School near Los Angeles, then Cypress Community Christian School in Houston before playing college basketball at the University of Connecticut. It was a steep learning curve for Thabeet, who at that time only

airtanzania.co.tz

/9


/ Hasheem Thabeet

spoke Swahili and a few words of English, compounded by the personal upheaval and the loss of his lodestone father. “The rules of the game, the life it comes with, it wasn’t all really easy,” he says. “I was still learning the game that I recently fell in love with. The challenge was learning basketball while competing with kids that have been playing basketball from a younger age than I have. I was missing my family more and I would go on without seeing them up to my junior year in college.” Thabeet excelled on the court in that junior year, relishing his shot-blocking role. “I definitely enjoy the defensive end of the floor. I started playing the game a little later so my offence wasn’t as good. It’s a pride thing – if I don’t score then that means I’m not going to let you score on me either.”

‘I definitely enjoy the defensive end of the floor. It’s a pride thing - I’m not going to let you score on me’

Defensive prowess - Hasheem on court for the Yokohama B-Corsairs

Tanzanian sporting hero He helped UConn to a Final Four finish, earning himself the National Defensive Player of the Year award and a share of the Big East Player of the Year award. Still, he was surprised when the Grizzlies swooped and he was suddenly a marquee name in the NBA. It was a huge event for Thabeet and for Tanzania. The country had never had a player represented in the top echelon of US basketball before and he became a sporting hero. Thabeet is equally proud of his country. From the start he has used his privileged position to support charitable projects in Tanzania and to help sharpen the skills of the next generation of basketball talent there. He says: “My country has always meant so much to me because its something that I look at to measure how far I’ve come and how far I can strive for. Growing up from there, I know how hard things can be. When I was blessed enough to be able to contribute to causes, it has always felt like it’s my place to help as much as I can.” Recent projects for Thabeet include working with orphans in Tanzania and getting across to African children the

10 /

Twiga

importance of education. He is also an ambassador for WildAid, which aims to protect elephants and rhinos from poaching, and the clean water charity Water For Life.

Visits home Thabeet has a home in Las Vegas, but often returns to Tanzania. In the off-season, you may be lucky enough to see his unmistakable figure running along the beach at Mikocheni to keep fit; and any stay in Dar will also

National hero Hasheem Thabeet

include time at the National Indoor Stadium training the country’s future basketball stars. No wonder, then, that Thabeet commands such national affection. The defence master has been working on his offensive game and is ready to attack the NBA again – and Tanzania is behind him. Keep up to date with Hasheem’s progress at his Facebook page and @HasheemTheDream on Twitter.


Air Tanzania’s female pilots

TAKE YOUR CAREER SKY-HIGH Talented trio leading ATCL’s quest for more women pilots Many women will have heard of, and battled against, the glass ceiling in their professional career – but what about the cloud ceiling? While airline passengers are used to being looked after by female flight attendants, a woman in the cockpit is still a rarity. When was the last time you heard a female voice come on the PA system talking flight routes? Globally, just over five per cent of commercial pilots are women, according to the Air Line Pilots Association, the largest pilots’ union in the world. Air Tanzania is playing its part in boosting this figure. The airline’s team of pilots already includes three women and it has stepped up its efforts to recruit more female pilots. The talented trio – Cecylia Gellejah, Joanita Bomani and Anna Mwakasege – have been at the forefront of recent events by the airline to mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science (in February) and International Women’s Day (8 March), which have encouraged more women to follow their cloud-busting dreams. Here, Cecylia, Joanita and Anna tell Twiga what they love most about the job and why women make such good pilots.

12 /

Twiga


For more information about careers with Air Tanzania please visit our website at

www.airtanzania.co.tz

Q. Why do you think women make great pilots? A. I think women make great pilots as we are cautious and attentive in nature and that’s one of the core qualities you need being a pilot – situation awareness.

JOANITA BOMANI Q. Did you dream of being a pilot as a child? A. Yes, my dad was a pilot and an instructor. His way of life and what he told me about it definitely drove me into dreaming of being like him.

Championing female talent - Air Tanzania

then you are ready to conquer the sky. They shouldn’t be scared by the stereotype that it’s a career for men. You can do anything once you set your mind to it. I am a pilot and also a mother. My career has not hindered me from being a responsible mother.

Q. Has Air Tanzania been important in encouraging your progress? A. The company is really trying to employ more female pilots and, who knows, in the next five years we will have an equal number in ATCL if it continues with this pace. ATCL has been a home of improvement and ever since I joined I have been able to attend different training courses to boost my career.

Q. What do you like most about your job? A. Getting in control of a huge machine, seeing nature from a different angle is what pushes me every single time I enter the flight deck.

Q. What has been your proudest achievement as a pilot so far? A. This makes me so emotional. My proudest achievement was to fly with my dad in the same cockpit – and luckily I got that chance before he passed away. My dad has always been and still is my greatest motivator and one who inspired me in this industry.

Q. What reaction do you get from passengers? A. Most are always surprised and smiley to see a young female pilot. They are aware of the scarcity of female pilots especially in a developing country like Tanzania.

Q. What would you like to say to young women with aspirations to become pilots in the future? A. My message to the future pilots out there is that being a pilot is not rocket science. As long as you have the drive, passion and discipline

CECYLIA GELLEJAH Q. Did you dream of being a pilot as a child? A. Not really. My dream was to become a doctor – a surgeon, to be exact. Q. Why do you think women make great pilots? A. Being a pilot goes down to dealing with a lot of information,

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 13


/ Air Tanzania’s female pilots

processing it and make timely decisions. So you have to be good at multi-tasking – and women are naturally good at multi-tasking!

ANNA MWAKASEGE Q. Did you dream of being a pilot as a child? A. I started dreaming about being a pilot when I was very young. I was in primary school. I just loved the idea of being able to fly and being up in the sky.

Q. Has Air Tanzania been important in encouraging your progress? A. Yes, Air Tanzania has been very encouraging. On 1 February ATCL took its time to recognise its three female pilots and that made me feel appreciated and encouraged me to work harder.

Q. What do you like most about your job? A. I love my job. I am excited by every flight I take. Q. What reaction do you get from passengers? A. They are always happy to see me. I think they appreciate seeing a female pilot because there are not many of us.

Q. What has been your proudest achievement as a pilot so far? A. Getting my commercial pilot licence, because it paved ways for all the opportunities. I am where I am today because of that.

Q. Why do you think women make great pilots? A. I’m not sure if we have any real advantages. Men and women are different. It depends on the situation.

Q. What would you like to say to young women with aspirations to become pilots in the future? A. I encourage them to follow their dream, work hard for it and protect it and be passionate about it. But most importantly to have discipline – and in everything to put God first.

Q. Has Air Tanzania been important in encouraging your progress? A. I joined Air Tanzania last year. They have a fantastic fleet, full of the latest aircraft. It is a privilege to be able to fly the Airbus 220. It’s a big step.

Q. What has been your proudest achievement as a pilot so far? A. There are many proud moments, but if I had to pick one it would be when I passed my exams to be an Airbus pilot. The exams came soon after losing my young brother and it was a very emotional time. To pass was a big relief and a proud moment. Q. What would you like to say to young women with aspirations to become pilots in the future? A. They should work hard and not give up. There are many challenges to be a female pilot, but they can be overcome. Women have to work just as hard as the men.

Take your career sky high - work for Air Tanzania

A proud and motivated workforce

To find out more about careers in aviation at Air Tanzania, visit our website at www.airtanzania.co.tz

14 /

Twiga


trends

CORAL IS COOL The 2019 Pantone Colour of the Year is Living Coral. Think warm, peachy coral themed around tropical reefs, summer days and sunsets. Here are a few ideas to bring the life aquatic to your home.

Wisteria wallpaper coral by Pearl Lowe www.woodchipandmagnolia.co.uk US$ 130

Tile tea cosy www.andshine.co.uk US$ 20

Orange velvet pumpkin pouffe www.raggedrose.com US$ 70

Coral necktie www.speaklouder.etsy.com US$ 46

Coral splatter sketchbook www.papier.com US$ 12

Orange velvet pumpkin pouffe www.raggedrose.com US$ 70

Goldfish orange office/table lamp www.annabeljames.co.uk US$ 70

16 /

Twiga

Lagoon coral embroidered cushion www.arthouse.com US$ 28


interiors

A LOOK INSIDE

JABALI RIDGE For its flagship Tanzanian lodge, luxury safari outfitter Asilia has called on renowned interior designer Caline Williams-Wynn to create an interior palette that melds into the environment. We take a look at the amazing results.

18 /

Twiga


/ Twiga interiors

R

uaha National Park is known as one of Tanzania’s best-kept secrets. Although Ruaha is the country’s largest national park, covering about 13,000 sq km, and is home to high densities of lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo, only one per cent of visitors to Tanzania go on safari here, favouring the parks to the north. How fitting, then, that this most secret of parks contains a lodge that seems designed not to be found. The beautiful and sophisticated Jabali Ridge blends so seamlessly into the vast wilderness of the park that, from a distance, it doesn’t appear to be there at all. Built solely from locally sourced wood and designed by Nicholas

Plewman Architects, the multi-level lodge is tucked away in a natural bowl formed by a kopje or rocky outcrop and its eight rooms, infinity pool and communal areas are ingeniously built around the boulders and accessed by wooden walkways. Close up, you can see the lounge, bar and restaurant, raised on stilts to make the most of the view across the core game-viewing area of the Mwagusi River. The texture of the giant baobab trees that shroud the kopje is reflected in the lodge’s wooden structure.

Renowned designer In looking for someone to create an interior decor that is similarly suggestive of the lodge’s surroundings, the African safari company Asilia called

on renowned South African designer Caline Williams-Wynn. They had teamed up before on The Highlands, a Ngorongoro Crater outpost, and share a drive to make a positive impact in the local community and to reflect that community in their work.

Organic palette Williams-Wynn used fabrics from a South African artist who patterns organic linen with impressions from eucalyptus leaves, resembling the pattern of baobab trunks that can be seen from each room. “It’s almost like she has taken a photographic imprint and used the negatives,” she says. Such elements have been used to create an organic palette for the lodge. Soft colours are used

Blending in - Jabali Ridge

Cool view - from the infinity pool

Earthy, natural decor - bedrooms feature overdyed organic bed throws and dip-dyed mosquito nets

Tanzania’s stunning secret - Ruaha National Park

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 19


/ Twiga interiors

throughout, allowing the spectacular surroundings and natural features to take centre stage. In communal areas such as the lounge, granite boulders and vegetation have been used in place of walls. When the louvred shutters of each guest room are opened, the earthy, natural decor of the living space, with its over-dyed organic bed throws, pure linen cushion covers and dip-dyed mosquito nets, is like a continuation of the rolling savannah that stretches for miles in each direction.

Earthy feel Inside, the king-singed bed frames are made from railway sleepers and draped in grey and mauve linens, reflecting the huge, miraculously

balanced stones outside. Woven cane chairs were chosen for their ‘see through’ element, making a focal point of the surrounding boulders. Similarly unobtrusive and enhancing the earthy feel are African stools, wire tables and handmade iron light pendants. The blackened antique brass fittings in the stone basins and showers of the bathrooms – which also have park views – along with the spectral portraits of abstract baobabs complement the rustic architecture. Outdoors, the wooden terrace is on two levels, with a hammock and huge cushioned sofas, again in shades of grey. Inside and out, Jabali Ridge is a special place to stay.

JABALI RIDGE Ruaha National Park, Iringa, Tanzania. To book or for more information, visit asiliaafrica.com Rates: US$ 788.50 to US$ 1,148 per person per night. Getting there: Chartered flights from Dar es Salaam to Msembe Airstrip take around an hour and a half. It’s then a 50-minute drive to the lodge.


Singeli music

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS Singeli, the breakneck-paced dance music from the streets of Dar es Salaam, is bringing international fame to its young stars. Mark Edwards meets some of the movement’s leading lights.

I

t’s the early hours of Saturday morning in the Mburahati suburb of Dar es Salaam and there is little light beyond the embers of last night’s braais as we walk through a network of alleys between brick houses with corrugated metal roofs. It is sound that is guiding us, however, and we stop outside a hut emanating a thrum of bass that has attracted an amiable crowd who sit around chatting and drinking.

DIY dance music Opening the door unleashes an ecstatic skittering of percussive sounds, sirens and bleeps accompanied by a rapper desperately trying to keep up with the relentless programmed aural assault. This is singeli, a DIY music genre born on the streets of Dar and now seen as one of most exciting strains of underground dance music, building renown across Africa and into Europe. And this snug little room is the Sisso Records studio, where it all began almost 15 years ago. Sisso Mohamed is the DJ and producer who set up the studio and who also gives his name to the compilation album ‘Sounds Of Sisso’, released in late 2017 by Ugandan label Nyege

Nyege Tapes, which showcased the singeli sound to an international audience for the first time. Sisso is not here now, although a framed diploma on the wall rather sweetly evidences the business course that helped the 24-year-old consolidate his vision for the studio. Instead, at the controls is rising young producer Jay Mitta, responsible for Nyege Nyege Tapes’ third singeli release, ‘Tatizo Pesa’, released in January and already sold out on vinyl. The album’s success is testament that singeli is no longer an underground phenomenon. Another Mburahati studio, Pamoja Records, is releasing tracks gaining international renown, while the Nyege Nyege Festival, which lassoes the best of contemporary dance music in Africa, had a strong singeli showing for the first time in 2018. Singeli acts have also been invited to play live shows in Poland and Germany and the Dar radio station E-FM now plays nothing but singeli music for four hours, Monday to Thursday. Jay is an energetic young man. He was given his singeli name ‘Mitta’

Studio session Makavelli on the mic with Jay Mitta at Sisso Studios

(Swahili for ‘metre’) as he would sprint everywhere as if he was running the 100 metres. No wonder the frenetic 200 to 300 beats per minute of singeli appeals to him. In the studio his speed is in his hands, which fly over the desktop keyboard – the only equipment in the studio beyond a battered Roland synthesiser and a stand-up mic for the vocals – as he tweaks a track using the software program Virtual DJ.

Studio time

Studio founder Sisso Mohamed

Also there laying down some backing vocals on a new track he is working on with Jay is rapper Makavelli. My arrival, accompanied by studio manager Abbassi Jazza, brings the number in the studio to six – Jay is supported by a couple of friends – but we would have to press ourselves against the walls to allow anyone else

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 21


/ Singeli music

to enter, the studio is that compact. Still, it’s enough of an audience for Makavelli to feel moved to freestyle for us. The rapper is credited with releasing the very first singeli track and it’s clear he is still in love with the music. Afterwards he says: “When you play singeli music it makes you happy. The lyrics, the music and the dancing are all about that.” Singeli rose from street parties and weddings in Dar where DJs were striving for a sound to keep people moving deep into the night. It was a dancer who gave the music its name. Abbassi tells me how at one party, in June 2003, there was a battle between two dancers, one of whom, called Singeli, distinguished himself with his inventive skills, throwing in a string of new moves to complement the unrelenting music.

