Those who grew up in the 70s remember the Mahoka program the then Radio Tanzania used to air. This program was a comedy showing how madness can turn impossible possible hypothetically. Like it or not, this program, despite being a sort of practical hocus-pocus, was hilarious without necessarily damaging our national code and culture. Mahoka died many years ago though the Mahoka national lives on. Currently, Tanzania is facing a threat of becoming a cultural litterbin wherein any cultural debris can be dumped in the name of entertainment. President John Magufuli has already been alarmed. He recently told artists to put their house in order after noting that some are blindly wandering off from national culture in the name of entertainment.
Thanks to Magufuli drive, many stakeholders were put on notice. Nonetheless, the speed in which cultural decay is dealt with is not satisfactory compared to what must have been done a long time ago. Thanks to carelessness and myopia devoid of ethos and cultural consciousness, some of our media are needless feeding us garbage in the name of making a quick buck. We now have the so-called Udaku or tabloids whose propensity is to feed garbage to our people. There are many more tabloids in Tanzania than any country in the region. I am lucky to have visited all neighbouring countries minus Mozambique. These countries have a few; and others completely don’t have such obnoxious and poisonous media. Are we a mahoka country that can invest in culturally poisonous and pornographic stuff for its peril? It is no longer disconcerting to see X-rated photos on our newsstands for everybody to see including our innocent and uncontaminated children. Ironically, while the authorities have turned a blind eye to this cultural suicide, much government’s attention has been directed to purging and shunning serious media simply because they don’t share the bed with it. This is wrong; and the civilised world is laughing at us for this self-inflicted collective and cultural suicide.
Another area that needs government scrutiny is religious chicanery wherein many conmen and women, quacks and money makers are making a killing by duping our ignorant and unsuspecting people that they can perform miracles to the effect of changing; and thereby solve their problems so as to improve their lives. We recently evidenced one impostor known as Apostle Tito confidently and openly preaching all absurdities without any fear. Thank lord; the authorities nipped him in the bud before his poison spreading so as to motivate other gunk imitators. We’ve reached a point at which anybody can go to bed a sinner and wake up a religious leader. As if this isn’t enough, under this collective imbecilisation if I may borrow from the late professor Seth Chachage, nobody is perturbed as this sacrilege morphs itself even bigger. We now have stinking rich cons whose wealth was only made by plundering our people in the name of God.
Further, we now have druids of all sorts advertising their criminality in putrid media. They assert that they can, as it is for bogus religious charlatans, Judases and Iscariots, cure any and every disease and expel spell. They enlarge sex organs, expel spells, and create wealth and do other impossible things such as helping somebody to perform well in examination, win a court case and voila the host of innumerable nonsensical stuff. Again, what motivates such legalised criminalities? There are a couple of reasons including:
First, the failure by our authorities to regulate and scrutinise them is to blame.
Secondly, another reason is the fact that in our country, currently anybody can go to bed a pauper and wake up miraculously a tycoon without necessarily showing how one made this hush-hush dosh. So, too, this systemic slackness has motivated thievery and thuggery in our country so as to evidence the surge of crime rates. As a country, we now are infamously known for killing innocent people with albinism not to mention elderly people, especially females; which speak to gender violence.
Thirdly, the fact that our people are good buffs of such garbage adds up to the surge of such harmful media.
Now we know what and where the problem is. Then what should be done? The authorities should invest in and resuscitate our lost cultural sensitivities and values. A nation without culture is nothing but a collection of freaks whose country can be easily corrupted and destroyed by cultural imperialism, hooliganism and lunacy and the like simply because it has allowed itself to be taken for a ride either because of its myopia or greed among others. Time for the government to pounce on udaku media has arrived. It is upon the government to wake up from the slumber it has been in since Mwalimu Nyerere left office.
Source: Citizen, Feb., 21, 2018.