I saw this Swahili kanga on Google the other day, a celebration of the East African Community:
The phrase is some deep Tanzanian Swahili, but I cracked the code with a little dictionary magic: unity is strength, separation is weakness.
I was in Tanzania for a few days over the Easter holiday. I always figure, living in Kenya, it’s the closest I can get to being in San Diego and hopping over the border to Mexico to eat a few tacos. It’s only a 5 hour bus ride to the decently-sized town of Arusha, and once you’re there the going is cheap and easy. My favorite part is the street food at night; people set up grills and sell all sorts of great finger foods for just a few shillings. Even better, I’ve never felt unsafe in Arusha.
After a great weekend wandering around Arusha and Moshi (the town just below Mt. Kilimanjaro), I came back to the Kenyan border and waited in line to be interrogated by the immigration agents. I have a valid Tanzanian visa, and a valid Kenyan work permit, but for some reason the lady decided to be difficult. When she asked me “Where are you going?” I told her “Westlands,” which was apparently the wrong answer, because she asked me “Where is Westlands?” After a few more rounds of me hearing her incorrectly and giving more “wrong” answers, I finally told her, “Nairobi” and she let me go.
I don’t know if she was trying to catch me in a lie… or maybe she decided that, because Westlands is a suburb of Nairobi, the correct answer should be “Nairobi?” What if I wasn’t going to Nairobi? Would Nairobi still be the correct answer? We will never know…
A great song by one of Kenya’s better-known artists, Jua Cali. I’m not sure why I never heard it until now because it’s been out since late 2008. Anyways, it’s Jua Cali and Enika (apparently she’s from Tanzania). It’s a nice break from all the “I’m a thug” and “get money and bitches” music that is becoming so popular (even in Kenya). From what I can understand (and from what we see in the video), Jua Cali is reminiscing about when he was a young boy discovering his love for music.