Wild live shows “He performed very well,” says Abbassi. “With singeli you have to change dancing styles all the time because the music is so fast. He was great at doing this.” Live, every singeli act will complement its MC and DJ line-up with dancers, whom the MC will instruct, calling out the dance moves. The acts put a good deal of thought into the live shows. For proof, check out the YouTube footage of MCZO’s performance at an outdoor music festival in Bagamoyo in which the Pamoja

22 /

Twiga

Records artist is carried wrapped in a winding sheet onto the stage, where he lies motionless until the music and his frenetic backing dancers revive him to blast out some ricocheting rap that sends the crowd into delirium.

Singeli stars - DJ Pamba Pana, Jay Mitta, Makavelli and Sisso

Singeli stars start young The next night, Abbassi – who, on top of Sisso Studios responsibilities, is, handily, a taxi driver – gives me a lift to another Dar suburb, Kigogo, where a host of singeli talent, including Sisso, DJ Longo, Makavelli and female rapper Rehema Tajiri, will be performing at a club called Roundabout. The audience are predominantly in their teens and ready to party. Singeli does seem to be a voice for young people. “It is so fast and crazy it really appeals to young boys,” says Abbassi, although there are a good number of young girls here, too. As well as nightclubs, singeli artists are often invited to perform at schools, with predictably pandemonistic results, and pupils are finding they can become singeli stars themselves, with hundreds of producers in Dar willing to give them

Interview - Abbassi Jazza and Makavelli face the press

‘Even though many young people in Tanzania see singeli as their music, it is steeped in sounds that go back deep into the country’s history’

studio time. Mostly the results will be an MP3 they can play with friends or the track may make it on to a DJ playlist and be heard at a club, birthday party or wedding. The street cachet of hearing your music soundtracking your community is enough for most rappers, but talent will out. The title track on Jay’s new album introduces the MC skills of Dogo Mjanja, a 14-year-old from Mburahati, who will surely be a singeli star of the future. Jay propels the track with nosebleed-inducing turbo-fast interlocking loops, but Dogo’s lyrics – as is the case with the majority of singeli tracks – go way beyond the usual ‘hands in the air’ soullessness of standard dance floor bangers to address street life and issues that affect young Tanzanians. ‘Tatizo Pesa’ (‘money problems’) tells the story of a young boy struggling to convince his mother that the cash she gave him to pay for his schooling has been taken by his teacher to pay for alcohol, despite the teacher denying it and caning the boy for his insolence. Rather worryingly, Abbassi tells me, this is a problem


/ Singeli music

Five stand-out Singeli tracks Selected by Arlen Dilsizian, co-founder of Nyege Nyege Tapes many young Tanzanian children from working class neighbourhoods will identify with. Even though many young people in Tanzania see singeli as their music, it is steeped in sounds that go back deep into the country’s history. Producers will take instrumental sections from traditional music such as such as taa rab, vanga, mchiriku, sebene and se gere, along with hip-hop and South African kwaito. These are then looped and speeded up to provide singeli’s trademark full-pelt rhythms. Perhaps this is why there’s such a sense of pride about the music in districts such as Mburahati and Kigogo among the young and old. They see it as recognisably Tanzanian in origin, unlike the American hip-hop influenced Bongo Flava, and are happy for it to be performed at schools and community events. Abbassi, at 34, is older than all of the artists under his wing, but he says singeli is always “evolving” – Pamoja Records’ DJ Duke’s slowed down beats on recent releases have created a new genre ‘hip hop singeli’ - and the

music still speaks to him as powerfully as when he first heard it over a decade ago. “I thought the music was very special from the start. You just feel strong when you hear it,” he says. “I started off as a fan, going to shows. I liked the MCs and the dancers. I lived nearby Sisso Records Studio and one day I was asked if I could help out. I’m still a fan. I love that I can go to the studio and take the flash drive of some music which has just been recorded and take it home to listen to.”

‘This Is Our Music’ Abbassi is a big, burly presence, yet exudes softly spoken calm at all times. It’s clear the Sisso artists look up to him and in turn he has an avuncular duty of care to them. The storming Roundabout gig doesn’t finish until daybreak on Sunday, with performances delayed by a power cut that plunges the club, and Kigogo, into darkness for an hour – a worthy but doomed effort is made to restart the sound system with a petrol-fuelled back-up generator – but Abbassi is there throughout, keeping an eye on his young charges and even providing a lift home at the end of the night for two of his nephews whom he spots at the gig. Singeli’s renown may have gone international, but to the fans from the Dar suburbs it will always be theirs. As he drives us all back from the Roundabout, Abbassi says: “Singeli was born from our boys, born on the street. Everyone likes it – young girls, boys and fathers and mothers. This is our music.” Downloads of ‘The Sound of Sisso’, Jay Mitta’s ‘Tatizo Pesa’ and DJ Duke’s March-released Uingizaji Hewa can be purchased on the Nyege Nyege Tapes website. Visit nyegenyegetapes.bandcamp.com

1

Dj Longo & Dogo Suma ‘TMK’ ‘This track was so far beyond most people’s frames of reference of what electronic music from East African could be that it really took music specialists from around the world by total surprise. Fast, unrelenting and uncompromising it captures what is most unique about singeli.

2

S Kide: Disco Dancer ‘S Kide was one of the early stars of the singeli scene. This track has now attained cult status for its chorus that was intelligible to non Swahili speakers. 

3

Young Yuda & Dj Shom: Unanijua ‘One of the first female singeli artists she paved the way for many more like MC Kad Reeda and MC Anti Virus. Unanijua was one of her first tracks, totally lo fi with an infectious melody.’

4

Makavelli and Bamba Pana: Lingalinga ‘This track whilst also a hit in Tanzania has also rocked European dance floors over the last two years in some of the prestigious clubs and venues, given that the duo were the first Singeli act to get booked for shows outside Africa.’

5

Dogo Mjanja: Tatizo Pesa ‘Dogo Mjanja is only 14 years old but proving to be one of the most versatile singeli artists around and the track’s producer, Jay Mitta, is a key figure at the infamous Sisso Studios.’ Building renown beyond Tanzania - Jay Mitta and DJ Bamba Pana

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 23


competition

WIN A SCRUBBA WASH BAG

Twiga has two Scrubba wash bags to give away in its competition. To be in with a chance of winning, answer the questions below based on articles in this edition of the magazine and send your answers to: competition@landmarine.org along with a picture of yourself with Issue 1 of Twiga. The idea for the Scrubba wash bag – the world’s smallest washing machine – came to a climber on an ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. Now there is a chance for two intrepid Twiga readers to win this ingenious piece of kit in our competition.

1

2

3

When traveller Ash Newland set out to climb Mount Kilimanjaro he soon discovered how difficult it was to wash on the go – and from there the Scrubba wash bag was born. “While preparing for my trip, I realised that with all my cold weather and camping gear I would only be able to take a few changes of clothing and would have to wash them regularly,” said Ash. “While waterproof bags can be used to soak clothing, they really aren’t very efficient. It was then that I had the revelation that washboards have been around for centuries and they work. If we could incorporate a flexible washboard into a sealable bag, we could change the way people wash clothing when they travel.”

Pocket-sized The Scrubba wash bag weighs in at just 142 grams, allowing you to travel lighter and helping to save money, time and water. The pocket-sized travel companion works like the

24 /

Twiga

world’s smallest and most convenient washing machine. Its patented washboard-in-a-bag design is a quicker and far more hygienic way of washing your travel clothes than a dirty hotel sink. To clean clothes anywhere in minutes requires just four simple steps: add water, cleaning liquid and clothing; seal and deflate the bag through a valve; place the bag down and rub the clothing against the inner washboard for 30 seconds to three minutes; rinse the clothes and hang to dry. Today, more than 130,000 travellers use the Scrubba wash bag worldwide and the company has expanded to produce other innovative products such as the Air Sleeve, a laptop case that doubles as an inflatable travel pillow, and the multifunctional Stealth Pack backpack. The Scrubba wash bag is also now available in a variety of colours. For more details on the Scrubba range, visit thescrubba.com

What is the name of the new film about the rock band Queen called? What is the name of the centre for visual and performing arts in Dar es Salaam?

What is the name of the man who first discovered tanzanite in 1967?

A washboard in a bag - the Scrubba washbag

The bag is hygienic and portable COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Closing date is 12 June 2019. Photographs should be sent along with your entry. One entry per person. Entrants must be 18 or over. The winning entry will be selected by Land & Marine Publications Ltd. This competition is not open to employees of Air Tanzania, Calibre8 Pty Ltd or Land & Marine Publications Ltd.


24 hours in…

LUSAKA

Zambia’s capital city is worth investigating, even if you’re pushed for time

Matthew Grollnek | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-4.0

H

ere at Twiga we know business travellers are often pushed for time to see much of the places they fly into for meetings, while leisure travellers can be whisked away to the beach or on safari with rarely more than a day to explore their city stopovers. With this in mind, we’ve devised a regular feature that helps visitors get the most from whistle-stop visits to the destinations of the Air Tanzania network. We start in the capital, Lusaka, often seen as a stopover for travellers en route to Victoria Falls and to national parks such as Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa. However, Lusaka is full of interesting things to see and do and here we pack as many as possible into just one day…

MORNING To fortify yourself for a busy day ahead you’ll probably require a hearty breakfast and coffee. The Deli has three branches in Lusaka but the most picturesque, with its garden setting, is on Mukuyu Road in Leopard Hill. As well as serving fine coffee – its barista is the winner of an international competition – The Deli’s sophisticated kitchen offers healthy breakfasts like eggs and French toast and avocado toasties. Chefs will also whip up speciality sandwiches such as Asian pork meatball and classics like pastrami, wood-fired pizzas and

home-made ice cream. A good place to learn more about the city you’re exploring is the imposing Lusaka National Museum, centrally situated along Independence Avenue, next to the Freedom Statue, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the struggle for Zambia’s independence. The top floor of the museum is given over to depicting Zambia’s political history from pre-colonial to post-independence. Highlights include Zambian paintings, sculptures and traditional crafts along with a display about witchcraft. The ground floor has contemporary Zambian

Bustling city - Lusaka

paintings and sculpture. You can steep yourself even further in the city’s culture and arts scene by next visiting 37d Gallery, located in the leafy Kabulonga area. Within its beautiful contemporary building a wide range of works by both local Zambian artists and international artists is exhibited. The gallery is a non-profit organisation which supports the stART Foundation, a charitable trust dedicated to the generation and promotion of visual arts practice and arts education in Zambia. Most of the art is for sale, helping to sustain the financing of education and outreach programmes in Zambia. The gallery is open Monday to Fridays 9 am to 5 pm and 10 am to 3pm on Saturdays. Once you’re finished here the sun will be high in the sky, so a refreshing drink will be in order. Mint Lounge, on the corner of Kasiba and Lukasu Road, sells a huge range of thirst-quenching smoothies, all made with super-fresh organic ingredients sourced from

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 25


/ 24 hours in Lusaka

local suppliers. The frozen mixed berry smoothie is not to be missed and the café sells healthy snacks and energy bites if you need a boost.

AFTERNOON You’ll find authentic Zambian arts and crafts to take home with you at Kabwata Cultural Village. This openair market, located south-east of the city centre on Buma Road, is made up of a series of huts and stalls that sell carvings, jewellery, baskets, masks, drums, fabrics and more. Prices are cheap –though you will have to haggle – because you’re buying directly from the artisans themselves, many of whom you can see at work on their latest creations while you look around. If you’re here over the weekend, the village usually puts on a cultural show with music and dance (entry fee ZMW 30). A very different shopping experience is available at the modern Manda Hill indoor mall on the corner of Manchichi and Great East Road. You’ll find internet cafés, department stores, electrical goods, fashionable clothing stores and home decor. While there are plenty of international food chain stores here, such as Nandos and Pizza Hut, you’ll also find some very good regional ‘fast food’ outlets. If your time in Zambia begins and ends in Lukasa, it doesn’t mean

you have to miss out on a wildlife adventure. Head to the Elephant Orphanage on the outskirts of the city between 11.30 am and 1 pm to see rescued young elephants being fed. A viewing deck gives you a prime view of the calves being given their milk by a team of trainers. Visiting the elephants is free, but a donation towards conservation work is suggested. If that has whetted your appetite for more wildlife, head for nearby Lilayi Lodge, where you can go on a game drive in the 650 acres of grassland that surrounds this hotel and spa. The park is home to giraffe, zebra, antelope and many more animals. For a cheaper alternative, visit Lusaka National Park, a 25-minute drive outside the city, off Leopards Hill Road. Entrance is just US$ 3 and you can go on game drives or explore by bicycle with a chance to glimpse some of the park’s 1,000 or so non-predatory species, including giraffe, eland, hartebeest, zebra, sable, kudu, blue wildebeest and waterbuck. By far the most popular attraction, though, is its white rhino. Currently, there is just one, Thabo. He has been dehorned to dissuade poachers but is still under 24-hour guard. You’ll be sure to see him if you come at feeding time, when he is brought into the enclosure, but at all other times he is roaming the park’s 46 sq km.

‘You may want to stick around if you’re here on a Friday as all guests have access to The Other Side, a private members’ club’ EVENING

A pangolin in Lusaka National Park

After the day’s adventures, head for the designer boutique hotel and art gallery Latitude 15° in Leopards Lane, Kabulonga. It’s Lusaka’s trendiest restaurant and its outdoor terrace overlooking the lawn is the perfect spot for a sundowner. Its seasonal menu includes house-smoked beef fillet for dinner. You may want to stick around if you’re here on a Friday as all guests have access to The Other Side, a private members’ club on the same property, which has a DJ until late. If it’s live music you’re after, finish the evening off at Misty Jazz, located within the Levy Business Park Mall. There is a live band here most nights. O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill, in the suburb of Woodlands, also has a live band on Thursday evenings, usually playing a variety of rock covers.

Night time in Lusaka One of the exhibition rooms at 37D Gallery

26 /

Twiga

Image: Lighton Phiri | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-2.0


Tanzania’s treasures Mount Kilimanjaro

Alluring mystique of

`ROOF OF AFRICA˝

In what is to become a regular feature in Twiga, the Tanzanian Tourist Board turns the spotlight on one of the country’s spectacular attractions. In our launch edition, it had to be Mount Kilimanjaro – the ‘Roof of Africa’.

S

tanding 5,896 metres above sea level, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and one of the continent’s most magnificent sights. It has three main volcanic peaks: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Just as these peaks are often obscured by clouds, so the name Kilimanjaro itself is shrouded in mystery.

European explorers had adopted the name by 1860, reporting that it was the mountain’s Kiswahili name, variously translating it as

‘Mountain of Greatness’, Mountain of Light’ and Mountain of Caravans’. However, ‘Kilima’ means ‘hill’ rather than ‘mountain’ in Kiswahili. At 5,896 metres, it’s some hill.

FLY TO KILIMANJARO

Air Tanzania operates four daily flights from Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro International Airport. Kilimanjaro can also be reached from Zanzibar airport twice a day.

