Arusha: Boma

Name ID 1218

See also

Skinner, Annabel Tanzania & Zanzibar
Page Number: 135d
Extract Date: 1899

Construction of the boma

In 1899 the Germans began construction of a strong fortification, a boma, which they forced the Arusha to build. Maasai in Arusha still remember the humiliation of this task:the new colonists took pleasure in riding around on the backs of the Arusha and Maasai men, egging them on with whips. One Maasai recorded the growing resentment at this form of transport in his memoirs. He was particularly enraged by an unusually heavy cargo; passing the river with his charge set heavily across his back, his patience snapped and he tossed his 'master' into the water. Fearing the consequences, many Maasai went into hiding in the bush, until a Maasai chief was sent to find them.The chief explained to the mutinous group that he was acting as a mediator, and that if the group returned to work all would be forgiven.The runaways marched back into the new town in a column of about 400 men; as they strode down Boma Road, the entire troop was gunned down in the street - one of history's many warnings never to trust a 'safe conduct'. It is said that the 'mediator' was promptly promoted.The bloodstained fort was completed in 1900 and became a barracks for 150 Nubian soldiers, later being made the regional government offices until 1934. when it was turned into the Arusha Museum of Natural History.

Extract ID: 3543

external link

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Laura Tarimo
Page Number: 472b
Extract Date: 1899

How Germans gained control over Waarusha. After defeating them, Germans built a Boma as symbol of superiority

Adapted from A History of the Lutheran Church Diocese in the Arusha Region from 1904 to 1958 by Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Parsalaw. Dissertation: Erlangen University, Germany, February 1997.

But this was not enough, Captain Johannes wanted complete control. And three years later, in 1899, he was to get what he wanted. After receiving consent from his superiors in the German Administration, he began the construction of a fort that would symbolize German control over the territory.

With this development the Waarusha were to suffer their worst humiliation. They not only suffered the shame of watching the enemy’s fort being built in their territory, they were forced to participate in the actual construction of the Boma.

The once-fiery warriors used their swords to dig out limestone and their shields to carry it to the site. Younger women brought banana fibres for thatching. Older women pounded mud with their feet, while others fetched grass for the Captains donkeys.

And so the Waarusha toiled to construct the new building. And the toil was not easy, as one elder, Lonyuki Lekichawo described to H. A. Fosbrooke who quotes him in the 1955 publication of Tanzania Notes and Records:

"Seeing the trees being cut down around Arusha Boma reminds me of my youth. At that time, the whole township area was cultivated and covered with banana groves and huts, and the German Administration was centred round the place where the Clock now stands. The present Boma had only just been started and the walls were perhaps three feet high. In common with the rest of my age-set, I had been put on to this building job. At that time our fighting with the Germans was over: they did not attack us nor did we attack them.

"One day when we were at this work, six of us were called out and told to climb a very tall tree standing to the West of the Boma where the Police car park is. We were told to climb up with our axes and cut the branches from the upper part of the tree. We climbed up with the aid of a locally made rope such as is used for honey hunting. The Nubi askari pulled the rope away whilst we were up the three. Meanwhile others were cutting the trunk of the tree with a saw. These were people of some other tribe that had been brought in as labourers by the Germans. While we were still up the three, it started to fall. There was nothing we could do as the rope had been removed. We all came down with a crash. Of the six of us, three were killed on the spot and three of us escaped. Luckily we were no more than bruised and scratched."

But from the lost lives and from the toil and humiliation grew a Boma, and around the Boma grew Arusha town.

By 1900 the fort was completed and Captain Johannes used it to house a troops of 150 Nubian soldiers. Soon, the Imperial German Ensign was flying from the flagstaff and the fortification was henceforth used by the Germans for regional government offices until 1934.

Meanwhile, the town spread around the Boma. In 1906, the second modern construction, a residential building called the White House, was completed in Ilboru and a road was built to link the two sites.

Gradually, Indian traders, German farmers and traders, as well as immigrant Africans settled in the surrounding area. A market cropped up on the banks of Themi River and in 1914 construction of the first school. Boma school was started in the area where the present Arusha Town Lutheran Church stands. This was completed in 1924 and by then a hotel and several other buildings had been constructed in the vicinity.

