Cheche: Reminiscences of a Radical Magazine

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Cheche, a radical, socialist student magazine at the University of Dares Salaam, first came out in 1969. Featuring incisive analyses of key societal issues by prominent progressives, it gained national and international recognition in a short while. Because it was independent of authority, and spoke without fear or favor, it was banned after just a year of existence. The former editors and associates of Cheche revive that salutory episode of student activism in this book with fast-flowing, humor spiced stories, and astute socio-economic analyses. Issues covered include social and technical aspects of low-budget magazine production, travails of student life and activism, contents and philosophy of higher education, socialism in Tanzania, African liberation, gender politics and global affairs. They also reflect on the relevance of past student activism to the modern era. If your interests cover higher education in Africa, political and development studies, journalism, African affairs, socialism and capitalism, or if you just seek elucidation of student activism in a nation then at the center of the African struggle for liberation, this book presents the topic in a lively but unorthodox and ethically engaging manner.

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Publié par
Date de parution 25 octobre 2010
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9789987081363
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0057€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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CHECHE Reminiscences of a Radical Magazine
CHECHE Reminiscences of a Radical Magazine
Karim F Hirji (Editor)
Published by:
Mkuki na Nyota Publishers Ltd.
Nyerere Road, Quality Plaza Building
P. O. Box 4246
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
www.mkukinanyota.com
©Karim F Hirji (Editor)2010
ISBN 978 9987 08 098 4
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publisher, or be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published.
Contents Acronyms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .vi Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .vii Dedication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii An Era of Global Turbulence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Karim F Hirji Activism at the Hill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Yoweri Museveni e Spark Is Kindled. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Karim F Hirji Tribulations of An Independent Magazine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Karim F Hirji Not So Silent A Spark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Karim F Hirji On Producing A Student Magazine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Henry Mapolu Sisterly Activism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77 Zakia Hamdani Meghji Night-Shi Comrades. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83 George G Hajivayanis Revisiting Cheche. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Christopher C Liundi From Cheche to MajiMaji . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Karim F Hirji Poetic Sparklets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 Socialism Yesterday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133 Karim F Hirji Contemporary Capitalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155 Karim F Hirji Socialism Tomorrow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173 Karim F Hirji
APPENDICES A: Tables of Contents: Cheche & MajiMaji No.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 B: USARF & Cheche Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 C: Program of 99 Youth Seminar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202 D: e First Syllabus for USARF Ideological Classes –99 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 E: Our Last Stand207. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Contributor Proîles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .213 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .217
vi
Acronyms
ANC African National Congress DUSO Dar es Salaam University Students Organization FRELIMO Frente de Libertacao de Mocambique MPLA Movimento Popular de Libertacao de Angola OAU Organization of African Unity PAC Pan Africanist Congress SWAPO South West African People’s Organization TANU Tanganyika African National Union TShs Tanzania Shillings TYL TANU Youth League UCD University College, Dar es Salaam UDSM University of Dar es Salaam USARF University Students African Revolutionary Front USUD University Students Union of Dar es Salaam ZANU Zimbabwe African National Union ZAPU Zimbabwe African Peoples Union
Preface
vii
e rationale for this book emerges from contrasting one event of the past with one of the present. In October , the general meeting of the TANU Youth League in Arusha passed many radical resolutions which, among other things, called for the expulsion of all American Peace Corps volunteers from Tanzania (e Nationalist e). e US at that time backed the Apartheid regime and Portuguese colonial rule in Africa, and stood behind numerous brutal dictatorships across the world. e Peace Corps was seen as a device to mask the imperial character of its foreign policy. is call was not an isolated event, but a sign of the times. In particular, university student groups across Africa in those days tended to adopt a militant anti-imperialist, Pan-African, and, in some cases, a socialist stand (Legum ; e Nationalist h; m; n). Four decades later, a prominent paper in Tanzania carried the headline: “Peace Corps set for duty in  districts” (e Citizen ). It pictured thirty-eight joyous American volunteers at their swearing-in ceremony presided over by their ambassador. e story glossed over the history of these volunteers in Tanzania and the world, mentioned their 3 years of service, and focused on the alleged common interests and strong bond between Tanzania and the US. ere were no words on why, almost îve decades aer attaining self-rule, our nation should not be self-reliant on a simple matter like secondary school teachers. Was our continued reliance on charity not a matter of shame? No, the story was predicated on being grateful to the peace- loving nations like the US for the most generous assistance they provide to the poor people of this planet. It read more like a verbatim reproduction of an embassy press