Conquerable A different approach is to look to the language of the Wachagga people, who live on the southern and eastern slopes of the mountain. Here ‘kileme’ means ‘which defeats’ and the ‘jaro’ part could be derived from ‘njaare’, meaning ‘bird’, or

Kilimanjaro at sunset

‘jyaro’, meaning ‘caravan’. The interpretation would then be that the name describes the mountain as unclimbable, impossible to scale for caravans of climbers or even birds. We now know that the mountain is indeed conquerable, with an estimated 25,000 people making it to the top each year. Kilimanjaro is

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 27


/ Tanzania’s Treasures Mount Kilimanjaro

Mountain town Kilimanjaro looms over Moshi

Conquerable - hikers take on Kilimanjaro

one of the world’s most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gilman’s Point, on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates.

Adventure of a lifetime Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is the highlight of most visitors’ experiences in Tanzania. Few mountains can claim the grandeur of Kilimanjaro, with its breathtaking views of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Rift Valley and the Maasai Steppe. Hiking here is the adventure of a lifetime, especially because, if paced well, everyone from seasoned trekkers to first-time enthusiasts can scale the snowy peak. But there’s so much more to Kili than her summit. The ascent is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic. Above the gently rolling hills and plateau of northern Tanzania rise the snowy peaks of Kilimanjaro, with its slopes and glaciers shimmering above the rising clouds. Kilimanjaro

28 /

Twiga

GETTING TO KNOW KILIMANJARO

is located near the town of Moshi and is a protected area, carefully regulated for climbers to enjoy without leaving a trace of their presence. The mountain’s ecosystems are as strikingly beautiful as they are varied and diverse. On the lowland slopes, much of the mountain is farmland, with coffee, banana, cassava, and maize crops grown for subsistence and cash sale. A few larger coffee farms still exist on the lower slopes, but much of the area outside the national park has been subdivided into small plots.

Changing landscape Inside the park, thick lowland forest covers the lower altitudes and breaks into alpine meadows as the air gets thinner. Near the peak, the landscape is a harsh and barren place of rocks and ice.

5 In 2008 it was announced by Tanzania’s tourism minister that 4.8 million indigenous trees would be planted around the base of the mountain to help prevent soil erosion and protect water sources. 5 Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet was just 22 when he made the fastest ascent of Kilimanjaro in September 2010, reaching the top in just five hours, 23 minutes and 50 seconds. 5 There are seven official routes on Kilimanjaro, of which six (Machame, Umbwe, Marangu, Shira, Lemosho and Rongai) and one (Mweka) for descent only. 5 Virtually every type of ecological system can be found on this mountain, including cultivated land, rain forest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and an arctic summit. 5 The last major volcanic eruption from Kibo took place over 360,000 years ago.


Mumbai bike ride

WE RIDE

AT DAWN With Air Tanzania set to launch weekly flights to Mumbai in the coming months, Twiga shows you a way to beat the crowds in one of the world’s busiest cities and experience its wonders in a new light

Bike break - a Reality Tours group at Marine Drive and, left, a Mumbai dawn

30 /

Twiga


/ Mumbai bike ride

Deserted - early morning at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

W

ith a population of almost 25 million people, the beauty of Mumbai can be masked behind crowded chaos, its pavements and roads heaving with human traffic and the occasional oblivious road-crossing cow. If you’re up at dawn, however, you are afforded a lacuna of calm before temperatures soar and the streets are flooded with commuters. Showcasing Mumbai as it slowly stirs into the day is a 14 km dawn cycle ride operated by Reality Tours. Naynish Salvi, who was born and raised in city, leads the tours, which provide a hassle-free opportunity for up to five cyclists to take in some of the city’s most famous sights while opening up hidden gems. He

says: “Mumbai is a city that is constantly changing. It’s difficult for a tourist to navigate the streets of the city during the day on a bicycle, but in the morning it is quiet, cool and almost serene. This is the best time and most enjoyable way to see how Mumbaikars wake up. Also, activities like newspaper sorting, bidding at the fish market, the unloading of fresh fruit, sweeping the streets for gold [this really happens and Naynish will explain more on the

tour] and more only can only be observed in the morning.” With Naynish’s help, Twiga looks at some of the tour’s highlights.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) Catch the fishermen at Sassoon Dock

‘In the morning it is quiet, cool and almost serene. This is the most enjoyable way to see how Mumbaikars wake up’

More than 3 million people use this station every day to commute in from the suburbs or head off to the coastal comfort of Goa or Kerala, so if you want to take in its VictorianGothic majesty in any comfort, you need to get here early. “Early mornings are the only time you can take in the beauty of CST and take photos in a relaxed manner,” says Naynish. Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, Mumbai’s only Unesco World Heritage Site is a grand reminder of the British Raj

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 31


/ Dawn bike ride

before independence and is one of the most historic landmarks in the central business district. In 1996 the Minister of Railways, Suresh Kalmadi, changed the name of the station to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in honour of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire, which ruled over much of India in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Sassoon Dock “Fishermen loading an unloading their catch here takes place in the early morning,” says Naynish. A dawn visit to the oldest and largest wholesale fish market in Mumbai reveals a scene of intense and pungent activity. From 5 am Kolis – fishermen of Mumbai, descended from the city’s first inhabitants – sort through the catch discharged

from their brightly coloured boats. It’s a splendid sight and by beating the crowds you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the commerce and camaraderie – a piece of the city’s original culture.

Bombay Panjrapole The bustling bazaars of Bhuleshwar, in south Mumbai, usually obscure this hidden gem, but an early morning arrival will reveal this twoacre shelter for over 350 cows plus once-stray donkeys, goats, rabbits, parrots and ducks. It was set up in 1834 during British colonial rule with the intention of looking after stray dogs and pigs, which the British had ordered to be shot at night. The cows were brought in to produce milk to feed the strays and were secondary. Over time, however, they have multiplied and become

Cuddle up to a cow at Bombay Panjrapole

Cool and calm Mumbai’s streets in the early morning are easy to navigate

the main attraction. There is an opportunity to hand-feed some very cute calves – a popular pastime among Mumbai’s Hindus, who revere the animal. Naynish says: “Those en route to Mumbadevi Temple for prayers also visit this animal sanctuary, to feed and pay respect to the cows as part of their morning routine.”

Mumbadevi Temple This historic temple, dedicated to the goddess Mumba and from which the city derives its name, offers a chance to dismount from your bike and explore. A dawn arrival means the intricate beauty of the temple is not yet shrouded in the crowded steel and cloth

Catch the street sellers as they open their stalls

32 /

Twiga


/ Dawn bike ride

markets of Mumbai’s jam-packed Zaveri Bazaar. Inside it also gets very busy, so an early start gets the jump on the devotees who flock to the temple. “You’ll be able to see devotees arrive freshly cleansed for their first morning prayers,” says Naynish.

Marine Drive This 3 km curved boulevard is one of the most popular places in Mumbai. “It’s one of the best places to start the day,” says Naynish. It attracts large crowds along its scenic walkway during the day and in the evening, when it provides wonderful sunset views and its street lights form a luminescent braid along the coastline. During early mornings, however, cyclists will have this pathway almost to themselves. Enjoy cooling sea breezes as you

‘Cyclists will have the 3km curved boulevard of Marine Drive almost to themselves in the morning’ look out across the Arabian Sea to one side and at palatial hotels and towering Art Deco houses in the city’s most affluent area.

What you need to know

Breakfast Don’t worry if the early start means you have to skip breakfast as Naynish will make sure there are regular stops to energise with a sweet glass of masala tea. The final stop on the tour will be for a traditional Mumbai breakfast at the Madra Café. Naynish says: “South Indian favourites include idli (pillowy steamed pockets made of

rice batter), sambhar (tangy tamarind and lentil based stew), dosa (like a paper-thin crepe made from rice batter) and upma (thick savoury porridge made from semolina). Sipping on freshly brewed coffee from a traditional Indian filter mixed with frothy, boiled milk - it’s the best way to finish off breakfast.”

Sunrise on Marine Drive

The tour starts at 6.15 am and ends at about 10 am at Cusrow Baug on Colaba Causeway, where you will be introduced to your guide and your bicycle. The price is Rs 1,800 per person or Rs 8,000 if booked as a group (maximum five people). For more information on the dawn cycle ride and other tours in Mumbai, visit realitytourstravel.com


Nafasi Arts Space

WATCH THIS

SPACE

Why art without boundaries is flourishing at Tanzania’s creative hub

Nafasi Arts Space is a thriving community of visual and performing artists and is on a mission to convince more Tanzanians that being an artist is a valid and lucrative career.

T

anzania is home to many original and groundbreaking artists producing work across a variety of media. This panorama of talent includes the flamboyant fashion of award-winning costume artist Jocktan Makeke (aka Makeke International), the barrier-breaking photography of Elizabeth Emmanuel, the striking Cubism-meets-Africanfigurative-painting of Masoud Kibwana, the female-focused wood carvings of Mwandale ‘Big Mama’ Mwanyekwa, the metal sculptor Safina Kimbokota and the street art collective Wachata Crew. Such disparate artists can all be found, among many others, corralled at Nafasi Arts Space, situated on the edge of an industrial district and residential area in Mikocheni B. This vibrant centre for the visual and performing arts provides a platform for the cross-pollination of ideas among creatives as well as giving audiences and art lovers a place to experience and appreciate arts and culture. The site is peppered with old shipping

containers that have been converted into studios for more than 60 artists to make music, weave, weld, sculpt and produce work that has been exhibited and sold across Africa and internationally. There are 37 of these portable studios here as well as several exhibition spaces and a large outdoor performance area. There is plenty for visitors to get involved in, with public events such as film screenings, exhibitions, concerts, festivals and art fairs helping Nafasi draw in around 2,000 visitors every month. As well as the location, the artists at Nafasi Arts Space – the only independent, artist-led space in Tanzania – share a belief in freedom of expression. Those who work in these affordable studios are encouraged to go as far as their imaginations take them without fear of censorship or repression.

Freedom of expression A recent example is ‘Taboo’, an exhibition held until January at the Nafasi Gallery, which invited work from artists confronting

entrenched and often disturbing beliefs and rituals, such as the persecution of albinos and the shame associated with menstruation, in pan-African society. True to its name – Nafasi means ‘opportunity’ in Swahili – this freedom of expression is also made available to people in the surrounding communities who may be unaware of their artistic talent or who have never thought of the creative arts as an avenue of expression or as a career. They are encouraged to take part in training and workshop events or contribute to largescale projects, such as murals or sculptures, led by resident artists. Calling the centre an arts ‘space’ is also deliberate. It not only celebrates the securing of the site which, in 2008, gave its six founding artists room to pursue their passion not long after the closing of the iconic Mwalimu Nyerere Cultural Centre; it also symbolises the non-judgemental blank canvas that artists, whatever their experience, are given here on which to make their mark. airtanzania.co.tz

/ 35


/ Nafasi Arts Space Public events I am shown around Nafasi by its business development and marketing manager, Agnes-Senga Tupper. It’s a drowsily humid Saturday morning and artists are just opening up their studios and setting to work. You can see how Nafasi is set up to entice the sharing of ideas with banks of studios facing each other with work spaces spilling out onto the well-kept lawns. Every artist can see what the other is up to. In the middle is a large outdoor performance area. Every month it is home to some kind of public event. Last month it was ‘Wikiendi Live!’ – an evening of the best in traditional African beats and fusion, with artists sourced across Tanzania. Also lined up is a theatre night and Makeke International’s unmissable fashion show ‘I Am Makeke’. I have, unfortunately, arrived on one of the Saturdays in between, and the stage contains just a few dancers from MUDA Africa, a not-for-profit dance group giving training to young people in Dar, warming up before a class. Agnes is a passionate advocate of the centre’s role in the community, excitedly listing the various outreach programmes that bring art to residential areas, hospitals and schools. All the programmes are free to take part in. Nafasi, a non-profit organisation, is able to do this through the donations of the Norwegian Embassy, the Swiss Arts Council, the African Arts Trust and its ‘Friends of Nafasi’ sponsors. “All events are free,” says Agnes. “People from all backgrounds are encouraged to feel more confident to create. There are no class labels.” Agnes points out one striking studio, its walls swamped in spray paint and graffiti tags. It’s the base of street art collective Wachata Crew. Wachata is a Swahili slang term for ‘graffiti’ and the four-strong crew

leads group art sessions to create unique pieces of mural art which improve neglected areas both aesthetically and financially. Other workshops here encourage young children, women and disabled people – often the most under-represented sections of the community – to try art.

Music event Wikiendi Live always brings the crowds to Nafasi Arts Space

Encouraging creativity “We organise regular classes to teach children how to paint,” says Agnes. “It started with just a few kids turning up, but the numbers are growing. “We like to encourage and nurture creativity from a tender age.” All this takes place in the children’s art studio. It is packed with tempera paints, crayons, glue and card for some messy but fun lessons, and some very impressive work is displayed on the walls. There are only a handful of women among Nafasi’s member artists. It’s an imbalance the management is keen to address. As well as the targeted workshops, some artists here, including painter Masoud Kibwana, whose work has been exhibited as far afield as China and Italy, have taken it upon themselves to mentor budding female artists. Two of Nafasi’s leading women artists, Mwandale ‘Big Mama’ Mwanyekwa and Safina Kimbokota, share a studio. Agnes introduces me to Safina, who is resplendent in a lemon-coloured boiler suit ready for some soldering work on her metal sculptures. She is a master’s graduate of the University of Dar es Salaam and pays tribute to her years of higher education for “opening her up to politics and the wider world”. This sensitivity to current affairs can be seen in her latest sculptures, all constructed from recycled metal and cloth, which examine the social pressures on young African women to use skin bleaching creams

and wigs in pursuit of superficial fashion ideals. “I wanted to show what I see as a loss of identity in this striving to conform,” says Safina. These sculptures are on display at the National Museum of Tanzania and other examples of Safina’s work have been exhibited across the country and internationally. She is an established talent. Up-and-coming artists require more help in honing their talent and getting their work out to the public. Nafasi helps new members by putting on monthly art talks, called ‘hangouts’, where they can present their work to artists from different backgrounds and disciplines and get feedback and advice. New members are also encouraged to be a part of the ‘chap chap’ public art events that take place at Nafasi on the last Saturday of

Five artists to watch out for at Nafasi Makeke International The fashion shows of designer Jocktan Cosmas Maluli Makeke have to be seen to be believed. They blend theatre and storytelling with catwalk creations made from recycled materials and the hides, horns, hooves and bones of animals that reimagine pre-colonial African culture. The Nafasi artist makes full use of the potential for collaborations on site, working with

36 /

Twiga

video directors to capture his latest looks in dramatic fashion. His latest collection, ‘Lupahero’, incorporates an Afrofuturistic style and has been showcased at Nafasi events.

has become more adventurous in theme of late with her sculpture ‘Rising Voice’ depicting a colony of ants as an example of good governance. To raise awareness of environmental pollution, Safina, Safina Kimbokota who now teaches at Safina’s early work was defined by Dar es Salaam sleek metal sculptures of marine life University, such as squid, octopi and swordfish has been inspired by her upbringing in the making use coastal town of Lindi. Her work

of recycled materials in her sculptures and range of shoe designs. Wachata Crew This underground urban hip hop and graffiti artist group puts on live shows, with guests including female rapper Tifa Flowz, and organises outreach programmes in


/ Nafasi Arts Space

‘Nafasi helps new members by putting on monthly art talks, called ‘hangouts’ where they can present their work’

Artist and teacher - Masoud Kibwana surrounded by his work in his studio

Work by former artist in residence Jean Katambayi Mukendi

It’s no surprise, then, that artists are reluctant to leave the inspirational Nafasi Arts Space. Those who joined in the early years of the centre were given unlimited tenure and all are still here. Given that the number of members on site is growing all the time and Nafasi’s mission is to support up-and-coming talent, new artists are now given a threeyear-contract, which means there should always be space for newcomers to pursue their artistic dream.

