Last month The Citizen, which is one of Tanzania’s main newspapers in both Swahili and English ran an article entitled ‘Is city life better than living in the village?’. It was almost like a high school debate where they had three opinions for each of the affirmative and negative teams.
The negative team thought village lifestyle was better because it is cheaper, even with access to fresh food. They thought it was safer not having to worry about road accidents or crime. You get the idea of an idyllic environment with close-knit families.
The people who answered were from Arusha and I wonder whether that makes a difference? That part of Tanzania is much more lush than where we live in Dodoma, so they may not experience the same issues with water that villages near us do. Interestingly, neither side mentioned water.
Meanwhile, the positive team (pro-town) thought that life had more amenities in the town which contributed to a better lifestyle. They also felt it was better for one’s own prospects in terms of education, greater opportunities and the experience of having your mind opened to a broader perspective on life by meeting people from different backgrounds.
This is a live discussion in Tanzania, and one we have often with university students and graduates!
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.