Air Tanzania, TWIGA issue 08

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Issue 08 / January to March 2021



Twiga A I R TA N Z A N I A Issue 08

Mbwana Samatta

Exclusive interview with football star

'I feed on challenges'

Bongo Star Search's Rita Paulsen speaks out

The mamas of Mwani Growing seaweed, changing lives

contents 16






CEO foreword Air Tanzania news

12 Tsitsi Dangarembga The Zimbabwe author and filmmaker on latest novel ‘This Mournable Body’

10 My Tanzania Bongo Star Search’s Rita Paulsen

16 Food markets

15 Twiga competition Win a meal for two at Ahlan Restaurant TZ in Dar es Salaam

Our pick of the places to get the freshest produce and support local farmers

19 Mwani Zanzibar

41 Twiga trends

The social enterprise turning seaweed into soap on the sands of Paje

The homeware hot-list’

42 Tech for a home studio

The Pemba-born singer talks her new album and taarab pioneer ‘sisters’

27 Bringing commerce to Comoros

50 Faysal’s blog

The tale of entrepreneur bringing ecomonic independence to the islands

50 Sound and vision 51 Arts with Rebecca Corey

Land & Marine Publications (Tanzania) Ltd Room A14, 3rd floor, Josam House plot Number 16, Mikocheni Area Along Coca-Cola Road, Dar es Salaam Tel: +255 686 118 816 Head Office: Land & Marine Publications Ltd 1 Kings Court, Newcomen Way Severalls Business Park, Colchester, Essex, UK, CO4 9RA Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Email:

30 New year resolutions Tanzanian talent welcome in 2021

Read Twiga online:

Our guide to Mumbai’s coolest neighbourhood

37 Hotel review The Bronte Hotel 46 Recording with the Wachaga Musician Kutiman’s Tanzanian trip

53 Trails for two wheels The best bike adventures in Tanzania

56 Fred Uisso cookery column Fine dining fit for a Tanzanian wedding

59 Legal eye Starting a wildlife ranch in Tanzania

23 Mim Suleiman

44 24 hours in… Bukoba

Is published by:

34 Bandra West

Mbwana Samatta Our exclusive interview with the shining star of Tanzanian football

New year, new horizons



Image: Mwani Zanzibar

Hassan Mambosasa | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-4.0


Air Tanzania information 60 60 62 64

Travel information Air Tanzania fleet Air Tanzania destinations Air Tanzania contacts

On behalf of: Call toll free: 0800 110 045

Editor: Mark Edwards Advertising sales: Catherine O’Callaghan Tel: +44 (0)7944 212063 (WhatsApp) Email: Godfrey S. Urassa Tel: +255 (0) 686 118 816 (WhatsApp) Email: Printed by Jamana Printers Ltd, Dar es Salaam

@AirTanzania Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ACTL) Second floor, ATC House, Ohio Street Dar es Salaam. Email: Office (JNIA) Telephone: +255 222113248 Jerry Ngewe, Marketing Executive, Email:

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

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. ©2020 Land & Marine Publications Ltd.

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Image: Rosa van Ederen

CEO foreword

EDITOR’S NOTE A new year is often seen as a chance to let go of the past and make a fresh start. The hope of a new beginning is especially welcome right now, given the challenges 2020 brought with it. But, while the pandemic has been hard and often heartbreaking, it has, in many instances shown what humanity is capable of. There have been many examples of courage, kindness and connection amid the uncertainty and division. So when Twiga asked a number of prominent Tanzanians for their thoughts on 2021, they were full of hope, having seen plenty of evidence in the past year of resilience and caring for others. It makes for inspiring reading. Other star name inside this edition of Twiga, such as footballer Mbwana Samatta and Bongo Star Search’s Rita Paulsen, also believe challenges were the making of them. Similarly, our cover stars, the seaweed farming mamas of Mwani Zanzibar, have shown what can be achieved by working together. Time to take on those challenges in 2021. Happy new year! Follow us on:

@AirTanzania @airtanzania airtanzania_atcl Air Tanzania ATCL

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New year, new horizons I’m delighted to welcome you onboard your Air Tanzania flight and to the latest edition of Twiga, our inflight magazine. I would also like to welcome in 2021 and wish you all a happy new year. I don’t think anybody is too disappointed to see the back of 2020! As for everyone and everything else, this has been a challenging year for the global airline industry so it is amazing that ATCL now finds itself in such a strong position. The strength of our international and domestic networks were recognised with wins for each at the recent Tanzania Consumer Choice Awards. Our domestic network offers unprecedented choice for passengers who want to explore every corner of the country with three weekly flights to Geita the latest addition and with Songea and Mtwara coming soon. We also managed to promptly resume our flights to international destinations Harare (Zimbabwe), Lusaka (Zambia) and Comoros and we were recently delighted to announce that Air Tanzania is back flying to Entebbe (Uganda) and Mumbai (India). That we have been able to return to full strength so quickly is testament to our country, every member of the Air Tanzania team and, of course, you, our valued customers. Such success has not made us complacent. We still adhere to strict covid protective measures on the ground and in the air to ensure you’ll be safe at every stage of your journey. So here’s to a successful 2021 for us all. I hope we will share plenty of new journeys and adventures together in the months ahead. Have a wonderful flight.

Eng. Ladislaus Matindi Managing Director and Chief Executive Air Tanzania

Air Tanzania news

Jilinde na saratani Protect yourself from cancer AIR TANZANIA FLY SIMBA SC TO A WIN Air Tanzania was delighted to fly the Simba SC football team from Dar es Salaam to Kilimanjaro for their most recent Tanzanian Premier League match in Arusha against Tanga’s Coastal Union. Our flight crew certainly got ‘The Kings’ there in great shape because they went on to win the game 7-0. Well played boys! Visit to book your trip or call for free on 0800 110 045 for more information.

Regular exercise helps us lose weight and boost our immune systems, both important factors in protecting ourselves from cancer. To spread this message, Air Tanzania employees led by director Eng. Ladislaus Matindi took to the streets of Dar. After a warm-up aerobics session, the team – all wearing T-shirts with the slogan ‘jilinde na saratani’ [protect yourself from cancer] on the back – set off on their walk. Thanks to everybody who participated.

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Air Tanzania news

Our domestic network lets you see Tanzania from every angle Air Tanzania is proud to be the leading carrier in Tanzania with 11 domestic destinations (and with Songea and Mtwara to come) among our growing network.

once a key trading post, but is now best known for its bush beekeepers and their delicious honey.

DAR ES SALAAM – our commercial capital and ATC’s hub. It’s a vibrant, creative city on the coast. ZANZIBAR – an island paradise that charms with its rich history, cuisine, beaches and marine life. KILIMANJARO – gateway to Tanzania’s iconic snow-capped peak, the highest point in Africa. ARUSHA – an animated city with some of the world’s best wildlife adventures on its doorstep. BUKOBA – a beautiful, bucolic port city that opens up the country’s remote north west. TABORA – this leafy, laidback town was

MWANZA – on the southern shores of Lake Victoria, this bustling city is Tanzania’s largest lake port. KATAVI (Mpanda airport) – gives access to Katavi National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park, two of our more remote and rewarding safari destinations.

verdant hills offering fantastic scope for offthe-beaten track adventure.

KIGOMA – the only port town on Lake Tanganyika and an ideal stop ahead of chimpanzee tours in Gombe National Park.

GEITA – known for its gold mines and ferry links to Rubondo National Park.

MBEYA – a thriving town in Tanzania’s breadbasket with the surrounding volcanic,

AIR TANZANIA WINS TWICE AT CONSUMER CHOICE AWARDS Air Tanzania was honoured to win two awards at this year’s Tanzania Consumer Choice Awards. We were named Most Preferred International Airline and Most Preferred Domestic Airline. The awards were extra special because

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they are voted on by the public and Air Tanzania would like to sincerely thank everyone who voted for us for their support. The Tanzania Consumers Choice Awards is an annual event that rewards excellence in business.

DODOMA – the capital city is Tanzania’s geographical and administrative centre.

Visit to book your trip or call for free on 0800 110 045 for more information.

Mbwana Samatta

‘I AM DOING SOMETHING NO-ONE IN TANZANIA HAS… and I don’t want to stop here’

Taifa Stars goal-machine and captain Mbwana Samatta has set a new standard for Tanzanian football. Here, he talks exclusively to Twiga about how his taste of the English Premiership has left him hungry for more and how he hopes to inspire more homegrown players to follow him to the top tier of the game.

MDI / Shutterstock


hen he was a young boy growing up in Mbagala, then one of Dar es Salaam’s poorest and most troubled neighbourhoods, Mbwana Samatta was like any other football-loving kid. As soon as the school day was over, he, his brothers and their friends would take to the streets and play until it grew dark. “It was a passion,” he says. “It was the only thing we could do as children to be happy.” The youngsters all shared the same dream: to one day play in the English Premiership, the most watched sports league on earth. However, unlike his friends, his family and, indeed, every other Tanzanian footballer in history, Samatta achieved that dream. In January 2020, aged 27, he signed for Premiership club Aston Villa in a four-and-a-half-year deal worth £8.5m (US$ 11.4m). Mbwana is aware that every young Tanzanian would give anything to swap places with him and while he feels the pressure of a nation’s expectations, he is also driven to set an inspirational

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/ Mbwana Samatta

KucherAV /

“I want to build a bridge for the Tanzanian kids to move into professional football. I think I can help so many of them make the move to Europe.”

Mbwana scores against Manchester City, Wembley Stadium, March 2020 MDI /

example and, ultimately, to pave the way for more homegrown players to follow in his path. “The EPL is every Tanzanian’s kid dream,” he tells me. “It has been mine since I can remember. There is pressure, but I know how to release it. I am aware that I am doing something no-one in Tanzania has and I don’t want to stop there. I want to help as many children in this country do what I have done or do better.”

Helping the next generation Samatta runs the Sama-Kiba Foundation alongside his friend and music star Ali Kiba, which raises money to help buy books and desks for schools in Tanzania. Once his playing career is over, he also intends to focus on helping the next generation of Tanzanian footballing talent get on the radar of the biggest international clubs. He says: “I want to

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build a bridge for the Tanzanian kids to move into professional football. I think I can help so many of them make the move to Europe.” Of course, the Tanzanian national team captain is still young – he has just turned 28 – and feels he has much more to prove on the pitch. However, keeping the EFL dream alive has not been easy. Despite making an instant impact at Villa – scoring on his Premiership debut, another Tanzanian record – Samatta struggled to build on that beginning and after 14 first team appearances, the club decided the striker was not part of its plans for the 2020/21 season and allowed him to go on loan to Turkish club Fenerbahçe. It’s clear that Samatta – a softly spoken, thoughtful presence throughout our interview over the phone from Istanbul, where Fenerbahçe are based – was hit hard

by Villa’s decision. Fenerbahçe are a strong team – they have made the Champions League quarter-final stages and the Uefa Cup semis in the past decade – but the disappointment at having to move is palpable as he discusses it, but then so is a steely determination and self-belief that the Premiership has not seen the last of him. “I wish I could have stayed at Villa for longer and proved myself. Now I know what it takes to be there. The team is doing very well [at the time of our conversation, Villa were in the top five of the Premiership, having recently hammered last year’s champions, Liverpool, 7-2] and I believe if I was still there I could do better. But I always stay positive and I know I will go back to Villa or another Premiership side because I know I have the quality to do it.” That quality has been immediately

/ Mbwana Samatta

Samatta’s achievements cannot be overstated. In a decade he has gone from the lowest tier of Tanzanian league football to the pinnacle of the global professional game. He has talent to burn – speed, a neat touch and an unerring eye for goal – but he has had to work harder than most to make it. Tanzania does not, yet, have much of a global profile in football so building his profile has taken time. Samatta comes from a footballing family. His father played in his day and his five older brothers – Samatta is the youngest of seven siblings – were also keen players. “It’s a family thing. All my siblings played football. I am the one who scored big,” he says.

Villa Park, English Premier League Club Aston Villa’s home ground Michael715 /

Getting started

apparent at Fenerbahçe, where Samatta has already netted twice in his first few starts. The Turkish team is renowned for its fervent supporters, but Samatta is yet to get the famous fireworks and flares treatment as his goals go in as home games at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Sçadium this season have so far been crowd-free due to Covid. “Fenerbahçe is a big team,” he says. “So many great players have played for them. The Turkish league is strong. I am happy to be here and the fans are great. It’s going to be fantastic when they let them in. I’m enjoying the weather and the atmosphere.”

Always working hard The discipline and work ethic that has seen him move beyond the disappointment at Villa has been evident throughout his career.

Football at the start did not pay big. In fact, second division Mbagala Market, the first club to sign the then 15-year-old Samatta, didn’t pay him at all. His father had given up his football dream to support his family as a policeman and Samatta felt he would have to make a similar move into the military if he was to earn a living. It was clear to anyone watching him play that Samatta was something special, but Jamali Kisongo – Mbagala Market’s manager at the time and still a key figure in scouting talent in the Tanzanian game – was the first to give him a proper platform for that talent. Soon the club had an affluent new owner and were renamed African Lyon. The new injection of money meant Samatta was not only now getting a wage, but he was also playing at a higher level with the team gaining promotion to the first division. “Lots of people told me I had talent playing football, but they couldn’t take me anywhere,” he says. “When Jamali Kisongo saw me play, he was the one who could take me to the real football. He took me from the street at a very young age.” As a boy, the speedy Samatta fancied himself as a winger – similar to the wide role his “idol” Cristiano Ronaldo played at Manchester United at the time – but it soon became

apparent he had an instinct for goal. His strike rate at African Lyon led to him being signed by Tanzanian Premier League Simba SC – the team he had supported since a boy – where Samatta, still just 17, continued to impress. Among his 13 goals in his 25 appearances for ‘The Kings’ was one in an African Champions League tie which even impressed his opponents, Congolese team TP Mazembe, who swiftly signed him.