Agnes - Senga Tupper in the Nafasi office

Search for permanent home each month. They get the chance to provide a quick – ‘chap chap’ means ‘hurry, hurry’ in Swahili - introduction to a specific technique, such as mural painting or sculpture, to the often hundreds of people who turn up.

Exhibitions Agnes, who outside of Nafasi guides a group of disabled artists at the nearby Chuma Art Workshop brand their social enterprise, say such connections and exchanges with their peers are key to helping new artists professionalise their practice and present their work to the public. The bank of expertise new members can draw on here is impressively broad. Nafasi has been running an artists-in-residence

the surrounding community. The four-strong team – Mejah Mbuya, Mwila Khamsini, Kalasinga as the distribution officer and ‘Meddy’ Ahmed Mohamed – have also worked on commissions for organisations such as Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation and Vodacom. Masoud Kibwana Masoud was mentored by influential Tanzanian painter Max Kamundi

programme since 2011 with international artists joining the community for three to eight weeks to work, train others and exchange ideas. Agnes takes me into Nafasi’s main exhibition space, a cavernous warehouse that has been the venue for prestigious exhibitions, including the East Africa Art Biennale, and also hosts screenings of classic African films and new work from local film-makers. It currently houses the fragile and complex work produced by Congolese artist Jean Katambayi Mukendi during his stay. Agnes says Mukendi, a trained electrician and mathematics obsessive, was an inspirational presence during his time at Nafasi, not only producing a fascinating body of work, but also collaborating with artists on site.

during his studies at the Dar Youth Art (DYA) Vocational Training Centre. His paintings on canvas capture the beauty, culture and traditions of the East African people. They weave figurative work with intricate tribal patterns that can still be seen tattooed into the faces of the Makonde people. Masoud has a

The old shipping containers may have been purchased for their mobility as Nafasi’s time on its rented land was never guaranteed, but last year saw the arts space mark its 10th anniversary in Mikocheni B. Guest of honour at the celebrations was Harrison Mwakyembe, then minister of information, culture, arts and sports, who spoke of efforts to find a permanent home for Nafasi Arts Space. It would secure a bright future for groundbreaking contemporary art in Tanzania. Watch this space. For news of upcoming events at Nafasi, details on how to be one of the acts at the next ‘Wikiendi Live!’, in June, and how to donate as one of the Friends of Nafasi, visit the website at nafasiartspace.org

studio within the main exhibition space at Nafasi where he creates his own work and teaches others. Mwandale ‘Big Mama’ Mwanyekwa As a sculptor working with various media such as wood, stone, bronze, clay and cement casting, Mwandale, who has been working as an artist since 1999, aims to sustain the history of the female sculptors of

the Makonde tribe. Mwandale can trace back the sculpting tradition over five generations of her family. She has always been told she resembles her mother in looks, so emphasises this connection by modelling many versions of her own head and shoulders in her works. The sleek, tactile results take the traditional sculptural style of the Makonde and incorporate a contemporary approach.

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 37


First time in Bangkok

A beginner’s guide to Bangkok

ENJOY A SLICE OF THE BIG MANGO Bangkok is a city steeped in history, culture and mystique, but with all the trappings of a modern-day metropolis. Even so, any big city can be a daunting place for a new arrival, so former Bangkok resident Oliver Fennell offers advice on enjoying a hassle-free first visit to the Big Mango.

Getting into town

The cheapest way to get downtown is on the Airport Rail Link, but if you have heavy luggage and are not staying near one of its stations, you might prefer a taxi. This is still very affordable, with fares to the city centre around 300 to 500 bahts (US$ 10 to 16). On arrival, head for the ground floor, following the Public Taxi signs. Ignore the ‘limousine’ desks and certainly avoid any unsolicited touts. Tell the driver your destination and he will turn on the meter. You pay the total, plus any tolls, and a 50 baht airport surcharge upon arrival. But make sure you have cash. Money exchange

Thailand is a mostly cash-based society. Luckily, you’re never far from an ATM, although they charge an exorbitant 200 bahts for foreign bank withdrawals. A better bet is to bring major currencies with you. Don’t change to baht at home, as the money exchanges here will give you a much better rate than in most other countries – even at the airport. Insider tip: The Vasu and Super Rich money exchange chains are typically

38 /

Twiga

the most generous and have several branches downtown. Getting around

You may be tempted to go everywhere in the comfort of a taxi, given how relatively cheap they are, but the skytrain (BTS) network covers most of the downtown and offers bird’s-eye views of the city. This is preferable in most cases, especially in the rush hour when road traffic grinds to a halt. The subway (MRT) is also a good bet. It is clean, fast, efficient and cheap. Buses are by far the cheapest option, but they’re dirty, uncomfortable and offer no English information or English-speaking staff. Insider tip: Avoid tuk-tuks unless you simply want to try Bangkok’s most iconic form of transport. They are twice the price of taxis, twice as dangerous and twice as uncomfortable!

Iconic, but pricey and dicey - tuk-tuks

Catch an honest taxi

Bangkok taxis are notorious for refusing to use meters and instead quoting bumped-up prices, but finding an honest driver is easy – when you know how. Don’t catch one right outside a

Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn


/ First time in Bangkok

artapartment / Shutterstock.com

David Bokuchava / Shutterstock.com

‘Land of Smiles’

major tourist site or hotel. Walk for a few minutes or head down a side street and find one there. And always flag down a moving taxi rather than a parked one, which invariably is lying in wait for naïve tourists. Taxis with a red light in the corner of the windscreen are available for hire. A little research on how to pronounce your destination correctly will make it less obvious you are a new arrival. There are some 60,000 taxis in Bangkok. If a driver refuses to use his meter, just send him on his way. You’ll rarely wait more than a few seconds for another. Insider tip: Motorbike taxis are not

for the faint-hearted, but they’re the quickest and cheapest option for short hops. Drivers typically don’t speak English, but they will give you an honest price. Look for groups of guys in orange vests near street corners and train stations. Shopping

Haggling is typical at markets, street stalls and some independent shops. Expect the vendor to quote an exaggerated price. You should counter with something below half that, then you’ll go back and forth a few times before settling on a mutually agreed price. This is supposed to be light-hearted and you’re not obliged

to buy. They may try to guilt-trip you over how cheap you’re getting an item, but they simply won’t sell anything for less than a profit, so don’t feel bad. Insider tip: Bargaining is fun for some and a hassle for others. If you can’t be bothered with it, browse the bigname supermarkets such as Tesco Lotus, Big C and Tops. Many branches sell clothes and touristy souvenirs, all at a fixed and displayed price. Etiquette

Thailand’s nickname is ‘The Land of Smiles’ and its people embody the phrase ‘mai ben rai’ (‘no worries’). Raising your voice or arguing in public is frowned on. Most important of all, do not under any circumstances criticise or mock the royal family. Not only is this likely to offend Thai people, it is also literally a criminal offence, with penalties including prison.

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 39


Freddie Mercury

Hit film stokes Mercury mania in Zanzibar You wouldn’t know it from watching ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, but Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar and the island has much to offer fans on a pilgrimage to their hero’s home town.

‘B

ohemian Rhapsody’, the foot-stomping big screen celebration of the career of British rock band Queen and its flamboyant frontman, Freddie Mercury, has become the highest-grossing biopic of all time, taking more than US$ 800 million at the box office. While the film explores the inspiration behind many of the band’s greatest hits, such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are The Champions’, its focus is the tragically short life of lead singer Mercury, played by American actor Rami Malek, who was awarded a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his performance. However, there is one important element of Mercury’s life story that is barely mentioned in the film – that he was born in Zanzibar and spent much of his early years living in the island’s Shangani district of Stone Town.

Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar’s Government Hospital on 5 September 1946. He was such a beautiful baby that a picture of him when he was one year old won the photo of the year contest in Shangani. His parents were Parsis, followers of

40 /

Twiga

Image: Alex Bailey

Zoroastrianism – one of the first monotheist religions, but which now has less than 190,000 followers worldwide – whose ancestors came from Persia. His father Bomi came from Bulsar in Gujarat – hence the family name – and moved to Zanzibar to work in the High Court as a cashier for the British government (the archipelago was a British protectorate at that time). He married Jer in India and brought her back to Zanzibar. Farrokh, their first born, was followed six years later by a daughter, Karishma.

Teenage years The family were relatively well off. When Farrokh was a teenager, they lived in an attractive Arab townhouse in Stone Town’s Kenyatta Road, just metres from the beach and overlooking the sea and Prison Island. As well as domestic workers, they had a nanny and the home had a piano which Farrokh, who showed musical talent from an early age, would play daily. The family also had a record player, which the music-mad Farrokh would stack with singles to play constantly. The music he listened to was mostly Indian, but some Western music was available.

Record-breaking film - Bohemian Rhapsody

The property is now known as Mercury House and its intricately carved front door, studded with brass ornaments, is flanked by two display cases of photographs of Mercury the rock star. The property is a key staging post on the island’s Freddie Mercury tours, which most hotels here organise. It is now part of the Temba Hotel Chain, so you can’t do much looking around inside, but its ground floor houses the Zanzibar Gallery Shop, with plenty of Mercury-themed souvenirs to buy, and the doorway with the Mercury House plaque above it provides a great selfie spot for fans. The notoriously private Mercury spoke very little of his time in Zanzibar, but since he moved to England and found fame with bandmates Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon, the island has been keen to promote its links to the singing star with a lucrative tourist trade growing around the name. Many fans have made the pilgrimage to Zanzibar, especially since Mercury’s death from Aids-related complications in 1991, aged just 45. They have the chance to pay respects to their musical hero and enjoy a sun-soaked paradisal beach holiday amid the island’s white


/ Freddie Mercury

sands and sapphire sea. As well as Mercury House, the tour will take in the site of an earlier Bulsara family home in Shangani, which is now Camlur’s Restaurant. You’ll also get to visit the Zanzibar Missionary School, where the young Farrokh began his education under the tutelage of Anglican nuns. He was there until the age of eight, when his parents sent him to St Peter’s Church of England. The prestigious boarding school in India had a record of strong academic achievement, but Farrokh’s growing interest in music – it was here he started his first band, The Hectics, at the age of 12 – soon led to a decline in his grades. Ultimately, Farrokh made the decision to complete his studies at the Roman Catholic St Joseph’s Convent School in Zanzibar, another stop on the Freddie Mercury tours. The tour also takes in the Agiary, or fire temple, just outside Stone Town, where Farrokh’s parents, both devout Zoroastrians, attended. It was here that Farrokh was ceremoniously accepted into the faith and where he would accompany his parents for religious festivities and parties. Here Farrokh would often sing, something he and the congregation loved. “He used to feel so proud to make everyone happy, even at that age,” his mother recalled.

Zoroastrian faith The Agiary is no longer in use as a temple. Zanzibar was once home to a large community of Parsi but most, including the Bulsaras, left after the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, although not under forcible pressure, and now there are only two recorded to live on the island. Where once the temple grounds were full of beautiful roses in bloom, the gardens are now unattended and the building is dilapidated. Still, a visit is worthwhile for Mercury aficionados. Though he spoke little of it in public, Mercury’s Zoroastrian upbringing and his Persian heritage were important to him. The swashbuckling star with an outrageous dress sense once referred to himself in an interview with journalist David Wigg as a “Persian popinjay”. After his untimely death, his funeral was presided over by two Zoroastrian priests and he was cremated in accordance with

the faith. His sister Kashmira said in an interview in 2014: “I think what Freddie’s Zoroastrian faith gave him was to work hard, to persevere and to follow your dreams.” Tours are often concluded at the sea-facing Mercury’s restaurant. Although the establishment has photos of the singer on its walls, it shares no history with him and was simply named after him in tribute. Still, there are usually plenty of Queen classics playing over the sound system while you enjoy a sundowner, take in the splendid views of the Indian Ocean and share the Freddie love with like-minded fans. The success of places such as Mercury’s restaurant, the large groups of Freddie fans being guided through Stone Town’s labyrinthine streets and the stalls selling bootlegged Queen albums reveal the extent of Freddie Mercury-related commerce in Zanzibar. Now the clove and copra trade is waning, the Queen singer has become the island’s greatest export. Such success is not without its conflicts. While most Zanzibari are happy to champion the musical legacy of Freddie Mercury, his bisexuality is rarely mentioned. Mercury’s family left the UK at the time of the revolution, but Mercury would have been even less welcome in his homeland once he became a rock star and his flamboyant, hedonistic lifestyle became front page news. Islam is the predominant religion here and gay sex was made illegal in 2004 and carries a life prison sentence. There was outrage from one Muslim group in 2006 when it was rumoured gay tourists were making their way to the island for a beach party to mark Mercury’s 60th birthday.

FREDDIE MERCURY FACTS Freddie designed the famous Queen emblem himself, thanks to a degree in art and graphic design from Ealing Art College. He once owned as many as 10 cats, even dedicating an album and a song to them (‘Mr Bad Guy’). Freddie was an avid and fastidious stamp collector – a hobby he began in Zanzibar. Kurt Cobain mentioned Freddie Mercury in his suicide note, explaining how he admired and envied his ability to perform and embrace the love of his audience. Freddie had a recorded range of almost four octaves, with a majority of his singing falling in the tenor range.

On the Freddie tourist trail in Zanzibar Image: Jen Watson

The BBC’s Aboubakar Famau in Tanzania says that while some aspects of the late singer’s lifestyle are controversial in a conservative Islamic society, there is still a sense of pride in his achievements. “They are proud of him,” he said. “They sense that they have someone from the island who has touched the international level in the music industry.”

