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Sunday, 11 April 2010


By Ibrahim Mkamba

AMONG people I have been working with as columnist in newspapers,I highly appreciate conducts of such young editors as Petter Mwendapole,Joe Beda,Ojuku Abraham and Grace Hoka whom I came into contact with at different occasions when writing for the Friday sports and culture column in Bingwa ,one of Tanzania sports newspapers. I still do that todate.All of those young people have ,at different times, been editors of that Kiswahili paper.

What makes me like and respect them is their conduct of giving communication the value it deserves.If you sent them a feature story which they deemed it not good or saw it detrimental to their business,they would tell you that through phone communication and ask you to send another article instead.If your writings were too long to the extent of making them (members of the editorial) have no chance for putting a photograph on the page,they would tell you and ask you to reduce number of words in the subsequent article.

Sometimes, they would even ask you the wisdom of writing a certain issue in the article.After your elaboration,you, both parties, would come to the consesus ad idem (meeting of the minds) whether or not to publish it or to publish it upon making some modifications.This should not be misconstrued with editing.That communication process is done before other business including editing.To make it clearer,editing news or feture story is not tantamount to changing the story,rather it is a process of language correction and making the story proper in terms of principles of newswriting.

Communication between columnist and editor,always cements mutual understandings between the two parties and it does away with any sort of resentment on the part of columnist.The resentment is likely to come into being after the colunist's feature story is highly changed without his or her taking part in the change or after it has never been published altogether without being informed as to the reason(s) for that!

As for those young Bingwa editors I have talked about,if they did not need your article in a certain week,they would communicate with you early so as to make you not spend some of your time unnecessarily for preparing something which would be of no use.

Always communication is very vital to all aspects of life.Lack of it causes hatred,attitude of vengeance,conflicts,speculations,uncertainty,confusion and violence among many other uncalled-for things.For example,but for lack of it, DDC Mlimani Park Orchestre,Wana Sikinde Ngoma ya Ukae, a renown Tanzania dance music band would not be subjected to persecution by the then malevolent RTD (now TBC)management after that public radio station had ironically "boycotted" playing its (Sikinde's) songs for a number of months in 1988!

The irony in that saga is seen in the fact that the music band had tipped the then RTD that there was a music pirate among its staff.Then,the management of that radio station would do right thing to thank the music band and it would collaborate with the musicians of that band to trace the pirate for,among other reasons,restoration of its (radio station's) esteem.Ironically,the would-be pirate revealers were unjusifiably punished! Despite that confusing attitude,I bet the then RTD management was not party to piracy,if it truly prevailed there.It never crosses my mind that the management was party to the crime though its cryptic move against the music band justified the existence of that doubt.

If there were communication between Wana Sikinde and the then RTD,the musicians would officially reveal the alleged piracy.Well, that was not done officially but after unofficial revelation, if there were communication between the two sides, RTD would ask Wanasikinde to provide substantial evidence to that effect.Again,that was not done.Then,before the boycott,RTD would inform Wanasikinde as to that bizarre step it would take against them so as to get their response.That also was never done.Worst still,even the major stakeholders of that radio station,listeners,were not informed of that bizarre move and what justified for the same.They just experienced a situation in which no Sikinde song was heard in the then RTD! All those facts are good indicators of negativity of lack of communication.

Again,aggrieved by the then FAT to give live premier leagur broadcast rights to the Mwanza based Radio Free Africa (RFA) in early 2000's, the then RTD refrained from giving coverage of all the premier league match results in its famous daily Michezo Yetu Programme.As the then RTD was having that right since time immemorial,the decision by the then FAT to grab it from RTD and give it to RFA would suit well if it involved communication between the then FAT and the then RTD. Also,RTD did not do justice to deny its listeners countrywide news on results of premier league matches without communicating to them as to why it took that unbecoming step.

Lately,Radio one and Independent Television (ITV) (hereinafter referred to as "the IPP media" though IPP newspapers are not involved in the issue)have completely abstained from not only airing any news about Simba Sports Club but also uttering the word "Simba" in their programmes, if that word connotes a soccer club based along Msimbazi Street,Kariakoo,Dar es Salaam Tanzania! If you hear a word "Simba" in those IPP Media,that news is either about lion, that fiarce wild animal,from which the Sports Club pertinent to the issue derived its name.Lion is in Kiswahili "simba".

Otherwise,the word "simba" in those media is uttered when citing names of some famous persons who can make news such as Honourable Idd Simba,a former Tanzania Government Minister or Honourable Sofia Simba,a current Tanzania Government Minister and not Simba Sports Club even when it makes so big news like defeating Lengthens of Zimbabwe 3-0 away!

The IPP media have plunged themselves into that ignominous situation because of lack of communication.But for lack of it,they should not punish themselves instead of the intended Simba Sports Club whose news are aired and written daily by far greater number of radio and TV stations as well as newspapers than the boycotting IPP ones.Many fanatics of Simba Sports Club have steered clear from listening and viewing those IPP media and some have gone to the extreme of not doing anything which would benefit that company financially and otherwise!

If there were communication at the initial stage of this conflict,today IPP media would not land itself into that quagmire.It is said that all was resulted from live TV coverage of Simba vs Majimaji Premier league match which ITV and the Mwanza based StarTV were given rights by TFF to cover the match for free without the two parties-TFF and TV Stations-communicating with the relevant clubs on that coverage! Had there been communication with those clubs,a sour relationship between the IPP Media and Simba Sports Club would have not been there today.

We should all admit to the fact that communication saves alot in our social life for lack of it creates lacuna which is filled with hundreds of speculations.For example,decision by Taifa Stars coach,Marcio Maximo,to drop permanently Simba golie,Juma Kaseja from the National team squad is filled with so many speculations which would not have been there, if the coach had explicitly communicated to the public on his reason(s) for that decision.

Lack of communication also creates uncerainty.People can never be aware whether it is always right or wrong to do this and that if their leader does not communicate to them on the right way to do things.Also,lack of communication creates hatred among the people due to the fact that some of them will feel despised."If you no longer need my service,why not tell me so instead of making me believe that we are still together while you have been fed up with me?" Some of them will think that way when their services to some other people are stopped impliedly without explicit communication.

Lack of communication sometimes creates confusion.Every person will do something the way he/she thinks right, if their leader does not communicate to them regarding common direction to take

.As for our referees,please deduce an example of your European and elsewhere counterparts of communicating smilingly with players on their complaints during matches.Those friendly communications usually end with pats on shoulders or heads from both or either of the two sides.

While your counterparts occasionally talk so friendly,with smiles, to players who are fraught with heat of passion and hence to reduce that heat from them,most of the Tanzania referees create enmity with and instil fear to players by unreasonably giving them matching orders when confronted peacefully by some of them.By so doing,they invite hatred of the affected team members and incerease heat of passion of those who remain on the field from the affected team.Let us change ourselves in respect of that situation.

Suffice it to say that communication is part and parcel of our peaceful living.Let us be communicating without any fear whether this information will aggrieve the other parties and if it does so,they will be in position to air their grievances through the same communication process and in the long run everything will be concluded amicably.

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