Tanzanians love football and Samatta is an inspiration

This was a big step up. TP Mazembe are one of Africa’s most successful clubs with achievements including making the final of the Fifa Club World Cup in 2010 – the year before they signed Samatta. The Dar teenager relocated to Lubumbashi and – as was to become a pattern in his footballing career – made an instant impact, scoring in his first game and going on to net 60 goals in just 103 appearances for the club. With Samatta, Mazembe won four successive domestic titles and lifted the 2015 Africa Champions League with the striker scoring from the penalty spot in each leg of the final and finishing as top scorer for the tournament. That year Samatta was also named Africanbased Player of the Year. “That meant a lot,” he says. “A Tanzanian or an East African had never won it before. Imagine that. It’s not easy for any Tanzanian so it was important and it inspired a lot of young, talented players here to look and say to themselves: ‘If he did it, we can do it.’” Samatta is not only a prolific scorer

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/ Mbwana Samatta

Goal machine At every level and whether for club or country, Samatta has scored goals. I ask him what he thinks was the best goal he ever scored. The question leaves him lost in thought for over a minute. To be fair to him, he does have plenty to choose from – 139 in top-flight football at the last count. In the end he opts for a magnificent solo effort while playing for Tanzania against Algeria in 2015. “We were 2-1 down at the time,” he says. “I picked up the ball on the halfway line and dribbled past three players to score the equaliser. Algeria were tough opponents and I was not a big name at the time so it was an important goal. “I have scored many goals that I am proud of. It always feels great to score, but I have other sides to my game like good touch control and good speed on the ball. I try to enjoy

myself on the pitch and have fun.” The goal against Algeria is one of 20 he has scored for his country. He has proved pivotal to an ascendant period for the Taifa Stars, captaining the team and leading them last year to the Africa Cup of Nations – marking the first time Tanzania had qualified for the biannual event in 39 years. “It was a proud moment. It will be in the history books forever,” says Samatta.

I have scored many goals that I am proud of, but I have other sides to my game such as a good touch and speed

National team improving Tanzania did not make it past the group stage, but Samatta, of course, got a goal and he says the team’s presence at the event was evidence of a resurgence in Tanzanian football. However, fans should not expect miracles. He says: “We are heading in the right direction but at a slow pace. The future is always bright, but I can see some other countries passing us. I believe we could be in a better place, but sometimes these things take time to be where you want to be. We have people taking us there and you have to believe in them. We have to be patient.” Samatta knows about playing the long game. Success has come to him in increments and each time he has pushed on to a higher level, finessing his game, not allowing himself to become upset by the lows

Samatta says football in Tanzania is on the rise Logo Football Club | | CC-BY-SA-4.0

Samatta has 56 caps for his country Image: Hassan Mambosasa | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-4.0

or over-excited by the highs. He has been, quite literally, focused on his goals. “I believe in myself,” he says. “If I go goalless for a while, I train hard, concentrate and hope it will come soon. I have got where I am through working hard and focusing on big goals. I still think I can do better.” His rise through the footballing ranks took him away from Tanzania at an early age – he was still a teen when he signed for Mazembe. Now married and with two children, Samatta admits to periods of homesickness but his work ethic extends to making the effort to adapt to his new home. Samatta signals his readiness to begin our conversation with the phrase “I’m all ears”, a peculiarly English idiom I assume he has picked up during his time at Villa. “My English is not so good so I am always trying to learn. When I can catch an expression. It’s important to learn. I try my best. “When I first left Tanzania, I was missing my family, my friends, my language and the food, but now I think I am getting used to it. “I have been away a long time now. When I go home to play with the national team it is nice to speak my language. Home is home, you can’t find it anywhere else.” Home is also that place where it all began, chasing his dream on the streets of Mbagala. The dream is still alive.

‘THE BEST PLAYER I’VE EVER COME UP AGAINST’ Samatta says: “I have played against so many good players, but if I think of the real killers, I would have to include [Brazilian-Portuguese footballer, now playing for FC Porto] Pepe. He’s a defender and I am a striker so we came together a lot when he was with [Turkish club] Beşiktaş and I was with Genk. It was very difficult to attack against him. He’s tough and he’s clever.”

Vlad1988 /

at every level he’s played at, he has also proved himself a player for the big occasions, getting goals at crucial times. He was entrusted as the Mazembe penalty taker and held his nerve to score from the spot in each leg of the African Champions League final. “To be honest, I get more confidence when I play against a big team or it’s a big name,” he says. I don’t know why. It just comes like that. Every big game I feel more confident.” The goals and garlands of his five years with Mazembe caught the attention of Belgian side KRC Genk, who signed him in 2016. The physicality and aggression of the Belgian Pro League – the country’s top tier of football – was a shock at first, but the diligent Samatta worked hard to adapt and he soon became integral to the team. He scored 40 goals during his time at Genk at a rate of close to one every other game and in 2019 he helped the team qualify for the Uefa Europa League and win the Belgian Jupiter League. His outstanding individual efforts that season won him the Ebony Shoe – given to the best African or African origin player with past winners including Romalu Lukaku and Vincent Kompany – and attracted Aston Villa to bid for his services.

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My Tanzania


Media entrepreneur Rita Paulsen is the founder of hit TV talent show Bongo Star Search and is also a judge on the programme. Here she talks about making and breaking dreams and why challenges make her stronger.

Q: Bongo Star Search has been a huge success with this year seeing the broadcast of its 11th season. Who, for you, has been the best act in the show’s history? A: Thankfully every year we get different talents, new contestants showcasing fresh styles, with moving stories. It is difficult to pick a favourite, but if I must I would say Season 6 winner Walter Chilambo because of his transformation. He arrived almost unnoticed, but as the show went on, he slowly captured everyone’s attention, including mine. Now, he is one of our great ambassadors doing very well in the gospel music industry. Q: You also have to burst the bubble of a lot of people’s dreams if they are clearly not as talented as they think they are. Is that hard? A: It’s a very difficult task, I always get emotional about it because I know how much they want to make it in life and they need this opportunity, because I’ve been there wanting to do something and you don’t want to lose any chance you get so I try to convince the other judges to be slightly soft on them. We fight a lot about that. If it was only up to me, everyone in the top 10 would be a winner. Q: The judges are crucial to the show. You all have your own distinct, strong characters, but seem to get on well. Is that the case? A: Funny enough we do get on so well, and we have good chemistry. We fight here and there, but we leave it on the show. There is good energy between us all.

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Q: When you started the show, did you expect you would find so much singing talent among Tanzanians as you travelled the country? A: Yes, I knew we would find a lot of talent out there, because before I started Bongo Star Search I did notice that there were a lot of youths with so much talent but just lacking a platform to showcase it. Running my production company [Benchmark Productions], I used to offer just one video to one artist every other year, then I figured there is so much talent out there and this show would give them a chance to show stakeholders their talent, because you never know who is watching! Q: What are the most important lessons you can pass on to other budding entrepreneurs on how to start their businesses? A: Business is not easy, so if you start business in one year and things are not working out and you give up – you will never make it in business. You have to have perseverance. The magic is to choose a business you are passionate about it. I had so much passion when started my business and I think that was the key to my success. Q: You hosted your own talk show, The Rita Paulsen Show? Have you always enjoyed meeting new people and finding out about their stories? A: The Rita Paulsen Show is another dream project of mine which developed from my love and admiration of [US TV show host] Oprah Winfrey. I do enjoy meeting new people and exchanging ideas, but my core

purpose for this show [was to] delve into the lives of ordinary and extraordinary people to enlighten, entertain, inspire and provide sustainable solutions to various problems in our society. Q: Who are your Tanzanian heroes? A: Wow! Interesting question. I would have to say Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, [Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations] Asha-Rose Migiro and Samia Suluhu, Tanzania’s first female Vice-President. Q: If you were having a dinner party at home, which three people would you invite to share the food? A: Hahaha!. I would invite Oprah, Samia Suluhu and Hon. President John Pombe Magufuli. Q: How would you like to be remembered? A: As a very strong, passionate, hard-working woman who has changed a lot of people’s lives and who has made an impact in so many people’s lives. Q: Do you have a special place in Tanzania where you go to escape and relax? A: Yes, I love Zanzibar very much. I love nature and I have been to most of the exotic places in Tanzania but more frequently to Zanzibar. Q: What was the best kiss of your life? A: I was lucky to meet Nelson Mandela, and he kissed my hand – so that day I will never forget. I felt very special and I actually cried. I really loved him.

All images: Mark Photography

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Rita with the rest of the Bongo Star Search judges, Master J, Ommy Dimpoz, Christian Bella and host Idris Sultan

Q: If you could be any animal in the world, which one would you be and why? A: Probably a lioness because they are fighters and at the same time gentle enough to take care of their cubs. She may not seem as scary or beastly as the male lion but nevertheless her strength isn’t to be underestimated. Q: What were you like in high school? A: I was very attentive in class. I was quiet but very intelligent and I was the appointed school timekeeper. Q: What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? A: Every now and then I go to YouTube and watch Bongo Star Search and find myself

laughing at myself and the other judges. When I have the free time I always watch the past shows. Q: To whom would you like to say ‘sorry’? A: I always say sorry to everybody who I have wronged. Most likely the person I would like to say sorry to is not alive. Q: What keeps you awake at night? A: Whenever there is something, I am working on I tend to stay up late, building on the idea as I am a perfectionist. Q: Where would you pick for the ideal location for the first date in Tanzania? A: In Dar es Salaam I like the Karambezi at

Seacliff Hotel because you can see the sun setting into the ocean. Outside of Dar, I love Asanja Africa Lodge inside Ruaha National Park. Q: What has been your biggest challenge in life? A: There so many challenges in my life. But I actually embrace the challenges that I have experienced as I believe they have made me who I am today! When something is very easy it actually bores me. I feed on challenges and I always overcome them! Q: What music do you listen to at home? A: I love all sorts of music; African music, soft rock, contemporary jazz, ballads, R&B, Bongo Flava and so much more.

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Tsitsi Dangarembga

‘I want my stories to touch people’ Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga has made the shortlist for the Booker Prize – the leading literary award in the English-speaking world – with her latest novel, ‘This Mournable Body’. In an exclusive interview with Twiga, the Mutoko-born Dangarembga, who also founded the International Film Festival for Women and wrote ‘Neria’, the highest grossing film in her country’s history, reveals her experience of racism as a child, the inspirations for her work and her reaction to the Booker nomination.

You lived in England from ages two to six, do you think your personal experiences there have had any influence in your writings? Were your experiences of racial imbalance in the UK and Rhodesia similar? My experiences of migrating between Southern Rhodesia and later Rhodesia while I was a child have influenced my writing because I became aware of the challenges which result from living across cultures early. Those experiences also predisposed me to be interested in political issues to do with colonialism in Africa and racism as a young person. ‘This Mournable Body’ is the third instalment of a trilogy. What were your influences with the three titles? The title of ‘Nervous Conditions’ [the first novel in the ‘Tambudzai Trilogy’ and released in 1988] was taken from Jean-Paul Sartre’s introduction to Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. Sartre wrote “the condition of native is a nervous condition”. ‘The Book of Not’ describes how the self is undone, or rendered not self due to events one encounters and systems one lives under which happen, which in a better world would not be so.

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‘This Mournable Body’ is taken from Teju Cole’s 2015 essay Unmournable Bodies, which he wrote after the April 2015 massacre of university students in Garissa, Kenya. The massacre of the university students followed the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, France. Cole compared the great attention given to, and outpouring of grief following the Paris massacre internationally, with the attention given to and grieving about the Garissa massacre. He noted how very little attention was given to the Garissa massacre internationally and similarly, there was little international grieving for the students who were massacred in Garissa. He contended that there is a global culture that tends to see the fate of some bodies as being more mournable than the fate of other bodies. My contention is that all bodies are equally mournable, whether this mourning is the passing of life from the bodies or the misery in which these bodies drag themselves through life. In death or in the misery of life. Your work focuses on gender issues, women surviving in patriarchal societies. What made you want to make that a central part of your writings?

I was commissioned to write ‘Neria’ by US company Media for Development Trust. Filmmaking in Zimbabwe at the time was not narrative but development oriented. Films about women’s rights and HIV, for example, were the kinds of films funded by donor organisations for companies like Media for Development Trust. In my own writing, whether prose or screenwriting, I concentrate on character and story, not issues.

The 1993 film ‘Nera’ was written by Dangarembga

How has your studying of medicine at the University of Cambridge and then Psychology in Zimbabwe shaped your creative work? My particular studies in medicine and psychology did not change the way I viewed patriarchal societies in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, as I had and have first-hand experience of them. What they did do was provide me with conceptual lens through which to view the issues. This is also true of the sociology courses I took, as well as my armchair reading in film theory and political science. What did your nomination for the Booker Prize mean to you? I was elated to be short-listed for

Winning the Booker Prize would, hopefully, also make my life less anxietyridden. The shortlisting has already had positive respects in this regard

the Booker Prize. As someone who had been writing for three and a half decades the nomination was a reassurance that my work had not been in vain. Have you thought about winning the prize? Winning the Booker Prize would give me the satisfaction that the work I have put into my writing has been recognised in a way that impacts positively on me. It would give hope of a real improvement in my working conditions and what I am able to achieve in the various programmes I run. It would, hopefully, also make my life less anxiety-ridden. The short-listing has already had positive respects in this regard. With all your writings, what do you hope to achieve? I want to tell good stories that touch people in a positive manner. In your journey as a Zimbabwean, woman, novelist, playwright, and filmmaker, what would you say are your greatest accomplishments? Writing a novel, ‘Nervous Conditions’, that touched the hearts of many people was a very surprising

thing when it happened, and was the first of my accomplishments which might be called notable. I am proud of and grateful for having completed the Tambudzai Trilogy. I am pleased to have made a ground-breaking short film in ‘Kare Kare Zvako’ (Mother’s Day) which was released back in 2004 and which was selected to the short film competition at Sundance in 2005. I am proud of the work I do to capacitate African women filmmakers and promote progressive moving images narrative by and about African women through the International Film Festival for Women, which I founded in 2002, even if it has been going through a difficult patch in the last few years, with the African Women Filmmakers Hub which I founded in 2016 and with the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa which I founded in 2009. What is your writing process like and what environments are

Zimbabwean author, filmmaker and playwright Tsistsi Dangarembga Image by Hannah Mentz

conducive for your creativity? I mull over an idea for a long time before starting to write what I think is the beginning. It usually turns out not to be, but those early sentences and scenes are my way into the story. I do several drafts before I have a form of the story that I am comfortable with. Once I have that I go back and develop plot, setting and character. I like to write early in the morning and to do a set amount of work a day. The amount depends on which stage I have arrived at. How do you relax or wind down? I like to go to the gym and to singing lessons. I also like to watch TV series. I like classical music, especially the well-known Italian operas and classical sacred music. My favourite opera is La Traviata. My music tastes are not so much about who as they are about what. I think I would like to write the libretto for an opera one day.