release than the work of an independent, knowledgeable local reporter. Today, the youth in Tanzania and Africa mostly, if not solely, hear such biased versions of events. Accurate renditions of what happened in the past and why that happened have been expunged from the media and commonly accessed sources, and thus from memory. It is hardly in the interest of those who dominate this planet today that the person in the street acquires a comprehensive understanding of history. Yet, if Africa is to rescue itself from its current predicaments, that is an essential requirement. e main aim of this book is to remedy a part of that gap in knowledge. In particular, it narrates the turbulent life and times of a radical, socialist student magazine published at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) from  to .Cheche -- Swahili for Spark -- was the organ of the University Students African Revolutionary Front (USARF). Four issues in all saw the light of the day (Appendix A shows their tables of contents). ough socialism was the oïcial policy of Tanzania, the Marxist orientation and editorial independence of this magazine drew the ire of the university and state authorities. Matters increasingly came to a head, and in November , USARF andChechewere banned by the government. e student activists were now constrained to operate under the umbrella of the ruling party. Nevertheless, the following year, they managed to bring out a successor magazine,MajiMaji. e radical orientation laid down earlier continued, and forty-six issues came out over the next îeen years. To promote wider local access, some of them were in Swahili. A number of the later issues were of compromised quality. Publication became sporadic during the s, and it died a natural death in . e two magazines bore Swahili names; their origin and signiîcance were also matters of controversy, forming one pillar of the story we unveil. Cheche was the îrst anti-imperialist, socialist magazine originating from East Africa. It presented serious social, historical and economic analyses of Tanzania, Africa and the world at large. Poems, satire, cartoons, reviews and letters enlivened its pages. Its signature hallmark was the combination of novel analyses with militant anti-imperialism, a solid commitment to socialism, and uncompromising independence from the state and external powers. Over its short life,Cheche gained national and international prominence. Progressive students, academics and activists -- at home and abroad -- and the African liberation movements commended it.MajiMajialso garnered a similar reputation.
ix
ese magazines played a pivotal role in the emergence of a new incisive radical scholarship from and about Africa. Established radical authors and some who later became leading lights contributed articles. Yet, apart from short notes in a few papers and book chapters, the history of these student-run progressive journalistic endeavors is largely unknown. e shortfall needs to be remedied. is book, a îrst step in that direction, describes howChecheinto being, the social came context under which it was produced, the type of material it carried, and the reactions it elicited. It also reects on the relevance of the student activism of yesterday to the current times. is project has brewed in the editor’s mind for a long time. A panel discussion chaired by Professor Issa Shivji on USARF andChecheat the UDSM in April  catalyzed the process. Several meetings with former comrades followed. e îrst outcome is this book, with contributions by seven erstwhile student activists. A second book on the successor magazine,MajiMaji, has been planned as well. All contributors to this book were eye-witnesses to, and participants in, the events they narrate. In addition to the entire editorial board ofCheche -- Karim Hirji, Henry Mapolu and Zakia Hamdani Meghji -- they are George Hajivayanis, poet and all round activist; Ramadhan Meghji, artistic designer; and Christopher Liundi, the ruling party contact person for the university activists who later worked closely withMajiMaji. A relevant article fromChecheby Yoweri Museveni, the founding chairman of USARF, is reproduced here as well.
Content and Style What the contributors say and how they say it reects who they were. First hand knowledge enables them to combine personal, in-the-trenches stories with analyses of the local and global situations. Chapter  gives a summary of the social and political context of the times. Chapters  to  constitute the central portion in which the contributors describe their student experiences, editorial work and activism. Chapter  has three relevant poems, two of which have been previously published. Chapter  places the ban on USARF andChechein the context of the socialist experience of Tanzania; Chapter 3 compares and contrasts the current global situation with that of the s; and Chapter  critiques the student activism of the past and reects on its relevance to the present times. e records preserved by the present editor and the discussions we held helped us to pin down dates and reconstruct events with a