Zanzibar is in the music

Mercury House in Zanzibar’s Stone Town Image: Jana Kollarova

The pride went both ways. Although it was in London that Farrokh Bulsara became Freddie Mercury – ultimately preferred to another stage name he used, Larry Lurex – and the band Queen was formed, the influence of Zanzibar can be seen in the new life and music that made him famous across the world. Zanzibar was where he discovered music and perhaps it is not too fanciful to see the bustling, vivacious streets of Stone Town, which are a riot of colour and community, as one inspiration for the drama and flamboyant flourishes in his music. He was at home in the crowded streets and loved nothing more than to hear the Zoroastrian congregation swept up in his singing at the fire temple. This is the same man who had thousands of fans in the palm of his hand at the Live Aid concert at Wembley. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ may have chosen to forget the Zanzibar years of Freddie Mercury, but it is clear he never did. airtanzania.co.tz

/ 41


Sound and vision BY MARK EDWARDS

MUSIC ALBUM REVIEWS

FILM REVIEWS

CHAKA KHAN / Hello Happiness

Mumbai Hotel / Certificate: 15

Diary Records Soul legend Chaka Khan was reportedly hit even harder than most by the death of Prince, her friend and the writer of her 1980s comeback hit ‘I Feel For You’. Fearful her own addictions could lead her to a similarly tragic fate, she cleaned up her act and her newfound clarity is all over the joyous ‘Hello Happiness’. Her first album since 2007’s ‘Funk This’ was heralded by the irresistible funk of lead single ‘Like Sugar’. While nothing here quite matches that, the production team of former Major Lazer member Switch and songwriter Sarah Ruba pays respect to Khan’s funk and disco heydays and the 65-year-old singer is still in fine voice, especially on closer ‘Ladylike’, where she soars alongside a spare guitar riff.

Dev Patel plays a server turned saviour in Anthony Maras’s white-knuckle retelling of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The British actor is among an ensemble cast whose lives are plunged into chaos when four gunmen storm the five-star Taj Mahal Palace. Also trapped are couple Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi, who strive to rescue their baby – from which they have become separated during the attack – and Jason Isaacs’s oily Russian businessman. Maras manages to keep a tight rein on all these plot strands – there is even plenty of screen time given to the four gunmen – and delivers a gripping film, full of nail-biting moments. Performances are uniformly excellent, but Patel truly excels, bringing an understated weight to his role as a lowly member of the hotel’s staff who suddenly finds himself assigned with keeping his guests alive.

ARIANA GRANDE / Thank U, Next Republic Records

BOOK REVIEWS

Pop diva Grande can lay claim to being the biggest artist in the world right now. Each single she releases seems to smash streaming records and now she is back with a new album, just six months after the release of her last long player, ‘Sweetener’. While that album touched on universal suffering in light of the terrorist attack at the singer’s concert in Manchester in 2017, ‘Thank U, Next’ picks apart more personal problems. The title track pays tribute to ex-boyfriends she has moved on from, name-checking Mac Miller, the rapper who died in September last year, and former fiancé Pete Davison. Both men also seem to haunt the sumptuous ‘Ghostin’ in which Grande’s yearning for a lover she can’t have is set to backward-looped synths and lush strings. Other standouts include the lascivious ‘Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored’, in which an N Sync sample is artfully submerged amid the subterranean squelch of its brooding click beat, and the irresistibly joyous ‘NASA’, which takes a giant step for interplanetary puns as Grande pleads for more space in a stifling relationship.

44 /

Twiga

Green Book / Certificate: 12A Peter Farrelly – one half of the Farrelly Brothers directing duo, who pioneered the gross-out comedy film sub-genre in the late 1990s with films such as ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and ‘There’s Something About Mary’ – seems an odd choice to helm a serious, fact-based film about racial segregation in 1960s America. However, while he mines plenty of comic moments from the odd couple bristling between urbane black pianist Donald Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his coarse, casually racist white driver Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) he also provides an unflinching portrayal of the prejudices of America’s Deep South at that time. On a concert tour through the Southern states, the pair plot their course by the Green Book, a guide used by black travellers between the 1930s and 1960s to avoid problem areas and recommend safe lodging. Still, Shirley faces everyday humiliations, something Ali portrays with heartbreaking acuity. He meticulously reveals the quiet rage and disappointment of a proud, sophisticated black man at his treatment by much of white America at that time.

My Sister, The Serial Killer / Oyinkan Braithwaite

An Orchestra Of Minorities / Chigozie Obioma

Atlantic Books

Little, Brown

Ayoola is a stunningly beautiful young woman, but her romantic relationships always seem to end badly, especially for the men who fall under her spell. When yet another boyfriend is bloodily despatched in her flat, it is her plain, long-suffering sister Korede she calls to help dispose of the body. This short and sinister tale of a twisted sisterhood is the impressive debut novel by Nigerian writer Braithwaite. There’s plenty of pitch-black humour amid the homicide, but the book raises serious questions about society’s worship of beauty – Ayoola is excused for almost all her bad behaviour due to her preternatural attractiveness – and how the bonds of family can overtake our reason. Braithwaite keeps the tone deadpan throughout and, while there should be few characters to cheer for here, it is a surprisingly affecting tale.

After his Man Booker-nominated ‘The Fisherman’, Obioma shows once again he is a born storyteller with this tale of love tested to extremes; but his new work is distinguished by an ingenious method of narration. The tribulations of Nigerian chicken farmer Nonso are relayed by his chi, which in Igbo culture is the spirit that determines destiny. The chi realises he’s got a job on his hands when, in an attempt to prove his ambition to his trainee pharmacist girlfriend Ndali and her wealthy parents, Nonso ends up penniless in Cyprus after falling for a scam he thinks has secured him a place at a university on the island. Here, he must endure not only the separation from Ndali but also the prejudice of the islanders, who shout “Slave!” as he passes and mistake him for Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho. Obioma vividly captures the indignities that are heaped on his central character and, as a reader, it is impossible to tear yourself away as events tumble towards a crushing finale.


Kitamu Coffee

LEAH BRINGS PASSION TO THE FINE ART OF

COFFEE MAKING A Tanzanian entrepreneur’s vision of a café focusing on traceable farm-fresh food and coffee has proved a huge success in Arusha.

‘Mama Kitamu’ Leah Assenga

W

hen Leah Assenga’s idea of setting up a café in Arusha was taking shape, she would try recipes out on her friends. Only the best would make the final menu. Her friends were only too happy to be part of the taste test – Leah’s cake-making skills were well known and her home help, Joyce, was also a talented chef. When the glowing verdicts were returned, one word could be heard time and again: ‘kitamu’, which is Swahili for ‘delicious’. So, when the café was opened – in a prime location on Goliondoi Street, moments from the Clock Tower, the town’s centrepiece – it had to be called Kitamu Coffee; and for the customers who came in and kept coming back, the ever-smiling Leah became ‘Mama Kitamu’.

SUCCESS STORY When I drop by the café early on a weekday morning it’s already busy and will soon be packed to capacity as the lunchtime crowd swoops with queues often snaking down the street. Customers are drawn by the healthy, tasty food, all sourced from the lush fields of Arusha and the rich, fertile soil irrigated by mountain streams from Kilimanjaro. Salads and tortilla wraps are piled high with fresh avocado, carrots and

46 /

Twiga


/ Kitamu Coffee

broccoli, while smoothies are packed with field-fresh mangos, passion fruit, melon and pineapple. The coffee carries a similarly light carbon footprint, coming from Leah’s pick of the best small-scale plantations in Moshi, in the foothills of Kilimanjaro, and roasted for her. The entrepreneur deals only with plantations that are part of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and have women involved in the management. Kitamu is now rated the second-best coffee shop in Arusha and No 10 for cafés on TripAdvisor. It’s a success story which, as the taste test attests, was borne out of huge amounts of preparation and attention to detail. Grabbing a moment with Leah is not easy – every customer seems to want to catch up and share stories – but she finds time to tell me about the work that went in to creating a much-needed place in Arusha for high-quality, healthy food and drink and how she is full of plans to extend the Kitamu brand in the future. “While studying for my business degree in 2016 I sat down and figured out all the things I can do and what I know,” she says. “My previous job was as a barista for Msumbi Coffee, in

Arusha, where I learned a lot. I knew I wanted to showcase the appeal of coffee and, despite Arusha being a centre for tourism in Tanzania and surrounded by some of the best coffee plantations in the world, there were very few coffee shops here owned and managed by Tanzanians.”

Leadership programme Her vision was sharpened by 12 weeks on the Young African Leadership Programme. “Only 96 out of 2,000 applicants for the course were accepted so I was very proud to be a part of it,” she says. “It taught me so many skills and I was really motivated on my return.” With most of Leah’s savings having been used up to fund her degree, when the Goliondoi Street property became available to rent, she had to rely on a loan from a long-time American friend to pay the first bills and then get by on a combination of ingenuity and parsimony for the first few months.

Coffee, cakes and chat - Kitamu Coffee

‘There were very few coffee shops in Arusha owned and managed by Tanzanians’

While she was working for Msumbi Coffee, Leah was able to spend time at its coffee machine manufacturer in Germany, where she learned how to install and repair coffee machines. Kitamu’s first espresso machine was an old and broken one, bought cheap, which Leah was able to get working again. At first there was just Leah as barista and Joyce in the kitchen. For seating, the finances only extended to getting carpenters to build a bench the length of the shop. “People were curious when they saw we had no seats but just one long bench,” says Leah. “It was a challenge, but people soon realised the food and coffee was good so it was worth the wait.”

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 47


/ Kitamu Coffee

While money was tight in the early days of Kitamu, Leah was still exacting about the food and drink she sold. Coffee has always been her passion and she buys beans only from plantations she has visited and been assured of their quality and sustainable management. “I need to know the process the farmer is using and the size of the plant,” she says. “One or two acres is ideal. Anything larger than that is not good for the environment.”

Quality ingredients I can vouch for the quality of the Kilimanjaro Arabica coffee on sale at Kitamu. A cappuccino arrives complete with heart-shaped latte art on top created by a Leah-taught barista. The taste is intense with a sweet, berry-like, fruity flavour. Should you want to repeat the taste experience at home, bags of the beans and ground coffee are available to buy. Purely in the name of research, of course, I also tried the carrot cake, which has quite a following among Kitamu regulars. It is, like all the cakes on sale here, baked by Leah, occasionally with the help of her oneyear-old daughter, using only quality ingredients. It tastes wondrously fresh and is more sharp than sweet. Leah is cagey about the ingredients,

not wanting to give away her secret recipe, only teasing that it contains “a lot of fruit”. Also on offer today are a banana and passion fruit cake, a red velvet cake and a caramel creation. “I leave work at 9 pm and bake until 12,” says Leah. “When I wake up I decorate the cakes and bring them to the shop by 8.30 am.” The cakes and coffee soon drew in custom and Leah helped spread the word by mouthwatering images posted on the café’s Facebook site and a delivery service for desk-bound staff in the new office blocks that have sprung up in recent months in the town. The team also set up a Kitamu stall, selling coffee, juices and savoury items such as samosas made the night before, at local farmers’ markets, Soon there were funds available to spruce up the café’s interior, with the bench replaced by tables and cushioned chairs and a cosy window seat for two. The menu also grew, with Leah bowing to requests for more Swahili food. Traditional dishes such as beef makanga, kuku mnafu, beef mnafu, tilapia and the delicious-sounding njegere ya nazi (green peas cooked in coconut sauce with carrots and rice) now complement more international

Kitamu Coffee sells a range of cakes - all home baked the night before

Future plans

Kitamu Coffee is rated the second best coffee shop in Arusha on Trip Advisor

FACTS ABOUT COFFEE IN TANZANIA

5 Annual production of coffee in Tanzania is 30,000 to 40,000 tons. 5 70 per cent of produced coffee beans in Tanzania are Arabica, the rest is Robusta, known for strong bitterness and containing twice as much caffeine as Arabica. 5 Tanzania’s main coffee-growing areas are plantations around Arusha, the Kilimanjaro region, Iringa, Ruvuma and Mbeya. In western Tanzania the main coffee-growing areas are in Kigoma and Kagera, where Robusta beans are grown. 5 The majority of Tanzanian coffee is produced by small farms – almost half a million of them. 5 Coffee is harvested in Tanzania between July and December. 48 /

Twiga

fare such as burgers, tortilla wraps, burgers and toasted sandwiches. Whatever the dish, you can be assured Leah has personally chosen the ingredients – all the way to the milk used for the coffees – from farms she trusts. “When I know the product it gives me confidence, which is crucial as it’s people’s health I’m dealing with,” she says. Leah is prepared to go off-menu for regular customers who have medical conditions, such as diabetes, and have been advised to avoid certain foods. They can pre-order their food each day and it will be prepared for them.

Leah’s sensitivity to the community is evident, too, in the bags, scarves, tablecloths and aprons that adorn the walls of Kitamu. They have been made in a nearby factory run by Albino Peacemakers, which supports those living with albinism in Tanzania. All proceeds from the sale of the items goes to the artists and the organisation. In the two years it has been running, Kitamu has already become an established brand in Arusha, but Leah has plans for further expansion. Soon she hopes to be in a position to roast her own coffee and long-term goals include running her own small coffee plantation with a bed-andbreakfast on site so visitors can learn more coffee and the permaculture. It seems Kitamu Coffee is just a ‘delicious’ taste of more delights to come. For the full menu at Kitamu Coffee, visit the website at kitamuafrica.com and to keep up with the latest Kitamu-themed events, head to its Facebook site.


tastes

CANTONESE of the best CUISINE restaurants in Gu ngzhōu With its flights to Guangzhou, Air Tanzania is opening up the home of Cantonese food to its passengers. China’s third-largest city, located on the Pearl River in the southern Guangdong Province, is a treat for food obsessives and the local cuisine, known here as yue cai, is renowned for its subtly flavoured dishes made from fresh ingredients. Visitors are likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer choice of food available here, so the Twiga team has compiled eight of our favourites and there’s something here to suit all budgets.

Panxi Restaurant If you have time for only one foodie experience in Guangzhou it has to be yum cha. It translates as ‘drinking tea’, something the Guangzhou people like to do throughout the day, but especially in the morning, when they will often combine endless pots of Chinese herbal tea with a selection of dim sum (dumplings) to eat. And what a selection! Larger traditional yum cha restaurants often make as many as 100 different dishes per day. One of the largest is Panxi Restaurant. A maze of rooms set in elaborate gardens, it holds 3,000 diners served by 1,000 staff. Delicious dim sum can be found here shaped as echidnas, tiny pigs, birds and eggplants. What’s more, the menu has pictures of each dish, so it’s easy to make your choice even if your Cantonese is a little rusty. A great place for an authentic yum cha experience. Address: 151 Longjin Xi Lu, Liwan Tel: +86 20 8172 1328 Price: $$

50 /

Twiga

Bei Yuan Restaurant

Bingsheng Zen Tea House

Bei Yuan Restaurant is a garden restaurant located in northern Guangzhou on the way to the Baiyun Mountain. Amid its green and peaceful surroundings, diners can choose from an all-day menu of excellent dim sum, including red rice paper roll and prawn dumplings, and more Cantonese classics. There is also a separate dining hall serving cuisine from eastern Guangdong, which goes in for spicy sauces and some excellent goose and duck dishes.

Xiaogang Park is a great escape from the bustle of the mega city and this vegetarian restaurant is an ideal place to fortify yourself with a long lunch before a walk among the bamboo. There’s a large selection of tea (pu’er, longjing green tea and a tasty apple-and-date infusion) and a menu of traditional Chinese vegetarian food, including some very inventive mushroom dishes.

