Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kitabu cha Historia ya Chai

Leo nimenunua kitabu, A Brief History of Tea, cha Roy Moxham, nilichokiona jana katika duka la vitabu la hapa chuoni St. Olaf. Nilivutiwa na taarifa kwenye jalada la nyuma:

Behind the wholesale image of the world's most popular drink lies a strangely murky and often violent past. When tea began to be imported into the West from China in the seventeenth century, its high price and heavy taxes made it an immediate target for smuggling and dispute at every level, culminating in international incidents like the notorious Boston Tea Party. In China itself the British financed their tea dealings by the ruthless imposition of the opium trade. Intrepid British tea planters soon began flocking to Africa, India and Ceylon, setting up huge plantations. Workers could be bought and sold like slaves.

Maelezo haya yalinisisimua nikaona sherti nikinunue kitabu hiki. Niliona wazi kuwa kitanielimisha kuhusu mengi tusiyoyajua juu ya chai, kinywaji ambacho wengi tunakitumia. Mambo hayo ni pamoja na uchumi, historia, siasa, na mahusiano ya jamii, na mahusiano ya mataifa.  Kitabu hiki kimenikumbusha kitabu cha Sidney Mintz. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, ambacho kinahusu sukari. Iwe ni chai au sukari, ni msingi wa kutafiti na kuelewa masuala mengi. Tafakari ya aina hii inanikumbusha pia Karl Marx, ambaye alitafakari kitu kinachoitwa bidhaa ("commodity"), akathibitisha jinsi bidhaa inavyobeba mambo mbali mbali ya jamii, ikiwemo mahusiano ya binadamu.

Nimeanza kusoma A Brief History of Tea na kujionea jinsi mwandishi alivyo na kipaji cha kujieleza. Ameanzia na maelezo ya maisha yake, alivyokuwa kijana u-Ingereza, akawa amechoshwa na maisha ya kule. Katika kutafuta fursa nje ya nchi yake, aliweka tangazo gazetini, na hatimaye akaajiriwa kuwa afisa katika shamba la chai Nyasaland, ambayo leo ni Malawi. Hapo ndipo yanapoanzia masimulizi ya kusisimua na kuelimisha yaliyomo katika kitabu hiki.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"A Far Cry From Africa," Shairi la Derek Walcott

Tangu nilipoanza kufundisha katika chuo cha St. Olaf, mwaka 1991, nimepata fursa ya kusoma na kufundisha fasihi iliyoandikwa kwa ki-Ingereza kutoka sehemu mbali mbali ulimwenguni, kwa kiwango kikubwa kuliko ilivyowezekana nilipokuwa ninafundisha katika Chuo Kikuu cha Dar es Salaam. Mwandishi mmojawapo ambaye kazi zake nimezishughulikia sana ni Derek Walcott wa St. Lucia, pande za Caribbean, maarufu kwa utunzi wa mashairi na tamthilia, ambaye alipata tuzo ya Nobel mwaka 1992.

Nimesoma na kufundisha mashairi yake mengi na tamthilia zake kadhaa. Moja ya mashairi hayo ni "A Far Cry From Africa," ambalo lilichapishwa mwaka 1962. Linaelezea mahuzuniko juu ya vita ya Mau Mau nchini Kenya iliyodumu kuanzia mwaka 1952 hadi 1960. Masetla wazungu walipigana na wa-Afrika waliotaka kuchukua ardhi yao iliyoporwa. Kwa kuwa Derek Walcott ni chotara, damu ya kizungu na ki-Afrika, alihisi vita hiyo ikitokea ndani ya nafsi yake. Uhasama na ukatili wa pande hizo mbili aliuhisi mithili ya sumu katika mishipa ya damu yake. Alijihisi kama mateka aliyekosa namna ya kujinasua.

