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In praise of Mwalimu Pendo

This awesome woman is our Swahili tutor Pendo. She’s doing a PhD in Swahili linguistics. In the picture, I’m holding a journal article in which she’s written an article. She’s published multiple articles. Fluency is about so much more than grammar and vocabulary. It’s about knowing the smoothest way to […]

Tanzanian proverbs about keeping on going

Particularly among university students, there is a desire for self-, life-, and nation-improvement. Sometimes that can feel very overwhelming, whether it’s in the pressures of exams or the bigger picture of being one person trying to make a difference in their nation. These proverbs seem particularly relevant. Haba na haba […]

Tanzanian proverbs on relationships

I’ve picked up my book of Tanzanian proverbs again recently, and here are a few about relationships. Damu ni nzito kuliko maji – Blood is heavier than water. This looks like the English proverb ‘Blood is thicker than water’ but it has an extra connotation. On top of the idea […]

Who is an Mswahili? Am I?

This semester I am again studying in the Swahili department at St John’s University where we work. All the lectures are in Swahili so it’s a brilliant exercise for me in listening comprehension, which is appropriate because this time I’m doing a third year course ‘Theory and Traditions of Oral […]