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Ahlan Restaurant Tz /


JUST ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS To be in with a chance of winning, answer the three questions below and send them along with a photograph of you holding your copy of Twiga 8 on your ATCL flight to by 14th March 2021. Good luck! 1

What is the name of the English Premier League football club that signed Tanzanian star Mbwana Samatta in January 2020?



Twiga food columnist Chef Fred Uisso recently served up a four-course meal for a wedding. How many guests did he feed?

Seaweed skincare company Mwani Zanzibar is based at a village on the east coast of Unguja. Can you name it?

COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Prizes dependent on availability. One entry per person. Entrants must be 18 years or over. The decision of the organisers will be final. The competition is not open to employees and their relatives of Ahlan Restaurant, Air Tanzania or Land & Marine Publications Ltd. The prize does not include flights or travel to and from the destination.


hlan Restaurant is a stylish addition to the Dar es Salaam dining scene. Its rose petal decor and its fun, fresh menu of burgers – available bite-sized on its famous revolving wheel – salads, wraps, juices and milkshakes has been attracting the city’s cool crowd since its grand opening in early 2020. Visit its instagram page Twiga is delighted that Ahlan Restaurant has agreed to partner with us to offer this issue’s competition prize. One lucky reader will be getting a free meal for them and their guest along with their drink of choice.

Last issue’s

WINNER Congratulations to Paschal Eugene who wins a guided hike in the Pugu Hills from Kwazi Birding & Tours - Well done and thanks for flying Air Tanzania.

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Food markets

THE FRESH FOUR… the best food markets in Tanzania Tanzania’s colourful food markets with their vivid array of farm-fresh fruit, vegetables and spices are the places to go if you value traceable, nutrient-packed produce picked at the peak of ripeness. Making use of the markets is a great way to support local smallholder farmers and they are always popular, vibrant places that offer a great way to meet members of the community. Here are four markets to seek out, recommended by the locals who frequent them.

Darajani Market

Kinondoni TX Market

Stone Town, Zanzibar

Dar es Salaam

Chosen by Rebecca Gamma, manager of the Zanzibar Coffee House. The café and hotel is housed in a lovingly restored Arabic home that dates back to 1885 and has eight individually designed rooms as well as a show-stopping rooftop, where breakfast is served, with panoramic views over the Mkunazini area of Stone Town. Visit

Rebecca says: “The Darajani Market is right around the corner from the Zanzibar Coffee House and that’s a true

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“The fresh milk is essential for a coffee house. We need high fat fresh milk to make good cappuccinos. It comes directly from the market, then we boil it to make sure it is safe to use. After that, it’s ready to get steamed to render the perfect milk foam.”

Sun_Shine /

Locals know this market in Stone Town’s Darajani Road as Marikiti Kuu (‘main market’) and it is the biggest bazaar on the island, overflowing into surrounding streets, and where you can just about buy anything – from spices, fresh fish and meat, made-to-measure kanga, shoes, kids’ toys to mobile phones. If it is food you are after you need to get here early – along with half of Stone Town it seems – when the produce is at its freshest.

blessing. Most ingredients for our menu are sourced from the market. We love that it provides daily fresh ingredients, and you can find pretty much anything you need – from herbs to vegetables, to fruits and even milk and eggs.

Chosen by Chef Fred Uisso. Twiga readers will know Chef Uisso as the magazine’s food columnist and the international award-winning chef is also a TV star – hosting reality cookery show Masapta Sapata – and runs his own restaurant, Club Afrikando, in Dar es Salaam. Visit his Instagram page @clubafrikando This market on the Kinondoni Road just north of the CBD is a one-stop shop for all your organic fruit and vegetable needs. The produce all comes from local farmers and is very fresh. Catering for middle-income shoppers and expats, the prices are a little higher than other markets in the city, but for quality it’s hard to beat. Chef Uisso says: “The Kinondoni TX Market is my favourite shopping spot. The ‘TX’ reflects the market’s popularity with Dar’s ex-patriot community. There are a lot of foreigners residing in Dar and they flood here for their fresh food, especially fruit and vegetables. So it was baptized as a market for TX. The good things about the market are the availability of varieties of fine selected fruits and veggies. Period.”

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Mesula Ltd Farmers’ Market

Haile Selassie Road, Arusha Chosen by Leah Assenga, owner of Kitamu Coffee. The café is in Goliondoi Street in the heart of the town and is known for its excellent coffee sourced from smallholder farms in the Mt Meru foothills, its freshly made cakes and hearty and healthy main dishes. Visit Mesula Ltd is a social enterprise set up seven years ago to spread awareness and the use of organic and sustainable agriculture. Plenty of local smallholder farms are now on board and the farm-to-table produce – all 100 per cent organic – is available to buy at the market every first Saturday of the month. You’ll find freshly picked vegetables, organic eggs, lots of cheese, breads, cakes, spices, delicious preserves and honey. Leah says: “This market is great and I get a lot of the fresh ingredients our dishes are famous for here such as huge, plump avocados and fresh fruit for our cakes and desserts. It is important to me to be supporting local farmers and to encourage organic practices and to get the freshest, healthiest ingredients for our customers.”

Mbeya Sokoine Market Mbeya

Chosen by Amelia Korda, owner of Maua Café. The homestead-turned café just a mile out of town offers coffee from nearby Lunji Coffee Farm, homemade desserts, a lunch menu that includes burgers, wraps and salads as well three-course dinners (to be booked in advance) every Friday evening. All this and regular event nights and a craft shop selling the work of local artists. Visit its Facebook site @Maua-Cafe Located in Sisimba in the heart of Mbeya, not far from the home stadium of the town’s football team, Mbeya Sokoine Market is one of the biggest markets in the city and offers a great choice of locally farmed fruit and vegetables.

organic herbs and salads for the café, but our juices are all from this gem of a market in Mbeya Town. Our pickles and vegetable dishes are also all from here. “There is also a woven basket section inside the market where you can buy your own eco-friendly kikapu or basket to place your purchases in. You might even find a few pieces of handmade Matema pottery, decorative baskets and carved images at the back of the basket section.”

Amelia says: “Mbeya is known as the Green City of Tanzania. Rightly so. The selection of fresh produce is amazing. Maua Café has a few places we shop at to provide fresh ingredients for our customers. One of the places we love to buy produce from is Mbeya Sokoine Market. It’s central, might be a bit more pricy than other markets, but it has more variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. “Just the scene of colourful fruits and eager bright smiles and a ‘karibu’ will make you want to stop and look at what every stall has. Maua Café plants its own

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Mwani Zanzibar


Image: Rosa van Ederen

on the sands of Paje

The mamas of Mwani Zanzibar in Paje make all-natural skincare products with the key ingredient seaweed farmed a matter of metres away in the Indian Ocean. Mark Edwards finds out about the clean and ethical range and the way in which the company presents a model for how seaweed farming can provide independence and a secure career while protecting the islands’ fragile coastline.


ressed in their uniform of headscarfs and flowing dresses coloured a shade of blue that is as azure as the Indian Ocean they wade into waist deep to work, the Mwani Zanzibar ‘mamas’ stand out from the rest of the many seaweed farmers that tend to their harvest around the coastline of the Zanzibar archipelago. The 17 women employed by the social enterprise also distinguish themselves in roles that go far beyond growing seaweed. In fact, that’s where the work just begins.

From Mwani Zanzibar’s production centre – an impressive hut with a roof thatched with coconut leaves – just moments from Paje beach on the east coast of Unguja, the women handcraft a range of all-natural skin products with the harvested seaweed a key ingredient. Their soaps, body scrubs and butters are also made with herbs and spices grown in the centre’s gardens or sourced from across Africa. Seaweed is a veritable elixir of proteins, enzymes, minerals and vitamins and, as Mwani Zanzibar

Lemongrass Body Butter is among the all-natural Mwani Zanzibar products Image: Mwani Zanzibar

The Mwani mamas – among them Maua (second left) – tend to their farms Image: Rosa van Ederen

director Klaartje Schade details, its effect on the skin can turn back the hands of time. “It is naturally abundant in essential amino acids and moisturising phytonutrients, protein-rich seaweed restructures collagen to combat premature skin ageing,” she says. “This treasured ingredient is also effective in the treatment of skin conditions like acne and eczema. It detoxifies and restores the natural balance of your skin, whilst its powerful antioxidants protect against environmental pollutants.”

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/ Mwani Zanzibar


Mwani staff, including Salama (front), working on the farms at low tide

MWANI TEAM Here are just a few of the 17-strong Mwani Zanzibar team who oversee the production process from seaweed farm to handcrafted soaps and scrubs

Fauzia Production manager

Maua Production

Patima Production supervisor

Pili Production

Mwanaiddi Production

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Image: Rosa van Ederen

Schade believes the combination of Mwani Zanzibar’s couldn’t-befresher ingredients and an exacting, weeks-long production method mean these skin-boosting benefits are only intensified in the company’s nutrient-rich micro batches of soaps, body scrubs and oils. A great deal of care and effort goes into every stage of the process and it all starts in the ocean shallows. Schade says: “Each piece of seaweed is grown over a period of 12 weeks and tended to daily during low tide. Once harvested, it is dried under well-aired, shaded conditions in order to reduce drying time and maintain the nutritious benefits. “Following this, we grind it. Powders, granules or extracts are created, depending on the product that we wish to make. All our products are made by cold-process, in small batches and by hand every step of the way. We don’t add filling ingredients and fragrancing is a result of the combination of pure ingredients that combine with essential oils and absolutes. As with cuisine, each ingredient plays an important role, for example, our beeswax is unadulterated and smells like pure honey, these combinations are key to skincare that is joyous and beneficial to use. Our ‘mamas’ take care of the product each step of the way.”

Cold-process soaps The cold-process method takes time with curing – the drying process in which the water evaporates and the soap hardens into shape – lasting weeks, but it is worth it. The lack of heat keeps the essential oils and beeswax intact throughout for maximum creaminess and the bar of soap can be tailor-made down to the last ingredient. Schade says: “Our soap takes five to six weeks to cure, using a method that we believe is most beneficial for our clients. It allows the soap

Director and co-founder Klaartje Schade

to retain the natural benefits of the oils and allows us to use pure ingredients. “Cold process soap is made with essential oils and natural ingredients with each ingredient adding nutritional benefits,” says Schade. “With cold-process soap, there is a high glycerine content – otherwise removed in mass-produced soaps – which moisturises the skin. This along with the beeswax and organic coconut oil helps soothe and keep the skin supple. “Cold-process is an age-old way of making soap and the lye [the mixture that spurs the soap-making chemical reaction] needed was originally

/ Mwani Zanzibar

Wanu Production

Khadija Production

Salma made from seaweed, therefore it is a bit like a home-coming to us!” The artisan-quality, chemical-free results have encouraged some of the archipelago’s most exclusive and environmentally friendly hotels to affiliate with Mwani Zanzibar as a luxury brand partner for their bathroom amenities. “We are working with a select few eco-luxury hotels, such as Zuri Zanzibar,” says Schade. “They have invested heavily into sourcing locally and the use of ecological practices. We supply a hotel amenities’ range and cold-process soaps that are made bespoke for them.”

through the company’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Retail outlets in Tanzania stocking Mwani Zanzibar products include Dar handicraft hub Make It Matter and Kumi Gifts and Treats in Stone Town, Zanzibar. This operational expansion has had to contend with Covid-19 for much of 2020. Currently the team works in shifts for social distancing and staff and surfaces are disinfected with Mwani Zanzibar’s homemade natural hand sanitiser, in which almost all of the virus-killing alcohol


Pius Manager

Scaling up operations The emphasis in the production centre is on attention to detail, but the highly trained team is now so proficient that Schade tells me “just under 1,000 bars of soap are produced each day” by Patima, Pili, Khadija and Maua without compromising quality. Mwani Zanzibar now has distributors in Germany and Poland with online stores of its products while it can also ship direct to international customers who get in touch

Gabriel Host

Pemba Honey & Citrus Body Polish Image: Mwani Zanzibar

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/ Mwani Zanzibar

Just under 1,000 bars of soap are produced each day by Patima, Pili, Khadija and Maua without compromising quality

Paying a livng family wage The job satisfaction is easy to understand. As well as the chance to learn valuable skills and the sensual pleasure of working with such natural, fragrant materials, staff at Mwani Zanzibar have the security of permanent contracts that pay well and offer benefits such as holiday and sick pay. Schade says: “Our lowest paid member of staff is paid 30 per cent above minimum wage and we are striving towards offering each staff member a living family wage – an income level that allows a family of 5.3 members – the average amount of dependents in our region – to live in adequate living conditions. Mwani Zanzibar is the first company on the island dealing with seaweed to fully employ its staff and offer

full employment benefits. We have launched a programme that includes paternity leave and health care insurance for employees and their families. “Although our team is not large, our impact on the women’s lives is. We hope that the financial success of our model will prompt more companies to think seriously about committing to environmental and social company models.” It’s a big ask. Mwani Zanzibar is just a small, independent outlier within a huge global business. Multi-national companies are vying for seaweed as a key ingredient in thickening agents used in products from toothpaste to ice cream. Still, the market price for seaweed has, Schade says, “barely shifted” in the past decade, fast losing pace with yearly inflation.

