Each day, another road is tarred over and a new multi-story building begins to inch its way up into the sky. Soon, I fear, the limestone pocked roads will be a thing of the past, the sky-scrapers will block the sea breezes, and we’ll lose Dar’s identity as a sea-side city – all in the name of development.
Since what I love about this city is its sea and its trees and its mambo-jambo hodgepodge of cultures, I have decided to…to do what? I can lobby the government so that all international arrivals and departures take place at the sea port – I can even blow up the airport to make sure no one sneaks in by plane. And I can wage a war of sabotage, blowing up each sky-scraper. Pretty soon developers will think twice before tearing down two story buildings with balconies and histories. And I can booby-trap each and every tree – No more cutting down trees or paving over gardens. Best yet, I can release all the animals at the zoo and shoo them across the ferry and into centre city: Wouldn’t you like to catch a glimpse of a giraffe at the corner of Sokoine and Shaabani Robert, or of warthogs scampering through cars on Morogoro Road? These are honourable causes and I am required to make the effort.
But these causes also require more daring than I have ever managed to exert.
from ‘A meeting with Mr Dahl’, by Lisa Maria Noudehou
(lets hope the pen really is as mighty as the sword, or a stick or two of dynamite…)