Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mwaliko Kutoka Red Wing, Minnesota

Leo nimepata mwaliko kutoka kwa mratibu wa "Education and Outreach" wa kaunti ya Goodhue, jimbo la Minnesota, ambayo makao yake ni mji wa Red Wing. Ananiuliza kama nitaweza kwenda kuongea kuhusu hadithi. Ameandika:

I recently found information about your program last February with the Kofa Foundation “Folklore, Food, and Fun with Dr. Mbele –Celebrating our Roots.” Your presentation sounded fun and informative and, I would love to bring your expertise and insights to Red Wing.

If possible, I would like to schedule you for a presentation in February to celebrate Black History Month. I would like to host something very similar to the Kofa Foundation event but, without the potluck aspect. I think our audiences would still enjoy the story-telling and fun. If you would like to bring your book 1Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences to sell at the conclusion of the presentation, you are welcome to do so.

Ninahisi kuwa taarifa inayotajwa ya Kofa Foundation, ni hii hapa. Nilifahamiana na Decontee Kofa, mwanzilishi na mkurugenzi wa Kofa Foundation, nikafahamu jinsi taasisi hii inavyojitahidi kuwasaidia watoto walioathirika na janga la ebola Liberia na maeneo mengine. Niliguswa nikawazia namna ya kusaidia.

Niliwasiliana na mkurugenzi, nikamweleza kuwa niko tayari kufanya shughuli kama kutoa mhadhara au kusimulia na kuelezea hadithi za jadi za ki-Afrika. Tulipanga siku, nikaenda kufanya mambo  niliyoelezea katika blogu yangu. Nilikwenda na nakala za vitabu vyangu viwili, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences, na Matengo Folktales, kwa ajili ya kuuza. Fedha zilizopatikana niliikabidhi Kofa Foundation. Nilifarijika kwa kutimiza ndoto yangu.

Mada ninayoombwa kwenda kuongelea ni moja ambayo ninashughulika nayo sana. Hadithi za jadi ni hazina ya tafakuri juu ya maisha, tabia za binadamu, na mategemeo yake. Hadithi nyingi ni chemshabongo, na zingine ni burudani. Kila hadithi, kwa namna yake, ina utajiri wa mambo hayo kwa namna mbali mbali. Hadithi za jadi zilizokuwepo kwa miaka maelfu, zilichangia kuibuka na kustawi kwa fasihi andishi. Mambo kama haya ndiyo ninayaongelea ninapohutubia juu ya hadithi.

Nimefurahi kupata mwaliko wa Red Wing. Ninaona maongozi ya Mungu, kuanzia ule msukumo nilioona katika dhamiri yangu wa kuisaidia Kofa Foundation, hadi hayo yaliyofuatia. Kujitolea muda wangu na pesa nilizonunulia vitabu haikuwa hasara, na uthibitisho moja ni huku kukaribishwa kupeleka vitabu vyangu vikauzwe Red Wing. Pia ni fursa ya kutangazwa shughuli zangu. Hao wanaonialika watasambaza taarifa kuwavutia watu waje kunisikiliza. Nami ninapotoa mhadhara ninahakikisha nimeweka rekodi nzuri, ambayo huleta mialiko mingine. Ni baraka kote kote.

Nimeaandika ujumbe huu ili kujiwekea kumbukumbu, kama ilivyo desturi yangu katika blogu hii. Lakini vile vile ujumbe wangu nimekusudia uwe changamoto kwa wengine, kwa kuwa ni ujumbe kuhusu uwajibikaji na pia kujitolea. Ni jambo jema kufahamishana mambo ya manufaa.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Vitabu Nilivyonunua Leo

Leo nilienda Mall of America. Nilipitia Apple Valley katika duka la half Price Books. Kama kawaida, niliangalia kwanza sehemu vinapowekwa vitabu vya Ernest Hemingway. Hapo nilinunua The Dangerous Summer, kitabu ambacho nilikifahamu kwa miaka. Nilijua kwamba kinahusu utamaduni wa Hispania wa "bull fighting." Nilijua pia kuwa hiki ni moja ya vitabu vya Hemingway ambamo alielezea utamaduni huu kwa umakini na ufahamu wa hali ya juu.