Image: Rosa van Ederen

Protecting the island

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Mwani Zanzibar pays a premium price – in fact, 30 times the price regularly sold to the seaweed buyer, Schade tells me – to the casual groups it asks to farm for them to supplement the mamas’ harvest, but their largesse is limited. Some farmers have resorted to unsustainable practices – such as cutting back mangrove forests for seaweed stakes and clearing seagrass beds to expand seaweed farms – to increase yields and income. It’s an issue that affects the

Mwani Zanzibar Director and cofounder Andrew Anthony

long-term livelihoods of seaweed farmers and the fragile coast they live beside. Mwani Zanzibar has from the start sought to carry out its work in harmony with the exquisite natural beauty of Paje with its expanse of sandy beach and its tidal flats protected by an offshore reef. The seaweed farms provide a habitat for marine life and the mamas handpick branches one at a time to protect creatures such as hermit crabs and sea horses that might be taking shelter. Schade says: “Seaweed farming helps create calm breeding spaces for sea creatures on a coast line that is increasingly busy with tourism. Our farming requires no destruction of the local eco-system in order to grow the crop, nor do we need to use pesticides or fertiliser. “The harvest is done by hand, using locally woven baskets, making every step of the way sustainable. Previously our seaweed sticks were made of wood, which required replacement every year. This month, we are moving on to sticks that are made from recycled plastic and produced by an innovative Tanzanian company.” The work of Mwani Zanzibar blends as beautifully with nature as the blue-robed mamas merge with sky and sea. These are new horizons for sustainable, supportive employment in Zanzibar. “As the company grows, we expect our staff to grow with us,” says Schade. For more information or to buy Mwani Zanzibar products, visit its Instagram and Facebook pages @mwanizanzibar

Image: Mwani Zanzibar

is derived from cane sugar. Created to keep Zanzibar protected from covid, the price was deliberately kept low and distributed for resale among vulnerable communities. Still, with its steady flow of international orders, Mwani Zanzibar continues to be a success story on the island and its mamas carry a prestige in Paje with many continuing to wear the branded blue robes outside of their work hours, Schade tells me, such is their pride in working for the company.

Mim Suleiman

‘OUR VOICES ARE WHAT MAKE US SO UNIQUE I had to find mine’ The career of singer-songwriter and musician Mim Suleiman was launched in the UK – her adopted home – but her eclectic, soulful dance music is soaked in the sounds of her early years in Zanzibar. She sings mostly in Swahili, plays a range of traditional instruments and champions the work of pioneering taarab ‘sisters’. Here, Mim talks about new album ‘Si Bure’, growing up in Stone Town and why her music cannot be categorised.

All images by / email:


Can you tell me about your memories growing up in Zanzibar and what part music played in your life then? A: My family left Pemba to start a life in Unguja while I was very young. The majority of my childhood was spent in Shangani, Stone Town. I attended Tumekuja Primary School then Hamamni Secondary. My childhood

was rich – full of barefooted events, cuts and bruises, Creativity was part of our play. We made our own toys, dolls, wheels, balls and cars. When there was no electricity there were storytelling sessions with candles. Often the stories were told before bedtime. Sometimes they were scary. I remember not being able to sleep until the sun rose, scared that the monster with donkey’s feet was coming for me. I loved it

though. I wouldn’t have it any other way. All just perfectly splendid! Music has always been a big part of my existence. My generation were lucky enough to be exposed to not only the local music but also international. Music videos in the 1970s and 1980s were more accessible as televisions and video players were becoming popular in Zanzibar. Great music was coming from all angles. Basically, it

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/ Mim Suleiman

When I was growing up, great music was coming at me from all angles. Parties were being thrown left, right and centre. Zanzibar was vibing! The cover image of Mim Suleiman’s latest album, ‘Si Bure’

was just Bruce Lee movies and breakdancing. Parties were being thrown left right and centre. Zanzibar was vibing. Q: Your music today draws on your East African heritage, but I have read you did not find your musical voice until you came to the UK. Why do you think this was? A: Well, I did not come from a musical background. There is no family member that I know of who plays any instruments. There were local singers with voices to die for and I sang other people’s songs. I imitated many voices. Our voices are what makes us unique. I had to find mine. When I understood the value of my art, I was already living in the UK [Mim arrived to study, gaining a degree in materials engineering from Sheffield Hallam University]. I went to a lot of music festivals, including WOMAD [World of Music, Arts and Dance], which blew me away. I joined a local choir while teaching at the University of Birmingham. That was the beginning of finding my voice. Q: Why did you choose ‘Si Bure’ as the title of your new album and what are some of the topics you address in the lyrics across the tracks? ‘A: Si Bure’ means ‘It’s not for nothing’. It is meant to encourage – to never give up even when sometimes you think it is impossible. Everything is possible

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through hard work and perseverance. The album has songs that teach us, that encourage us, give us hope, give us food for thought and that celebrate life. The track ‘Kumenona’ is about that feeling of getting ready for a party – you smell good, look good, you’ve got your dancing shoes on and you are on top of the world. Q: On ‘Si Bure’ you again teamed up with US DJ and producer Maurice Fulton? Can you tell me about how you first got together and what he adds to your music? A: ‘Si Bure’ is our fifth album together. The first release was ‘Tungi’ in 2009, which feature a song called ‘Mingi’ used in [console game] Grand Theft Auto 5. We were introduced by a mutual friend in Sheffield. It is not often you click with someone in collaboration so this is just a blessing to have him in my life. We come from different backgrounds but we land on the same beat. Maurice is my mentor, my teacher and he’s like family. We have already started to work on the next album. Q: Your music encompasses elements from many genres of music from afro beat to disco and soul. Does it annoy you when people try to categorise your music? A: Oh, my days! Yes, it really, really does. My eclectic style is my natural expression. I am inspired by what I see, feel, hear

and touch. I hear the orchestra and rhythms in everything I do. Q: Tell me about Usista, the musical road movie across East Africa you made in 2015? A: I wanted to create a living archive of East African musical heroines. I have always been passionate about learning more about my musical and cultural heritage. We didn’t do history at school. I was keen to find more. Inspired by Bi Kidude [‘the Queen of taarab’], I wondered whether there were thousands like her with talents we do really know about it. The Usista team shared the same values. We wanted to find them. [Mim met Bi Kidude and headlined that year’s Sauti za Busara music festival, singing with Siti Muharam, grand-daughter of the legendary Siti Bint Saad, whose debut album ‘Romance Revolution on Zanzibar’ was released last year.] Q: Performing live seems to be a big part of the appeal of music to you so the current situation under Covid restrictions must be challenging. A: King Covid took over 2020. All gigs booked for 2020 have been cancelled. Some are rescheduled for 2021, but we are not sure what is happening. We live in hope that soon there will be a silver lining. Live shows are fun. I get to meet all kinds of people, travel the world and work

/ Mim Suleiman

Mim Suleiman loves the experience of playing live and can’t wait to get on stage again

To be among such a wealth of creative energy was mind blowing.

with other artists. I performed for Queen Elizabeth II and all the leaders of the Commonwealth, at Buckingham Palace. The British tabloids [popular newspapers] had headlines like ‘Our Majesty the Queen is not amused’ because she didn’t look happy in the pictures. It was seen by millions around the world. Q: You were part of [UK musician and co-founder of virtual band Gorillaz] Damon Albarn’s Africa Express Train Tour [a series of live concerts to tie in with 2012 Olympic Games in the UK featuring a host of African artists]. What are your memories of that time? A: I feel blessed and honoured to have been a part of such historical momens. Over 100 artists including myself boarded the train with daily pop-up

events at stations, school, shops, cafés followed by a four-hour show each night. It was perfectly awesome. [Legendary Nigerian drummer] Tony Allen got me dancing for days! I am sure that was the beginning of my knee trouble! I remember it like it was yesterday. We were at our final show at King’s Cross Station [London]. I stood on the platform with him and danced to his calls. I knew he love it because he was smiling and shining. I miss him [Allen died in April, 2020]. Amadou Bakayoko [from Mali musical couple Amadou and Maryam] didn’t know what hit him. I serenaded him with my beginner’s ukulele and we became buddies. I played him the first song I composed on ukulele, ‘Ukatili’, which I wrote to raise awareness of the injustices faced by the albino communities in Africa, especially Tanzania.

Q: What traditional Swahili instruments can you play? A: I play everything that I can get my hands on. If I can hit it with sticks then I am 100 per cent getting involved. There are so many instruments I would like to learn – the violin and oud for example. No more than four strings, though really. I know my limits. I play msewe shakers, originally from Pemba as well as variety of other percussion instruments such as tins, tables, sticks, cups and anything that is at my disposal. I also like to play the ukulele and I do a lot of hamboning [making music with your body with stomps and slaps]. The possibilities of sounds are endless. Q: There is a sense of joy in your music. Is that how it feels to make it? A: Sometimes I don’t feel like singing. My voice says “no”, but when it says “yes” it is always liberating to the soul and spirit. That people respond to my music is amazing. Thank you to my beloved fans for all their love and support, wherever they are in the world. I listen to my songs when I am learning them, but on the rare occasions when I am in the mood to listen to my songs, I feel a massive sense of achievement. It makes feel 12 feet tall. I am a giant in disguise, really.

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Comoros entrepreneur

FROM BUS DRIVER TO A BUSINESS EMPIRE …the man who brought commerce to Comoros Image by ZAP Photography

The clothing business Nasirhusen Devjani began in Comoros, changed the former bus driver’s life and it led to the creation of a family business empire that has been equally as transformative for the people of the remote archipelago.


he rags-to-riches tale of Nasirhusen Devjani is one to inspire any budding entrepreneur. At seven he left the family home in Bhadraval – a small village in the Indian state of Gujurat – and had to fend for himself in a hostel. Schooling only lasted four years and the best job he could get as an adult with a family to support was driving a bus in the town of Mahuva, earning the equivalent of US$ 20 a month. Now he is the head of a hugely successful family business with ventures across East Africa and as an expert in theology he has travelled the world with recent lectures in Paris, London and Madagascar. Devjani’s fortunes started to change when he arrived in Comoros in 2007 and the hope is the thriving business empire he began there

– now led by his two sons – will prove as transformational to the economically vulnerable islands as it has proved for him. Devjani took time to warm to the archipelago off the east coast of Africa. His youngest son, Abbas, says his father is fond of recounting that after arriving in transit in Grand Comore – the largest of the islands – his first thought to himself was: “I will try my best to never come back to this island.” However, Devjani did return and his attitude soon thawed when he took in the islands’ stunning natural beauty, the warmth of the people and the business opportunities available. Abbas tells me his father became aware that with no textile industry of its own, Comoros was importing its clothes from Tanzania, which has

Comoros became the heart of the business ventures of Nasirhusen Devjani (pictured top with his two sons, Abbas (left) and Mohammad (right)

proved itself a supportive neighbour on the East African coast with a trade agreement dating back to 2006. However, many of these clothes were actually made in India and the price Comoros citizens were paying for their clothes reflected the cost of that protracted journey.

Clothing business With his connections at home, Devjani saw an opportunity to import directly from India and provide cheaper, quality clothes for Comorians. In 2007, he took out a loan of US$ 2,000 for his first order and opened boutique

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/ Comoros entrepreneur

Magasin Oudjissa in the Comoros’ capital, Moroni. In a year the business was bringing in US$ 200,000 and Husem looked to his sons, Abbas and elder brother Mohammad, both still in their teens at that time, to help run operations. The following year they opened another branch of Magasin Oudjissa and on its heels came a factory producing its Hana brand of plain and flavoured yoghurts; a tissue paper factory; restaurant MoCafé, which has become a diplomat-magnet dining institution in Moroni; and just last year a water plant, Masafi Water, bringing clean drinking water in affordable, biodegradable sachets to islanders. The impact of these ventures in Comoros has been huge. They represent a large step in building economic independence on the islands and have been a boost to employment and quality of life.

The Comoros economy While Comoros has some lucrative exports – it is the world’s leading producer of ylang ylang, an essential oil that forms the base of perfumes around the world, Chanel No 5 included – they cannot support the densely populated islands alone. More than 850,000 people live here with well over half of them under the age of 25. There are few job opportunities for the nation’s youth and many work abroad and send remittances home. Of those that

stay, the vast majority are involved in subsistence farming or fishing. Attracting outside help has not always been easy. In the early years following independence from France in 1976, the only event that seemed to arrive with more frequency than the coup d’etats – 20 at last count – that made grabs for political control of the new country were the life-threatening eruptions of Mount Karthala, the (very) active volcano on Grand Comore. No wonder then that few outside the country were moved to invest. However, since the start of the new century, a Fourth Constitution seems to have established democratic transfer of power and Karthala has been quiet since 2007.

2030 Strategic Vision Current President Azali Assoumani came to power with a vision to make Comoros an emerging country by 2030. Hussem and his sons’ vision aligns with this government development strategy to promote the country and improve the living conditions of the population. Abbas says: “Our father told us from the beginning, ‘Don’t just work for money, you are working for people. You are creating jobs.’” Their portfolio of ventures ensure Comoros can rely on essential products made in the country, especially vital during the pandemic when flight restrictions meant the islands were more isolated than ever.

Comoros export ylang ylang

Nasirhusen Devjani is also in demand around the world as an expert in theology

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“We used to get our yoghurt from Yemen,” says Abbas. “However, when the country went down there was none. It plays a big part in Comoros cuisine. So we stepped in and opened the factory and started the Hana range.” Comoros has no dairy livestock so the milk is imported from Tanzania, but the yoghurt is made on Grande Comore. Now islanders have a cheap and excellent source of protein and calcium, ideal for its young population. Even more essential to the nation’s health has been the establishment of the Masafi Water plant. Access to surface water in Comoros is a challenge and the tap water is not drinkable. Imported mineral water was expensive, Abbas says, retailing at the equivalent of US$ 1 for a 400ml bottle. The plant treated water is sold at 10 cents for a 400ml biodegradable sachet. When the average salary is US$ 120 a month, the difference is life-changing.