Address: 200-202 Xiao Bei Lu, Yuexiu district Price: $$

Address: 146 Qianjin Road, Haizhu Price: $$$

Yu Yue Heen Evidence of the growing culinary reputation of Guangzhou was the release last year of the first Michelin guide to the city. One of the eight restaurants in Guangzhou to be awarded one of its coveted stars was Yu Yue Heen, which overlooks the central business district from the 71st floor of the Guangzhou International Finance Centre. Chef Mai Zhi Xiong’s modern twist on Cantonese dishes may not come cheap, but his signature dishes, such as barbecued pork belly grilled to perfection with a crispy skin and tender meat, are something special. Address: 5 Zhujiang West Road, Pearl River New City, Tianhe District Price: $$$$


/ Twiga tastes

Dian Dou De The name means ‘anything is possible’ in Cantonese and you’ll find branches of this popular you cha destination scattered across Guangzhou. If you have the choice, head for the original outpost in Liwan, the city’s enchanting skyscraper-free old town. There are several branches around town, but the Liwan outpost is the original and best. In the fashion of this traditional area it is decorated with wooden benches and red lanterns hanging from the ceiling. There’s a huge range of Instagram-worthy dim sum creations such as delicious shrimp dumplings, while its desserts, especially its egg tarts, a Guangzhou traditional delicacy, are highly sought-after. Address: 587 Long Jin Zhong Lu, Liwan Price: $$

Táo Táo Jū Restaurant

B ngshèng Mansion

Gu ngzhōu Restaurant

An esteemed name in Canton’s yum cha dynasty, Táo Táo Jū packs in the over-60s, usually fresh from a morning tai chi session or brisk walk, for dim sum wheeled out on heated carts. You’d do well to follow them, as the food here is very good and very cheap. There’s no menu; you’ll be given a slip of paper that gets stamped each time you help yourself to a steamer of dim sum off the cart or a dish such as fried noodles from the kitchen kiosks. You won’t hear much English spoken here, so just point, eat and smile.

Another restaurant to be awarded a star in the inaugural 2018 Guangzhou Michelin guide, this is the upscale flagship of the esteemed Bingsheng chain, which gets creative with Cantonese classic dishes in an opulent dining space which has a number of private rooms. The small but polished selection of dim sum is usually all snapped up by early afternoon, but there’s plenty more to tempt, such as the signature char siu pork, which is marinated for 24 hours, then roasted to charred, sticky perfection.

Thought to be the oldest restaurant in Guangzhou, this is the grand master of dim sum. Steaming bamboo carts of the bite-sized deliciousness are brought around the tables for you to take your pick. It’s a popular place and if you want to grab a table by the beautiful inner garden, you’ll need to arrive by 8.30 am. Dim sum are only served at breakfast and lunch. Evenings are reserved for banquet-style Cantonese fare, including a chance to try the incredible Eight Treasures Chinese Winter Melon soup. The melon is carved then boiled and dipped in cold water to maintain its shape as a bowl for the soup, which can contain ham, turkey, crab, oyster, frog, chicken stock and some pulp from the melon.

Address: 20 Dishifu Lu Price: $

Address: 5th floor, 2 Xiancun Lu, Zhūjiāng New Town Price: $$$$

Address: 2 Wenchang Nanlu Price: $$

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 51


Tanzanite founder

Tributes to hero who discovered

TANZAN In January this year the sad news of the death of Mzee Jumanne Ngoma, the man who discovered the precious gemstone tanzanite, was announced. Twiga pays tribute to the Maasai herdsman, who had to battle most of his adult life to prove his claim to have been the first to find the colour-transmuting gemstones in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1967, as well as exploring many other facets of Tanzania’s rare jewel.

Mining for tanzanite Image: The Tanzanite Experience

Discovery

I

n 1967 Maasai tribesman Mzee Jumanne Ngoma stumbled across a cluster of intense blue-violet crystals in the Mererani Hills of the Manyara Region in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. At first sight they appeared to be sapphires, but when the 28-year-old Ngoma took them to a government office for a certificate of identification, it was revealed that the stones were a never-before-seen variation of zoisite. More finds were recorded, which piqued the interest of Tiffany & Co, the American luxury jewellers. Concerned that “blue zoisite” sounded too much like “blue suicide”, Tiffany rebranded it as “tanzanite” to honour its country of origin. The marketing campaign turned the stone into one of the world’s more sought-after gems.

52 /

Twiga

Despite the network of mines under the place where Mr Ngona first made his scavenger discovery on the surface, and despite the huge commercial success of tanzanite, the Same District resident was not reimbursed for his inspirational find. In fact, even his status as the first person to discover the gem was contested, with rival claims from another Maasai tribesman, Ali Juu Ya Watu, and the Goa-born Manuel de Souza, a local prospector and part-time tailor. It was not until 1984 that the founding father of the nation, Julius Nyerere, issued a certificate recognising Mr Ngoma’s role. Financial recompense had to wait until last year, when President John Magufuli presented Mr Ngoma, by then in poor health and with little in the way of income, with TZS 100 million (about US$ 44,000) from the Tanzanian government in recognition of his discovery of the gemstone. The president announced the reward during the unveiling of a 24.5 km wall, which encircles the Mirerani mining site to prevent tanzanite thieves. Smuggling is not the only way in which the lucrative proceeds of tanzanite mining escape Tanzania. It is estimated that only five per cent of the global trade in tanzanite benefits the country directly, with the remaining 95 per cent being pocketed by wealthy mining corporations.

In his speech, Dr Magufuli said that, just as he wanted to distribute mining revenue to the Tanzanian people, he wanted to acknowledge citizen pioneers such as Mr Ngona. “What did [Mr Ngona] get after discovering tanzanite about 50 years ago?” he asked. “Nothing. Nothing at all. In fact, it is people from other countries who have benefited more from this unique gemstone. We must stop this wrong habit of neglecting people who do great things for this country. Mr Ngoma is a veritable Tanzanian hero.”

A rare gem Since an area of 14 sq km in the foothills of Kilimanjaro is the only place on earth to find tanzanite, gemologists believe the gem is around 1,000 times rarer than diamonds. When it was first discovered, you could easily find tanzanite on the surface, but some of the mining tunnels now extend hundreds of metres underground. It’s estimated that tanzanite reserves will allow for another 20 years of mining – it has been called “the gemstone of the generation” – so a tanzanite is a rare gem that is getting rarer. If you’re lucky enough to own some, you have an excellent investment.

Chameleon properties Tanzanite can appear alternately blue, violet and burgundy depending on the


/ Tanzanite founder

ITE lighting conditions, a quality called trichroism. The blues appear more evident when subjected to fluorescent light and the violet hues are readily viewed under incandescent illumination. In its rough state tanzanite is a reddish-brown colour and it requires heat treatment to reveal the blue violet of the stone. The process of cutting plays a crucial role in bringing out the true colours of the gemstone; and due to its ability to show either blue or violet from different angles, the cutting direction determines the gem’s overall face-up colour.

Legend and myth Predating Mzee Ngoma’s discovery of tanzanite are origin stories that draw on Maasai folklore. It is said that the local Maasai saw a bolt of lightning strike the rocks, turning them to a shimmering blue. According to Maasai lore, tanzanite is a spiritual stone that inspires compassion and calmness. It is also believed that tanzanite has healing properties and wearing it can make you feel more confident. It also thought to bring states of profound awareness during meditation.

Famous fans Tanzanite has become popular with modern stars of the big screen. Cate Blanchett wore an enormous tanzanite necklace to the 2012 Cannes Film

Festival, Penelope Cruz’s engagement ring has a central tanzanite stone and Anne Hathaway wore tanzanite earrings to go with her blue Armani gown at the 2011 Oscars.

Birthstone and anniversaries Tanzanite is the birthstone for December and is also the gemstone gifted on 24th wedding anniversaries.

The tanzanite ‘brick’ Weighing a staggering 16,839 carats (over 3.2 kilograms) the world’s largest piece of tanzanite was mined in 2005. It was discovered almost 300 metres underground in Tanzania’s Manyara region. This tanzanite “brick” measured 220 by 80 by 70 mm and was named Mawenzi, after Mount Kilimanjaro’s second-highest peak.

Buying guide Whenever you buy tanzanite you should consult the Tanzanite Quality Scale. In a similar way to diamonds, tanzanite is graded according to the four Cs: colour, clarity, cut and carat weight. The higher the combination of these characteristics, the rarer and more valuable the stone. It’s also worth looking for a certificate of authenticity, which will guarantee the stone was mined in an ethical and legal manner. The Tanzanite Experience is a certified dealer. It has branches across Tanzania, but its flagship store, in Blue Plaza, in Arusha’s India Street, is an experience in itself, with a museum offering a guided tour and giving an insight into the mining and cutting process. For details, visit www.tanzaniteexperience.com

Actress Cate Blanchett at Cannes Fim Festival Image: Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com

Tanzanite style tips Very light violet-blue tanzanite goes with virtually any outfit. Bigger tanzanites with a more intense blue colour can be combined with a range of colours such as light and dark pinks, pale yellows and greens as well as black, white and grey. Kenyan fashion designer Anyango Mpingo (anyangompinga.com) has a flowing aquamarine sleeveless dress in her Literary Disenthrallment collection ideal for setting off tanzanite jewellery.

A tanzanite friendly dress by Anyango Mpinga Image: Anyango Mpinga

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 53


Culture coming up Agnes-Senga Tupper, marketing and business development manager at Nafasi Art Space, rounds up the latest events in arts, music and film.

ART AND FASHION Artisans Market / 11 May, 10 am to 5 pm at Oyster Bay Shopping Centre, All of Tanzania’s most authentic, unique and locally made artistic products, fashion, furniture, gifts, decor, food and crafts.

I Am Makeke / 4 May, 3 pm to late / Nafasi Art Space African fashion pieces showcased through acts, dance and narratives paired with a ‘make your own’ workshop.

EXHIBITIONS AND FILM

New Dimensions – Virtual Reality Africa / until 10 May at Alliance Françoise A well-curated selection of virtual reality productions from Kenya, Senegal and Ghana.

Kresiah Mukwazi (Zim) Exhibition / until 2 May at Nafasi Art Space Art that provokes some difficult conversations on feminism and sexuality.

Film nights by Tanzania Film Lab / on 9 April, 14 May and 11 June, 7 pm to 10 pm. Experience Tanzania’s award-winning films, plus a chance to talk actors, directors and crew.

LIVE MUSIC AND MORE Slow Sessions / on Thursdays, 6 pm to late. at The Slow Leopard, Masaki – Jazz music and a free cocktail.

Marafiki Night Live / 3 May, 7 June, 7 pm to late at The Slow Leopard, Masaki A night set out for all to bring friends, dance and make new friends.

Lyricist Lounge, (tbc) / May 2019, 6 pm to late Makuti Bar, Oyster Bay Uplifting young talent. Hip-hop, poetry and contemporary music in Tanzania.

Wikiendi Live / 29 June, 3 pm to late at Nafasi Art Space, Mikocheni Workshops, exhibitions, drinks, food, live music and dancing all night.

54 /

Twiga

Yoga in-flight In the first of a regular series, Zanzibar yoga instructor Marisa van Vuuren suggests some simple exercises you can do in your flight seat to ensure you have a relaxing journey and disembark the aircraft with a spring in your step. Alternate nostril breathing – Tuck the index and middle fingers of your right hand into the palm. Close your right nostril with the thumb and inhale through the left nostril for four counts. Close the left nostril with the ring finger; exhale through the right nostril for eight counts. Inhale through the right nostril for four counts; exhale through the left nostril for eight counts. This is one round. Repeat five rounds. Half circle neck rolls – Draw the right ear towards the right shoulder, slowly circle the head forward and down and draw the left ear towards the left shoulder. Repeat six times while breathing slowly and deeply. Shoulder stretch – Sit with a straight back. Bring the right elbow over the left and the palms towards each other. Draw the elbows up and the shoulders down, feeling the stretch between the shoulder blades. Breathe deeply for eight counts. Repeat on other side. Spinal flex – Sit with a straight back, drawing the lower belly softly in and the shoulders back, chin parallel to the ground, hands on thighs. As you inhale, push the chest forward and up, shoulders back. As you exhale, flex the spine back, keeping the shoulders relaxed and the head straight. Repeat five to eight times. Legs, ankles and feet – Draw the right knee into the chest, sitting with a straight spine. Rotate the ankle eight times clockwise and eight times anti-clockwise. Point the foot, then flex the toes back, spreading the toes wide. Flex the foot, pushing the heel forward and the toes back. Repeat five times. Give your leg a self-massage and repeat the other side. Relaxation – Crossing the ankles and with the palms facing down crossing the wrists, draw the palms together interlacing the fingers, resting your hands in your lap. Sitting with a straight back, close your eyes and relax. This position balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain and brings overall calm and balance in the body and mind. For more information on Marisa’s work, which includes yoga retreats, yoga teacher training, scuba diving and tango dancing, visit www.yogazanzibar.com


Pili film director

Award-winning film

EXPLORES TRIALS OF WOMEN LIVING WITH HIV IN TANZANIA W

hile TV director Leanne Welham was working in Africa as a freelance film-maker for charities, she was approached by Dr Sophie Harman, a professor at London’s Queen Mary University, about making a documentary on women living with HIV in Tanzania. Welham decided the film would work better as a feature drama and travelled to the rural village of Miono, in the north-east of the country, to interview 85 women about their lives, turning their stories into a screenplay with Harman. The resulting film, ‘Pili’, was filmed on a shoestring budget in spring 2016 with a cast of non-actors, many of them HIV-positive. The title character lives in Miono and struggles to provide for her two children and manage her HIV-positive status in secret. When she is offered the chance to rent a sought-after market stall, Pili sees a solution. But with only two days to get the deposit together, she is forced to make increasingly difficult decisions with ever-deepening consequences. Released last year, this compassionate, moving and bold Swahililanguage film garnered immediate critical acclaim, picking up the Audience Award at the Dinard Festival

56 /

Twiga

of British Cinema, in France, and both Welham and Harman were nominated for a Bafta award in the ‘Outstanding Debut’ category. Tanzania has made huge progress in tackling the HIV epidemic over the last decade, with an extensive roll-out of free antiretroviral treatment, but 1.5 million Tanzanians still live with the disease.

Critical acclaim In shining a spotlight on the challenges faced by Tanzanian women with HIV – 5.8 per cent of women aged over 15 are infected with HIV compared with 3.6 per cent of men – the film shows there is still much to be done and a stigma around the disease still exists. Twiga talks to Leanne Welham about the filming of ‘Pili’, working with the predominantly non-actor cast and the critical acclaim for her feature film directing debut.

