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The ugly head of tribalism is just that..ugly

GOD is good all the time, and all the time God is good, kuna sehemu nilisikia watu wakisema hivyo, but whatever the case, indeed God is good.

They say that God works in mysterious ways, that is why there are things which manifest His greatness everywhere you look, whether you are a Muslim or a Christian, these things are evident, ushahidi huo upo kila kona.

In His greatness, God saw it fit to create different things for different reasons, and in different areas, where some might look alike, but they are different, yaani kama vinafana vile ila ni vitu tofauti tofauti. That is why we have different continents, and in these continents we have different people, different ethnic backgrounds, and different colours, kumejaa watu wa aina tofauti.

In Africa, they say it is a continent inhabited by black people, ndio maana tukaitwa Waafrika, because in Africa you find majority of black people, whereas in Europe there are a big number of white people, wazungu kibao.

Here in Africa, apart from putting us under one continent which is divided by borders, God decided to put different ethnic groups in different areas, aliweka makabila mengi tofauti, na kila kabila na maeneo yao.

That is why a Tanzanian can go to Ghana, and unless he opens his mouth to speak, it will be difficult to know that this person is not a Ghanaian, sijui kama mnanielewa mpaka hapo, because by looking at an African, it is not easy to know from which country he or she comes from, ni ngumu.

It is the same way that in Tanzania, a Nyamwezi can go to Kilimanjaro region, but unless he tries to communicate with the residents of the area, it is not easy to know that this fellow is from Tabora, and not Kibosho, I hope bado mnanielewa.

Now, what makes it easy for these people from different ethnic backgrounds to communicate is to use a common language of communication, either mtu atumie Kiswahili ama Kiingereza, it is simple like that.

I loved and still love the founding father of this nation, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, because with all the challenges he encountered as the first president of a new nation, he tried his best to avoid tribal affiliations, alichukia sana ukabila, wengi wenu ni mashahidi mnajua.

He discouraged tribalism at all levels, and that is why during his time in office, it was rare for someone to ask another where they came from, maswali ya ‘wewe ni mtu wa wapi’ yalikua hayapo, kama nadanganya mniambie. “Unataka kujua kabila la mtu kwani unataka kutambika?”

Mwalimu Nyerere used to ask, which to me was a very valid question, kwa sababu how does the tribe of someone benefit you? Yaani unataka kujua ili iweje kwa mfano?

However, it is unfortunate that after the old man went to be with his ancestors, people forgot his ideology, they discarded his wisdom, that is why nowadays it is very common, and I repeat, it is very common, for someone to ask you “hivi Papa Shango wewe ni mtu wa wapi?”

Acha niwaambie ukweli, there are people who value tribalism, for what purpose I don’t know, but they can irritate you to the bones, yaani wamejaa ukabila mpaka wanakera.

These are the people who will start talking in their mother tongue in the company of other people, yaani mmekaa watu wengi wa makabila tofauti, and out of nowhere they will start conversing in their mother tongue, yaani hivyo tu….wapo wengi tu.

Hivi seriously watu mko ofisini, where there are people from different ethnic backgrounds, and you start talking to your fellow tribesman in vernacular, kwamba mnawasema au?…..huu ni ushamba, let me tell you. You find a group of people from Kilimanaro huddled in a group talking in their language, right in the middle of a public office, which has people from different parts of the country, hivi huwa mnatafuta nini?

These are the people who can go to a public office seeking for services, and they will look for someone from their region to assist them, yaani unaenda ofisini unamtafuta Mnyaturu mwenzio ili akusaidie….msiniangalie hivyo, wapo!

You will find them at the reception asking if their tribesman is in the office before they can go in, simply because he or she wants to be served by that particular person based on tribal background….ni tabia mbaya sana, nawaambia kweli.

That is why when they enter a particular office, they will ignore everyone and go straight to their tribesman, yaani akiingia ofisini moja kwa moja kwa ‘mtu wa kwao’, and they immediately start talking in vernacular, yaani kilugha mtindo mmoja!

If you have things you have to discuss which should not be heard by others, si muende nje mkaongee? You are there, being a nuisance to everyone as you chatter away in your language, kelele tupu, it is not right, tribalism is an ugly animal, I can assure you, kama vipi ask our neighbours.

Najua mshakutana nao, they can enter a place, and looking at someone’s features, they try to believe that they are from their region, eti ana muonekano wa kwao kwao hivi, and they embark on greeting them in vernacular.

“Samahani, nilikuangalia nikajua wewe wa kwetu aise, samahani sana!” even if that person is indeed from your tribe, is it automatic that you have to talk to them in vernacular? Kwani imeandikwa wapi? This is a public office, which is full of people from different parts of the country, and you are there, mtu mzima na ndevu zako, busy talking in your vanacular, hivi ni kwamba wengine hawana makabila au?

Stop this behavior, it is not good, it is not bad to talk in vernacular when you are alone with your folks, but not in public, it is uncouth and rude, nawaambia kweli, kama mtachukia ni sawa tu.

As I am writing this, I am ...

Mwandishi: Anthony Tambwe

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