Tanzania, Journey to Republic

Sadleir, Randal

1999

Book ID 394

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 199
Extract Date: 1957

The Iraq

With people like these, one can understand why the Northern Province with only four districts - Arusha, Masai, Mbulu and Moshi - possessed a far greater influence than its size and population would suggest.

Within its boundaries were some of the most advanced and backward people in the territory, ranging from the Chagga and the Meru to the Masai, Wa-arush, Iraq and Sandawe - the latter living entirely from hunting and collecting honey, nuts and berries. Their primitive clicking language was difficult to understand. They lived in the hilly Mbulu district to the south at Babati where a Masai-like pastoral people, the Barabaig, also dwelt.

The main tribe, the Iraq was a handsome race with such slender figures that it was difficult to distinguish between the males and females. They claimed to have trekked south from the Middle East many hundreds of years before and their language was unusual in having totally different stems for singular and plural, for example he (man), but rho (people).

Extract ID: 4379

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 200
Extract Date: 1957

A colourful collection of European settlers

To these ethnic curiosities were added a colourful collection of European settlers attracted by the excellent climate, fertile soil and beautiful scenery. Many of these settlers grew coffee in Arusha and to a lesser extent Moshi, while others grew the best wheat in the country at 0l Molog in West Kilimanjaro. A handful of white farmers also grew wheat at Oldeani in the north of Mbulu district. They were a microcosm of the Europeans in the White Highlands of Kenya, though with nothing like their political influence. A handful of South African farmers eked out a precarious existence growing wheat and maize at Sanya Juu behind Mount Meru.

Extract ID: 4380

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 200a
Extract Date: 1957

Public Relations

It was thrilling to be sent to such a wonderful place with rather vague instructions to do all I could to improve relations between government and people. I was under the general supervision of the provincial commissioner Mike Molohan, a former Irish rugby international, and his deputy, my old friend Robert Robertson with whom we had stayed at Tabora in 1948.

During the ten or so months I was in the province, I was able to try out my pet ideas for bringing government closer to the people, ideas the government later adopted for the whole territory on my return to Dar es Salaam in 1958.

Moshi was the obvious area on which to concentrate. It was densely populated with a million people living in banana groves (migombani) and coffee small-holdings (vihamba) on the fertile slopes of the mountain. This was where they cultivated the excellent Arabica coffee the Catholic missionaries introduced at the end of the last century. Thanks to the government, local authorities and Catholic and Lutheran missions, Moshi had universal primary education and the highest literacy rate in the territory. The Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU) was probably the most efficient and progressive cooperative organization in Africa. A district commissioner called Sir Charles Dundas, a Scots baronet, started it in the 1920s to enable Chagga coffee growers to compete on equal terms on world markets with the European growers.

Extract ID: 4381

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 201
Extract Date: 1957

KNCU

A First World War fighter pilot Mr A. L. B. (Ben) Bennett DFC, who was general manager for years and later adviser to the KNCU, carried the task on splendidly. Such was the devotion of the Chagga to these two men and their gratitude for their services that they bestowed unique Chagga titles on them both.

Dundas was given the title Wasaoye-o-Wachagga (Elder of the Chagga) and Bennett that of Mbuya-o-Wachagga (Friend of the Chagga). Indeed, so greatly loved and admired was Sir Charles Dundas that when he left Moshi for the last time by train to Tanga and ship to Dar es Salaam, the Chagga reputedly hired a band to accompany him on board ship and serenade him on his journey. As the boat sailed into Dar es Salaam harbour a day or two later, the band apparently struck up God Save the King. History relates that the Governor was not amused.

Bennett was at the peak of his career when I arrived and always gave me his help and support. His pride and joy was the recently opened building in Moshi that housed the KNCU headquarters. Not only did it accommodate all the cooperative headquarters' staff in splendidly equipped modern offices, but it also housed a fully residential KNCU commercial college. There was also an excellent multiracial hotel, the KNCU Hostel. It had beautifully furnished bed-sitting rooms with bathrooms attached and a top-floor scenic restaurant with wonderful views of the mountain.

Extract ID: 4395

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 201a
Extract Date: 1957

Kibu Hotel

So important was Moshi in my work that I normally spent about a week every month on safari in the district. I would be based either at the KNCU Hostel or the Kibo Hotel at Marangu, a delightfully old fashioned establishment run by an elderly German, Mrs Bruehl, 20 miles or so from Moshi and 6000 feet above sea level.

Marangu was one of the most beautiful places in Tanganyika and the headquarters of the Vunjo district led by Chief (Mangi Mwitori) Petro Itosi Marealle and Paramount Chief (Mangi Mkuu) Thomas Marealle, installed in 1951, who lived in Moshi itself. It was also the centre of the tourist trade - such as it then was - and the base for climbing the mountain.

