Posts Tagged ‘tanzania’

VX bajaji

flag bajajiwishing you all a lovely christmas and utterly fabulous start to 2012

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penguins in dar


Dar’s street vendors make for some wonderfully surreal moments … I nearly fell off my bike when i passed this guy and his soft toy collection on Ohio street.

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anjuman islamia

keep an eye out for this stunning building on Bibi Titi Mohammed Road almost opposite the Uhuru Torch monument in Mnazi Mmoja

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two chairslike many other things in life, one plastic chair is often just not quite enough

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bafana This lovely three storey building stands on Aggrey Street – named after Dr Kwegyir Aggrey (1875-1927) a missionary from the Gold Coast (now Ghana) who taught emancipation through education and advised the Tanganyika colonial government.

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I cycled past my old house yesterday, now reduced to another national housing pile of rubble. A sorry pile of broken bricks and a mess of wires, like dead snakes that were too slow to escape. Another home of memories now removed from the physical to the abstract.

But for now i remember the terracotta tiles beneath my feet, the frangipani view from the tiny balcony, the accumulated cutlery of past tenants, the rusty ceiling fan’s squeak, the erratic lights in the hallway, the intricate shapes formed by peeling paint and my gorgeously cool mornings insulated by thick old walls and doors.

I don’t even have a photo of the place, but at least the fabulous sign just down the road survives…


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rattexIt is a strange irony, how I, the poet of provision, the builder of beauty, am deemed unworthy of my own creation. They run me out of town, and I go: what is a mere artist to do in the face of brutality?

excerpt two from ‘I am machinga’ by Hafiz Juma, soon to be published in Street Level the elusive book…watch this space (well, glance at it occasionally in the next few weeks for more information)

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capital bureau

capital paintThis stunning building on Zanaki Street stands close to the Bohora Mosque and is reputedly the creation of a wealthy member of that community known as the “King of Pemba”. The cantilevered balcony and ornate woodwork make it easy to imagine the building as it was in the past – at the centre of the old Indian Bazaar.

from text for Street Level by Karen Moon


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salamanderThe Salamander building – one of the victims of Dar demolition.

If you have any memories, stories, anecdotes about this or other buildings in Dar es Salaam I would love to hear from you.

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green oranges


Juice dribbles slowly down his chin as he grins at me. Otherwise motionless, he carefully sucks every last piece of the fruit without breaking his smiling gaze. Sparkly eyes above a sun faded yellow football shirt. The dark ‘Fly Emirates’ slogan yells silently from his chest.

Casting the skin aside he finally turns and rearranges the baskets on his bicycle, crammed full with sweet green oranges to sell in town.

‘Fly Emirates’ is emblazoned across his back as well. This sinew limbed cyclist farmer, advertising one of the richest airlines in the world. His shirt has already travelled thousands of miles more than he ever will. I doubt he even has a passport, let alone anything more tangible than distant dreams of flight. 

I buy a sweet green orange and as the juice dribbles down my chin, i dream of standing on a london street and seeing ‘sweet green Tanzanian oranges’ emblazoned across a grinning businessman’s chest.

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