Walcott anaimudu lugha ya ki-Ingereza kwa namna inayonikumbusha umahiri wa Shakespeare. Nitafurahi iwapo nitapata ujasiri wa kujaribu kulitafsiri shairi kwa ki-Swahili.
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A Far Cry From Africa

Derek Walcott


A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt 
Of Africa, Kikuyu, quick as flies, 
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt. 
Corpses are scattered through a paradise. 
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries: 
'Waste no compassion on these separate dead!' 
Statistics justify and scholars seize 
The salients of colonial policy. 
What is that to the white child hacked in bed? 
To savages, expendable as Jews?

Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break 
In a white dust of ibises whose cries 
Have wheeled since civilizations dawn 
From the parched river or beast-teeming plain. 
The violence of beast on beast is read 
As natural law, but upright man 
Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain. 
Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars 
Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum, 
While he calls courage still that native dread 
Of the white peace contracted by the dead. 

Again brutish necessity wipes its hands 
Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again 
A waste of our compassion, as with Spain, 
The gorilla wrestles with the superman. 
I who am poisoned with the blood of both, 
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein? 
I who have cursed 
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose 
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love? 
Betray them both, or give back what they give? 
How can I face such slaughter and be cool? 
How can I turn from Africa and live?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ninaendelea Kusoma "Hamlet"

Miaka miwili iliyopita, niliandika katika blogu hii kuwa nina tabia ya kusoma vitabu kiholela. Wakati wowote nina vitabu kadhaa ninavyovisoma, bila mpangilio maalum, na pengine bila nia ya kufikia mwisho wa kitabu chochote.

Kusoma kwa namna hii hakuna ubaya wowote, bali kuna manufaa. Nilipokuwa mwanafunzi wa sekondari, katika seminari ya Likonde, mwalimu wetu, Padri Lambert OSB alituhimiza tuwe na mazoea ya kusoma sana vitabu, na pia mazoea ya kuvipitia vitabu kijuu juu, ambayo kwa ki-Ingereza huitwa "browsing."

Nikiachilia mbali vitabu ninavyofundisha, wakati huu nimezama zaidi katika kusoma Hamlet, kama nilivyoandika katika blogu hii. Ninasoma Hamlet pole pole, ili kuyanasa vizuri akilini yaliyomo, hasa maudhui kuhusu maisha, maadili, na tabia za binadamu. Kusoma pole pole kunaniwezesha kukifurahia ki-Ingereza cha Shakespeare, ingawa si rahisi kama ki-Ingereza tunachotumia leo.

Tofauti kati ya ki-Ingereza cha leo na kile cha Shakespeare ninaifananisha na tofauti kati ya ki-Swahili cha leo na kile cha mashairi ya zamani kama yale ya Muyaka au Utenzi wa Rasi lGhuli. Kwa msingi huo, kusoma utungo kama Hamlet ni chemsha bongo inayoboresha akili, sawa na mazoezi ya viungo yanavyoboresha afya ya mwili.

Mwandishi maarufu Ernest Hemingway alielezea vizuri thamani ya vitabu aliposema, "There is no friend as a loyal as a book," yaani hakuna rafiki wa kweli kama kitabu. Ujumbe uko wazi, nami sina la kuongeza. Kitabu bora ukishakinunua, ni rafiki wa kudumu.


  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

"Ozymandias:" Shairi la Shelley na Tafsiri Yangu

Percy Bysshe Shelley ni mmoja kati ya washairi maarufu kabisa katika ki-Ingereza, ambaye nilimtaja jana katika blogu hii. Alizaliwa mwaka 1792 akafariki mwaka 1822. Ni mmoja wa washairi wanaojumlishwa katika mkondo uitwao "Romanticism," ambamo wanaorodheshwa pia washairi wa ki-Ingereza kama William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, na Lord Byron. "Romanticism" ni mkondo uliojitokeza katika mataifa na lugha zingine pia, kama vile Ujerumani na Ufaransa. Kwa waandishi wa Afrika au wenye asili ya Afrika waliotumia ki-Faransa, "Romanticism" ilijitokeza kama "Negritude," jambo ambalo nimeelezea katika mwongozo wa Song of Lawino.