Kitu kimoja kilichonifanya ninunue kitabu hiki leo ni utangulizi mrefu ulioandikwa na James A. Mitchener, mwandishi ambaye nimemfahamu kwa jina kwa miaka kadhaa na nimeshaona baadhi ya vitabu vyake, ila sijawahi kuvisoma. Nilivyoanza kusoma utangulizi wake katika The Dangerous Summer, nilivutiwa sana na uandishi wake. Vile vile, nilitaka kujua anaeleza nini kuhusu kitabu hiki. Utangulizi wake umenipa hamu ya kusoma vitabu vyake.

Baada ya hapo, nilielekea vinapowekwa vitabu vya bei ndogo zaidi. Niliangalia kijuu juu vitabu vilivyojazana hapo, na ghafla nikaona kitabu kiitwacho Bamboo Among the Oaks, kilichohaririwa na Mai Neng Moua. Nilifurahi kukiona, kwani mwandishi alikuwa mwanafunzi hapa chuoni St. Olaf miaka ya tisini na kitu. Nilikuwa nimesikia habari za kitabu hiki, kwamba ni mkusanyo wa maandishi ya watu wa taifa la Hmong waliohamia Marekani.

Taifa la Hmong asili yake ni kusini mwa China na nchi za Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, na Vietnam. Wakati wa vita baina ya Marekani na Vietnam, jamii ya Hmong ilishirikiana na shirika la kijasusi la CIA la Marekani. Kwa mujibu wa mhariri wa Bamboo Among the Oaks, walifanya hivyo "to defend their own territory and way of life and to rescue American pilots downed along the Ho Chi Minh Trail."

Kwetu sisi wa-Tanzania, kutokana na mwelekeo wetu wa kishoshalisti, tulishikamana na nchi zilizokuwa na mwelekeo huo. Tuliunga mkono Vietnam ya Kaskazini chini ya kiongozi wao Ho Chi Minh. Hatukupendeza na hao waliosaidiana na Marekani, nchi ambayo tuliiona ya kibeberu. Kwa mtazamo huo, suala la jamii ya Hmong ni tata kwetu.

Marekani iliposhindwa, washindi, yaani Pathet Lao, walianza kulipiza kisasi dhidi ya jamii ya Hmong. Hii ndio sababu ya wao kukimbilia nchi zingine, kuanzia Thailand, na kisha nchi za mbali, kama vile Argentina, Australia, Canada, Ufaransa, Ujerumani, na Marekani. Katika jimbo la Minnesota, ambapo ninaishi, watu wa jamii ya Hmong ni wengi. Vijana wao wengi tunawafundisha chuoni St. Olaf.

Nimesikia mambo kadhaa kuhusu jamii hiyo nchini Marekani, hasa kuhusiana na tofauti baina ya utamaduni wao na ule wa Marekani. Kuna changamoto inayotokana na nia ya wazee kudumisha utamaduni wa jadi mwelekeo wa vijana wa kupendelea utamaduni wa Marekani.

Kwa mategemeo kwamba kitabu hiki, ambacho ni mkusanyo wa mashairi, hadithi, tamthilia, na insha, kitanipa mwanga zaidi kuhusu jamii hii, niliamua bila kusita kukinunua. Nilivutiwa na wazo kuwa kitanipa upeo wenye uhusiano na yale niliyoandika katika kitabu changu, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Vitabu Nilivyonunua Leo

Leo nilikwenda uwanja wa ndege wa Minneapolis. Wakati wa kurudi, nilipitia Apple Valley nikaingia katika duka la Half Price Books, kama ilivyo kawaida yangu.  Sikukaa sana humo, bali nilinunua vitabu viwili.