/ Comoros entrepreneur

Raising the tourism profile of the islands has a real potential to boost its fortunes

Moroni Beach in the Comoros

The family hope that even more jobs will soon be created with their planned tissue and napkin factory. Currently the products, used extensively in the hospitality sector on the island, are imported from China and India. The family intends to invest in a plant here and make the product affordable and create more jobs.

Moroni’s top restaurant The Devjani brothers have also left their mark on the culture and cuisine of Moroni, giving the capital a restaurant to be proud of in MoCafé. It’s a hugely popular place with a clientele of regulars that extends to the President and his family. The country’s finance minister also takes his breakfast there and it is a favourite haunt for the sports minister and plenty more high-end digntaries. Despite the exclusive endorsements and an international team of chefs creating Indian dishes as well as continental classics, Abbas says the restaurant is “high quality, but

affordable”. There are also takeaway options with pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven, flavoured milkshakes, homemade cakes customised for special occasions and a huge range of French patisserie. Some quirky touches on the MoCafé menu such as a revolving wheel of bite-sized burgers and fries and a range of delicious mocktails will be familiar to Tanzanians who have visited Dar es Salaam’s Ahlan Restaurant TZ, launched last year as part of the brothers’ bid to extend their business Empire into the East African mainland. Both Ahlan and MoCafé are hotspots to see and be seen in their respective cities. Abbas says the opulent interior and level of luxury of MoCafé still surprises locals and overseas guests. “A group of recent visitors told us they felt like they were in Dubai when they dined here,” says Abbas. The restaurant has recently partnered with the Golden Tulip – another welcome

Moroni, capital of Grand Comore Altrendo Images /

addition to Grande Comore’s high-end hospitality options – to increase the profile of the four-star hotel’s guests to Mocafé’s exclusive clientele. Raising the tourism profile of the islands has a real potential to boost its fortunes especially if visitors know they can get the comforts and cuisine they are accustomed to. Who wouldn’t want to visit a remote getaway with white-sand beaches, crystalline protected waters that welcome humpback whales every year and perfumed plantations carpeting its volcanic hills? Devjani may not have been so taken with the islands when he first arrived, but Comoros has brought him a life that can barely have seemed possible during his troubled upbringing. He continues to do all he can to give back to the country.

FLIGHTS TO COMOROS Air Tanzania now flies three times a week to Comoros. There are flights from Dar es Salaam to Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport in Moroni, Grande Comore, every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

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new year resolutions

Tanzanian talent welcome in 2021 I think we can all agree this year has been challenging, so 2021 has got to be better, right? We asked some of Tanzania’s top talent about what they hope the new year will bring for themselves and the wider world.

Hasheem Thabeet

image courtesy of Hasheem Thabeet

Professional basketball player, currently with Hsinchu JKO Lioneers in the Taiwanese P League

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“Looking at how things are going, I believe it’s only right to be optimistic about the future. The pandemic has affected different regions in different ways, it’s going to take a lot of resilience and patience because of the inconsistency in our plans and schedules. We need to spend as much time as we can preparing and staying ready to execute any given opportunity. By allowing the time to focus on what matters, you are mentally bracing yourself for a successful future.”

/ Twiga new year resolutions

Rebecca Yeong Ae Corey

Evans Bukuku Stand-up comedian, radio and TV personality and Punchline Africa event host

“In a fast paced and ever-changing world that continues to throw you curveballs at every opportunity, find time to focus and trust in your inner voice. You will find your way home. Most importantly, keep learning, keep growing and keep searching... for you. “Curiosity leads you up certain paths in life, but only passion can take you all the way.”

Given Edward Social entrepreneur, CEO of Mtabe Innovations and creator of the MyElimu education platform

“This period is summed up best by something [US author] Paul Harvey said: “At times like these it’s important to remember that there have always been times like these.” “On the microscopic level, Covid and 2020 seem like new, strange times. But on a macro level, historically every generation has faced a challenge that’s different from their immediate normal. And as a human race, we’ve pulled through in every single one of those moments. We learned and moved forward better with lessons for future generations to live better. I believe 2020 has given us such an opportunity again. We got this.”

Director of Nafasi Arts Space, Dar es Salaam

“My hope is that 2021 will be a year of healing, connection, and compassion for others. Creating and appreciating art – making a home for it in our lives and spaces – is a practice I think many people came to enjoy more this year because they had time for it. I hope that will continue and grow, as creativity has endless potential for cultivating growth and emotional awareness!”

Mimi Mars

Image: Alvin Aringo

MC, TV host and singer

I am looking forward to playing more shows and live concerts. It was great to be among the artists involved in the parties for this year’s election campaign, but I would like to see more artists partner with the government for major concerts and events throughout the year.

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new year resolutions

Isack Abeneko Contemporary performer, singer, musician and choreographer

“In the power of our culture is diversity, innovation and arts. May the new year bring you new happiness, new goals, new achievements and a lot of new inspirations into your life. 2020 was not an easy year for all of us and now we know how much we are all connected. Therefore, I’m wishing for a year fully loaded with happiness, success and prosperity for all.”

Fahad Awadh Entrepreneur, founder of YYTZ Agro-Processing

“We have survived a tumultuous past year; the new year brings with it hope. As I reflect on the coming year, I am truly grateful for all of Allah’s blessings. I am looking forward to new challenges and opportunities as we seek to create a better future. That future is Africa.”

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Grace Matata Tanzanian afro-soul singer – her latest EP, Rebirth, is available now online

“I would love to see more healing for myself next year. 2020 was a year of hard lessons. So much has happened and so much has changed. I have been unlearning and re-learning so much. It feels like it has been survival mode all year. I want 2021 to be less about surviving and more about thriving.”

/ Twiga new year resolutions

Sandra A. Mushi

Albany James A serial entrepreneur entrepreneur helping push Tanzania start-up ecosystem forward. Among his latest projects is takeaway and grocery delivery app Foodsasa, of which he is co-founder.

Author and founder and lead interior architecture designer at Creative Studios Ltd

“I hope the covid vaccines prove to be effective and without contraindications. Once this is in place this pandemic should be behind us and the world will open up fully for business and families to travel and work together.”

“I want 2021 to be the year where a positive narrative of Africa is created. Yes, we still face challenges, but there are so many opportunities that can alter Africa’s route. For one we need to trade among ourselves and celebrate ourselves as Africans as this continent has so much to give.”

Fred Uisso International award-winning chef, owner of Afrikado restaurant, host of TV cookery show Masapta Sapta and Twiga food columnist

image: Vanessa E Mwingira

“I pray to see 2021 with tourists flooding all across our country and enjoying our local cuisine. Our government has made the streets calm and friendly. Let’s use the opportunity for the economic growth of our families and the nation.”

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/ Bandra West

BANDRA WEST for beginners

Bandra West, Mumbai’s trendy western coastal suburb, is packed with restaurants, craft beer bars, chic boutiques and cool nightclubs and there are lungfuls of fresh Arabian Sea air to be had along its coastal promenades. No surprise then that it is the neighbourhood of choice for the city’s major Bollywood actors, many of whom have homes here. Here is Twiga’s guide to Mumbai’s cosmopolitan ‘Queen of the Suburbs’.

THE DINING DISTRICT Mumbai’s foodies flock to Bandra West with dining destinations opening here all the time. Don’t expect a lot of traditional Indian cuisine, this is where people go to experience the latest food trends. For organic food, head to Birdsong Café with all-day breakfasts, salad and soups served in a bright, split-level exposed brick space. Rustic hideaway Olive Bar & Kitchen serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine while Pali Bhavan gives Indian dishes a quirky twist. You’re almost guaranteed a sighting of a Bollywood A-lister at the Pali Village Café, which was once a furniture store but now its cavernous high-ceilinged rooms seat

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120 diners in shabby chic style with an excellent menu of European cuisine. Finally, check out One Street for international cuisine with an Asian touch served in a cosy, wood-panelled setting.

/ Bandra West


Manoej Paateel /

A popular evening pastime here is take a stroll along the Banstand Promenade (also known as the Bandra Bandstand), a 1.2 km-long walkway that borders the Arabian Sea. It also has a jogging track, children’s play area and a park and is a wonderful spot to just hang out and take in the incredible sun sets here. Towards the Land’s End side of the promenade is an amphitheatre, which hosts the nine-day biennial cultural festival Celebrate Bandra among other events. Every Sunday at the amphitheatre’s ‘Artist’s Court’ there are live music performances.

VISIT BANDRA FORT A popular meeting point right at the end of Bandstand Promenade is the restored 17th century Bandra Fort. It was originally built by the Portuguese, who called it ‘Castella de Aguada’, as a watchtower to look out over Mahim Bay. Now it provides an excellent place to take in the landmark Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge, which links Bandra with Worli and Nariman Point. It is now a venue for music events and has a neighbour in the ‘King of Bollywood’ Shah Rukh Khan, who had his sprawling palatial six-floor mansion, Mannat, built nearby.


Sunset over the Bandstand Promenade

Bandra West is a haven for frugal fashionistas. Locals head to Linking Road, which is lined with stalls selling cheap clothing and accessories (no seller expects you to take their first price) as well as designer stores and trendy boutiques such as Anokhi, with its contemporary textile designs; funky clothing and lifestyle store On My Own (OMO) and multi-designer outlet Ensemble with its range of bridal and ready-to-wear outfits.

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/ Bandra West

EXPLORE BANDRA’S PORTUGUESE HERITAGE Bandra has only in the last century been swallowed up by the implacable expansion of Mumbai, one of the world’s biggest cities. When it was settled by the Portuguese in 1534 it was just a small fishing village and far enough away from the city that the Portuguese remained in control even after the Bombay Islands were transferred to the British in 1661. The Brits did ultimately annexe the territory, but by that time the Portuguese had created a deep legacy through the spread of Catholicism and the building of religious architecture, including the Ranwar Square Cross; the chapel of St Mary, which is the focal point of the Bandra Fair in September, and St Michael’s – commonly known as Mahim church – which was established in 1534, but has been rebuilt many times over the years. There are Portuguese street names such as Pereira Road and some Old Bandra families have Portuguese-sounding surnames. Despite the modern-day urbanisation, some of the 24 original villages that made up the original Bandra settlement survive, such as Chimbai fishing village and Ranwar village, which can be explored on foot to experience the legacy.

PARTY ALL NIGHT Bandra West is a nightclub nirvana with more places to party than anywhere else in Mumbai, and the city is one of the few in India that doesn’t have a nightlife curfew so you can dance ‘til dawn. Basement club Drop attracts international DJs and live bands on global tours and also gets live bands. Quirky restaurant and bar The Den hosts its own mini party, Mixtaped!, every Wednesday with a different guest DJ every week. Another Bandra eatery, One Street Over, gets a wild nightclub makeover at weekends, which attracts plenty of the city’s film stars and socialites.

Mount Mary Church in Bandra RAMNIKLAL MODI /

Ranwar village dates back more than 400 years, but its narrow streets and heritage architecture are under siege from the City sprawl of hotels and high rises. A key to its survival may be its burgeoning street art scene led by an initiative called Bollywood Art Project. Most of the works – from known and unknown street artists – can be found on and around Waroda Road, Chapel Road, and Saint Veronica Road up to Mount Carmel Church in Bandra West. Exploring among the attractive art deco homes and quaint streets will reveal massive murals of Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna on the corner of Bandstand and Pereira Road while an image of a tall tree covers all the steps to Mount Mary Hill. There are guided tours available that take in Old Bandra and the modern art that has now added to it.

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FiledIMAGE /


Hotel review

THE BRONTE HOTEL GARDEN OF DELIGHTS Originally built as a private residence in 1911, the Bronte Garden Hotel now provides a home from home for its guests, who get to bask in its beautifully landscaped, palm tree-packed grounds. While the attractions of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, are on its doorstep, the hotel retains a sense of cloistered calm whether for overnight stays or enjoying its popular restaurant and bar.

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/ Hotel review The Bronte’s beautiful gardens are dotted with Shona sculptures and feature a swimming pool

Location The Bronte Garden Hotel is found among the grid-like network of wide tree-lined streets of prosperous suburb The Avenues within walking distance of downtown Harare. The area is a popular place to live for many young professionals due to its proximity to the Central Business District and it has a vibrant atmosphere of its own with plenty of trendy restaurants and bars. Sporting facilities within easy reach include the Royal Harare Golf Club, Harare Sports Club and Cricket Grounds (where international test cricket matches are played) while The Harare Botanical Gardens and National Art Gallery are also close by. A short taxi ride will get you to the Museum of Human Sciences and the National Museum while the city’s train station is 2km away and the hotel can arrange shuttle trips for the 15km to Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport.

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Style A sense of peace pervades here and central to that is the hotel’s garden. Its tall palms shroud the grounds from the outside world, leaving guests in their own magical oasis, which they can explore along pathways that wind through the manicured gardens, passing ornamental ponds and a collection of Shona sculpture by internationally renowned Zimbabwean artists. All of the hotel’s rooms have terraces or balconies overlooking the gardens and the restaurant, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, and the casual open-air bar also make the most of the verdant views. The latter is a popular spot for clued-up Harare residents who come in the evenings to enjoy a refreshing signature cocktail or high tea while listening to birdsong and feeling the warm sunset. The colonial-era building makes the most of the outside space with its grand column-lined verandahs and there is a

sense of airiness to the interiors, especially in the large lobby lounge. A cosy feel is created on chillier evenings when the bar has a crackling open fire going. The service here echoes the hotel’s sense of contentment and calm with staff uniformly welcoming, friendly and efficient.