‘The women of Miono are the recipients of almost all of the profits from the film’

Q. What did you learn about the severity of the situation from your time in Miono? A. The situation for someone living with HIV in a community like Miono is much better now than it was ten years ago. There have been great improvements in education and awareness of the disease, and even in rural, isolated villages there is a much greater understanding of what it means to live with the disease and how it is transmitted. Because of this, stigmatisation from other members of the community is now a rarer occurrence, however we learned there are still many people, like our character Pili, struggling with self-stigmatisation; who try to hide their status for fear of being unaccepted.    Q. I believe it was your idea that ‘Pili’ would work better as a feature drama rather than a documentary. What was your thinking behind this? A. The reason was twofold. One was that we wanted to protect the women who starred in the film from any potential stigma. If they are playing a role, then they are separated from the circumstances of their character and they are not implicated in any of the issues or situations we were exploring in the film. Secondly, we decided that drama would be a much more interesting and innovative way to explore the women’s experiences, as opposed to sitting them down in front of a camera and being interviewed. Q. How receptive were the residents of Miono to having their stories told? A. We spent four weeks in Miono during prep and spent five weeks shooting. It would not have been


/ Pili film director

possible to make the film without the full collaboration and support of the communities where the film was made. The women were closely involved in the development of the film, helping us to shape the story and helping us to cast within the community. Cecilia, one of our cast members, told us: “Pili is everywhere” and that is why she wanted to be involved. Q. Was it always your decision to use a cast that, with one exception, had no acting experience? What do you believe this adds to the finisherd film? A. Yes, it was always our aim to cast the film with real women from the communities rather than actors playing them. We didn’t specifically seek out people living with HIV to star in the film. We cast who we thought was right for each role and their health status was not a factor. Those cast members living with HIV were able to draw on their own experiences, which certainly added to the authenticity of the film and to the power of their performances, though it’s fair to say that every woman in the film, HIV-positive or not, had a deep understanding of the issues affecting our character, Pili.

Q. What was it about Bello Rashid that convinced you she should play Pili in the film? A. Bello has a quiet intensity about her that is very compelling. I could tell from the very first moments of our auditions that she was extremely intelligent and took direction very well. She also has a very powerful gaze.  Q. While the film focuses on health and financial struggles, there is much beauty in the film. Some of the shots of rural Miono are stunning. Was that intentional and were you taken by the beauty of the area on your arrival? A. Yes I was. Miono is surrounded by beautiful landscape and it was always my aim to capture this in the film. My cinematographer, Craig Dean Devine, did a fantastic job in framing the landscape and bringing out the intense colours of Miono. Though the film does explore difficult issues, it was always my aim to make the film feel authentic and real, capturing both the dark and the joyful and lighter moments of everyday life. Q. I believe you held a screening of the film in Miono. How did residents respond to seeing themselves up

on the big screen? A. We showed the film on a big screen in the local school field and the response was amazing. Over 500 people showed up! There were big shouts and laughs from the crowd when they saw a familiar face. Q. Screenings of the film have been organised by the United States Embassy in Dar. Are you aware of more screenings coming up in Tanzania? A. We are hoping to take the film on a road show across Tanzania and in other parts of East Africa. Check our Facebook [www.facebook.com/ PiliFilm] page for updates.

Director of Pili Leanne Welham

Q. What has been your reaction to receiving such critical acclaim and a string of awards for what is your debut feature film? A. I’m delighted. We are also happy that the film will reach more audiences. The women of Miono are the recipients of almost all of the profits from the film, so we hope that the awards will help to generate more DVD and online sales. The film can be purchased on DVD from Amazon and is available to screen online on YouTube and Google Play.

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 57


Wheels car review

Choosing a pick-up truck

HOW MEAN IS YOUR DREAM MACHINE? D

id you know that the best-selling vehicle in the United States is a pick-up truck – and not just last year but every single year for almost 40 years? This best-seller is Ford’s F-150. The F-150 may not be on sale in East Africa any time soon – or ever – but it should signal to East African buyers that others see very real advantages in owning and running a utility vehicle. Yet sales of pick-up trucks in our region remain modest. In essence, pick-ups come in three guises: single cab, king cab and double cab. Single cabs are purely commercial; king cabs offer a little more cabin space but only two doors; and double cabs come with four

58 /

Twiga

doors and, in many cases, are stacked with luxury options usually found in a prestige SUV.

As a general rule, double cab pick-ups come with a switchable four-wheel-drive system that you can put in 2WD mode to improve fuel consumption or 4WD when the going gets tough, out in the bush. In addition, low-range 4x4 gears are offered as well as assorted diff. locks to improve off-road grip.

Tax advantages In many countries, there are clear tax advantages in driving a double cab, especially if it has a payload in excess of 1 tonne. On the one hand, the revenue authorities treat double cabs as commercial vehicles, so tax is low; yet they are, for the most part, family-friendly off-roaders with lots of space, both inside and out. Sadly, there appear to be no discernible tax breaks in either Tanzania or Kenya for running around in a new or used double cab. And this may explain the low level of sales.

Customisation

Off-road grip

Perhaps more than with any other type of vehicle, customisation is a key part of owning a pick-up and many buyers are tempted to spend big on a range of useful (or not so useful) accessories to pimp their vehicle. The open area of a pick-up can be vulnerable, so the first add-on, for


Image: Daimler AG

/ Wheels car review

those who can afford it, is often a locking and classy-looking aluminium tonneau cover. These can cost north of US$ 1,500. Less secure soft-folding tonneaus are a cheaper option. Alternatively, a colour-matched hard-top canopy will give you still more security but is going to set you back even more money. A bedliner to prevent damage and scratches to the paintwork is another worthwhile extra and. Roll bars, too, add a certain macho something to any pick-up, but are a tad showy. Broadly speaking, the 4x4 double cab market in East Africa is confined to a handful of models: Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200 Warrior, Mercedes X-Class, Isuzu D-Max, VW

Strong East African following Naturally, the Toyota Hilux has a strong following in East Africa and buyers can always rely on Toyota’s robust residuals and easy access to spares. The Hilux is a fine vehicle and matches the Navara in almost every department. With all the other double cabs, at least in East Africa, it makes more sense to buy a used pick-up rather than rush out and buy a new one. If I had to choose, I would go for the Nissan Navara. It’s an easy decision. As well as being terrific value for money, the Navara has wholesome, rugged

Image: Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock.com

Christianto / Shutterstock.com

Amarok and Ford’s Thai-built Ranger. But which to choose? Sitting at the top of the market in terms of price and prestige is the Mercedes X-Class. Despite its high tag, however, the imposing X-Class is just a Nissan Navara under the skin and, in my view, is not actually any better than its Japanese cousin. In fact, I’d say the Navara is superior in almost every respect.

‘With all the other double cabs, at least in East Africa, it makes sense to buy a used pick-up’ looks and a smart cabin layout and it’s well equipped and economical. Only Toyota’s resale values would make me change my mind. And out of the whole Navara range it has to be the N-Guard version with its black 18-inch alloys and pretty much blacked-out everything else. It may not be an F-150, but this is one mean-looking machine.

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 59


Wheels bikes

MASTERING THE MOUNTAIN BIKE

O

n the weekend of 12 and 13 April the continent’s best mountain bikers will be gathering at a testing cross-country course in Windhoek, Namibia, to compete in the UCI African Continental Mountain Bike Championships. For those inspired by these masters of the mountain bike, here are some valuable tips to moving well on two wheels.

MAINTAIN YOUR BIKE Grinding gears and screeching brakes will make it difficult to focus on the trail. Basic bike maintenance doesn’t take long and it can save you having to dismount and walk – or, worse, a trip to the emergency room. 

LEARN FROM EXPERIENCED RIDERS Valuable skills can be picked up if you ride with experienced cyclists who push you to improve. Watch how they position their bodies for downhill or uphill stretches or approaching rough, rocky sections. Check with local bike shops to find group rides in your area.

trail smoother. To try it, start with one pedal up and one down and pull up on the handlebars while shifting your weight over the back wheel and pushing down on the ‘up’ pedal. Keep your hand ready to pull the rear brake if you’re going too far back.

BRAKE BETTER Learn to use both brakes effectively and in moderation. Most of your braking power comes from the front brake, but feather it if you’re going downhill or cornering or you could go flying.

EXPLORE Once you’ve mastered all your nearby trails, start looking further afield for your next cross-country adventure. 

PUT IN THE SADDLE TIME Don’t miss a chance to practise, even if it’s a short road ride to the shops. Potholes, curbs and steps are all obstacles to prepare you for cross-country adventures.

Top gear - it’s crucial to ensure your bike is well maintained

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE COURSE If you stare at obstacles such as rocks, potholes or tree roots, the chances are you’ll ride straight into them. Keep your eyes on the course and the line you want to take.

STAY RELAXED Relaxed arms and legs act as suspension, helping to cushion you against bumps and bounces along the trail. Ease your grip on the handlebars, too, otherwise your forearms and hands will soon tire and your control of the bike will suffer. 

DEVELOP A GOOD SPINNING CADENCE Aim to keep a circular pedalling rhythm of 70 to 100 rpm whatever the terrain and incline. Ensuring you are in the right gear should make this achievable.

LEARN TO WHEELIE Pulling a little wheelie to get your front wheel up and over an object will make some sections of

airtanzania.co.tz / 61


Tanya Nefertari All images: Tanya Mushayi

‘My clothes are for people who want to stand out in a world filled with fashion clones’

Air Tanzania has just added Harare to its network of destinations. It’s a chic city and Tanya Mushayi, the fashion designer behind the Tanya Nefertari brand, is one of the leading lights of the Zim capital’s style-savvy creative community. Here, Tanya tells Twiga about following her own singular vision and gives us a glimpse of her new collection.

62 /

Twiga


/ Tanya Nefertari

T

anya Mushayi says she hates fashion. This may seem odd coming from someone whose super-stylish clothes with their signature brown, orange and green hues and textured fabrics have proved an internet success and have been snapped up by Harare cool kids such as rapper Tehn Diamond; but if fashion means following trends, the designer wants no part of it. Tanya’s clothes are for those who want to stand out, not be one of the crowd. “I was a bit of a fashion rebel growing up. I loved art more than fashion,” says Tanya. “Even to this day I wouldn’t say I love fashion now I’m within it. I just feel it puts me in a box. I’m passionate about everything about design in general.” Tanya’s all-encompassing eye is evident in her fashion line, Tanya Nefertari, where you’ll find colourful and vibrant African patterns mixed with Art Deco touches. Her love of Art Deco, and its fusion of inspiration between artists, painters and designers, was born in the museums and art galleries of Manchester, in the UK, where Tanya lived with her mother from the age of 11. Spare time was spent soaking up the exhibits and soon the young Tanya was seeing herself as a work of art and customising the clothes she wore to personalise her look.

Making an art statement “I didn’t like to follow fashion trends when I picked out my clothing, but I loved the fact I could make an art statement with what I wore” she says. “I used to do abstract pieces – repeat a pattern, or take sections of a picture and then repeat it and then put it onto

‘I’m super small-scale. I produce roughly 10 of each item because fabric is scarce in Zim, so I have to keep changing the prints’ shoes and jackets.” Tanya was a walking advertisement for her designs and would also share her latest creations on her blog. As she honed her talent after high school with a diploma in art and design at college and winning a place at Huddersfield University to study surface design in interiors and fashion, her work began to get noticed. Eager to take her designs to the next level, Tanya cut short her degree and returned to her birthplace, Harare, to start her own business. Her love of design was soon piqued by the brightly coloured kitenge fabrics she would see women in the capital wearing wrapped around their chests or waists. “The prints were gorgeous,” she says. “I thought to myself, I wouldn’t mind a dress using one of those fabrics. The first piece I made was a wrap dress and I posted the image on Twitter and my blog. Several people started requesting for me to make them one, too, and I guess I had a ‘light bulb’ moment and identified a gap in the market. The rest is history.” Tanya began to build her brand through social media, with new designs posted on her Twitter and Facebook pages and on her Tumblr blog. She gave it a name, Tanya Nefertari, which combines the shortened version of the designer’s Shona name, Tanyaradzwa, and the name of the first of the great royal wives, Ramesses, which means

Name: Tanya Mushayi Born: Harare, Zimbabwe Brand: Tanya Nefertari Influenced by: Kitenge fabrics, art deco Signature look: Retro Afrocentrism. A modern take on unisex clothing Online: www.instagram.com/tanyanefertari

‘beautiful companion’. As the name suggests, Tanya’s clothes are sure to be a cherished part of anyone’s wardrobe – something you’ll always want to have near you when you go out. Recently, she has been focusing on jackets that can be worn by men or women and the new mum has also introduced a baby line, Tanya Nefertari Tots, which includes some very cute jackets. Searching her site, you’ll also find flowing Bohemian mini dresses, Palermo gowns dresses, bomber jackets, parkas and shawls all handmade by Tanya from carefully chosen, striking fabrics.

Zimbabwean prints Whatever you buy from Tanya Nefertari will be a limited edition. “I design the shape of the clothes, cut them and sew them,” says Tanya. “I’m super-small-scale. I produce roughly 10 of each item because fabric is scarce in Zim, so I have to keep changing the prints, which I buy ready-made from a fabric shop or from markets and street sellers. I always try to use Zimbabwean prints by David Whitehead and Kingfisher as an identifier of my brand. Soon I’ll be printing my own prints on fabric.” Despite these challenges, Tanya has built a thriving business. The brand has now gone global, with designs available to purchase from anywhere in the world through online marketplace Etsy.com As someone who has always explored wider artistic interests, Tanya has enjoyed the collaborative opportunities of being part of the creative community in Harare. “I see myself as one of the creatives in Harare making a slow but sure impact on the fashion scene despite the challenges faced in running a business,” she says. “Harare as a city has so much to offer and the trick is to keep at it despite the resource-limiting environment we are facing.” airtanzania.co.tz

/ 63


Comoros Islands

MOON LANDING –

TOUCHDOWN ON COMOROS ISLANDS T

he Union of the Comoros, a cluster of volcanic islands near Madagascar and Mozambique, is named after the Arabic word for ‘moon’, quamar. Visitors will certainly experience a lunar remoteness here, often finding themselves alone in enjoying the islands’ dreamy beaches, large lagoons, fragrant jungle, majestic coral reefs and its crystal-clear, humpback whale-attracting waters. It’s the perfect place for those who want to disappear for a while – last year there were only 23,000 visitors. Air Tanzania is one of the few airlines to serve the islands, with twiceweekly flights from Dar es Salaam to Ngazidja (Grande Comore). Don’t miss out on your chance to access this unspoilt haven.

History An important trading post for Arab, Persian, African and European traders from the 15th century onwards, the islands were annexed by France in the 19th century. To most outsiders the four islands are still known by the names given to them during 90 years of French rule – Grand Comore, Mohéli, Anjouan and Mayotte – but

64 /

Twiga

all apart from Mayotte, which has remained French, obtained independence in 1975 and are now also known by their Swahili names: Ngazidja, Mwali and Nzwani. Self-rule has not run smoothly, with a coup breaking out every 22 months on average – one of the main reasons why visitors have been scarce – earning the islands the nickname ‘Cloud Coup Coup Land’. Things have settled down in recent years, though, with democratic elections since 2011, and now Comoros has a generally relaxed culture and the people practise a moderate form of Islam.

Ngazidja (Grande Comore) Air Tanzania flies to Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport on Ngazidja, the largest and most visitor-friendly island in the Comoros. Attractions include the capital, Moroni, with its lively market and port. Take time to explore the winding streets of its medina (old town) and the Grand Mosque du Vendredi of Moroni, built in 1427. To find an even older mosque – built overnight without human intervention, according to legend – head for the coastal town of Bagwa Kouni. Here, you’ll also

find a huge salt lake in the crater of a dormant volcano.

