Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Children Intensifies

It had an international look when member states from Africa led by UN mission from New York gathered to flag off climbers of mount Kilimanjaro for Kili Climb UNiTE Campain to End Violence against Women and children.

The President of the United Republic of Tanzania Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete flagged off a total of 65 climbers comprised of international and local journalists, movie stars, musicians, government officials, youth and ordinary people at Marangu Gate, Moshi on 5 March 2012.

The Kili Climb was one of the activities for the International Women's Day 8 March 2012 with a theme "Speak Out, Climb Up" to end violence agains women and girls. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to speak out against gender based violence is a very strong and clear message and action, that silence is no longer an option.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was hard and arduous.  Some almost died in their mission to end gender violence in Africa. As one journalist from The Citizen newspaper, who happened to be at the campaign said, ‘the torturous climb reflected the pain that women and girls go through when abused. Most of the men who climbed the mountain agreed to respect and to advocate for women’s rights after the climbing experience’.

One of the aim was to mobilize national commitments from governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and development partners to take action to prevent violence against women, provide service to survivors and end impunity by perpetrators of the violence by 2015.

This commitment will be witnessed on the 28 May 2012 when an International Association of Women in Radio and Television hold a Regional Conference on Gender Based Violence against Women and Children in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Under the theme Regional Conference on Gender Based Violence: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities, a total of 25 international women in radio and television will join their local partners to map out strategies using the media to foster the campaign through.

During the conference different presentations will be made followed by discussions and group work. The conference is also expected to come up with a communique which will be circulated to different stakeholders including the government as a way to enhance further partnership towards the campaign.

Eight newspapers monitored before the Kili Climb Campaign show that issues related to gender based violence are inadequately reported. Between January and March 2012  Uhuru was the least in publishing 62 stories related to gender out  of those only 3.1% were on gender based violence while Nipashe was slightly high for publishing 5.1%. The rest Business Times and Mwananchi faired almost equally to Uhuru newspaper.

This result causes alarm of many cases on gender based violence go unreported. It is our hope that this regional conference will come up with new media approach to make voices of heard survivors heard!

The government should support such efforts by media fratenity in order to prevent violence against women and children, provide services to survivors of violence and promote justice and end impunity. LONG LIVE IAWRT!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tuzungumze, Yanazungumzika

Kuna mambo ambayo hatuwezi kuyafumbia macho. Wakati umefika sasa Watanzania tuache siasa na unafiki tuzungumze masuala yenye tija bila kuyaonea aibu wala mas'hara.

Kuna wimbi la tabia ambalo linaenea kwa kasi sana hapa nchini-wanawake kufanya mapenzi na wanawake wenzao na wanaume halikadhalika. Hili si jambo la kulifumbia macho hata kidogo. Ingawaje tunasingizia mila na desturi zetu haziruhusu masuala kama haya, lakini yapo na yanaendelea kwa kasi kubwa siku hadi siku.

Je tatizo ni nini? Ni jamii, serikali, wahusika wenyewe au wazazi? Iwapo huko nyuma hayakuwa yakijulikana kwa kiwango hiki, kwa nini leo hii mambo yamekuwa kama yalivyo sasa? Hili ni jambo la kuniuliza na kulitafutia ufumbuzi.

Tusisingizie katiba, mila na desturi na kadhalika wa kadhalika, ukweli ni kwamba mambo yanatendeka tena kwa hadhara kabisa. Kama kweli tunataka kulinusuru taifa na vizazi vijavyo ni lazima tuzungumze, yanazungumzika, kwani mauti huumbua maradhi! Sinta (Christina Manongi) ameonyesha njia basi tufuate njia hiyo kwa nia njema kabisa. Ninaamini tutafika mahali tutazungumza lugha moja!

Tuzungumze, yanazungumzika

Tunazungumzia mengi sana kuhusu utamaduni. Mara nyingi utamaduni huonekana kwa ubaya wake na athari zinazopatikana kutokana na kukumbatia mila mbaya na desturi zilizojengeka katika jamii. Lakini tukumbuke kwamba sio mila au tamaduni zote ni mbaya. Ziko mila ambazo zinamjenga mtu kujua asili yake, kabila lake, mila za kabila hilo, mazuri na mabaya yake. Hatuwezi kujivunia Utanzania wetu, amani na utulivu na umoja iwpo tutakuwa hatujui wapi tunatoka, mababu zetu walikuwa akina nani, kabila zetu na lugha zake na staarabu husika la kabila hilo. Utamaduni sio ngoma za asili, mavazi, chakula na kiwango cha elimu, bali ni mambo mengi kwa mapana yake yanayohusiana na kujitambua. Unajitambuaje kama Mtanzania, unajivunia nini kuwa Mtanzania na nini stara zako kama Mtanzania. Tuzungumze, yanazungumzika.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Morning Singing Bird!

