|The Teacher (Mwalimu), The African Socialist|
Ruled Tanzania from 1961 to 1985
In 1974, there were severe shortages of cooking oil and gasoline. I remember going to Arusha to see our grandparents over the holidays for many holidays and we couldn't go anywhere that required a car because they had banned the driving of cars on Sundays in order to save gas!. The only way you could drive is if you had a special permit for a specific reason and apparently they were difficult to get.
I'm not sure what this has to do with Socialism, but you also had to dress modestly. You couldn't wear anything sleeveless or short. We were only children then, but it also applied to us!
During this time of African Socialism, Swahili became the national language of Tanzania. This is the reason all my cousins who went to school in Tanzania in the 70s, speak excellent Swahili and they laugh at the way we speak a version of some sort of Swahili! Literacy, life expectancy and rural health services improved but the social experiment proved to be a failure and Nyerere abandoned it in the mid 80s but the damage had been done.
For my grandfather and his siblings who were business people and who had invested everything in Tanzania, it was devastating. They lost most of their wealth and were left with the home they lived in and the shop they ran. This began the mass exodus of people from Tanzania, looking for more stability and a place to start their lives again. This is how many Tanzanians have ended up in the U.K and Canada.
My mum's entire family and extended family who had lived mostly in Arusha left Tanzania mostly in the 70s and 80s. The only person who never left Tanzania is my cousin Aafeez Jivraj. He lives in Arusha, runs a successful travel business and has two beautiful children.
|Aafeez, my cousin and his two adorable children below are the last of our family in Arusha.|
UgandaIn neighbouring Uganda, other things were brewing in 1972. A crazy man called Idi Amin Dada who fought with the British against the Mau Mau in the 1950s, overthrew the Ugandan president, Milton Obote in a coup and appointed himself President. He then demanded that 75,000 Asians leave the country for good in 90 days. They could take nothing with them. My in-laws were part of this exodus.
|"The Butcher of Uganda". Thought to have killed about 300,000 people.|
Ruled Uganda from 1971 to 1979
Since those dark days of the Idi Amin's rule, the government has invited people back. Karim's cousin, Gula and her husband live in Entebbe with their two children.
|Karim's Cousin Gula who now lives in Entebbe.|
|Gula's husband, Mohamed Awad with Karim.|
My mother-in-law with Gula and Mohamed's beautiful daughter, Amirah (almost 2).
They also have a baby son, Sami.
Thank you for sharing Day 9 of 50 with me!