Kimoja ni America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction ambacho ni mkusanyo wa maandishi ya John Steinbeck, ambao umehaririwa na Susan Shillinglaw na Jackson J. Benson. Baada ya kukiangalia, nilivutiwa nacho kwa sabababu sikuwa na kitabu hicho wala sikuwa nimefuatilia habari za Steinbeck kiasi cha kujua kuwa aliandika sana katika tasnia ya "nonfiction." Nilichojua zaidi ni kuwa alikuwa mwandishi wa riwaya. Steinbeck si mwandishi mgeni kwangu, kama nilivyowahi kuandika katika blogu hii.

Sababu ya pili ya kukinunua kitabu hiki ni kuwa nilivutiwa na taarifa kwamba Steinbeck anawaongelea wa-Marekani. Mimi mwenyewe nimekuwa nikifanya hivyo, hasa tangu nichapishe kitabu changu kiitwacho Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences. Kwenye ukurasa wa nyuma wa hiki kitabu cha Steinbeck, niliona nukuu ambayo ilinivutia sana:

For centuries America and Americans have been the target for opinions--Asian, African, and European--only these opinions have been called criticism, observation, or, God help us, evaluation. Unfortunately, Americans have allowed these foreign opinions the value set on them by their authors. This essay is not an attempt to answer or refute these sausage-like propaganda which is ground out in our disfavour....But at least it is informed by America, and inspired by curiosity, impatience, some anger, and a passionate love of America and Americans. For I believe that out of the whole body of our past, out of our differences, our quarrels, our many interests and directions, something has emerged that is itself unique in the world: America--complicated, paradoxical, bullheaded, shy, cruel, boisterous, unspeakably dear, and very beautiful.

Kitabu cha pili nilichonunua ni Running with the Bulls: My Years With the Hemingways, kilichoandikwa na Valerie Hemingway. Huyu alikuwa sekretari wa Ernest Hemingway na alisafiri na Hemingway na mke wake Mary Hispania na Ufaransa, akaishi nao miezi ya mwisho ya Hemingway Cuba. Baada ya kifo cha Hemingway, Valerie aliolewa na Gregory, mtoto wa Hemingway, ambaye ni mdogo wa Patrick Hemingway, ambaye ninawasiliana naye.

Nina vitabu kadhaa vya wanafamilia wa Ernest Hemingway. Hiki cha Valerie sikuwa nacho. Ninategemea kujifunza mengi kutokana na mwandishi huyu ambaye ni mmoja wa wale waliofahamu sana habari kuhusu familia ya Hemingway.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Tumesoma "Confession of the Lioness"

Tumo katika wiki ya mwisho ya kozi ya "African Literature," ambayo ni kwa kipindi hiki cha kiangazi. Kati ya vitabu ambavyo tumesoma ni Confession of the Lioness, riwaya ya Mia Couto wa Msumbiji. Couto ni mmoja wa waandishi maarufu kabisa Afrika na ulimwenguni, ambaye amepata tuzo za kimataifa kwa uandishi wake, ikiwamo tuzo ya Neustadt.

Mia Couto anaandika kwa ki-Reno. Ninasoma na kufundisha tafsiri za ki-Ingereza. Kwanza nilifundisha riwaya yake The Tuner of Silences hapa chuoni St. Olaf nikaipenda sana. Niliifundisha tena katika muhula mwingine. Kutokana na hilo, niliamua kufundisha riwaya yake nyingine. Ndipo nikachagua Confession of the Lioness, baada ya kusoma taarifa zake mtandaoni.

Riwaya hii inasimulia habari za eneo la kaskazini mwa Msumbiji, katika jamii ya wa-Makonde. Jamii inaishi kwa hofu na wasi wasi kutokana na kuwepo kwa simba ambao huzunguka na hushambulia watu na mifugo. Wasi wasi umechanganyika na imani za kishirikina kuhusu simba hao. Je, ni simba kweli, au ni simba wa kutengenezwa kiuchawi? Hilo ni moja ya maswali yanayosumbua jamii hii.