Beach after beautiful beach

Ylang ylang flowers

The Miringoni Cascade on Moheli Image: Moheli Laka Lodge and Arno De Facq

You’re never far from a beach of eye-rubbing beauty on the Comoros, but the town of Mitsamihouli, on Ngazidja is truly spoilt. Choose from the coconut tree-lined Maloudja Beach; Galawa Beach, with its white powder sand and sapphire water sparkling between black lava headlands; and Trou du Prophète, where the Prophet Mohammed is said to have hid from marauding pirates behind the tall rocks in the bay. What’s more you’ll most likely have them all to yourself.


/ Comoros Islands

Image: Moheli Laka Lodge and Robert Michael Poole

heavily in its perfume. The Comoros is the world’s leading producer and exporter of ylang-ylang. Adding to the heady scent of the islands are fields of vanilla orchids, clove trees, abelmosk, lemon grass, jasmine and citronella.

Beauty tip Temperatures rarely drop below 23°C here, so to protect themselves from the year-round sunshine many Comorian women apply a sandalwood and coral paste to their face as a beauty mask. In addition to its anti-ageing properties, it tones, moisturises and cleanses the skin.

A culinary paradise

Rooms with a sea view at Lake Lodge

Climb an active volcano The southern half of Ngazidja is dominated by Mount Karthala, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, with a summit of 2,360 metres. A guided hike will take you through the banana plantations in its foothills to the smouldering crater at the top and back down again in a day, but two-day treks are also available (with overnight camping on the slopes). For details, visit comorosdiscover.com

Weird and wonderful wildlife The island of Mwali (Mohéli) is even more visitor-shy than Ngazidja and so proves an unspoilt habit for amazing species of wildlife. The southern part of the island is home to Moheli Marine Park, the first protected area in the Comoros. Here you can swim in one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse marine sites in the Indian Ocean, sharing the pristine waters with dolphins, the rare dugong and, between late July and October, families of humpback whales. The beaches here are beautiful and each evening hundreds of sea turtles crawl from the waters to their nesting sites – an incredible sight. Mwali and Nzwani (Anjouan) are

the only places to find the critically endangered Livingstone fruit bat. You’ll see them swooping through the lush forest here around twilight with their unmistakable giant wingspan – it can reach up to 1.4 metres.

Image: Moheli Laka Lodge

Island-hopping There are two options when travelling between the islands – by air or by boat. Both modes of travel are similar in price and, unfortunately, in unreliability. Each island is served by an airport and airlines but booking your ticket does not always guarantee your flight will happen at the agreed time or even on the agreed day. Ferries have to navigate the open ocean and are vulnerable to extremes of weather, sometimes with tragic consequences. Best to wait for when good weather and a smooth crossing can be guaranteed.

A treat for the senses Spending time in the Comoros is like going on a spa retreat for your nostrils - the forests here smell of Chanel No 5. The cananga tree was introduced to the islands centuries ago and its flowers yield the essential oil ylangylang, on which Chanel No 5 draws

Comorian cuisine owes a lot to Arab and French influences, with meat and rice a staple, but it’s all given an extra piquancy by the rich variety of spices – vanilla, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg – grown on the island. Fish and seafood are popular – small-scale fishing is a widespread source of employment – with Comorian delicacies including langouste à la vanille (a rich dish of lobster boiled in vanilla sauce) and ntrovi ya nazi (fried fish stew with plantain and coconut sauce).

Where to stay

A sea turtle crawling up the beach Image: Moheli Laka Lodge and Arno De Facq

On Ngazidja, try Hotel Jardin de la Paix (doubles from US$ 50 to US$ 70) in Moroni. It’s clean, within easy reach of the town and the beach and has a wonderful restaurant. The Hotel Golden Tulip (doubles from US$ 70 to US$ 90) is the island’s flashest establishment, with spa facilities, its own beach, rooms and suites with a sea view and a fancy restaurant serving freshly caught seafood. On Mwali, Laka Lodge (doubles from US$ 120) is in the middle of the National Marine Park. It has a selection of airy rooms just steps from the private beach and its own diving school.

HOW TO GET THERE Air Tanzania flies on Thursday and Saturdays to Prince Said Ibrahim Airport on Ngazidja and 45-day visas are available on arrival for US$ 50.

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 65


Kids fun and puzzles

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE Can you find ten differences bewtween the two pictures below?

Animal search Can you find the animal names hidden in the word search below?

Animal sudoku Can you arrange the four animals below into the sudoku puzzle on the left?

Did you know? 5 Giraffes have blue tongues 5 Ostriches can sprint over 45 miles an hour 5 Lions sleep for 20 hours a day 5 An elephant calf sucks its trunk for comfort 5 A pangolin’s tongue is longer than its head and body combined.

68 /

Twiga

A pangolin


Travel information

Before take-off Taking your first flight is certainly exciting, but can also become a source of stress for those who are unfamiliar with the rules, procedures and customs of flying. To prepare yourself for your first flight, it is therefore important to get information on everything you need to do before and during your journey. Here is a useful pre-departure checklist.

1

Before departing, it is important to check the airline’s website for its hand luggage rules: weight, sizes and types of objects you can take on board. For example, as regards liquids, you are advised to carry these in your hand luggage, only in transparent, reseal able, plastic containers, not exceeding 100 ml. In this section, you will find information regarding the hand luggage permitted on your flights; if you have connection flights, we advise that you also check the websites of other airlines.

2

Arriving at the airport in advance (at least two hours for domestic flights and three hours for international flights) will enable you

to check in and board your flight calmly, without anxiety and without unexpected last-minute issues.

3

Check in online, if possible. If travelling with hand luggage alone, you can check in online and print or download your boarding pass which you must take with you directly to security checks. This will enable you to save precious time once at the airport and to go to the gate calmly. For further information, please visit the dedicated page.

4

Set your mobile to flight mode, as well as other devices connected to the internet that you are taking on board. Cabin

crew will remind you of this step before take-off. With flight mode set, you can still take photos of your unforgettable journey and you can also enjoy the in-flight entertainment system! To find out more, please visit the dedicated section.

5

If you suffer from motion sickness… you will only find out about it during your first flight! To prevent sickness from ruining your first flight on a plane, we advise you to take natural remedies, such as, for example, ginger tablets or gum to chew. Ginger is believed to have a anti-nausea properties. Otherwise, ask your doctor to prescribe you antihistamines with a sedative effect.

6

Enjoy the view! By choosing a seat near the window, you will see breath-taking landscapes and you can take photos of the exquisite white clouds you will be flying above. Try to take a nap! Sleeping on the plane will make time pass faster and you will arrive at your destination calm and rested.

7

8

Lastly, especially during take-off and landing, the change in pressure inside the cabin may cause discomfort in your ears. To prevent this discomfort, you are advised to stay awake during these manoeuvres and to chew gum or wear earplugs.

AIR TANZANIA FLEET National carrier Air Tanzania is justifiably proud of its revamped six-strong fleet. Here we take a close-up look at our aircraft with technical data and specifications.

BOMBARDIER DASH 8-Q400 Number of aircraft available: 3 Seat capacity: Business Class 6, Economy 70 Number of crew: 2 Range: 6,112 km (3,300 Nm) Typical cruising speed: 470 knots (541 mph or 871 km/hr) Thrust per engine at sea level: 23,300 lbf. / 103.6 kN Wing span: 115 ft. 1in. (35.1m) Length: 107ft 9in (32.83m) Interior cabin width: 99inch (2.51m) Cabin height: 6.5ft

70 /

Twiga

AIRBUS 220-300 (CS300) Number of aircraft available: 2 Seat capacity: Business Class 12 and 120 Economy Class   Number of crew: 2 Range: 6,112 km (3,300 Nm) Typical Cruising speed: 470 knots (541 mph or 871 km/hr) Thrust per engine at sea level: 23,300 lbf. / 103.6 kN  Wing span: 115 ft. 1in. (35.1m) Length: 127 ft (38.7m) Interior cabin width: 129.0 inch (3.28 m)

BOEING 787-8 DREAMLINER Number of aircraft available: 1 Seat capacity: Business Class 22 and 240 Economy Class   Number of crew: 2 Range: 13,621 km (7,355 Nmi) Typical Cruising speed: 488 knot (561 mph or 903 km/hr) Thrust per engine at sea level: 64,000 lbf. / 280 kN  Wing span: 197 ft. 3in. (60.12 m) Length: 186 ft. 1in (56.72 m) Interior cabin width: 18 ft. 0 inch (5.49 m)


BAGGAGE

7 kg

Passengers also have a 7 kg allowance for free hand luggage. For each extra kilo Tshs 8000/will be charged on local flights and US$ 5 for international flights.

your flight time for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.

Family travel

Passports and visas A valid passport or travel document that is valid for at least six months is required to enter the United Republic of Tanzania. Visitors will also require a valid visa upon arrival. There are a range of visas available depending on the nature and frequency of your visits, but a single entry visa can be obtained on arrival in Tanzania subject to the fulfilment of all immigration requirements. There is a US$ 50 charge for the visa. For a full list of visas available and for countries for which special terms exist, visit the Air Tanzania website.

Check-in Check in online, if possible. If travelling with hand luggage alone, you can check in online and print or download your boarding pass, which you must take with you directly to security checks. You should check in two hours ahead of

Fares for infants and children As a general rule, children up to 2 years old are not required to have their own seat and are allowed to travel on parents’ lap. An infant tickets costs 10% of the regular fare. Depending on the destination, taxes and fees may apply. Please note that only 1 baby per adult is accepted. You can choose to buy a seat for your baby at the reduced rates for children if any children’s rate is applicable. If your child is older than 2 years or turns 2 while you are travelling, you will have to book a separate seat for him or her and book the children fare for the entire journey. If a child travels with an accompanying adult in the same class of cabin, the child should be seated in the same seat row as the accompanying adult. Where this is not possible, the child should be seated no more than one seat row or aisle away. Reduced rates apply for children aged 2-11 on most routes, depending on the travel class. Children turning 12 years en route need to be booked as adults for the entire journey. Expectant Mothers Our priority is always your safety and that of your unborn child. To avoid unnecessary risks to you and your baby, we recommend that all expectant mothers consult a

doctor before booking their ticket and inquire about their fitness to fly the length of the trip they intend to take. Depending on the stage and circumstances of your pregnancy, you may be required to present certain medical forms before flying. For your own safety and the well-being of your child, Air Tanzania will not accept expectant mothers who are pregnant from their 36th week or beyond. UMNR (Children Travelling Alone) If you’re planning for your child to travel alone, we’re here to make sure they enjoy their trip and that they are well taken care of throughout their journey. When you book our unaccompanied minor service, your child will be received at the originating airport, taken care of during transit and while on board the aircraft. He or she will be handed over to the person designated by the parents/ guardians upon arrival at the final destination. Cost To avail the unaccompanied minor service, an adult fare needs to be purchased for the child. Please contact us to book the flight and the service. Infant fare checked baggage allowance Infants travelling on an infant fare are allowed 10Kgs as baggage allowance.

1 kg = 8000 Tshs (Int. US$ 5) EXTRA

30 kg

HAND

23 kg

BUSINESS

ECONOMY

Air Tanzania allows 23 kg in Economy class as checked-in baggage allowance and 30 kg in Business class.

Child fare baggage allowance Children and infants travelling on a child fare are eligible for the same baggage allowance as adults.

Wheelchairs If you need wheelchair assistance at the airport, you must advise Air Tanzania of this at the time of booking. You can request wheelchair assistance through our Call Centre or at Air Tanzania Sales offices.

Inflight Wifi On board Wi-Fi Enable Wi-Fi on your laptop, tablet or smartphone, and select AirTanzaniaWifi You will need to launch your web browser, which will display the log-in web portal. From the portal, simply select your preferred price plan. Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) You can use your e-readers, tablets and smartphones from gate to gate i.e. including taxiing, take-off and landing without a risk to safety. Note that on-board Wi-Fi is only available on certain aircraft. Please follow cabin crew instructions at all times.

For more information about flying with Air Tanzania please visit our website at

www.airtanzania.co.tz

airtanzania.co.tz

/ 71


Air Tanzania destinations

DISCOVER MORE WITH US UGANDA

KENYA

Entebbe Bukoba Mwanza

Kilimanjaro

Bujumbura

In

Kigoma Tabora Dodoma

TANZANIA

Zanzibar

a di

n

ea Oc

n Mumbai

Dar es Salaam

Mbeya Songea

Mtwara Hayhaya

COMOROS ZAMBIA Lusaka

For the latest flights, information and to book online, visit:

Harare

www.airtanzania.co.tz

ZIMBABWE

AIR TANZANIA CONTACTS ARUSHA Location: Boma Road Email: Arusha.station@airtanzania.co.tz Telephone number: + 255 27 2545296 MBEYA Location: Jakaranda Road, Lupaway street P.O Box 799 Mbeya Email: mbeya.station@airtanzania.co.tz COMOROS Email: comoros.station@airtanzania.co.tz BUKOBA Location: Kawawa Rd. Block 1 Email: bukoba.station@airtanzania.co.tz MTWARA Location: Tanu road, Cashew Nut board Building (Bodi Ya Korosho) Email: mtwara.station@airtanzania.co.tz

72 /

Twiga

KILIMANJARO Location: KIA Email: arusha.station@airtanzania.co.tz DODOMA Location: Mtendeni Street Block Q P.O Box 83 Telephone number: + 255 26 2322272 Airport: +255262351392 Email: dodoma.station@airtanzania.co.tz MWANZA Telephone number: +255 28 2501059 Email: mwanza.station@airtanzania.co.tz TABORA Email: tabora.station@airtanzania.co.tz DAR ES SALAAM (HQ) Location: ATC House, Ohio Street P.O Box 543 Office (JNIA) Telephone: 0222113248 Email: darairport.station@airtanzania.co.tz

SONGEA Location: African Benedict Office Hanga- opposite TRA Songea Email: songea.station@airtanzania.co.tz KIGOMA Lumumba Street (Opposite CRDB bank) P.O Box 750 Kigoma Email: Kigoma.station@airtanzania.co.tz ZANZIBAR Location: Postal Building- Kijangwani P.O Box: 773 Zanzibar Email: zanzibar.station@airtanzania.co.tz Mobile: 078 5452585 Telephone: +255 24 222230213 Fax: +255 24 2230213 Air Port Office: Abeid Amani International Airport P.O Box 773 Kisauni-Zanzibar


Issue 01 / April to June 2019

YO U R F R E E A I R TA N Z A N I A M AGA ZINE

T R AV E L / TA S T E / TA L E N T

Twiga A I R TA N Z A N I A Issue 01

SECRET SAFARI Ruaha National Park

Fast and the furious The rise of Dar’s Singeli music

Hasheem's hoop dreams

Basketball star eyes return to NBA

Dazzling interiors

Safari in style at Jabali Ridge

Profile for Land & Marine Publications Ltd.

Air Tanzania - TWIGA Issue 01