Jambo Blog Network

Recently, I decided to stop this blog in June or July of this year. That would have been about one year of blogging. There were three main reasons for this. Firstly, it takes time. Believe me, summarising IMF reports or discussing the gini co-efficient in your second language is not easy. Secondly, I was beginning to bore myself. Blogging anonymously means you have to leave a lot of yourself outside of the blog. So what is presented is not as complex or as interesting or as real as it could be. Another week goes by and there’s kifimbocheza, tapping away at the keyboard and giving out about something. Yawn. Part of me is kifimbocheza, but only a small part. Also, I expect to be busy with something else in the second half of the year.

As it is, I have decided to stop it now. The furore over the entirely innocent post made by Pernille, and the ensuing hate campaign, has contributed to this. I got involved in it to a certain extent and I have no regrets about that.

Given that the hate campaign against Pernille emerged from nothing, I no longer felt comfortable. I felt uneasy for a number of reasons. It was clear to me that part of the reason that she took so much heat was that she is white and, to an extent, because she is a woman. Having read the posts on Michuzi, some of the comments (most of them appeared to support her, we should not forget) and the bile on the facebook group, I’m pretty sure of this. More unnerving was the silence from other Tanzanian bloggers. I feel like I’m in a particularly unpleasant bar, where it could all go off at any minute. So I’ve decided to get my coat. I feel a lot more comfortable in the real Tanzania than the virtual one.

Before anybody gets upset about that last paragraph, it is not a commentary on Tanzanians in general. It is a commentary on the type of dynamic that can emerge from some elements of a young blogging/online community that is drawn from a wafer-thin stratum of Tanzanians, both here and overseas. It was started by some guy called Suby, using Issa Michuzi as his channel. Then a kid in Chicago puts together a hateful facebook group that is publicised by, that man again, Issa Michuzi.

It is also a commentary on the general lack of thought given to ethics in this realm, the Swahili language blogosphere. Another example is the way that the jambo blog network would just steal people’s content for their own (advertising driven) site. I appear to be the only one to have complained on a blog. But I know I’m not the only one who was unhappy about it. All you had to do was ask, lads. Is that so difficult? To paraphrase the late Professor Chachage, we appear to have a soko holela rather than a soko huru in our small Swahili speaking bit of the blogosphere.

I share one characteristic with Pernille. I’m a white foreigner. But what does that mean? We come from two very different countries, with very different cultures. I should know – I was once mbeba box in Copenhagen, working nights and sleeping six to a room. I know that some, though not all, readers of this blog thought I was Tanzanian, but I’m not.

I’ve enjoyed blogging. Maybe after some time I will emerge with something different. And I have a few ideas.

Meanwhile, if you want to think a little more about identity and the internet, click here.

And I had some good posts in my head – fired up and ready to go! But this dog is going for a walk. So, if you want to know how to track the movements of the presidential jet, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.


Mambo yanaendelea. Sasa, kwa url ya http://www.jamboforums.com, utafika kwa jambonetwork.com/jamboforums, lakini ‘not found’.

Jambo Blog Network pia imerudi. Na bado wanaendelea kuiba makala za wanablogu na kuzitangaza kwa JBN. Nimeshalalimikia tabia hiyo. Hamna cha kusema tena.

Once again, Michuzi was first with the news. The popular discussion board, jamboforums, has apparently been closed down and two individuals arrested. Read more on KLH News here. According to that report, they have been arrested for libel.

But as ever with jamboforums, separating truth from fiction is not easy. As far as one can tell, KLH News and jamboforums are controlled by the same people, who have just set up a blog on the issue, Wazalendo wa Tanzania. They tell us that those arrested have been accused of hacking government computer systems, insulting government leaders, running porn sites and leaking government secrets. That is a lot to be busy with, especially with the quality of internet connections in Tanzania.

I’ve never been a fan of jamboforums (nor a fan of the related Jambo Blog Network, as I have explained). Anonymous discussion boards have ambiguous agendas. And weighing up anonymous, inflammatory posts is a tiresome pastime, so I hardly ever visit.

A scroll through the comments on Michuzi is not terribly illuminating, but good fun. “Jamboforums is a CHADEMA project!” “It’s all because jamboforums broke the news of attacks on the opposition in Kiteto!”. And my personal favourite: “It’s all Jack Pemba’s fault! He got a court injunction against them in England!”

So, given that two out of three reports come from sites that are likely to be connected to jamboforums, we can but wait for more reliable sources, before we reflect on issues such as the appropriateness of old media legislation for new media, anonymity on the net and freedom of expression.

Sasa nakala yangu inaonekana kwenye tovuti ya JBN. Soma hapa. Matangazo mawili yapo, kwa International School Moshi na Kili Treks Safari. Nasubiri kipato changu……..

Je, mwanablogu akiweka nakala kwenye blogu yake, nakala ni mali ya nani?

Namna moja ya kuboresha mtandao wa wanablogu ni huduma ya ‘aggregators’. Mimi mwenyewe nimeungana na Afrigator. Nikiweka nakala, kichwa chake kitawekwa kwenye tovuti ya Afrigator. Kichwa chake kikivutia, ukibonyeza tu, utapelekwa hapa hapa kwa kifimbocheza. Karibu sana.

Jumuwata wanaandaa aggregator kwa wanablogu wa Tanzania, lakini bado tunasubiri matokeo ya kazi zao.

Kwa sasa, Jambo Blog Network imeanza. Ukiwatembelea akina-JBN, utaona vichwa vya nakala nyingi ambazo zimeandaliwa na wanablogu mbalimbali hapa Tanzania. Kwa mfano, leo kwenya JBN nimeona ‘Demokrasia Ya Kijambazi Kenya‘. Ukibonyeza utapelekwa kwenye ukarasa mwingine wa JBN. Utaona matangazo manane (ya magari kutoka Japan, viwanja, hata Mungu).

Ukibonyeza Demokrasia Ya Kijambazi Kenya hapa, utapelekwa kwenye nakala halisi ya Ndesanjo Macha. Hamna matangazo – utasoma mawazo ya Ndesanjo tu.  Kama wanablogu wengi, ameyatangaza bure kwenye blogu yake. Lakini kwenye JBN, nakala yake ni chanzo cha kupata kipato.

Nisiwe mkali sana kwa akina JBN. Lakini naomba wafikirie zaidi namna wanavyounganisha blogu za Tanzania.

Nikisoma nakala hii kwenye JBN, nitaona matangazo mangapi? Pia, je, mimi nitapata asilimia kumi ya kipato cha matangazo?