Kwetu wa-Tanzania, tumekuwa tukishuhudia hali hiyo hiyo katika wilaya ya Tunduru, ambayo inapakana na Msumbiji. Mimi ni mwenyeji wa mkoa wa Ruvuma, ambao unapakana na Msumbiji. Confession of the Lioness ilinigusa kwa namna ya pekee, kwa jinsi utamaduni unaoelezwa humo unavyofanana na ule wangu wa ki-Matengo. Kuna hata maneno kadhaa ya kilugha, ambayo yanafanana na yetu. Sijawahi kusoma riwaya maarufu kama hii ambayo mazingira yake ni ya karibu namna hii na mahali nilipozaliwa na kukulia.

Kama ilivyo katika The Tuner of Silences, katika Confession of the Lioness, Couto anasisimua akili, kwa namna ya pekee. Analeta maajabu katika mtazamo na maelezo ya mambo. Hiyo dhana ya simba, anaipeleka mbali kwa kutufanya tuitafakari kifalsafa. Wakati tunahangaika na simba wazururao porini, labda simba wamo katika nafsi zetu binadamu. Tusijiziuke kuogopa simba wa porini tukashindwa kutambua simba ndani yetu. Binadamu huenda ndio simba wa kuogopwa zaidi.

Mbinu moja mahsusi ya uandishi anayotumia Couto ni ile ambayo inajulikana kwa ki-Ingereza kama "defamiliarization." Kwa mfano, ni jambo la kawaida kwa wawindaji kujipiga picha wakiwa na mnyama waliyemwua, Couto analielezea jambo hili kwa namna ya kutufanya tulione kwa mtazamo mpya.

Take a photo of me next to the trophy, the administrator insists, cutting a vain pose, one foot on the animal. It's an illusion I don't bother to dismantle: What is there is no longer a lion. It is empty plunder. It isn't anything more than a useless shell, a piece of skin stuffed with nothingness (uk. 189).

Nilipojadili kifungu hiki darasani, pamoja na kukielezea kama mfano wa "defamiliarization," niliingia pia katika falsafa, kwa kunukuu kauli ya Macbeth, anapoelezea maisha na harakati za binadamu kama si chochote bali

...It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

(Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5).

Suala la watu kujigeuza simba nililielezea darasani kama sehemu ya jadi yenye historia ndefu katika masimulizi na fasihi ya ulimwengu. Humo, watu hugeuka wanyama, au kitu kingine. Mifano ni Metamorphoses, ya Ovid, The Golden Ass, ya Apuleius, Metamorphosis, ya Kafka.

Confession of the Lioness inatufanya tufikirie maana ya simba. Simba sio tu wale wanyama wanaoishi porini. Simba pia ni dhana ya kifalsafa ku yamwelezea binadamu, kwani tabia ya binadamu inaweza kufanana na ya simba. Kwa mfano, katika riwaya hii kuna suala la wanaume kuwanyanyasa wanawake, kiasi kwamba wanaume hao wanakuwa kama simba. Confession of the Lioness, ni utungo wa aina inayoitwa "allegory" kwa ki-Ingereza.

Ninaipendekeza riwaya hii kwa dhati kwa wasomaji. Couto ana kipaji cha pekee cha kuandika hadithi ya kugusa hisia na kuamsha fikra. Haishangazi kuwa amejipatia tuzo na sifa kubwa ulimwenguni.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Uchambuzi wa ki-Ingereza wa Wimbo wa Roma, "Zimbabwe"




Roma, a Tanzanian composer and singer, has become a household name in Tanzania, albeit controversial, on account of his compositions. His latest song, "Zimbabwe," has just been released to much acclaim, but also reservations. It is a charged piece that is bound to raise sentiments and maybe ruffle a few feathers.