The completion of the rail-road to Moshi in the early 1920s led to a further influx of immigrants and the town’s population has been increasing and the metropolitan area expanding ever since. By 1948 Arusha had a population of 5,300 people and in the 1970s it reached 100,000.

In a hundred years the village around the fort has grown into a busy Metropolitan area. Today Arusha Town boasts a population of more than 350,000 people and covers an area of 82.5 square kilometres. And it hasn’t stopped growing. Today Arusha opens its doors to myriads of newcomers just as it did in the time of the Boma’s glory.

Extract ID: 5903

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Arusha Integrated Regional Development Plan
Page Number: 28
Extract Date: 1900

Arusha origins

Paper III. Urban Development & the Growth of Communications

The only significant urban development in the region is Arusha Town, the building of which commenced at the turn of the century. A site was chosen by the Germans in the middle of a thickly populated and cultivated area, and the local inhabitants were moved out. The first headquarters, doubtless of a temporary construction, was on the site of the Clock Tower. Then the building of the Boma commenced; one Arusha elder reminisced:- "when employed on this construction work, six of us were called out to climb a very tall tree and cut the upper branches. We climbed with the aid of a locally made rope such as we used for honey hunting. The Nubu askari pulled the rope away whilst we were up the tree with a saw. Meanwhile another party was cutting the trunk of the tree with a saw. Whilst we were still up the tree, it started to fall. There was nothing we could do as the rope had been removed. We all came down with a crash. Of the six of us three were killed on the spot and three escaped: luckily we survivors were no more than bruised and scratched.".

The Boma was completed and formed the nucleus of the new town and of which one or two of the original German staff quarters remain, one in the hospital compound, another in the A.I.C.C. grounds. But the main staff area was to the east of the Themi [Temi] River, where the houses of the Regional Commissioner replaced the old German structure in the post World War II period. The German gaol was only recently demolished to make way for the E.A. Community Building.

Extract ID: 3231

See also

Spear, Thomas Mountain Farmers, Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru

Great North Road

In the aftermath [of the disasters of the 1890’s and the German conquest], men and women alike were conscripted to build roads and the German boma. [in Arusha]

Extract ID: 292

See also

Spear, Thomas Mountain Farmers, Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru
Page Number: 078
Extract Date: 1900-1916

Boma and Chiefs: 1900-1916

The boma that Meru and Arusha were forced to build in 1900 was a solid statement of the imposition of a new political and moral order. Set on a small hill at the base of Mount Meru, the fortress-like building faced out over the plains below. One approached along a 'fine wide road, equal to a well-kept highway in England', that was `carefully marked off in kilometres', the adventurer John Boyes noted on a visit in 1903.

"The road led to a place called Arusha, and as we approached it we came to our astonishment in sight of a truly marvellous building, erected in European style and surrounded by a moat....

The boma was a one-storey building of stone and mortar, with a huge tower in the centre and the whole glistened bright in the sunlight, like an Aladdin's Palace transported from some fairy-land and dropped down in the heart of the tropics. Emblazoned on the front of the tower were the Royal Arms of Germany, which could be seen nearly a mile off....

The station was walled off and, being furnished with a Maxim and a machine gun, made a formidable stronghold...."

Standing in the midst of the 'lush plantations of the Waarusha', one approached the fort along a wide straight path and entered through a heavy stone portal into an open courtyard, surrounded by stone walls, with a square, flat-topped tower in the centre and Swahili-type houses arrayed along the back wall. Boyes was impressed by the amenities:

"Water from neighbouring gullies was laid on throughout the building, and a plentiful supply was available for all purposes. Water-power was used for driving a lathe in the workshop, and the officer had a staff of trained Natives. The wood-work especially was particularly well done. Even the tiles on the roof were made by the Natives, and the building was made entirely from local material. The inside of the station was paved with stone; the living rooms were fitted with electric bells; and Herr Küster said he hoped to install electric light at an early date."