Extract ID: 4382

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 202
Extract Date: 1957

Marangu Hotel,

A second excellent hotel, the Marangu Hotel, run by Mr Bennett's sister-in-law a couple of miles away from the Kibo, completed the tourist trade infrastructure and climbers took off on a trek through the rainforest on the first stage of the 36-mile walk to the summit.

A river with a spectacular waterfall ran under a little bridge between the two hotels. Ice cold waters ran down the mountain and fed the Marangu Hotel swimming pool, perhaps the coldest in which I have ever swum. A glowing carpet of pink wild flowers covered the green verges of the road making Marangu a sylvan paradise from which from time to time one caught tantalizing glimpses of the snow-clad glory of Kibo and the black rocky fast-ness of Mawenzi, speckled sometimes with a hint of snow. The mighty mountain seemed to cast a spell on everyone. The Chagga had known since time immemorial that the gods dwelt there, so would never desecrate such a holy place. That Europeans should wish to climb to the top seemed stupid, pointless and profane.

Like all goddesses, the mountain hid her beauty coyly, some-times for days at a time behind wispy veils of gossamer tinged with the rainbow colours of the sky. The brooding spirit of the mountain, which seemed to follow one nearly everywhere one went in the Northern Province, never looking exactly the same and constantly fascinated me.

Another feature of Marangu was Nicholas Marko's bar, a short walk from the Kibo Hotel. I often went there after dinner for a chat and a drink with the locals, who kept me up to date with the latest intelligence, political and otherwise. The regulars included teachers, local government and cooperative officers, nurses and coffee farmers, and the conversation was always lively and amusing. As in Dar es Salaam, though usually the only European present, I was invariably treated with great courtesy. The latest hits from the Congo provided excellent background music.

Extract ID: 4383

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 204
Extract Date: 1957

My Office

Back in Arusha, I established my two-room office in the new Town Hall building in the main street not far from the provincial headquarters. I was allocated a pleasant bungalow a few hundred yards away, from which I could walk to work each day over a footbridge across the river, if I did not need my new car, a grey Peugeot 203.

I had brought the faithful Kitwana Chumu with me from Dar es Salaam as my PR assistant and proceeded to recruit locally a young Chagga typist called Robert and a bright 17-year-old ex-Standard 8 Mwarush youth called Loanyuni as our local guide and interpreter. Alfred Musa, with whom I stayed in Machame, was a Standard 12 student on holiday employed temporarily. Robert could be sullen and temperamental, but he was a brilliant typist who could take dictation straight onto the machine and he rarely made a mistake.

It was a wonderful feeling to be back upcountry again with a small independent command and no one breathing down one's neck. Best of all, it was fun to be opening a brand new office and carrying out an unprecedented task to which I could devote as much or as little time and energy as I pleased. We started with virtually empty rooms and had to build up the office from scratch. I enjoyed choosing carpets and furniture, and getting a typewriter and stationery. After a week or so we were all set and ready to go. The arrival of our telephone marked the kick-off.

My director in Dar es Salaam and the PC gave me a free hand. The original ideal was to have a PRO in each of the eight provinces, starting with me as a kind of guinea pig in the key Northern Province. In the event, so far as I can recall, I was the first and last provincal PRO and a short-lived one at that. Though I had a successor for a few months, the experiment was not extended.

Extract ID: 4384

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 204a
Extract Date: 1957

Arusha's two famous hotels

Also in the main street were Arusha's two famous hotels.

The New Arusha displayed a board announcing that it was exactly midway between Cape Town and Cairo, and the Safari Hotel boasted an unusual copper topped bar to which a baby elephant had been led in for a drink in a recent Hollywood film Hatari (Danger). Mount Meru overlooked the pretty garden town beyond the golf course and the main road to Nairobi to the north.

The streets in the residential areas were lined with purple jacarandas and the well kept gardens displayed a profusion of tropical zinnias, petunias and marigolds mixed with the roses, hollyhocks, ferns and carnations of England. At 5000 feet above sea level, the climate was perfect after the sultry heat of the coast and the early mornings were a delight with dew-dappled lawns, mists and a nip in the air, mingled with the fragrant scent of cedar hedges.

Extract ID: 4385

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 205
Extract Date: 1957

Mrs Gladys Rydon's fabulous garden

Six miles down the main tarmac road to Moshi - to the east behind the Natural Resources School at Tengeru - lay Mrs Gladys Rydon's fabulous garden overlooking Lake Duluti. It was the most beautiful garden I ever saw in East Africa.

Extract ID: 4386

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 209
Extract Date: 1958

A publicity drive

Back in my office I finished plans for a publicity drive in the province so that no one should be in any doubt whatsoever that the government's policy was to prepare the territory as quickly as possible for a viable independence as laid down by the UN charter. We would go neither too fast nor too slowly, but would continue the present steady progress based on the sound economic development needed to finance each step forward.