"Ozymandias" ni shairi mojawapo maarufu la Shelley. Ninakumbuka kuwa nililisoma kwa mara ya kwanza nilipokuwa sekondari, miaka ya kuanzia 1967. Kitu kimoja kinacholitambulisha shairi hili kuwa ni la mkondo wa "Romanticism" ni ule mtazamo wake ambao Edward Said aliuita "Orientalism." Lengo langu hapa si kuongelea "Romanticism" wala "Orientalism," bali kutaja mambo mawili matatu yanayohusu shairi la "Ozymandias" na suala la tafsiri.

Suala la kutafsiri kazi za fasihi nimeliongea tena na tena katika blogu hii. Pamoja na ugumu wake, ninaona kuwa baada ya mahangaiko yote, inakuja raha ya aina yake. Sio raha au furaha inayotujia tunaposhinda shindano au mtihani, kwani katika kutafsiri hakuna ushindi. Kinachotokea ni kuwa mtu unafanikiwa kuuzalisha upya utungo unaowania kuutafsiri.

"Ozymandias" ni shairi ambalo ninalielewa vizuri kabisa lilivyo katika ki-Ingereza. Lakini, nilivyojaribu kulitafsiri, tangu jana, limenihangaisha. Nimejionea jinsi ufahamu wangu wa ki-Swahili unavyopwaya. Nimejikuta nikijiuliza iwapo madai yetu wa-Tanzania kuwa tunakifahamu vizuri ki-Swahili ni ya kweli au ni porojo. Nilipata taabu zaidi kutafsiri mstari wa tano na mistari mitatu ya mwisho. Pamoja na kwamba nimeweka tafsiri yangu hapa, siridhiki nayo.

Kuhusu dhamira, shairi la "Ozymandias" lina mengi ya kujadiliwa. Kwa mtazamo wa fasihi linganishi, dhamira ya kisa cha msafiri inajitokeza katika tungo nyingi za tangu zamani. Mfano moja ni hadithi ya Misri ya kale iitwayo "The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor." Kuna pia hadithi za baharia Sindbad. Pia kuna shairi la Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Tungo zote hizi zina mambo ya ajabu na mtazamo juu ya ulimwengu na tabia za binadamu.

Vile vile, "Ozymandias" ni shairi lenye ujumbe mzito. Ni onyo kwa wanadamu kuwa utukufu wa hapa duniani, uimara wa himaya au udikteta ni vitu ambavyo vina mwisho. Ujumbe huu umo pia katika tungo zingine maarufu, kama vile utenzi wa Al Inkishafi. Naishia hapo.
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Ozymandias

Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert.... Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Tafsiri

Nilimkuta msafiri kutoka nchi ya kale
Ambaye alisema, "Miguu miwili ya mawe mikubwa sana isiyo na kiwiliwili
Imesimama jangwani....Karibu nayo, mchangani,
Ukiwa umezama nusu, uso uliopasuka vipande umelala, mnuno wake,
Na mdomo uliokunyata, na dhihaka ya mamlaka yabisi
Vyabainisha kwamba mchongaji alizifahamu sawasawa hisia zile
Ambazo bado zimedumu, zikiwa zimebandikwa katika vitu hivi visivyo hai,
Mkono uliovidhihaki, na moyo uliovilisha,
Na kwenye sehemu ya kusimamia yanaonekana maneno haya:
'Jina langu ni Ozymandias, Mfalme wa Wafalme:
Yaoneni niliyofanikisha, enyi wenye mamlaka makuu, mkate tamaa!'
Hakuna kilichosalia, pembeni mwa uharibifu
Wa ile sanamu kuu iliyoporomoka, bila upeo bila chochote
Mchanga mpweke umetanda hadi mbali kabisa."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Mashairi Mazuri ya Ki-Ingereza

Tangu ujana wangu, nimebahatika kusoma na kuyafurahia mashairi mazuri ya ki-Ingereza. Ninakumbuka nilivyoingia kidato cha tano, Mkwawa High School, mwaka 1971, nikakutana na Mugyabuso Mulokozi na Kulikoyela Kahigi ambao nao walikuwa wanafunzi. Walikuwa na kitabu cha mashairi ya ki-Ingereza, tukawa tunayasoma na kuyafurahia. Mifano ni shairi la Thomas Hardy, "An Ancient to Ancients."