"Zimbabwe," is a music video that brings up seemingly disconnected and random images and references incorporating ideas, sentiments, and pleas. Clad in flowing robes, like a prophet, Roma traverses an expansive landscape proclaiming his message, which sounds like an apocalypse. I think of Yeats's vision--in "The Second Coming"--of a rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem to be born, but Roma's vision is not entirely dark and ominous.

The plight of prophets is often uncertain and Roma's is no exception. He has experienced rejection, censure and even kidnapping, which is a key theme, if not the impetus, of his "Zimbabwe" song. A prophet can be rejected, becoming a voice crying in the wilderness. In this video, Roma appears in the wilderness much of the time, but he has a sizable following, heading with him towards the distant horizon beyond which, presumably, Zimbabwe lies.

I have stated that this song pulls together seemingly disparate and random ideas, sentiments, and references, but there is method in the madness. Running through the song is a mood, not of celebration or joy, but sadness, which is sustained by the repetitive beat of soulful sounds. The sadness and somber feeling is conveyed by references to kidnappers and their evil deeds, and is reflected in the faces of the people and accentuated by the image of a crying child. The randomness of images and references can also be read as a mirror or an oblique but caustic commentary on, or indictment of, the political system of today's Tanzania, which critics berate for what they consider its erratic and impulsive modus operandi.

Roma's song exemplifies Cleanth Brook's idea that the language of poetry is the language of paradox. The very image of Zimbabwe is paradoxical. Given the global, media-driven image of Zimbabwe as dismal and dysfunctional, Roma's song appears to present Zimbabwe as the Promised Land. We see Roma leading a multitude across the wilderness, in an exodus towards this Promised Land, in the manner of Moses and Joshua in the Old Testament.

On the other hand, the image of Zimbabwe in this song can also be interpreted as bitterly ironic, with its suggestion that one is much better off being in Zimbabwe than in Tanzania. Although this might spark contention among Tanzanians, my interpretation shows how Roma turns the negative image of Zimbabwe on its head, essentially signifying upon the media-driven stereotype I have mentioned. Roma is a kind of trickster figure, driven to upsetting conventional perceptions and exposing the ambiguity of things.

The juxtaposition of Zimbabwe and Tanzania in the song can be further deconstructed. We can say that the song implies that Tanzania is deteriorating so fast that we had better escape to Zimbabwe before it is too late. This interpretation, needless to say, is not likely to please many Tanzanians. But I am not claiming that this is what the poem says. My reading of it might, in fact, be contested by other readings, which is the norm in the field of literary interpretation.

If we view the notion of paradox in the broad terms outlined by Brooks, Roma's song is packed with paradoxes. These manifest themselves not only in the image of Zimbabwe but in other ways as well, such as the image of the old African lady playing the piano. I doubt if there is any Tanzanian who associates old African ladies with piano playing. Yet, if we take a historical and broad view, we find that African women, especially old women, have been prime carriers of our artistic heritage--storytelling, music, and song. Achebe's Things Fall Apart, for example, portrays a mother who tells stories to her children. In East Africa, there is a long tradition of female poets and singers, such as Mwana Kupona, Siti binti Saad, Bi Kidude and Shakila Said. The image of Roma's old woman playing the piano is not as far-fetched as it appears.

The discourse of Rama's song is propelled as well by both significant hints and direct statements. Among the hints are those relating to kidnapping and the experience of captivity. Among the direct statements is the challenge to the unnamed authority figures to lay down their guns and engage in debate propelled by reasons. In the context of the growing belief that Tanzania's political system is becoming dictatorial, the song's statement is a direct indictment of that reality.

In generic terms, "Zimbabwe" can be read as the continuation of the tradition of African prison poetry which includes poems such as Liongo Fumo's "Wimbo wa Saada," and Abdilatif Abdalla's Sauti ya Dhiki, from the Swahili tradition, as well as Dennis Brutus's Letters to Martha and A Simple Lust.