The town itself lay below the boma and consisted of some thirty Indian, Greek, and Arab shops selling cloth, trinkets, soap, enamelled plates and bowls, beads, and copper wire. One even had a sewing machine out front and produced jackets and trousers for the German soldiers and 'more progressive natives'. Boyes found:

"Everything about Arusha was equally surprising, the streets being well laid out with fine side-walks, separated from the road by a stream of clear water flowing down a cemented gullyway. We had discovered a real oasis in the wilderness. The township was spotlessly clean and we saw Natives with small baskets picking up any litter lying about, as though the place were the Tiergarten of Berlin and not the wild interior of the Dark Continent....

Attached to the fort was a splendid kitchen garden in which grew almost every kind of European vegetable, and next to that a coffee plantation)."

The German administration, like the boma, was built on solid military lines meant to impress. German military officers served as both local commanders and district officers, alternately administering and punishing their unruly subjects. Mount Meru had been administered, largely by means of punitive raids, by Captain Johannes from Moshi. With the completion of the boma in 1901, colonial troops were garrisoned in Arusha under the command of First Lieutenant Georg Küster, and Arusha remained under military rule until the general transfer to civilian administration throughout Tanganyika in 1906. Even under civil rule, however, district officers continued to wield considerable power in the exercise of their authority, and they did so largely free of troublesome constraints imposed by the central government. Few remained in Arusha long enough to gain much of an understanding of the local situation. Eleven district officers served an average of sixteen months each during the period of German rule from 1901 to 1916.

German officers ruled through local Arusha and Meru leaders, but in the aftermath of the mass hangings of 1900 they had difficulty identifying likely leaders and persuading them to serve. The Germans initially chose Masengye (1900-01), a son of former Mangi Matunda (1887-96), to replace his executed brother, Lobolu (1896— 1900), as Meru chief, but Masengye was deposed and imprisoned within a year for murder (see Table 4.1: Meru Mangi). Abandoning the royal Kaaya clan for a nominee viewed as a more reliable collaborator, the Germans then appointed Nyereu (1901-02) from the Nasari clan, but he too was soon imprisoned, allegedly for neglecting his duties and procuring girls for German soldiers. The Germans finally found the nominee they had been seeking when they appointed Sambegye (1902-25), a member of the Nanyaro clan and favoured neighbour of the missionaries newly re-installed at Nkoaranga. Sambegye prospered as chief, taking ten wives by 1905, and he continued as chief until 1925. He soon ceased being a mission favourite, however, and in 1905 Rev. Krause complained that his overt friendliness was but a mask for covert opposition: 'How could it possibly be otherwise! His friends are beer and women, and he knows these do not mix with the new teachings.'

Arusha, unlike Meru, had no tradition of chiefdom, so the Germans appropriated the tradition of regional spokesmen (laigwenak) that had first emerged during the warriors' raids of the 1850s, and called them Mangi after the Meru term for chief.15 Having hanged Maraai and Rawaito, the spokesmen from Boru (upper Arusha) and Burka (lower Arusha) respectively, however, they had to find replacements. The new Arusha spokesman for Burka was Ndasikoi, but the Germans also wished to reward their Afro-Arab ally, Saruni, and so they split Burka between the two men (see Table 4.2: Arusha Mangi/ Olkarsis). Both men remained in office for the duration of German rule. Sabaya (1900-11) was appointed in Boru and served until his death, when he was replaced by his eldest son Leshabar (1911-16). Arusha opposed Leshabar and burned down his home, however, forcing the administration to replace him with Lairumbe (1916-33), a wealthy cattle trader associated with the Lutheran mission.

The Germans also appointed local headmen to rule over individual districts below the chiefs. In Meru, these came initially from the ranks of local lineage or clan leaders (vashili), who normally were chosen by local clan members to mediate disputes among them and represent their interests with other clans and the mangi. Vashili became increasingly dependent on the administration, however, as they became encumbered with the unpopular tasks of raising labour and taxes.