Mashairi ya Shakespeare yaitwayo "sonnets" yalituvutia. Mfano ni "Sonnet 18" ambayo mstari wake wa kwanza ni "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Shairi la Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," lilikuwa daima mawazoni mwetu. Shairi la W.B. Yeats, "The Second Coming," ni moja ya mashairi yaliyonigusa sana, kama nilivyoandika katika blogu hii. Shairi la Walter de la Mare, "The Listeners," limeng'ang'ania akili mwangu tangu enzi zile.

Mashairi mengine tulisoma darasani, kama vile yale ya Percy Bysshe Shelley na Alfred Lord Tennyson, ambao ni wa-Ingereza, na pia waandishi wa ki-Afrika kama vile Wole Soyinka, John Pepper Clark, Dennis Brutus, na Keorapetse Kgositsile. Hiyo ilikuwa ni miaka ya sabini na kitu.

Baada ya kuja masomoni katika Chuo Kikuu cha Wisconsin-Madison, mwaka 1980, niliendelea kukutana na mashairi yenye mvuto mkubwa kwangu. Mifano ni shairi la William Wordsworth, "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.'' Hilo tulilisoma kwa makini katika kozi ya "Poetry" iliyofundishwa na Profesa John Brenkman. Profesa Brenkman alitufundisha pia mashairi ya washairi wengine, kama vile Wallace Stevens.

Baada ya kuja kufundisha katika Chuo cha St. Olaf, mwaka 1991, nimepata fursa ya kusoma na kufundisha mashairi ya watunzi wengi zaidi, kuanzia wa Australia, kama vile Judith Wright na Oodgeroo Noonuccal hadi wa Marekani, kama vile Carl Sandburg na Lawrence Ferlinghetti, hadi wa Caribbean, kama vile Derek Walcott. Derek Walcott ni mshairi mojawapo ninayemwenzi sana, kwa uhodari wake wa kutumia lugha, kusisimua akili. na kuelezea hali halisi ya tabia na hisia za binadamu kwa upeo mpana wa historia na tamaduni mbali mbali.

Ninaendelea kusoma mashairi ya ki-Ingereza, ili kutajirisha akili yangu, na wakati mwingine ninayatafsiri kwa ki-Swahili. Kwa mfano nimetafsiri shairi la Stanley Kunitz, "The Layers," na shairi la Edmund Spencer, "Ye Tradefull Merchants." Ninajiona mwenye bahati kwa hizi fursa nilizo nazo za kufurahia kazi za watunzi maarufu. Jana, kwa mfano, nimesoma shairi la William Savage Landor, "To Wordsworth," nikaguswa sana.

Kuhitimisha ujumbe wangu, ninawazia ingekuwaje kama ningejua lugha nyingi zaidi, kama vile ki-Faransa, ki-Jerumani, ki-Hispania, na ki-Arabu, nikawa ninasoma tungo maarufu zilizomo katika lugha hizo.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Ninajikumbusha "Hamlet"

Wiki hii, pamoja na majukumu ya kawaida ya kufundisha, nimeamua kujikumbusha enzi za ujana wangu kwa kusoma Hamlet, tamthilia mojawapo maarufu kabisa ya Shakespeare. Kila ninapokumbuka tamthilia hii, ninakumbuka nilivyoangalia filamu yake yapata mwaka 1971, Mkwawa High School, Iringa.  Sir Laurence Olivier aliigiza nafasi ya Hamlet, kama nilivyogusia katika blogu hii.