Following Brooks's warning against what he called "the heresy of paraphrase," I will say that Roma's song, like any work of literature, speaks for itself. No interpretation will adequately capture its complexity, nuances and its capacity to generate meanings, which is limitless. For me, however, this song, unsettling as it is, remains timely, relevant, and indispensable. It is a mix of disturbing sentiments and images made palatable, nevertheless, by melodious and irresistible music that will endure in people's memory for a long time. I feel it has the makings of a classic.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Mkutano wa Bodi ya Rochester International Association

Tarehe 8 Agosti, nilikwenda Rochester, Minnesota, kuhudhuria mkutano wa bodi ya Rochester International Association (RIA). Tunakutana mara moja kwa mwezi. Katika ajenda ya tarehe 8, yalikuwepo mambo yanayonihusu moja kwa moja, ambayo ninapenda kuyaelezea hapa.

Moja ni kuwa wanabodi tuliohudhuria tuliulizwa na rais wa bodi, Brian Faloon, iwapo tutapenda kuendelea kuwa wajumbe mwaka ujao. Wote tulikubali. Mimi kama mwanabodi mpya kuliko wote, nilivutiwa na jinsi wajumbe walivyo na moyo wa kujitolea. Nilikubali kwa sababu ninathamini mchango wa RIA katika jamii. Kwa upande wangu, kutumikia RIA kumeniwezesha kufahamika katika mji wa Rochester. Kwa mfano, kupitia RIA niliweza kutoa mhadhara chuo kikuu cha Minnesota Rochester.

 Pili ni kuwa RIA imesisitiza kuafiki pendekezo nililotoa siku zilizopita la kuonyesha filamu ya Papa's Shadow mjini Rochester. Bodi ilipendekeza kwamba onesho lifanyike kupitia maktaba ya Rochester. Tutafuatilia, ili filamu ionyeshwe hivi karibuni.

Jambo jingine ni kuwa mwanabodi Kristin Faloon aliwaeleza wanabodi kuhusu mhadhara niliotoa katika kikuu cha Winona, ambao yeye na mumewe Brian walihudhuria. Sikutegemea Kristin angeongelea tukio lile, lakini ilionekana wazi kuwa walifurahishwa na mhadhara ule, akasema kuwa walijifunza mengi. Kwa kuzingatia hadhi ya Brian na Kristin katika jamii, maoni yao yana uzito mkubwa. Nimewaandikia ujumbe kwamba sitawaangusha katika mihadhara ya baadaye.

Zaidi ya hayo, mkutano wa RIA umenifungua macho kuhusu taasisi zinazofanya shughuli zinazofanana na zangu katika kuendeleza maelewano baina ya watu wa tamaduni mbali mbali. Mbali ya Diversity Council-Rochester, ambayo niliifahamu, niligundua pia kuwa kuna kitengo katika Mayo Clinic kinachoshughulika na masuala ya kujenda na kustawisha mahusiano baina ya watu wa tamaduni mbali mbali. Ninatarajia kuwa tutakuwa na fursa ya kushirikiana kwa namna moja au nyingine.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Global Minnesota Wameniletea Kifuta Jasho

Juzi, tarehe 5, niliandika katika blogu hii kwamba nilikuwa nimepata barua ya shukrani kutoka Global Minnesota, kufuatia mhadhara niliotoa. Leo, bila kutegemea, nimepata cheki kutoka kwao, kama kifuta jasho.

Sikutegemea, kwani tangu mwanzo waliponialika kutoa mhadhara na hata baada ya mhadhara, sikuwa na hata fununu kwamba kuna kifuta jasho. Nami sikufikiria wala kutegemea. Nilichojali ni kufanya kazi waliyoniomba kufanya, yaani kujadili mada ya "African Folktales to Contemporary Authors."

Ninaongozwa na nasaha ya wahenga kwamba tenda wema nenda zako; usingoje shukrani. Kama nilivyosema katika blogu hii, mengine ni matokeo. Sijawahi kukataa mwaliko wa kwenda kutoa mhadhara kwa sababu ya malipo.