In accord with differences in local Arusha politics, headmen were initially drawn from the ranks of local age-set spokesmen (laigwenak) chosen by their age-mates to mediate internal disputes and to represent their interests with other sets. As in Meru, however, their traditional legitimacy quickly broke down before the illegitimate nature of the tasks they were asked to assume by the authorities. Thereafter, headmen, like chiefs, increasingly became drawn from an emerging group of younger men associated with either the government or the mission.'7

While there is no direct evidence to assess the impact of these changes on the nature of local leadership in Arusha and Meru, we can place them within the context of Arusha. While neither society had a tradition of strong central authority, the military successes and increasing wealth of the warriors during the 1880s and early 1890s enhanced their status and power while eroding whatever authority the mangi in Meru or the logwenak in Arusha had possessed previously. German conquest and rule reversed this process, for not only did Talala's crushing defeat in 1896-7 damage their self-confidence and reputation, as shown by their disintegration in 1900 but, more critically, the warriors lost nearly all their cattle as well as the means to replenish them. As power and wealth shifted to chiefs and headmen appointed by the administration, the influence of the warriors continued to wane. No future Arusha age-set attained the fame of Talala; joint activities by Arusha and Meru warriors ceased; and Meru slowly withdrew from the Maasai age-set system altogether until they refused to join with Arusha to initiate Terito in the mid-1920s.

Chiefs and headmen appointed by the Germans after 1900 saw their potential power and influence increase as a result of their newly institutionalized authority, their support from the colonial administration, and their ability to use their new-found power to gain wealth. At the same time as power and status were shifting from the warriors to the chiefs, the means of attaining them were also shifting from criteria based on age, respect, wealth in cattle and bananas, and the size of one's following to those based on education, affiliation with the government and mission, and wealth gained from wages.

While the means of achieving power were changing, the ways in which it was deployed through wealth in cattle and social investments were frequently similar, thus obscuring the more fundamental changes taking place under the surface of Arusha and Meru social relations. Chiefs became known for their large cattle herds and number of wives and, following the bumper harvest of 1907, there was a spate of 'ox-hangings' around the mountain as wealthy men competed to see who could distribute the most meat to their friends and followers so that they might be 'lauded by the people'.° Such changes were gradual at first, scarcely noticeable during much of the German period, but they would become more prominent in the years to come.

Chiefs' newly-enhanced power and status did not come without costs, however. Chiefs and headmen were frequently unpopular with their followers as they became increasingly answerable to their German patrons, losing their own legitimacy in the process. Just as the Germans quickly abandoned appointing Meru chiefs from the royal Kaaya clan, so all chiefs came to owe their office to the whim of the government rather than to whatever influence or status they possessed locally. Increasingly, one's patrons became more important than one's clients, as chiefs came to have a share in the power of others, rather than exercising it on their own.

The German administration, like the conquest that had established it, was viewed as harsh and unjust by Meru and Arusha. They called Lt Küster Bwana Fisi', or Mr Hyena. The missionaries thought that his successor, Baron Ludwig Friedrich von Reitzenstein, was 'kindly' and 'well-disposed toward the natives', respected by them because he allowed `no idling or disobedience from his chiefs or their underlings', held court according to local custom while making 'sure it was not spoiled by the long-windedness of the natives', and successfully built roads without resorting to the feared kiboko (whip).'' The missionaries' notion of respect gained by the firm exercise of authority was not the same as that held by Arusha and Meru, however, who objected to the continued use of corvée (unpaid labour) for public works, the collection of taxes, the corruption of chiefs and, most of all, the seizure of precious land for South African and German settlers. In their exercise of unfettered power and their continued reliance on military force and coerced labour, German officials must not have appeared to be very different from the predatory trading chiefs who had preceded them elsewhere in the Pangani Valley.

Extract ID: 5653

See also

Fosbrooke, Henry Arusha Integrated Regional Development Plan
Page Number: 7b
Extract Date: 1900-1916

The first commercial area

Paper III. Urban Development & the Growth of Communications

The first commercial area lay between the Boma and the Clock Tower, with a hotel on the site of the present New Arusha Hotel. Commencing with single storey thatched roof duks, some double storey iron roofed buildings went up in German times and were only demolished in the post war period.

Extract ID: 3232

See also

Spear, Thomas Mountain Farmers, Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru
Page Number: 088
Extract Date: 1902

Afrikaner pioneers

The Arusha boma and township were themselves placed in the midst of one of the most densely settled areas of Arusha, and Mount Meru became one of the few areas in Tanzania where the administration actively promoted European settlement through schemes designed to attract both small- and large-scale farmers. The first was the settlement of one hundred Afrikaner families who had driven their ox wagons north after the Boer War, arriving in Arusha in 1902:

"The men — strong, wide figures with long beards, crushed down hats, serious, but in many ways good-meaning facial features; the women with large bonnets; the children like small farm boys and girls at home; the heavy covered wagons; the beautiful dogs; in short, just as one has seen it so manifold in pictures."