Miaka ile ya ujana, tulifahamu ki-Ingereza vizuri hadi kusoma maandishi ya Shakespeare na kuyafurahia. Shakespeare ni kipimo kizuri cha ufahamu wa ki-Ingereza. Umahiri wake katika kutumia maneno na kutunga sentensi unadhihirika katika tungo zake zote. Ninanukuu hapa hotuba ya Claudius, mfalme wa Denmark, kwa Hamlet, ambayo ni kielelezo cha umahiri huo:

Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
To give these mourning duties to your father;
But you must know, your father lost a father;
That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
In filial obligation for some term
To do obsequious sorrow. But to persever
In obstinate condolement is a course
Of impious stubborness. 'Tis unmanly grief;
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschooled;
For what we know must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we in our peevish opposition
Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd, whose common theme
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first corse till he that died today,
"This must be so." We pray you throw to earth
This unprevailing woe, and think of us
As of a father; for let the world take note
You are the most immediate to our throne,
And with no less nobility of love
Than that which dearest father bears his son
Do I impart toward you. For your intent
In going back to school in Wittenberg,
It is most retrograde to our desire;
And we beseech you, bend you to remain
Here in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nimeteuliwa Kwenye Bodi ya Rochester International Association

Mwezi huu nimeteuliwa kujiunga na bodi ya Rochester International Association, ambayo makao yake ni mjini Rochester, Minnesota. Rochester International Association inashughulika na program mbali mbali za kujenga mahusiano mema miongoni mwa watu wa mataifa na tamaduni mbali mbali.

Moja ya programu hizo ni tamasha liitwalo World Festival, linalofanyika kila mwaka. Nimewahi kushiriki tamasha hili mara mbili, nikaelezea habari zake katika blogu yangu ya ki-Ingereza, na blogu hii ya hapakwetu.

Shughuli za bodi ni za kujitolea. Kwa miaka yote niliyoishi hapa Marekani, nimejionea jinsi wa-Marekani wanavyozijali shughuli za kujitolea, nami nimekuwa nikishiriki shughuli za aina hiyo, kama vile katika programu zinazowapeleka wanafunzi Afrika. Kujitolea kwa manufaa ya jamii kunaleta faraja na furaha moyoni.

Kushiriki kwangu katika Rochester International Association kutaniwezesha kuchangia mawazo katika masuala ya tamaduni kama nilivyoyaelezea katika kitabu changu, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences. Kwa bahati nzuri, baadhi ya wanabodi wa Rochester International Association wamesoma kitabu hiki na ndio maana wamenipokea kwa msisimko.

Kushiriki shughuli za Rochester International Association ni jambo la manufaa kwangu katika kujijenga katika shughuli zangu za kutoa ushauri ambazo ninafanya chini ya mwavuli wa kampuni ndogo ya Africonexion: Cultural Consultants. Vile vile ni fursa ya kuiwakilisha Tanzania na Afrika huku mbali Marekani.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Buriani Mwandishi John Calvin Rezmerski

Leo hapa Minnesota zimeenea taarifa za kufariki kwa mwandishi John Calvin Rezmerski. Taarifa moja imechapishwa katika Minneapolis Star Tribune. Nilipata bahati ya kuonana naye miaka michache iliyopita mjini Mankato, Minnesota, kwenye tamasha la vitabu, Deep Valley Book Festival. Tuliongea, nikanunua kitabu chake cha mashairi kiitwacho What Do I Know?: New & Selected Poems, ambacho alikisaini hivi:

for Joseph Mbele--
Wonderful to talk with you at Deep Valley Book Festival,
John Calvin Rezmerski

Taarifa tulizopata leo zinaelezea mambo mema mengi ya bwana Rezmerski: alikuwa mwandishi makini wa mashairi, msimuliaji hadithi, mwalimu aliyependwa, mkarimu kwa watu. Kuhusu falsafa ya ushairi ya Rezmerski, Bill Holm, ambaye ni mwandishi maarufu hapa Minnesota, aliwahi kuandika: "John Rezmerski believes that poetry lives inside the daily speech of ordinary people, that the ear and the mouth are connected to the imagination and the heart."