Watu wanaonihimiza nisitoe huduma bila malipo ninawaambia kuwa kuna baraka katika kuwasaidia watu. Fursa ya kutoa mhadhara ni ya manufaa kwangu, kwani inaniongezea uzoefu na kuniwezesha kujitathmini ufahamu wangu, hasa katika kipindi cha masuali na majibu. Vile vile matangazo ya mhadhara yanayoandaliwa na kusambazwa na wale wanaonialika yananiongezea kufahamika.

Mara nyingi, huwezi kujua watu unaowahutubia ni akina nani katika jamii. Nimeshuhudia baada ya mhadhara watu wakijitokeza na kujitambulisha kwangu na kuniuliza iwapo nitakuwa tayari kuhutubia kwenye taasisi au jumuia zao. Mwaliko moja unazaa mialiko mingine. Ninasema hayo ili kuwashawishi wale wanaosita kutoa huduma bila kuahidiwa malipo. Hakuna hasara, bali ni faida.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Shukrani ya Global Minnesota kwa Mhadhara Wangu

Tarehe 12 Julai, nilitoa mhadhara Global Minnesota, kama nilivyoelezea katika blogu hii. Nimepata barua ya shukrani kutoka Global Minnesota, iliyoandikwa tarehe 20 Julai, ambayo ni kumbukumbu nzuri kwangu. Imeandikwa:

Dear Dr. Mbele

On behalf of Global Minnesota, I would like to thank you for speaking at the Global Conversations program on "African Folktales to Contemporary Authors" at the Minneapolis Central Library on July 12.

Your extensive knowledge and skillful storytelling captured and kept our audience's attention throughout the program. The program was both informative and entertaining, and the feedback we received from the attendees and our partners was extremely positive.

We were also so pleased that you brought your daughters to the program and rekindled an old MIC/GLobal Minnesota connection.

Thank you for partnering with us on this program and helping us in our mission to bring greater awareness and appreciation of African culture to the general public in Minnesota. We look forward to engaging with you again on future Global Minnesota programs!

Kwanza kabisa, mimi nina tabia ya kujitathmini mwenyewe. Pamoja na kusikiliza namna watu wengine wanavyotathmini kazi zangu, tathmini yangu mwenyewe ndiyo inayonisukuma zaidi. Kuna wakati ambapo watu wanaweza kusifia kazi yangu lakini mimi mwenyewe nikawa na mtazamo tofauti.

Pamoja na sifa nilizomwagiwa na Global Minnesota, mimi mwenyewe niliona kuwa muda wa mhadhara ulikuwa mfupi. Kwa hivyo, nilishaamua kuwafahamisha wanipangie siku nyingine na mada nyingine, niweze kuteremsha nondo za kufa mtu, kama wasemavyo wa-Tanzania vijiweni. Sasa, kwa kuwa katika barua yao nao wanapendekeza tuendelee kushirikiana katika programu zao, fursa hiyo sitailazia damu.

Napenda nihitimishe ujumbe wangu kwa kuelezea falsafa inayoniongoza. Jambo la msingi ni kwamba Global Minnesota waliponiuliza kama nitaweza kwenda kutoa mhadhara, nilikubali bila kusita. Ninatambua kuwa mimi ni mwalimu, na ufundishaji hauishii darasani bali unahitajika pia katika jamii nje ya chuo. Vipaji nilivyo navyo nilipewa na Mungu kwa ajili ya wanadamu, si kwa ajili yangu.

Sijivunii vipaji hivyo, bali ninamshukuru Mungu na kumwomba anisaidie kuvitumia kwa namna anavyotaka. Kwamba ninaamka kila asubuhi nikiwa mzima na akili timamu, ni baraka ya Mungu, kuniwezesha kufanya wajibu wangu. Ndio maana, sitilii maanani suala la malipo ninapoalikwa kwenda kutoa mhadhara, kama nilivyowahi kuelezea katika blogu hii. Ninazingatia ufanisi wa hali ya juu katika shughuli ninazofanya. Mengine ni matokeo.