The administration welcomed the Afrikaner pioneers and gave each family 1,000 hectares on the northern slopes of Mount Meru between Oldonyo Sambu and Engare Nanyuki in the hopes that they would develop this semi-arid region on the fringes of Maasailand. They hoped in vain, however. Within a few years many Afrikaners had either moved on to Kenya or returned south, while those that remained preferred to hunt or keep livestock and cultivated only small gardens of vegetables and maize.

Extract ID: 5640

See also

Spear, Thomas Mountain Farmers, Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru
Page Number: 079
Extract Date: 1903

Arusha Boma and "Bwana Fifi" (Herr Kuster)

J Boyes, Company of Adventurers

Extract ID: 5649

See also

The starting point for the new face of Arusha
Page Number: 1
Extract Date: 1903

Origins of the Boma

"The road led to a place called Arusha, and as we approached it we came to our astonishment in sight of a truly marvelous building, erected in European style and surrounded by a moat", wrote English adventurer, John Boyes about the beginnings of the town he saw in 1903.

"The Boma was a one-storey building of stone and mortar, with a huge tower in the centre and the whole glistened bright in the sunlight, like an Aladdin’s Palace transported from some fairyland and dropped down in the heart of the tropics. Emblazoned on the front of the tower were the royal arms of Germany, which could be seen nearly a mile off."

"The Boma had been built on a small hill at the base of Mount Meru facing the plains. Below the town were about 30 Indian, Greek and Arab shops selling cloth, trinkets, soap, enameled plates, bowls, beads and copper wire. One shop even had a sewing machine and produced jackets and trousers for the German soldiers and "more progressive natives."

In this 1903 description of early Arusha, Boyes wrote that one approached the Boma along a "fine wide road, equal to a well-kept highway in England" that was "carefully marked off in kilometres.

"Everything about Arusha was equally surprising, the streets being laid out with fine side-walks, separated from the road by a stream of clear water flowing down a cemented gully-way. We had discovered a real oasis in the wilderness.

"The township was spotlessly clean and we saw natives with small baskets picking up any litter lying about, as though the place were the Tiergarten in Berlin and not the wild interior of the Dark Continent."

The German Boma was completed in 1901 and Arusha remained under rigid German military rule until five years later. It had been built as a military fort with a mounted Maxim machine gun. The first commander was First Lieutenant Georg Kuster derogatorily referred to in Swahili as "Bwana Fisi" meaning "Mr. Hyena".

Those "natives", as Boyes called the Waarusha and Wameru, had in fact been made to build the Boma as a punishment. Spears had been turned into digging tools; shields served as crude wheelbarrows. Swords were used to cut down trees, young women and children forced to carry thatching material, older men and women given the task of stamping barefoot on wet mud to join the stones during construction.

Extract ID: 3395

See also

Boyes, John (ed. Mike Resnick) Company of Adventurers
Extract Author: Dinner at the Boma
Page Number: 118
Extract Date: 1903


After pitching our camp we went across to the boma and introduced ourselves to the officer in charge, who struck me as the living image of "Captain Kettle." He was a trim, dapper little man with a pointed red beard, who looked-and was-a stern disciplinarian. He had certainly accomplished wonderful results. The boma was a one-storey building of stone and mortar, with a huge tower in the center, and the whole glistened bright in the sunlight, like an Aladdin's Palace transported from some fairy-land and dropped down in the heart of the tropics. Emblazoned on the front of the tower were the Royal Arms of Germany, which could be seen nearly a mile off.

Lieutenant Kuster, as this officer in charge of the station was named, very kindly showed us round, and we were amazed at the ingenious devices adopted by this enterprising military pioneer. Water from neighboring gullies was laid on throughout the building, and a plentiful supply was available for all purposes. Water-power was used for driving a lathe in the workshop, and the officer had a staff of trained Natives. The woodwork especially was particularly well done. Even the tiles on the roof were made by the Natives, and the building was made entirely from local material. The inside of the station was paved with stone; the living-rooms were fitted with electric bells; and Herr Kuster said he hoped to install electric light at an early date. The station was walled off and, being furnished with a Maxim and a machine gun, made a formidable stronghold. Attached to the fort was a splendid kitchen garden in which grew almost every kind of European vegetable, and next to that a coffee plantation. A market was held not far from the boma, and in the town itself were about thirty Indian and Arab stores.