Dhana hiyo ya ushairi inanikumbusha falsafa ya Shaaban Robert na pia William Wordsworth kuhusu ushairi. Inaendana hasa na falsafa ya Wordsworth, ambaye aliamini kuwa lugha ya watu wa kawaida ndio chimbuko la ushairi halisi na ndio inapaswa kutumiwa na washairi, tofauti na lugha ya urasimi, ambayo haikuendana na hisia halisi za binadamu bali ilikuwa lugha tasa.

Mara baada ya kusikia taarifa za kifo cha Rezmerski, nimetafuta nakala yangu ya What Do I Know?: New & Selected Poems, ili kusoma mashairi yaliyomo, kama njia ya kumkumbuka mwandishi huyu ambaye nilibahatika kumwona, ingawa ni mara moja tu. Shairi lake moja ni hili:

THE FUGITIVE

What if after all these years
in the same body,
I turn out to be somebody else?
What a new thing
to decide which pair of pants.
How sweet to have grapefruit
and like it for the first time.
I would burn old letters,
buy a new toothbrush,
learn to like the closeness
of cold on my clean skin.
I would pronounce every word
as though it were fine glass.
It is an old story
I tell the mirror
while I gape at my teeth
looking for someone else's cavities.

Nimelipenda shairi hili kwa jinsi linavyotumia mbinu mbali mbali za kuchezea akili ya msomaji, kuanzia kejeli hadi ubunifu wa mambo yasiyowezekana, hadi kuangalia mambo tuliyoyazoea kwa mtazamo wa kuyafanya yawe ya ajabu. Shairi limejaa mawazo na kauli tusizotegemea. Ili kulisoma na kulitafakari shairi hili kwa umakini, makala maarufu ya Cleanth Brooks, The Language of Paradox, inaweza kusaidia sana.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mteja wa Uingereza Kanunua Kitabu

Leo kwenye tovuti ninapochapisha vitabu vyangu nimeona kuwa mteja aliyeko Uingereza amenunua nakala ya Notes on Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Uzuri wa uchapishaji wa namna hii ninayotumia ni kuwa mwandishi unaweza kufuatilia taarifa kama hizi za mauzo, ukajua kitabu kimenunuliwa sehemu gani ya dunia, nakala ngapi, na malipo yako ni kiasi gani.

Kwa miaka yote tangu nilipoanza kuchapisha vitabu kwenye tovuti ya lulu.com maelfu ya wateja walionunua vitabu vyangu wamefanya hivyo kutokea hapa Marekani. Nilikuwa na hisia kuwa hii ni kwa kuwa utamaduni wa kununua vitu mtandaoni ulikuwa bado kujengeka sehemu zingine za dunia.

Ninahisi kuwa huyu mteja aliyenunua Notes on Achebe's Things Fall Apart ni mwalimu wa fasihi. Kama ni hivyo, ninafurahi kuwa atapata mawazo mapya juu ya Things Fall Apart. Ingawa kuna miongozo mingi ya Things Fall Apart, mwongozo wangu umepata umaarufu hata ukateuliwa kama mwongozo kwa wanafunzi katika chuo kikuu cha Cornell, ambacho kina jina kubwa katika masomo ya lugha na fasihi ya ki-Ingereza.

Vile vile, hivi karibuni, nilipohudhuria mkutano wa Africa Network, profesa Eric Michael Washington wa chuo cha Calvin aliniambia jinsi anavyotumia mawazo yaliyomo katika mwongozo huo, katika ufundishaji wake wa Things Fall Apart. Alisema anavutiwa zaidi na jinsi ninavyomwelezea mhusika aitwaye Unoka.

