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Archive for February, 2010

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…)

urban palms

urban palms

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chupi

sorry, couldn’t resist this – gotta love these hangers…

chupi

chupi

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suggestions of interesting/ quirky / beautiful / intriguing / random / amusing signs you have seen would be very welcome too (especially hand painted ones)…

sharifa

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any suggestions?

Do you have a favourite building or place in Dar es Salaam that you think i should draw? If so, do let me know…
Wouldn’t this building make a wonderful studio, coffee shop, book shop, lounge bar… oh dreamy on…

reheman building

reheman building

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an excerpt from ‘Imbeciles’

My empty stomach grumbled again. I looked outside and saw food sellers preparing to sell under the shades of a mango tree, waiting eagerly for the bell to ring. The chattering women were unloading from their heads baskets, buckets and trays ladden with food. I watched as Mama Maandazi, as she was called by the children, lifted the lid off a red bucket filled with maandazi. The smell of the doughnut-like sweet bread with cardomons wifted through the naked casement windows, which hung by the hinges.

As if on a conspirancy to torture me, Mama Aisha lifted the kawa that was covering her basket full of vitumbua, the smell of rice cakes wifted through the windows and attacked me.

…from the wonderful short story “Imbeciles’ by Sandra Mushi – part of a collection she has shared with me – asante sana Sandra!

Vitumbua

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maybe you prefer mangoes…

 

mangoman

mangoman

Aside from pushing fruit, also some shameless advertising… this image is part of an evolving series of postcards and prints available from the ‘Green Room’ at the Slipway when it re-opens next week!

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