Lieutenant Kuster entertained us most hospitably and invited us to dinner, which was served in a very comfortable dining-room, furnished in European style with furniture made by the Natives. The various dishes were passed through an opening in the wall, and as each course was finished our host made a sign which was well understood by the Native servants who went about their duties without a word. Everything was done with military precision, and it was evident that the Natives stood in awe of their master, which accounted for the title he has earned of Bwana Fisi.

Extract ID: 3591

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 045
Extract Date: 1911

The tiny frontier town of Arusha

The Painters were as intrigued by Smith's beautiful coffee estate as they were with the tiny frontier town of Arusha. Unlike downtown Nairobi's flat-as-a-pancake landscape, Arusha was beautifully sited at the southern base of Mount Kilimanjaro's sister mountain, Meru, amid rolling green foothills. Towering above Arusha township is the 14,979-foot cone of Mount Meru's extinct volcano, which is more reminiscent of an Alpine landscape than of tropical Africa, for sometimes the peak is dusted with snow. Three swift, gin clear mountain streams flow through the perennially green, well wooded settlement, which had originally grown up around a German fort or boma (Swahili for cattle corral). The well-fortified boma was garrisoned with a platoon of soldiers and staffed by a handful of German civil administrators and police. (The fort's stone-rag, or uncut stone, structure endured and remained in use as a police station, jail, and administrative offices until 1965, when it became a museum.)

Extract ID: 3806

See also

Marsh, R.J. Photos of Arusha Boma
Page Number: 2
Extract Date: 1951


Extract ID: 4206

See also

Marsh, R.J. Photos of Arusha Boma
Page Number: 1
Extract Date: 1954


Extract ID: 4205

See also

Arusha School Magazine
Extract Author: Susan Phibbs (Aged) 11 years
Page Number: 25
Extract Date: March 1957

Local Study by Std. IV

Local Study is done in the thrid term of the year and only by Standards IV and Iva. Before we went out for local study we were divided into four groups with about six people to each group and we usually go out on a Thursday morning. The first time I went on a local study was September 26th, 1956, when we went on a Township Survey. Each group leader chose two people to study a road one on each side. We had to see what the name of the shop was and what it sold, and then had to write it down in our book. The next place we went to was Daresco which is owned by Mr. Bayer. Daresco supplies the electricity for the whole town.

The same day we went to Amekas Macaroni Industry, which is owned by Mr. Stylianou. We saw the macaroni going through different kinds of pipes and machines, and Mr. Stylianou gave us a box of macaroni.

The next week was very exciting because we went to Oljoro for the day in a lorry. We went to three farms and went to a cattle auction and we had a picnic by a river. Then we went to Mr. Boardman's house where we had tea and a fishing contest. The next week we went to the Police Headquarters where we met Mr. Clogger who talked about the Police, then we went up to the Boma and had our finger prints taken, and looked round the Boma. The next Thursday we went to the P.W.D. which stands for Public Works Department, and we were shown round by Mr. Patient.

The next time we went on local study we went to the Town Hall where Mr. Green, the town clerk, talked to us about government. The next week we went to the Town Hall again. Then the last week we had on local study we went to the Boma again and were shown round by Mr. Jones. I think local study is a very interesting lesson.

Extract ID: 3934

See also

Marsh, David Photos of Arusha
Page Number: 12
Extract Date: August 1994


Extract ID: 4070

See also

Marsh, David Photos of Arusha
Page Number: 13
Extract Date: August 1994


Extract ID: 4071

See also

Marsh, David Photos of Arusha
Page Number: 14
Extract Date: August 1994


Extract ID: 4072

See also

Arusha Times
Page Number: 7
Extract Date: 2000 April 29

Arusha Urbanisation

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.

