Name ID 760
Page Number: 1
Extract Date: 2000 April 29
There's a very interesting visitor in town this year. Jan Mannaert thinks the labour office building between the Regional Library and Metropole Cinema is a beautiful building. To him, the Regional Library and Metropole Cinema are also very unique structures. In fact, to Jan Mannaert, Arusha is full of beautiful buildings.
He is former Professor of History of Arts at VKO Opwyk College in Belgium, and it happens, in a particularly ironic twist, that Jan Mannaert, the visitor, kindly agrees to take me, the native on a tour along Sokoine Road, among beautiful buildings and interesting histories.
Page Number: 7
Extract Date: 2000 April 29
The general urbanization structure in Arusha is very European, explains Jan. The town grew around the Boma, being the first building, during the German's time. The British developed the town from this area. The first road was from the Clock Tower to the Fire Station (School Road). The second road was Sokoine Road along which the new city developed. Studying the map of the town, it is obvious how all streets lead down to Sokoine Road from both sides of it. It appears that the streets were planned first and the buildings constructed later. 'It is a good example of what a new city should be.'
Jan Mannaert is currently working as a volunteer with the Natural History Museum on a project to promote Cultural Exchange through the establishment of a Via Vias Cafe, which will be a meeting place for tourists as well as local people. The Cafe is due to open sometime next year.
The starting point for the new face of Arusha
Page Number: 2
Extract Date: 2002
Boyes’ description of the Boma 100 years ago is clearly over the top. But ironically, this whitewashed German fort, rehabilitated 1999 with Belgian aid, at the top of Boma road leading to the Clock Tower, is today becoming the starting point for the new face of Arusha. It is used as a centre for art and craft exhibitions, music festivals and drama.
Jan Mannaert, a Belgian former art history teacher, has responded to the town’s perpetual transition by establishing "Discover Arusha Tours" (tel: 0744 - 395430). These worthwhile tours begin at the Boma, the first stone building in the town.
Mannaert then takes the visitors to the roof of the New Safari Hotel where on a clear day they can see the town and Mount Meru. Then they are told the history of the Clock Tower. Religious temples and churches, historical buildings, the railway station, the Uhuru (freedom) and Askari (soldier)monuments, and the cemetery are all included.
The Boma houses a Belgian-run café called Via Via which serves soft drinks and meals. Inside the Boma there is also a museum. This is sadly empty at present, while staff vehicles parked on the forecourt leave ugly oil stains on the elegant brickwork, destroying the historic atmosphere.
Below the Boma are the town administration offices on the left and the Regional Administration on the right. Before the Clock Tower are airline offices (including Air Tanzania), two other meeting places (Café bamboo and Jambo Coffee house), Kase Bookshop, the Tanzanian Tourist Board, tour operators and curio shops.
On the way down Boma Road on the right hand side is the New Safari Hotel and just beyond the Clock Tower to the left is the New Arusha Hotel. Both have deteriorated badly. The New Safari Hotel has been taken over by the Lutheran Church, and the once world famous copper bar is now closed in conformity with temperance. The New Arusha Hotel is badly in need of refurbishment.
To the right of the Clock Tower on Uhuru Road there are women selling Maasai beads on the pavement. Also on Uhuru Road is Lookmanji Curio Shop which, along with The Craft Shop on adjoining Goliondoi Road, is recommended. If you are looking for something authentic from the area, there are Maasai bead ornaments and local batik.