Mbugwe

Name ID 1359

See also

Ngorongoro's Annual Report
Page Number: 17
Extract Date: 13 March 1892


Extract ID: 3952

See also

Boyes, John (ed. Mike Resnick) Company of Adventurers
Page Number: 119
Extract Date: 1903

Mbugwe

The country through which we passed on resuming our journey was full of game, and having got a Thomson's gazelle, I lit some grass to guide my men to the spoil was waiting for my camera to take a snapshot of the gazelle, when the animal, which had appeared to be dead, staggered to its feet and dropped in the burning grass, thus spoiling my chance of a photograph. The fire was scattered about by its fall and quickly spread into a large veld fire. This was the first chance I had had of getting any game since leaving Tanga, and there was great rejoicing in camp that night, the boys spending half the night in feasting. Some of the meat was exchanged for flour from the Natives.

The next day I went ahead of the caravan as before but found little game, and that seemed rather wild. I had been warned before leaving Arusha that water was very scarce on the road to Mbugwe, and at this camp the water was already bad. Mbugwe is situated at the foot of the mountain of that name. The Chief, whose name was Takayiko, brought in a fat sheep and food for the men. The Natives in looks, speech and manner very much resemble the Masai, and I am of opinion that they are half-bred Masai. Their huts are very peculiar structures, square, and about three feet in height; but you descend another foot on entering, so that they are really four feet high inside. They have a flat roof made of plaited matama (millet) stalks, covered with a kind of natural cement found in the neighborhood. The walls are built of small tree trunks, put closely together and coated inside with cow dung. One half of the hut is divided off for a cattle pen. These Natives are great cattle breeders. The huts are made with flat roofs to avoid damage by the strong winds which sweep across the plains.

The water was again very bad. a Greek, of course, was trading here, One meets this race almost everywhere in Africa. I had dinner with him that night and got a great deal of useful information about the country and the Natives on the road ahead. a rather startling incident happened during dinner. I was sitting in front of the Greek when I saw a fairly large snake just beneath his chair. I quietly told him of it, and asked him not to move. He immediately jumped up, but fortunately the snake did not bite him, and we killed it with sticks. Later on another one appeared, evidently looking for its mate, and this met with a like fate.

Extract ID: 3592

See also

Boyes, John (ed. Mike Resnick) Company of Adventurers
Page Number: 125a
Extract Date: 1903

Avoiding Mbugwe and Arusha

Before leaving Mgodi we laid in a good supply of provisions, as the road we intended to take to British territory lay through an uninhabited part where food could not be obtained and water was also very scarce. On the fourth day of our march we came to Irangi. We had a badly needed wash and then got our papers ready to go to the boma. The Government officer was away hunting, but the sergeant in charge was very friendly. I camped near the Government station, and had all the Indian shopkeepers and traders round my tent during the day. While waiting I bought a number of head of cattle at a dear rate. Then I went up again to the boma to get my papers signed, and was advised not to go near Mbugwe or Arusha, where cattle disease had broken out. Having learnt that there was a path through the wilds which avoided these places, I decided to take it. All round I noticed dried up rivers, but in the rainy season the country must be a huge swamp. The Natives were Wagogo, much resembling the Masai in appearance.

Our next march was to Buyuni, going through a forest without seeing a drop of water from leaving camp at 6 a.m. until our mid-day rest at 2. Marching on again for an hour and a half, we went into camp near a very large mbuyu tree, in the trunk of which a hollow was cut about six feet square, forming a little cabin in which some of the men slept. It was now a nightly occurrence for the hyenas to come howling round.

Extract ID: 3606

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See also

Evdemon, Mark Personal communication
Page Number: 3
Extract Date: 12 February,1936

We lived in Tanganyika . . .

I don't know exactly where I was born, whether in a hospital or at home. All I know is that we lived in Tanganyika (presently Tanzania), East Africa. My Father had a farm in the province of Mbugwe, in the district of Mbulu. Nice names,huh? Also, it was in darkest Africa, We walked around with lamps and flashlights. Not really; just kidding.

I had 2 older brothers, Photis and Panos (Pete) and younger sister, Stergia.

Anyway, the nearest town was Arusha, about 30 miles away. My early memories are of a mud brick house,tamped dirt floor and a thatched roof. The kitchen area was an attached grass wall hut. I recall one evening waking up to pots and pans banging around and all that noise was due to a hungry hyena scrounging around for food. There were lots of various wild animals and insects in the nearby bush country. We slept under mosquito nets and took quinine pills to prevent malaria attacks from the swarms of mosquitos. The black people that lived in the area were generally friendly and several were employed by my Father for farm and house work. My Dad had several guns and he often went hunting both as a sport and for financial reasons. One time as we were having lunch, we saw elephants uprooting some cotton plants and trampling a part of the farm. My Dad went after them with a gun and chased the elephants away by firing some shots into the air.