Rooms The Bronte caters for every budget and each room has that priceless garden view. Rooms range from eight Executive Suites each with their lounge area and minibar; four Superior rooms in the Ashley block; 72 standard bedrooms spread across Jacaranda, Aloe and Yucca and 18 economy rooms in the Kingsley block. All rooms also benefit from room service, complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs with selected Satellite DSTV channels, individual air conditioning units, a digital safe and coffee and tea making facilities.

/ Hotel review

Facilities and services

Food and drink

As if there weren’t enough reasons to go into the gardens, the Bronte has two outdoor swimming pools. More fitness options are coming soon with the gym currently undergoing refurbishment. With the offices and embassies of Harare’s CBD close by, The Bronte Garden Hotel is a popular venue for business events. Its three conference rooms – ‘Charlotte’, ‘Emily’ and ‘Anne’, inspired by the hotel’s titular sister authors – can accommodate small to medium-sized meetings up to 100 people. The attractive garden and quality dining options here mean the hotel and its events staff can cater for weddings, banquets and training workshops. If you need ideas on how to spend you free time in Harare, there is an independent travel office to arrange city tours and book day trips or your airport shuttle.

All overnight guests get a complimentary buffet breakfast with the wide range of options including a choice of delicious pastries cooked fresh each morning by the hotel’s patisserie chef. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at Palms Restaurant, which is a popular dining destination for Harare locals as well as hotel guests. If you intend to come for dinner it is wise to book in advance. The menu ranges from à la carte, table d’hôte to occasional lunch buffet and vegetarian options. Light meals from the Garden Menu can be enjoyed under parasol-shaded tables in the garden or around the pool area. Dinner is served inside at Palms Restaurant or on the wide, cool verandahs that wrap around this historic building. Dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients sourced locally every day. The pasta alfredo served with a side salad

comes highly recommended and there is an extensive choice of freshly made desserts to round off your meal. For light snacks and an irresistible array of drinks, The Wild Date Bar is an inviting place. You can sip long, cool cocktails on the shaded verandah on warm evenings or gather around the grand open fire inside when the temperature dips.

FIND OUT MORE For more information or to book, visit, email or call +263 242 707 522 Double rooms start at US$ 192. The hotel is being run in compliance with the Covid-19 secure guidelines of the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health & Child Care and the World Health Organization.

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Impress at your next dinner party – with socially distanced seating arrangements, naturally – with the beautiful range of wooden cutlery and bowls on sale at Make It Matter. Like everything available to buy at the Dar es Salaam store, the homeware is handmade by Tanzanian artisans using traditional methods and natural materials. To explore the full range of products – from jewellery through skincare to furniture – visit the store in Msasani Road, Oyster Bay, or visit its Facebook site or its website

Salad spoon servers

35,000 Tsh

Ice cream spoons 16,000Tsh

Aguata snack bowls 25,000

Pinch pots and spice pots

from 15,000Tsh

Wooden bowl


Woven placemats 18,000 Tsh

Woven bowls


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Tech for a home studio Body



Electronic music in East Africa is expanding exponentially with affordable software allowing a new generation to create release-ready tracks to share with just a laptop. Whether you fancy yourself a singeli bedroom producer or a blogger, having a home studio is no longer a dream. Here are Twiga’s tips for an ideal starter kit.

Innogear microphone pop filter

Shure SM57 Dynamic instrument microphone Kanye West claims he recorded a good deal of the vocals on his 2019 album ‘Jesus is King’ on iPhone voice memos, but at some point, everyone, US presidential fantasists included, needs to step up and upgrade to a decent microphone. A great budget option is the Shure SM57. It can be used to mic up instruments such as drums and guitars and, being a dynamic microphone, it picks up just the sound of the instrument and ignores background noise – ideal for a home studio where you might not be able to control the sounds around you. The Shure SM57 doesn’t have a built-in pop filter so you might also need… US$ 89

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If you want professional quality vocals when you are recording raps or a podcast, you’ll want to buffer the ‘popping’ sounds made when air moves at a fast pace through the microphone. You could try to create a rap without the letters “p”, “t” and “b” – the harsh consonants most responsive for the disruptive noises – but more sensible would be to create your own pop filter by covering the mic with some sheer material such as nylon tights or purchase this inexpensive option. The Aokeo will also subdue the excess noise, which is useful if you’re recording at home and were unable to properly soundproof your room. US$ 9

Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro Not everyone in your household may appreciate your latest tracks blasted at high volume so a good pair of headphones is essential. What’s more, headphones can reveal details in your mixes that you might miss on speakers. If you have mixing in mind, you’ll need a pair of open-back headphones, which optimise sound quality. The Byerdynamic DT990 Pro provides excellent sound – with an exceptionally wide frequency range and strong bass presence – for a low price. They are also extremely comfortable so can be worn without complaint when you are putting in the hours getting the mix just right. US$ 120

/ Tech for a home studio

Protools To properly mix and export your music, you’ll need specific music-mixing software. Garageband is a good first option while Pro Tools also has a free-to-download ‘lite’, which allows 16 audio tracks, enables you to record up to four tracks simultaneously and has a library of samples, loops and sounds if you don’t have a virtual instrument. Pro Tools allows you to send sessions once complete and is very widely used and understood so ideal for sharing and collaborating. When you feel the need to step up, the subscription version gives access to plugins, allowing you to add the sounds of legendary audio processors and analog gear as well as the sounds of the world’s greatest guitar and bass amps.

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor US$ 200 From US$ 29 per month

Avid Technology, Inc.

If you are going to add speakers to your home studio set-up, you should opt for studio monitors rather than standard hi-fi speakers. The reason is studio monitors play back a very flat, unenhanced sound, giving you the most accurate impression of your mix so you can easily pick out imperfections and work on them. They also produce a bigger, expansive sound, allowing you to experience the track differently to how you would through headphones. The Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor captures every nuance from your audio mix and also includes attenuators that allow you to improve the performance of your monitor based on your room.

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24 hours in…


Tucked away in the far north west reaches of Tanzania on the shore of Lake Victoria, Bukoba is home to some of the country’s most remote and quirkily unforgettable attractions. While many use it as a gateway to the robusta-rich coffee farms of the Kagera Region or safari action in Rubondo Island or Burigi-Chato national parks, it is worth taking the time to explore this leafy, welcoming lake port town. You’ll get a fascinating insight into its innovative Haya people, the dual influence of colonialism and Catholicism and a chance to investigate the healing power of the ‘Lourdes of Africa’.

MORNING Kickstart what will be a busy day ahead with breakfast at Bukoba institution, the New Rose Café. This modest-looking restaurant has been in the town for years and draws a crowd of regulars for its hearty breakfasts, lunches and punchy robusta brews. It even doubles as a grocery store if you want to stock up on snacks for the day. Suitably fortified, it’s time to get your bearings. Bukoba is a flat, compact city so is ideal to explore on foot or on bike – there are cycle tours available. Taking to the streets, you’ll be struck by the variations in architecture from the traditional Haya ‘mushonga’– circular homes built from the top down with flexible reeds, wooden poles, banana fibre and grass – to more modern brick homes while grand mosques and even a landmark Catholic cathedral – with a rocket-like glass steeple looking like it will blast into space at any moment – dominate the skyline. For more insight into the missionary-led rise in Catholicism and Lutheran Christianity in the region, visit the city’s Kagera Museum. This impressive place will also reveal the

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prominent role the Haya played in the history of Tanzania and you’ll be able to browse a host of tribal artefacts. Music has always been an integral part of Haya life and you can learn how the dance-driving traditional drums are made and see them being played at the BUDAP (Bukoba Disabled Assistance Project), a drum-making factory run by people with disabilities. It was set up as community-based tourism project by Kiroyera Tours, which runs trips across the Kagera Region. A great place to check out their range of excursions – and get a pick-me-up cup of coffee – is the café in town, Kiroyera Coffee & Cappuccino. Among the trips is a 45-minute drive to Katuraka, which highlights the pioneering innovation of the Haya people, who lay claim to being one

The town of Bukoba sits on the shores of Lake Victoria

of the first people to create steel. The village holds the remains of an iron-smelting furnace dating back to 500 BC. There is also a small archaeological museum here.

AFTERNOON Bukoba is surrounded by farms growing robusta coffee beans

Music has always been an integral part of Haya life and you can learn how the dance-driving traditional drums are made

Grab some lunch at the ELCT Tea Room. This town centre joint puts on an all-you-can-eat buffet full of Tanzanian classics, including Haya favourite matoke, a plantain and meat broth. Gonja (plantain) is among the wealth of fresh produce the fertile farmed fields of the Kagera Region produce. There is also a rich diversity of medicinal plants here, which the Haya traditional healers make use of. The Lavibogam (Lake Victoria Botanical Garden of Medicinal plants), just a few miles outside of Bukoba, was set up to preserve and protect these plants. A guided tour will reveal trees such as the

/ 24 hours in… Bukoba

‘Muarobaini’ or Neem, the bark of which is used to treat more than 40 ailments. A short car or dala dala journey from here will take you to one of Tanzania’s most unusual attractions. The Kagera Region has been at the forefront of the rise of Catholicism in Africa – the first African Roman Catholic Cardinal was born here – and the village of Nyakijoga is home to a Catholic shrine world famous for its healing waters blessed in the name of the Virgin Mary the Mother of Jesus, which are thought to bestow miracles. On the last Sunday of October thousands of pilgrims from all over the world convene at this shrine, which has become known as “the Lourdes of Africa”. While you’re here, another Tanzanian hidden gem is close by. In Nyangoma there are hundreds of ancient cave paintings to be explored.

EVENING Back in Bukoba, you can’t ignore Lake Victoria that laps onto its sandy shores. There are opportunities to accompany fishermen that work from Bukoba or its neighbouring fishing villages, but if time is tight, you should grab a boat tour heading out to Musila Island. The big chunk of rock just takes a few minutes to reach from the mainland

Bukoba Cathedral Macabe5387 | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BYSA-4.0

and waiting until evening approaches means you’ll enjoy a wondrous sunset during your journey. There are many ferries heading out there, but a tour will circle the island and reveal the cliffs and caves where traditional healers used to be buried. Once you have stepped ashore on the former prison island, you can walk the path to the summit for fantastic views. When you are back on the mainland, just a short walk from the lake will get you to laidback restaurant Coffee Tree Bukoba, which, with its rooftop terrace, is a great place to enjoy the evening breeze and enjoy some roasted lake-caught tilapia with gonja. Should you not want the evening to end, Bukoba’s newest and biggest nightspot, The Mint Club, has an everchanging rota of DJs to keep the party going until the early hours.

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RECORDING WITH THE WACHAGA With latest albums ‘Wachaga’ and ‘Wachaga Dub’, Israeli composer, producer, musician and video artist Kutiman has reimagined his 2014 trip to Tanzania with tracks created around the tribal chants he recorded during his time there. The globe-trotting artist explains to Mark Edwards why he felt so at home among the people of the Kilimanjaro foothills and how the music he heard has inspired a creative hot streak.

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profoundly than he expected. Here was a culture in which music and dance were ingrained in day-today life. “It was unforgettable,” he says. “I felt that singing and dancing is considered different over there. It’s more of a natural thing – you eat, you sleep and you talk with people and you sing and you dance.”

Singing as a way of life “I filmed a group of people and they were missing one voice so they just called their friend who was working in the field and he came in and he was an amazing singer. Where I come from, if someone sang that well they would be told: ‘You should become a singer professionally’, but over there it was very natural and part of everyday life and it was really inspiring to see it.” The trip was Kutiman’s first time in Tanzania – indeed his first time in Africa – and the remote beauty of the Kilimanjaro foothills coupled with the fact the Wachaga don’t make a song and dance about being able to sing and dance resonated with the musician. The modest 38-year-old loves creating music that people respond to across the world, but is

not as comfortable with the attention it brings. Viral YouTube renown, hit singles such as ‘Music is Ruling My World’ and performances with his rock and afrobeat band the Kutiman Orchestra have made him a household name in his home country. It’s a level of fame he has sought to escape – relocating from Tel Aviv to a kibbutz in the arid Negev region – and he relished his outsider status exploring a new country. “I grew up in nature,” he says. “I have always been drawn to quiet places. I lived for many years in Tel Aviv, but eight years ago I had had enough and I moved to a kibbutz, a tiny community, in a pretty remote place. I love it. “I jumped at the opportunity to go to Tanzania. I love cultures I am not familiar with. I feel more comfortable with different cultures where I don’t speak the language rather than a Western culture.”

Field recordings Welcomed by the Wachaga, Kutiman set about gathering plenty of material. “I was filming and recording all the time,” he says. The sounds

Photograph by Maayan Shahar


aving made the southern and eastern slopes of bucket-list peak Mount Kilimanjaro their home for centuries the Wachaga people are used to visits from intrepid tourists, but in 2014 a heavily bearded Israeli musician arrived with some unusual requests. Ophir Kutiel – a multi-hyphenate talent who makes experimental dance music under the moniker Kutiman and made Time magazine’s list of best inventors in 2009 for his Thru You projects that created music from snippets of amateur YouTube videos – wanted to make film and sound recordings of the Wachaga as they sang, danced and went about their everyday life. With his stay organised by a Tanzanian travel company, Kutiman’s original intention was to meet different tribes across the country and put together an audiovisual collage in the style of his ‘Mix the City’ project, a series of sensory music video portraits of places such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Riga and New York which have proved a viral internet hit watched by millions worldwide. However, the experience with the Wachaga affected him more

/ Kutiman

he captured included drumming schoolchildren in Arusha, banana and coffee crop pickers singing while they work, Wachaga and Maasai chants and songs at festivals and even the percussive rhythm of traditional bells attached to dancing feet at a ceremony. Once he returned home, Kutiman looked for a way to use the field recordings in a way that evoked the personal, profound effect they had on him. This took some time. The inveterate multi-tasker – ‘I usually work on a couple of projects at the same time and bounce from one to another depending on inspiration,” he says – also had the launch of his own record label, Siyal Music, the release of solo albums ‘6AM’ and ‘Don’t Hold Onto the Clouds’ and his swinging, psychedelic collaboration with Turkish singer Melike Sahin, ‘Sakle Beni’, on his to-do list.

