Tanzania Culture

Tanzania Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Tanzania

According to INTERNETSAILORS.COM, Tanzania is a country located in Africa. The spread of daily newspapers in Tanzania is very small (4 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 2000). Tanzania has three newspapers. In Dar es-Salaam, the English-language Daily News (edition: about 50,000 copies) and Uhuru (about 100,000 copies), which is CCM’s newspaper, is published in Swahili. In Zanzibar, the magazine Kipanga is published. The press is state-owned and the news media is influenced by state directives, but the room for the opposition increased during the 1990s.

State Radio Tanzania broadcasts in two radio networks, and there are several private local radio stations. Radio is broadcast separately over Zanzibar, which also has its own TV. The mainland has no TV broadcasts. There are 281 radio and 20 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, in Tanzania, popular culture has a strong foundation in society. Oral stories, fairy tales, myths, sayings and riddles are important sources of human history and they help to transfer knowledge between generations. Music, dance and crafts are also important cultural expressions.

Dance and music are important elements in everyday life as well as at parties and solemn ceremonies. On the mainland, drums of various kinds are often used. At Zanzibar, tarab is played , a form of music that originated in the meeting between Arabic and African music and where rhythm, string and keyboard instruments are used.

Tanzania is also known for handicraft in the form of decorated utility items and jewelery. Wood sculptures, originally derived from the Makonde people of southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique, are popular tourist souvenirs.

The poet Shaaban Robert (1909-1962) is usually regarded as the foremost writer in Swahili. He dealt with subjects such as nationalism and colonialism. His verse novels are called Kufikirika and Kusadikika, which are the names of fictional countries. Haji Gora Haji (1933–) is a poet from Zanzibar who also writes in Swahili.

Bible translator Aniceti Kitereza (1896-1981) wrote an epic tale of three generations in her native language, Chikwewe, and translated it herself into Swahili before it was published. The novel has been published in several European languages ​​and has the Swedish title Rainmaker’s children.

The female publisher Elieshi Lema has written several children’s books as well as the noted love novel Bränd jord, which has also been published in Swedish.



Mass amnesty on National Day

December 9

On Tanzania National Day, President Magufuli orders about 5,500 prisoners to be released from the country’s overcrowded prisons. It is a way to reduce the pressure on prisons where around 36,000 people are locked up before the current mass aggression is implemented. Those released are interns convicted of petty crimes, or prisoners who could not afford a defender or who were forced to face a fine because they could not afford to pay the fine. Tanzania’s National Day is being held to mark the country’s liberation from colonial rule.

Tanzania leaves African court

December 4th

Human rights organizations sharply criticize the Tanzanian government for deciding to withdraw from the agreement that gives the African Court of Human Rights the right to investigate the government. Of 70 judgments sent to September 2019, 28 relate to Tanzania. However, to date, only eight countries have ratified the agreement on which the court operates.


Local elections without opposition

November 24

The CCM government wins over 99 percent of the approximately 16,000 seats at stake in local elections. Chadema and five smaller opposition parties boycott the elections to protect their candidates who say they are scared after being subjected to violence and harassment. In addition, many opposition candidates have been disqualified by the authorities. Local representatives in city councils and neighborhood councils have a great influence on daily life. For example, an elderly person must have the approval of the local leader to get free medication prescribed. In the 2014 local elections, Chadema ran for 15 percent of the seats. CCM received about 75 percent.


Child marriage for girls is prohibited

October 24th

The age limit for when girls get married is increased from 15 years to 18. Already in 2016, the country’s highest court ruled that child marriage for girls was sex discrimination since the age limit for men was already 18 years. The state appealed against the verdict but the appeal has now been rejected. Two out of five Tanzanian girls get married before the age of 18, according to official statistics.

Around 600 refugees are sent home to Burundi

October 3

Nearly 600 Burundian refugees are sent back to their homeland, Tanzanian authorities say. According to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, this group is relocated on a voluntary basis. It represents the start of a comprehensive repatriation of a total of about 184,000 burundians that will be ready by the end of the year. The Tanzanian government has said that the refugees who left Burundi because of political violence should be sent home, voluntarily or by force. UNHCR has helped bring back nearly 75,000 Burundian refugees since September 2017, in accordance with an agreement between Tanzania and Burundi. The UN agency estimates that around 225,000 Burundian refugees are still living in three camps in Tanzania.


Regime-critical journalist is arrested

July 30

Journalist Erick Kabendera, an outspoken critic of President Magufuli and his government, is arrested in his home in Dar es Salaam. According to his wife, Kabendera is taken away in a vehicle by six men who claim to be police but refuse to show their police badges. The journalist has disappeared for almost a day before police hear and says that Kabendera is being questioned about his citizenship. According to press freedom organizations, the arrest of Kabendera follows a pattern of harassment against media workers that has been going on since Magufuli came to power in 2015. Kabendera has previously told of how he was persecuted and harassed by the police and that his mother was arrested by the police at one point and interrogated for ten hours. citizenship.


The Chema conductor free to the castle

March 7

Freeman Mbowe, leader of the opposition party Chadema, is being released on bail after sitting in police custody for over three months. Party colleague Esther Matiko, who was arrested at the same time, is also released. The two opposition politicians were arrested for failing to appear at court hearings after being accused of participating in an illegal demonstration in February 2018.

Lowassa returns to CCM

March 5th

Chadas presidential candidate in the 2015 election, Edward Lowassa, leaves the party and returns to CCM where he was previously a high ranking member. He has also been Prime Minister of a CCM government. Lowassa and his son-in-law are subject to financial crime investigations, which assessors say may be CCM’s way of getting Lowassa to re-enter CCM.


The leader of Chadma’s women’s union is arrested

February 24th

Halima Mdee, chair of the Chadama Women’s Association, has been arrested for “stirring up” speech, according to her party colleagues. Mdee, who is a lawyer and MP, is arrested in Dar es Salaam, where she held a party meeting. Mdee is an outspoken critic of President Magufuli and was arrested several times in 2018 accused of defaming the president. She was released the following day against the bail. Chadas chairman Freeman Mbowe is in custody, as well as Esther Matiko, MP for Chadema, after being arrested for court-martial (see November 2018).

Tanzania Culture

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