Morning singing bird is the best expression to give to this one week. We all know why birds sing in the morning or why cocks crow- to wake people up to do productive work.
It is the morning people wake up go to tilt the land, (fields), others to offices while children go to school and some stay home to do house chores. That’s life!.
My morning is different because it has to do with education. And we all know that education has no end.
For someone to be able to catch up with progressive life must be knowledgeable, easy to communicate and interact. During the week I can tell you, I learnt, shared and gained experience and acquired new skills in journalism-internet in the world of journalism with all smiles. My expectations were met by 99 percent.
From now on there is no time to waist everything is digital, despite power blackout, slow internet connectivity and what have you. The blog created will be updated but also create a new one which will focus on reading, the culture that is vanishing and lacking in order to nurture it. Yes, it can be done with all the linkages I am going to create and invite discussions, it will work out. This is how I am going to advance and develop further my profession. There is no more intimidation with Dot Com because I am already there!
The training was well blended with theory and practice, interactive and full of fun. It was really adult learning.
Preparations were also so good because there was room to accommodate those who were hungry to participate. I really appreciate for the precedence extended to me and am so grateful to Peik Johannson for his humanity to make my attendance possible. Thank you so much Peik.
As for participants, I really enjoyed every part of my being with them. They were so friendly, charming, interactive and welcoming. My special gratitude goes to Bestina Magutu. She was always willing to help me whenever I got stuck with my computer which was harassing me whenever a new topic was introduced. Bestina, big up, you have a bright future!
I was so happy to meet one of my old acquaintances, Hicloch Ogola! We met each other in early 80 at Maelezo as young journalists and parted later as I joined Radio Tanzania. He also left for greener pastures. Who knew we would meet this year, the world is really small, here we are connected once again! God is great.
The most sincere and heartfelt gratitude  goes to MISA-TAN, the organisation I nurtured for almost a decade! You need to pull  up your socks, we are going digital you too have!
The training was a morning singing bird!
Thank you!

Reading: Denied Culture in Tanzania

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Africa’s Green Lady: Wangari Maathai

If you plant a seed, who can see how tall the tree will grow? Every seed needs to be natured with love and patience. The young sapling must learn to stand alone and weather many storms and droughts.
The strongest tree refuses to grow in anyone’s shadow instead it rises and rises into the light like this female icon and noble Laureate-Africa’s Green Lady, Wangari Maathai.
Born in 1 April 1940 this Kenyan female political activist and environment conservationist went through rough and tough road. But she reached there.
‘I don’t think that anyone of us as we were growing up ever dreamed of what we could become. For most of us we just grow up and make the best or should make the best of our environment. Make the best of education make the best of the learning from our parents, our friends, our relatives because quite often that’s what eventually moulds you and creates the person that you eventually grow up to be’, Maathai Wangari’s dialogue during the documentary of Unsung Heroines.
Wangari Maathai is well educated. She studied in the United States of America and Kenya as well and got her first degree in 1964. When she returned from the US, Kenyan men as well as the government looked down upon her, just like any stereotype thinking can dictate. She did not care, she moved on. The negative attitude against her made her become more aggressive and a roadmap for her activism.
She grew up seeing women making baskets, beautiful ones. As years went by about forty years, women changed and no longer made baskets. Making baskets is skills, and if that skill is not passed to the young generation it is lost as well as productivity.  People started embracing plastics as a sign of development although look nice but plastics are polluting the environment and they are also serving as habits for mosquitoes in a country. Just like any other African country, Kenya is trying to fight malaria so strongly.
Dr. Maathai is among the respected women in the continent who played many roles- as environmentalist, feminist, politician, professor, human rights activist and head of of Green Belt Movement she founded in 1977. She began the movement to reforest her country by paying women a few shilling to plant trees.  
The Greenbelt Movement is a non -governmental organisation focused on planting trees across Kenya to fight erosion and to create firewood for fuel and jobs for women.
Good characters are always rewarded, Dr. Maathai is no exception. She received several awards including Right Livelihood Award 1986 and became first African lady to receive the Nobel Prize 2004 for her sustainable development, democracy and peace.
From 2003-2005 she served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya under President Mwai Kibaki.
Towards the end of 2011 she battled with her life and died of complications from ovarian cancer.
Dr. Wangari Maathai is Unsung Heroine from Kenya-the female icon and noblest laureate.  

Exploring web sites as source of information

Traditionally journalists have different ways they use as source of information. They include eyes for observation, ears to listen to what is to be said and even nose for information needed. A journalist must know individual people and contacts before hand in order to get proper information. Other sources include press releases and other media.
Like any other sources for a journalist to perform his/her duties, internet is also another useful tool of information.
Journalists benefit from internet as source of information to check facts and background or other issues concerning people. The internet also gives an opportunity to search global collection of news and information, to look for people and checking facts in editing as well as grammar.
According to the trainer of Internet Training, Peik Johannson, much of the information is found on internet through search engines like Google, Firefox and others. He said, in 2004 there were 13 web pages. But in July 2008 Google announced that its search engine has discovered one trillion unique web pages on more than 100 million websites.
These useful tools can only give best results if a journalist is aware of tips helpful in finding information from the web sites. Different languages are used while looking for information needed. Another tip is to choose the right word for the search to get good result. Use simple words for the search, key words are usually advisable.
The journalist should know exactly what to search for and where to find it, is the search for simple facts, is it for background or any other information that can develop the story.
Give yourself much more time to investigation before planning your story. The story should be in in a narrative format. Finally a journalist should plan to use his/time for research, writing, editing the text, checking fact and for delivering the story.
That is the wisdom of the day!