Jazz improvisations

Kutiman was a popular figure during his 2014 stay in Tanzania

The recordings were so beautiful, I just started playing whatever came to my mind on top of it

However, when he got around to listening again to his Tanzania recordings, his musical response was immediate. “The recordings were so beautiful,” he says. “I just started playing along on top of the recording. I would take one field recording and grab an instrument like drums, press record and start playing whatever came to my mind on top of it.” Kutiman says at the time he was listening to a lot of spiritual jazz – a freeform musical genre that often employs African styles – which may have also inspired the extemporising. Soon the multi-instrumentalist was adding saxophone, trumpet, keyboards and double bass to more tracks, taking the Wachaga chants and found sounds in new directions. “I was not sitting and composing,” Kutiman says. “It was more that I was improvising on top of what I heard and then afterward I would edit it a little bit and make sense of it.” The result is ‘Wachaga’, a

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/ Kutiman

nine-track album of densely crafted music with Wachaga and Maasai singing as its starting point. The beguiling piece of work, released in July 2020, manages to be in turn celebratory, hypnotic and meditative.

Creative headspace Opening track ‘Tanzania’ has a groove driven by loping double bass while its choral refrain is bolstered with blasts of brass before a wonderfully wild saxophone solo takes over. Elsewhere, the beautiful ‘Awake in the Rain’ shimmers with those Wachaga ankle bells and ‘Maasai’ gets some dancefloor-friendly bass throb. Each track gets its own accompanying video with Kutiman giving the film stock from his trip an even more impressionistic reworking reflecting the emotions he felt while recording the music. The mind-bending, kaleidoscopic effects were made using vintage analogue techniques and gear including a rare 1980s Fairlight CVI video synthesiser.

He says: “I filmed all the people singing and playing that appear on the album then I ran the footage through some vintage analogue gear I have in my studio to colourise it.” The Wachaga project has propelled a creative hot streak for Kutiman. Hot on its heels came ‘Wachaga Dub’, released in November 2020, which remixes the tracks still further, emphasising the lower registers, with ‘Maasai Dub’ transforming the original into a reverberating, sinuous beast of a dance track. “I’m in a very creative headspace right now,” he says. “I had so many recordings and footage it was overwhelming. I wanted to do so many things with it. One of the options was a dub version. I had just got a new mixing board and I hooked all kinds of effects to it and did a dub version remixing the drums, bass and vocals with effects. I just had to do it. It was so much fun.” The current creative flow state

has also seen Kutiman learn the tabla and start a new band with Indian and Eastern influences, but he says the Tanzanian recordings are such a rich resource he is sure he will return to them for future projects. “I have more recordings from Tanzania which I haven’t used yet. I’ll get to them soon for a Part Two.”

Kutiman: ‘I love cultures I am not familiar with’

To stream or buy ‘Wachaga’ and ‘Wachaga in Dub’ visit Kutiman’s ‘Mix the City’ videos are available to view on YouTube

Photograph by May Hershkovitz Reshef

Kutiman meets the Maasai

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Sound and vision

Faysal’s blog

Faysal Alao is a vlogger and tour operator from Tanzania living in Arusha. He uploads regular videos about his experiences and everyday lifestyle on his YouTube channel, ‘Lifestyle of Faysal’. You can also keep up with him on Snapchat @faysal_alao and Instagram @callmefays “Welcome to the Balcony Series,” we heard as a lady approached us and introduced us to those who had already gathered at this elegant Dar apartment. Being a little bit late, we quickly took our seats and waited for further instructions. It was a Saturday afternoon. Earlier I had had lunch with a friend and we were about to watch a movie until he told me he had read a post on Instagram @balcony_series about a platform where people can network and learn new things in a fun way.


Brainstorming on the balcony


Mark Edwards rounds up the latest releases to stream, screen and read

The Balcony Series aims to bring people from different backgrounds together. The networking events usually happen once every month on people’s balconies or rooftops. On our arrival that day, our hosts had lots of activities planned for guests that got everybody interacting with each other. They prepared questions about Africa and its ethnicity, which certainly helped increase my knowledge about my continent. There was also the opportunity for local vendors to advertise and sell their products to the gathering. Even though the event took over the whole afternoon, I was really happy to meet and share thoughts with new people, and also promote my work as a vlogger and entrepreneur to the crowd.

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Since he knew I was still trying to catch up with the bustling and exciting life in Dar after being away for a very long time, he thought this would be a perfect way to spend the latter part of our day.

ALI KIBA / Mediocre “I’ve been in the game for 18 years and I’m still on top,” Tanzanian singer Ali Kiba boasts on his latest hit, ‘Mediocre’. It’s an impressively long music career – briefly interrupted by a stint as a professional footballer – and on this track the veteran Dar singer explains how the talents of the new breed of young, up-and-coming artists are no match for his seasoned talents. Certainly, this track brims with confidence with a Latin flavour to its beats topped with Ali Kiba’s sweet vocals.

WONDER WOMAN 1984 / Director: Patty Jenkins The cinematic treatment of the DC roll call of superheroes in the Justice League has been rather dark, slow and serious in comparison to the contentedly cartoonish Marvel film franchise so it’s a welcome change that this Wonder Woman sequel mines plenty of nostalgia and goofiness from its Eighties setting and has a comedic actor, Kristen Wiig, in the role of adversary Cheetah. Gal Gadot once again dons the bulletproof bracelets as the Amazonian superheroine, who this time comes up against Maxwell Lord, a business magnate with mind control powers.

ADDIS ABABA NOIR / Edited by Maaza Mengiste This dark, fascinating collection gives a platform to some of Ethiopia’s finest writers to explore the depths of the country’s cultural melting pot capital. There are no detectives and femme fatales here, but the noir brief given to writers such as author Solomon Hailemariam and poets Mahtem Shiferraw and Bewketu Seyoum reveals itself in tales of everyday people unsure of where the divisions between good and bad lie. The stories were put together by Maaza Mengiste, who impressively was still able to complete the project while putting the finishing touches to her own Booker Prize-nominated novel, ‘The Shadow King’.

Arts column


The Art of Gathering

Zimbabwe singer Jah Prayzah is back with his eagerly anticipated tenth album. Across its 15 tracks, the album dips into elements of calypso, jazz, reggae, dancehall and afrobeat and it is an assured piece of work. Prayzah is a contemporary artist unafraid to champion his country’s traditional culture. The title track is an affecting message from a father to a son and is driven by traditional drums and backing vocals by afro jazz singer Zahara and gospel group Zimpraise, whose choral work is also an elegant accompaniment on ‘Miteuro’, a touching track that narrates the plight of one Chimanimani man among the thousands affected by Cyclone Ida in 2019. Along with these deep cuts there is room for some dancefloor business with ‘Donhodzo’ guaranteed to be a club favourite for some time to come.

The exhibition hall of Nafasi Art Space has been transformed into what feels like an intimate living room. There are potted cacti and leafy plants, in a corner a velvet-covered sofa is covered with pillows and next to it are long grey and gold silk curtains hanging from the ceiling to the floor.

LUDO / Director: Anurag Basu

This is the backdrop to the first night of Tukutane Dar, an arts weekend organized in spaces across the city to explore the question: in what ways and what spaces does art bring people together?

There is a growing genre of films based on board games with ‘Battleship’ and ‘Jumanji’ recently getting the big screen treatment, but Ludo – a game in which you do little more than move your counters clockwise around a board according to throws of a dice in an effort to reach ‘home’ – seems to have little dramatic potential. However, the game is huge in India – it is based on the ancient Indian game of Pachisi and the online version has become a phenomenon – and popular Bollywood director and producer Anurag Basu has created a live action version of the game in which the stakes are life and death. The players are four odd couples spread across the city of Mumbai who are all involved in a race against time to resolve their individual problems. The actions flit between each couple’s story until an exciting denouement that brings all the players together. It’s great fun and serves to make the actual game of Ludo even more boring by comparison.

THE PERFECT NINE / By Ngugi wa Thiong’o Ngugi wa Thiong’o was born James Ngũgĩ, but changed his name in 1976 in honour of his Gĩkũyũ heritage. The Gĩkũyũ are Kenya’s largest ethnic group and the author’s name change and concurrent decision to write in his native tongue – despite his debut novel, Weep Not Child, proving a huge success as the first novel in English to be published by an East African author – signalled a bid to preserve an increasingly marginalised culture. ‘The Perfect Nine’ first appeared in Gĩkũyũ in Kenya, but the author has now translated it into English. It is an epic poem that draws on the foundation myth of “the perfect nine’ (actually 10) daughters of the first Gĩkũyũ parents and the trials they and their 99 suitors undertake to find marital partners worthy to propagate the generations to come. It’s an ambitious work and by placing the focus on the brave daughters it brings a feminist reimagining to the origin story and highlights the tribe’s foundation principles of beauty, courage and unity we would all do well to embrace today.

Rebecca Corey is the Director of Nafasi Arts Space in Dar es Salaam and Twiga’s arts columnist. You can visit Nafasi Art Apace online at and instagram @nafasiartspace.

The opening event is a curated series of discussions between artists, curators, dancers, and musicians. The audience are given a rare peek into the inner thought processes of some of the most well-known artists in Dar es Salaam, from visual artist Paul Ndunguru interviewed by writer and Nafasi’s visual arts manager Jesse Gerard to dancer and musician Isack Abeneko interviewed by photographer and filmmaker Nicholas Calvin. For the next three days, the city will be full of events that bring arts closer to people than ever before. A new audio-visual house in Msasani complete with a small independent cinema hosts night two, which includes a panel featuring filmmaker Amil Shivji, publisher Mkuki Bgoya, and architectural preservationist Aida Mulokozi speaking about Endangered Arts and Spaces. After the panel, the audience watches video art from across the continent as a part of the pan-African Boda Boda Lounge festival. Tukutane Dar not only brought the city’s artistic scene together, it also included international guests from Kampala, Kinshasa, Lusaka, and even the US. Lauren Tate Baeza from the High Museum of Art in the US led a masterclass in curation at the Nafasi Academy and spoke at the National Museum of Tanzania, just before the opening of Inner Visions, the graduation exhibition of the 2020 Nafasi Academy students. Tukutane Dar signals a vibrant future for Tanzania – one in which the arts are assured of their place in the soul and psyche of the community. You can visit to find a map of cultural spaces in Dar and receive updates for future events.

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Bike trails

THE BEST BIKE ADVENTURES IN TANZANIA For a true off-the-beaten-track adventure in Tanzania, it pays to think outside the jeep and hop on two wheels. Here we have five biking adventures, chosen by the cycling tour leaders who know them best.

populated in the 1970s by kaolin miners, who worked at the nearby Stameco factory. We then double back on ourselves to return to Vingunguti.

Bangulu Hills Distance: 54km Chosen by Tumaini Nyika from Kwazi Birding & Tours The busy streets of Dar es Salaam are no place for a cyclist who values their life, but you don’t have to go far for far safer off-road adventures with not a fourwheeled vehicle in sight. The Kwazi team’s Bangulu Hills adventure begins at the massive goat market in Dar suburb Vingunguti, but soon leaves the bustle behind for off-road trails. If you have your own bikes, you can take the trail yourself or you can let Kwazi provide the bikes and helmets and an expert guide. Tumaini says: “The trail first takes you past the Pugu cattle market, which is one of the

country’s largest livestock auctions. Then you head towards the Bangulu area across the river Msimbazi, which begins in the Pugu hills and travels through Dar before meeting the Indian Ocean. From here we start biking up the gentle hills of Bangulu until we get to the hilltop, 230 metres above sea level, which offers spectacular views of the city of Dar and its suburbs. Freewheeling down the hill on single trail tracks is a lot of fun and you’ll be passing scattered farms and homes as you go. We pass into Kisarawe, one of the oldest coastal districts, before coming to mti Mambeo, a village

Kisarawe district near Dar es Salaam

As well as biking adventures, Kwazi offers birdwatching, camping trips in Pugu, Mikumi National Park and the Uluguru Mountains and historical tours in Dar and Bagamoyo. Visit for details.

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/ Bike trails

Kilimanjaro 360 degrees trail Distance: 250km or 450km (depending on whether you choose six- or nine-day trip.)

Chosen by Hillary Matemu from One Bike Tanzania

Socially responsible bike shop One Bike is a major player in building a cycling culture in and around Moshi in northern Tanzania, donating bikes to villagers and sharing the team’s riding and repairing skills with the community. It also organises some fantastic cycling expeditions for group bookings, including this nine-day Kilimanjaro-girdling challenge described here by One Bike founder Hillary Matemu. He says: “This trail around the base of Mount Kilimanjaro is an unforgettable experience. The nine- or six-day adventure – we

provide all the food, bikes and camping equipment – reveals the diversity of Tanzanian nature and culture. Rural roads will take you deep into dense, wildlife-filled forest and through local villages. Kilimanjaro looms above you throughout and you get to take it in from many different angles while passing banana and coffee plantations. Along the way you’ll encounter giraffe, zebras, wildebeest and herds of goats and cows. You’ll also meet with locals – the Chagga and Maasai people – known for their spectacular songs and dancing culture.”