Mambo hayo yananipa hamasa ya kuendelea kuandika miongozo ya kazi za fasihi, azma ambayo niliwahi kuielezea katika blogu hii. Mimi kama mwalimu wa fasihi ninafarijika kuyaweka hadharani mawazo yangu kuhusu fasihi, ambayo yatadumu. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nimenunua Webster's Concise Dictionary and Thesaurus

Jana nilinunua nakala ya Webster's New World Concise Dictionary and Thesaurus, iliyochapishwa mwaka 2014. Hili ni toleo jipya la kitabu hiki ambacho kimekuwa kikichapishwa kwa miaka mingi. Kitabu hiki ni hazina ya pekee kwa kuwa kinajumlisha kamusi na "thesaurus."

Kwa wale wasiofahamu tofauti za vitu hivi viwili, napenda kusema kwa kifupi kwamba kamusi hutoa tafsiri za maneno. "Thesaurus," badala ya kutoa tafsiri ya neno, huorodhesha maneno ambayo maana zake zinafanana au kukaribiana na neno hilo.

Kwa mfano, katika kitabu nilichonunua leo, sehemu ya thesaurus, neno "docile" limewekewa maneno yafuatayo: "meek, mild, tractable, pliant, submissive, accommodating, adaptable, resigned, agreeable, willing, obliging, well-behaved, manageable, tame, yielding, teachable, easily influenced, easygoing, usable, soft, childlike."

Mfano huu unaonyesha wazi ubora na upekee wa "thesaurus." Kwa kuyaorodhesha maneno yenye maana zinazofanana au kukaribiana, mtu unakumbushwa msamiati wa lugha. Kama ni mzoefu wa kusoma unayeyatambua maneno hayo na unapenda kuchagua neno la kulitumia, kazi yako inakuwa imerahisishwa. Inatakiwa uwe na ufahamu wa tofauti ndogo ndogo za maana au msisitizo zilizomo katika maneno kama zile ambazo kwa ki-Ingereza huitwa "denotation" na "connotation" ili uweze kuchagua neno lifaalo kuliko mengine katika muktadha wa uandishi wako.

Nimenunua Webster's New World Concise Dictionary and Thesaurus ingawa ninazo "thesaurus" tangu zamani, nilipokuwa sekondari, ambapo niliifahamu Roget's Thesaurus. Kwa nini nimenunua "thesaurus" nyingine leo? Ni kwa kuwa ni toleo jipya. Vile vile, mara kwa mara ninanunua kitabu ambacho nakala yake ninayo, kama nilivyowahi kueleza katika blogu hii.

Nakala za ziada za vitabu muhimu ni baraka. Ninapokwenda Tanzania, huwa sikosi kuchukua vitabu kadhaa kuzigawa kwenye maktaba za jamii au vyuo. Kwa miaka mingi, nimekuwa na wazo kwamba ukipeleka kamusi ya ki-Ingereza, kwa mfano, kwenye shule yoyote, ni kama unaanzisha mapinduzi katika ufundishaji wa somo la ki-Ingereza katika shule hiyo. Unakuwa umemwezesha mwalimu kufahamu uandishi sahihi wa maneno ya ki-Ingereza. Vile vile, kwa kuwa kamusi kwa kawaida hutoa pia mifano ya matumizi ya maneno, unakuwa umemjengea mwalimu fursa ya kujiongezea ufahamu wa lugha. Unakuwa umeweka msingi wa kuboresha somo la ki-Ingereza kwa wanafunzi.

Kitabu ni rasilimali na pia ni mtaji. Kupeleka kitabu muhimu popote nchini kikasomwe ipasavyo ni aina ya uwekezaji. Hilo ni jambo linaloeleweka kwa yeyote anayefahamu kuwa dunia inaingia zaidi na zaidi katika enzi za uchumi unaoendeshwa na elimu na maarifa. Hiyo ndiyo dhana ya "knowledge economy."