Extract ID: 4284

external link

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 239
Extract Date: 27 September 2002

That old Natural, History ... Wedding, Museum!

ISSN 0856-9135; No. 00239

Welcome to Arusha! Lady-Deez and Gentle-Menus. Today, we are taking you on an exciting, historical trip around the town’s one and only Museum.... Something like that anyway!

So. Fasten your seat belts (if any), because, as history would have it, this happens to be the place where local people used to get hanged to death, by those old, German colonialists.

That by the way, is a very serious allegation. In fact, I wonder why the Deutsche fellows haven’t thought of suing, or better still, hang those who are spreading the speculation right there at the museum.

Well, these thick-walled, white buildings are also known as the German Boma, while this road leading to the entrance is called Boma Road ... Whatever both terms means!

Unlike other museums elsewhere in the world, the Arusha National Museum is simply a shortcut route, connecting the town centre and the Arusha International (!) Conference Centre, alias AICC.

That is it. Nobody ever enters the museum buildings and neither shall we, Lay-deez and Gentle-menus. However, it is also suffice to add that, every "serious" activity is usually done outside the buildings .... Especially some rather weird fetes.

Mind you, the idea of passing through the museum to AICC or vice versa, is not a very good one either, because as one walks through there some fellows who like hanging around the museum, would always stare as if that person was President Saddam Hussein, taking a shower inside the White House’s bathroom!

Oh! One good thing. If you have never seen a Mini-disc player, then this museum, or at least the Joker’s café adjacent of it, has one ... Or at least, it used to have one before being stolen.

Now for the weird part of it! Every Saturday, some wedding ceremonies are usually conducted here at the alleged Natural History Museum .... God save the Zinjanthropus skulls.

Just imagine! A wedding at the museum ... Come to think of it. I suppose it is all right. After all, marriage is a very old profession, which certainly need to be in any Museum.

Besides, getting married nowadays is as good as getting hanged by those German colonialists ... Long live local bachelors (may be not)!

Still, It keeps haunting me as to why exactly should any sane person choose to get married inside a museum! Watch my lips .... "Inside a Museum!"

Also escaping me, is how comes the management (if any), of the Museum would allow such ceremonies to be taking place there.

I mean, everybody knows how Arusha weddings are usually conducted. This include nauseating, over fried dishes (Blieuugh!), Off key loud trumpets, Beer and more beer (Like in that Biblical wedding of Cana Galilee) ... All taking place at the Museum.

Recently there have been many complaints from people that most Arusha youths, behave like Dinosaurs. Well, what should you expect, from children whose parents got married in a Museum?

Anyway, while we are still on the Museum tour, maybe you would also like to visit another outfit in Kaloleni which has been forced into becoming a museum since 1968.

The place is none other, than the alleged; Arusha Declaration Museum, which is slowly but surely turning out to be a typical Chinese wall street ... or something.

Lay-deez and Gentle-Menus, our very educating, Historical, Museum tour is now OVER! .... But then, so shall be all the marriages, whose wedding ceremonies might have taken place in this so called; German Boma!

Extract ID: 3618

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Mrs. Liz Holland
Page Number: 387
Extract Date: 17 Sept 2005

Disappointed to see animals in captivity near Boma museum

To the Editor,

I have recently visited your beautiful country with my husband for a return trip after 40 years of absence. Rod was brought up in Tanga where his father was the manager of TANESCO many years ago. We were able to see many animals in their natural habitat in the Ngorongoro crater and on the Serengeti Plain and were delighted with all the progress of your country.

We made a return trip to the schools my husband attended and were welcomed into the old family homes. On our final day we visited the Boma museum in Arusha but were so disappointed to see some animals in very contained accommodation which does not reflect your obvious concern for the animals in your country. A baboon was very isolated in addition to another monkey and a sole porcupine was just alone in a stone pen.

I do wonder what could be done to move these animals to more appropriate accommodation where they could live out their lives in happier accommodation. There are international organisations that may be able to advise you on how to move them and I am sure there may be a local sanctuary that could help them live a happier life.

It is too late for the animals that have been killed to support the taxidermy department and I would urge you to consider the future of that work too.

Editor, I would like you to publish my letter so that there may be a way forward to resolve the sad situation for these animals.

Extract ID: 5087
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