Rift Valley descent Distance: 35km Chosen by Imaginative Traveller The Great Rift Valley, the volcanic tract that carves its way thousands of miles through the African continent, offers one of the most exhilarating cycling rides in Tanzania. You’ll barely need to pedal a stroke – just make sure your bike has a decent set of brakes – as you shoot down an escarpment along a winding trail all the way to Lake Manyara. The exhilarating descent is part of a 13-day Tanzanian biking adventure offered by international tour company Imaginative Traveller that loops around some of the country’s biggest attractions such as the Serengeti, Lake Natron and the Ngorongoro Crater. The route passes through villages and smallholdings, including the bustling farming community of Mto wa Mbu, where there is a chance to meet the locals. Imaginative Traveller says: “While today’s ride seems short at only 35 km, the constant uphill and downhill track will test your fitness and cycling skills. We start from our campsite in Karatu and head for the small trading town of Mto wa Mbu, next to incredible Lake Manyara. Here, you can reward yourself with a refreshing drink and celebrate today’s accomplishments with your fellow cyclists.” For more details on Imaginative Traveller’s 13-day Tanzania Adventure (the next trip is scheduled for June 2021) and the full range of its tailor-made holidays, around the world, visit

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/ Bike trails

Usambara Mountains Distance: 132 km over three days

Chosen by Mejah Mbuyah from Afri Roots

Arusha National Park Distance: 20km Chosen by Faysal Alao from Allday in Africa

Just 30 minutes from the centre of Arusha, Tanzania’s smallest national park offers the chance of a two-wheeled wildlife safari. Allday in Africa is among the tour companies offering guided cycling adventures with a 20km round trip that begins at the park’s Ngongongare gate, passes the grave of white huntress and ‘mother of the Maasai’ Margarete Trappe – it is said a herd of elephants stood in vigil as she neared death – before entering the lush forest of the Kilinga Loop. There will be a good chance of spotting zebra, warthog, giraffe,

elephant, baboons and monkeys. You’ll be accompanied by an armed park ranger just in case the roster of encountered animals includes buffalo – a species known to have a similar tolerance for cyclists as most SUV drivers. Faysal Alao of Allday in Africa says: “Cycling is not only a fantastic way to see and experience the wildlife and beauty the park has to offer; it is also a personal challenge and adventure for the rider with a real sense of satisfaction and achievement. “Allday in Africa will pick you up from your hotel and drop you at the Ngongongare gate to begin the tour but the support vehicle will accompany you throughout, so whenever you get tired you can abandon your bike and jump into the 4x4. The Kilinga Loop spans 7km and runs through thick forest. The ride here will be tough and challenging but definitely adventurous and fun too.”

The Usambara Mountains in the north east of Tanzania are a remote haven of adventure with wildlife-filled rainforest and soaring forested peaks with panoramic views to experience. Afri Roots is the only adventure travel company to offer mountain ecofriendly biking excursions in the Usambara’s pristine Amani Nature Reserve, mapping trails that interlace its most picturesque features. Afri Roots founder Mejah Mbuyah says: “We have been organising excursions in Amani since 2007. It is an underrated tourism destination with superb scenery, which is great for hiking, mountain biking and nature retreats. I believe our tours are giving this beautiful area the recognition it deserves. We offer a three-day excursion [Afri Roots provides all food and camping accommodation] in which we ride through tropical thick forest and stop at tea plantations, local villages, a butterfly farm and waterfalls and go on a chameleon night tour.” For more details on the Afri Roots range of hiking, cycling and mountain biking adventures in places such as the Uluguru mountains, Lushoto, the Udzungwa Mountains, Mbeya and Dar es Salaam, visit, email or call +255 763 652 641

For more details on the range of tours in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda offered by Allday in Africa, visit or email

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Fred Uisso

Making a memorable dinner worthy for a wedding

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/ Fred Uisso

I Chef Fred Uisso with the happy couple, Rodrick and Namala

t was a big dream of mine to serve a full course meal at big private and corporate functions here in Tanzania but there have been some obstacles. One is the price – especially for private functions such as weddings as so many are limited to common recipes and prices and it is very hard to change people’s minds. Second is the venue. Most of the owners of function halls have in-house catering services. They don’t allow foods to be outsourced from their premises. These conditions hinder many outside caterers.

Putting the plan together

Table service – wedding guests were treated to four courses

In February, I received a call at my restaurant from a woman I did not know claiming to be a wedding planner and she asked for an appointment. I said ‘yes’ and that evening she arrived accompanied by another lady and a gentleman. She introduced herself as Diana and the others as a couple – fiancés Rodrick and Namala. Over coffee, they told me about their plan. Rodrick said: “We are getting married and we came here to see if you can cater our wedding with a memorable dinner.” Alarm bells rang in my brain the moment

I heard “a memorable dinner” – this was my chance to introduce my idea of fullcourse dining. After a long discussion we agreed to a four-course meal with table service. The following week they came along with their wedding maids to test the menu. Meals were served and they enjoyed it dearly. We closed the deal the next day. The couple were delighted – so much so that they insisted that I appear alongside them in the photograph they used in the wedding invite and menu card. When I asked: “Why all this?” they simply replied: “The chef is the one who carries the wedding party on his shoulders.”

INFORMATION Learn more about my recipes by downloading the Chef Uisso app from Google Play Store. To experience my tasty recipes live, visit my restaurant Club Afrikando in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam. Follow Chef Fred Uisso on Facebook @chefuisso and Instagram @clubafrikando and @freduisso People living with chronic diseases should consult their health experts about their food intake for the safety of their health.

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/ Fred Uisso

The Wedding Day Four course meal I had a team of 20 chefs and 30 servers on the ground and we went this way.

First Course - soup I began with a chicken broth soup with some Mexican styling. It’s a spicy starter with white corn pepper, cayenne chilies, black soy sauce, crushed garlic, glutamate salt, vinegar, vegetable chunks and

celery flakes. The soup was served in a traditional clay pot and each table had its own pot with a side of lemon fried chicken drumsticks and an oven-baked roll. All 400 guests were served within 20 minutes.

Second course - beef brisket ribs After one hour, a second course was served. This is perfect meal to accompany a few bottles of beer or glasses of wine. The finely cut brisket ribs were cooked in a casserole (slow steamed) and basted with a signa-

ture sauce consisting of homemade lemonade sauce, black garlic paste, soy sauce, paprika powder and honey. The ribs were served with a side of baked potatoes and fresh garden salad.

Third course - fried lemon garlic Nile perch fillet

My advice on making a memorable full-course meal Let’s cater our private functions differently from home. Let’s make them memorable. These special events only happen once in a while.

As I was assured that the bar will be well stocked, I designed this light meal to complement the ongoing booze as invitees were busy sipping and dancing. The export quality Nile perch fillet was well seasoned with just apple cider vinegar and salt then pan fried and finally basted with lemon

garlic sauce and dashed with fine chopped coriander leaves. The side dish of white fried rice mixed with parsley leaves and vegetable ghee was very tasty. The steamed carrots and French beans on the other side made the plate looks colourful and made everyone want to be served first.

Fourth course - Kafoi glazed chicken thigh No one will dare to refuse any dish cooked in Kafoi barbecue sauce. You might think you are full by now, but once you taste it you’ll want more. The chicken is boiled with salt and brown vinegar then shallow fried with the fine chopped onions

and mixed with the Kafoi sauce – finger-licking good. A local traditional dish from the couple’s origin tribe – the matoke banana, laid on the steamed banana leaf – was set as a side dish to honour the tribe.

Complements Hot beverages – tea and coffee, cakes and cookies were available throughout the party.

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Legal eye

The legal guidelines for starting a wildlife ranch in Tanzania Tourism plays a significant role in the Tanzanian economy and investing in the sector is a profitable avenue for businesses, the local community and the government. Tanzania distinguishes itself on the continent in also offering the option for investment in wildlife ranching. Here Dar es Salaam law firm Victory Attorneys & Consultants break down what is needed to register your ranch. What is a Wildlife Ranch? A Wildlife Ranch is defined by Regulation 3 of the Wildlife Regulations Act of 2020 to mean an area of a minimum size of 2,000 hectares kept for the purpose of a multiform utilization of wildlife, where a wide range of consumptive or non-consumptive complementary wildlife uses are managed.

The nature of the proposed land and the size of land A Wildlife Ranch can only be established in either of the following areas; • areas outside any reserved/conservation area, or • village land but in conformity to the land use plan or written approval from the relevant local authority and or • In any controlled area. In addition, the land must not less than 2,000 hectares in size.

Registration requirements to register a Wildlife Ranch

specimen of the species as per the prescribed procedure

• That the applicant is a rightful holder of the right of occupancy proposed for wildlife ranching

• That applicant has paid Application and Registration fees.

• That the applicant is a citizen of Tanzania in case of individual applicant.

• T hat applicant has complied with other requirements as shall be considered necessary by the Director General of Wildlife Utilization.

• In case the applicant is corporate body (company for example), then at least 51% of the shares in the company are held by citizens of Tanzania • That the proposed wildlife ranching conforms to the land use plan of the area or the use is approved by the relevant local authority. • The business plan relates to the proposed undertaking • That environmental impact assessment certificate has been issued • That applicant is prepared to mark each

Once all the requirements are confirmed and verified the Certificate of Registration will be issued and normally this certificate is valid for the period of 10 years and it is subject to renewal basing on the terms and conditions. Registration of Wildlife Ranch is a complex and technical process. Victory Attorneys & Consultants are experts in this area and have guided many clients in registering a Wildlife Ranch in Tanzania. For more information, call Victory Attorneys & Consultants on +255 752 089 685, email or visit its offices at 1st Floor, IT Plaza Building, Ohio Street/Garden Avenue, PO Box 72015, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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: 5 Bombardier Seat capacity: (3 Bombardier) Business Class 6, Economy 70 (1 Bombardier) Business class 10, Economy 68 Number of flight-deck crew: 2 Range: 2,063 km (1,362 Nm) Typical cruising speed: up to 360 knots (414 mph or 667 km/hr) Wingspan: 93 ft 3 in (28.4 m) Length: 107 ft 9 in (32.8 m)

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AIRBUS 220-300 (CS300) Number of aircraft available: 2 Seat capacity: Business Class 12 and 120 Economy Class Number of flight-deck 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 Wingspan: 115 ft 1 in (35.1 m) Length: 127 ft (38.7 m) Interior cabin width: 129 inches (3.28 m)

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


hours ahead of 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

Fares for infants and children As a general rule, children up to two years old are not required to have their own seat and are allowed to travel on parents’ lap. An infant tickets costs 10 per cent 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 two years or turns two 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 two to 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

Free allowance

30 kg 23 kg 2PC @ 23 kg 2PC @ 23 kg

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 34th 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 10 kg as baggage allowance.


Air Tanzania has a free allowance for passengers’ baggage across economy and business class. For full details and rates please see our website or contact booking enquiries 0800 110045



Free allowance

40 kg 30 kg 3PC @ 23 kg 3PC @ 23 kg

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 Wi-Fi 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 – 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 Booking & Enquiries: 0800 110045

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Air Tanzania destinations


Regional and international routes

Bukoba Mwanza Geita

Arusha Kilimanjaro


Kigoma Katavi



Dar es Salaam INDIAN OCEAN

Mbeya Songea


Active routes Upcoming routes

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For Booking & Enquiries: 0800 110045 |




Guangzhou Mumbai






Entebbe Kigali Bujumbura








Dar es Salaam Comoros




Active routes Upcoming routes

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Air Tanzania contacts

WHERE TO CONTACT US E-COMMERCE Location: ATC House, Ohio Street. Email:

CONTACT CENTRE Location: ATC House, Ohio Street. Email:

0800 110045 Toll Free (Tanzania only) Tel: +255 022 212 5221

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

Follow us on:




Air Tanzania ATCL




Location: ATC House, Ohio Street P.O Box 543 Office (JNIA) Tel: +255 222 117 500 Email:


Location: Park Royal Mall, Room 208, Buganda Road. Email: Email: Tel: +256 414 289 474 / +256 393 517 145

ARUSHA Location: Old Moshi Road, NSSF Mafao House Email: Tel: + 255 272 520 177/ +255 739 787 500

SONGEA Location: African Benedict Office Hanga- opposite TRA Songea Email: Mob: +255 712 796 421


MBEYA Location: Mbeya Mjini Email: Mob: 0714 800 080 / 0737 800 090

Location: Lumumba Road, opp. Mambo Leo Pharmacy Email: Mob: +255 742 580 580



Location: Immeuble MATELEC Moroni, Grande Comores Email: com’ Tel: +269 3312570 / +269 3322058

BUKOBA Location: Kawawa Rd. Block 1 Email:

KILIMANJARO Location: KIA Email:

DODOMA Location: Hatibu Road, Tofiki Street, CDTF Building Tel: + 255 262 322 272/ 0735 787 241 (mobile)/ 0683 776 744 (mobile) Email:


Tel: +255 735 787 239/ +255 28 2501059 Email:

64 /


Location: Asas House, Dodoma Road, opp. TCC. Email: Mob: +255 753 574 986

ZANZIBAR Location: Postal Building, Kijangwani Email: Mob: +255 785 452 585

ZIMBABWE Location: 24 Shamwari Complex, 157 Sam Nujoma Street, Ext Belgravia, Harare Email: Tel: +263 424 796 286/7 Mob: +263 773 119 462 ZAMBIA Barnetts Building, Shop 3, Hailie Selasie Avenue, Longacres, Lusaka. Mob: +260 956 610 250 Email:

ENTEBBE Location: Entebbe International Airport, Room no 095. Email: Email: Tel: +256 716 680 250

BURUNDI Location: 13 Avenue Du Commerce, Romero Street, Bujumbura Email: Tel: +257 610 139 48.

INDIA Location: Ajanta Travels PVT Ltd, VN Road, Mumbai. Email: Tel: +91 224 979 0108/09/ +91 98200 61232 (cargo)/ +91 98193 65286 (reservations)/ +91 740 0084680 (staff airport supervisors)

JOHANNESBURG Location: West Tower, 2nd Floor, Nelson Mandela Square, Maude Street, Sandown, Gauteng, South Africa 2146 Email: Tel: +27 11 881 5945 Tel: +27 11 881 5945

Issue 08 / January to March 2021



Twiga A I R TA N Z A N I A Issue 08

Mbwana Samatta

Exclusive interview with football star

'I feed on challenges'

Bongo Star Search's Rita Paulsen speaks out

The mamas of Mwanzi Growing seaweed, changing lives