For a start, I decided to attack centres of civilization, namely the secondary, middle and even primary schools, where convenient, by talking to them and bombarding them with attractively produced posters and leaflets. Specialist training schools such as the natural resources school in Tengeru and the game college at Mweka were also included, and I made a point of visiting every police unit and prison, whose captive audiences were particularly appreciative.

Extract ID: 4387

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 210
Extract Date: 1958

David and Pat Reid

I made friends where possible with some of the intensely individual white settlers, several of whom I already knew, like David and Pat Reid [sic]. I had attended their wedding at Ranchi and had stayed with them at Ol Molog on West Kilimanjaro where, on their splendid farm cut out of the forest, they grew not only wheat but also prize beans for export to the Netherlands.

Extract ID: 4388

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 210a
Extract Date: 1958

the Arusha Club

I joined the Arusha Club and played for the rugby football and cricket teams. Bowling off-spinners, I once took a hat trick that culminated in the dismissal of my bank manager Mr Steele with a ball that bounced twice. The club's Chagga barman, Coleman, was a great character who kept secret medicines for members suffering from hangovers and took tops off beer bottles with such an elegant flourish that they invariably hit the ceiling with a cheerful thud.

Extract ID: 4389

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 210b
Extract Date: 1958


I was invited to attend regular meetings of the predominantly Euro-Asian Arusha Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture and had a particularly fruitful relationship with its director, Mr Dick Alkin.

Robin Thorne, from whom I had taken over Handeni district in 1951, was DC Arusha when I arrived and, to my delight, I found that Paul Digges La Touche had been promoted to assistant commissioner of police for the Northern Province.

On Chagga Day, the anniversary of the mangi mkuu's installation, the police band at Moshi played the Eton Boating Song in honour of their old Etonian DC, Brian Hodgson, whom I had first met at Tabora. All the guests were then treated to an open-air banquet of kidari (breast of goat, a Chagga delicacy).

Extract ID: 4390

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 210c
Extract Date: 1958

Visits

Inevitably, most of my work was concentrated in the densely populated Moshi district where, with splendid secondary schools, Roman Catholic seminaries and large numbers of middle and primary schools, people were relatively well educated. I particularly liked and often visited the government secondary school at Old Moshi and the Holy Ghost Fathers' secondary school at Umbwe in Chief Abdiel Shangali's Hai division in Machame in West Kilimanjaro.

At Arusha, the Lutheran Ilboru secondary school a short distance from my bungalow, was a home from home and I was sometimes invited to take English classes there.

Apart from courtesy calls on the district commissioner, I rarely visited the headquarters of the Masai and Mbulu districts, though I often stayed with the Irish Pallotine Fathers at Karatu in the north of Mbulu district near Oldeani, and talked to the boys in the middle school there. I once took a party of them to spend Sunday in the nearby Ngorongoro crater and, like me, they were all thrilled with this Garden of Eden where animals and men had coexisted so happily since the dawn of time.

Extract ID: 4391

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 211
Extract Date: 1958

Oldeani Farmers

Some European farmers grew wheat at nearby Oldeani, including the Irish Olympic hurdler Bob Tisdall.

Also at Oldeani was the quaintly named Paradise Bar where Frank Reynolds (the DC Mbulu), Kitwana Chumu and I once spent an evening admiring the epicene beauty of Iraq youth. The combination of wild scenery with a good climate gave one an extra elixir of life and I felt a daily joie de vivre seldom equalled elsewhere. The clear starlit nights, the crisp morning mists, the gaiety and charm of the people cast a spell over the denizens of this enchanted land.

Extract ID: 4392

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 211 footnote
Extract Date: 1958

Mrs von Trapp

Popular belief holds that when Mrs von Trapp, the Austrian owner of Momella farm West Meru, died after having lived there for many years, a herd of elephants of which she was very fond trumpeted mournfully outside her house.

Extract ID: 4394

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic, 1999
Page Number: 211b
Extract Date: 1958

Moving On

Sadly, the northern dream was drawing to a close. I was recalled to the political drama fast unfolding in the sultry heat of Dar es Salaam and slowly drove away.

Daydreaming with vivid images racing through my mind, I recalled the pink flamingos and tree leopards of Lake Manyara; the grandeur of Serengeti, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Ngurdoto; the Masai plains; and the fantasy of Lake Duluti. I remembered the misty pools of Lake Momella; the white rhino and mourning elephants; the stately beauty of the Masai and Iraq; the laughter of smiling Chagga and Meru schoolchildren; and the grave enthusiasm of youth. Towering above all was the cold glory of the mountain.

Extract ID: 4393
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