chapter  8
14 Pages

Chaos, Confusion, and Moral Crisis

After a while, Kiswigu notes that the problems started even during Nyerere: it has to do with the “economy,” which has been a fundamental problem for social development. The economy has never been strong and culture has not really been prioritized; it has been an “appendage” in the Government, as exemplifi ed by the way culture has been shifted between different ministries (cf. Askew 2004 ). Now it is under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports, but the bulk of the budget goes to information, then sports, and lastly culture. Even the new Culture Policy, dating a few years back (the teachers are unsure of what year it was launched), is still minimal, “shallow” one of them calls it, while the role of district culture offi cers has been reduced to what they describe as “Master of Ceremony” (cf. Askew 2002 ). The teachers conclude that since the Government has not placed any emphasis on culture in national development, people do not see the value of their culture today. This is particularly evident among the rich, educated urban elite and the youth, who are taken in with modern, Western-inspired lifestyles rather than traditional culture and arts. For the young, who are easy to manipulate, cities like Dar, Mwanza, Arusha, and Mbeya are like Europe, and they dream of going to the USA. They know more about Michael Jackson, whom they try to copy from television, than about Tanzanian musicians (cf. Ekström 2010 ). Meanwhile the rich elite send their children to international schools and buy their food in supermarkets, wrapped in plastic, Sagatti notes wryly.