I didn't have toys to speak of. I played with whatever was handy and available. One of my "special" toys was catching dragon flies and tying a string around them and flying them about. They were my home made planes. Also, I was always interested in anything in the nature all around us.

One day a black man came to our home asking for help as he was attacked by a leopard and needed the wounds on his back treated with whatever medicines we had. My Mom took care of that and I am sure that he recovered well. During one of the rainy seasons, a dry river bed flooded and sent a torrent of water all over the countryside. We had to have a small earthen dam built around our compound to keep the water out of the houses.

We did not have an automobile. The main road (a dirt road) was several miles away and we had to camp on the side of the road and await a truck to come by in order to hitch a ride into town. The first time I had a piece of chocolate, I was probably 3 years old, on a trip to Arusha. I thought that was a most wonderful treat.

There were a few other European owned farms near us. One of them was a Greek farm and we would go over to visit and listen to their radio. It worked off a car battery. It must have been around 1940 as I recall the adults talking about the war in Europe and the Italians having a difficult time when they attacked Greece and were repulsed back into Albania. Probably why I have always had an interest in World War II history.My all time World War II hero being Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier of all time. His book and movie "To Hell and Back" are both excellent accounts of his experiences.

When I was about 4, we were at some one's house and I had suffered a burn on the back of my left palm. I remember somebody riding me on a bicycle to a nearby clinic for several days while my hand was being treated. Near that house were ostriches and I would watch them and sometimes chase them around. I was lucky that they never attacked me. They say God takes care of stupid and drunk people but I was only about 4 years old. At one other house that we visited, they had several wild animal pets and one of them was a buffalo. I was terrified of that large beast. I was lifted up by some one and was told that it was OK to pet it and I reached out and petted his horns and massive head.

One time I must have walked through some bushes and my legs were scratched. To stop the bleeding I rubbed some dust on the scratches, like using talcum powder. The bleeding did stop and I suppose it's a miracle that my legs were not infected, or worse.

I had two Godfathers; one was Anthony Karaiskos and he gave me the name Marcos.I do not recall the other Godfather's name. He gave me my middle name, Constantine. I was asked which name I preferred as my first and I chose Marcos as Karaiskos was my favorite Godparent.

Extract ID: 4325

See also

Allen, John Richard Down Memory Lane in Tanganyika
Page Number: 39
Extract Date: 1939

Dodoma to Arusha

Driving north from Dodoma was all new country for me. After the first 10 miles out the cultivated areas ceased and the road then passed through broken country, well wooded with 'Miombo' trees (Latin name is Brachystegia, but which one of the 30 different species ????? ). After passing through that five mile belt of forest the landscape changed completely to dry scrub and thorn bush, uninhabited, to the passing motorist. (But 7 years later I was to discover otherwise?). At about 80 miles from Dodoma the large native settlement named Kelema was reached. Here, four or five native dukas (shops) sold a miscellaneous assortment of goods, mainly cloth and local foodstuffs, My only purchase was a hand of bananas to munch on the way. Judging by a few remarks, I gathered some of our vehicles had also stopped there, so the convoy was not wholly ‘in convoy’! So far, on the journey, only two stops had been made to sort out minor mechanical troubles on a couple of vehicles. From Kelema, for the next 30 miles, onwards, the area was thickly populated by the Irangi tribe. The land is fairly hilly and scarred with soil erosion gullies, some measuring hundreds of feet wide. Many 'sand rivers' crossed the road which could be a great hazard to motorists when the normally dry riverbeds are in full spate after a storm. At Kelema there is a very wide one, a quarter of a mile, which I know has claimed many vehicles driven by impatient motorists.

At exactly 100 miles from Dodoma I stopped, in the shade of a large baobab tree, to eat a few biscuits washed down with a bottle of warm 'pop'. Here, a road branched off, almost due west, down a slope for two miles into the small township of Kondoa Irangi. The District HQ for the Kondoa District. On the opposite side of the road there was a small lake with a fair population of wildfowl. By now the time had crept round to about 15.30 hours, so off we went continuing our journey, The countryside for the next 18 miles along the road was rather barren , over-populated, over-grazed, hilly, eroded and the only trees were baobabs. After passing through the Minor Settlement of Kolo, the road began to ascend into the hills known as Pienaar's Heights, so-named after a South African General who, during the 1914/18 war routed the enemy forcing them to retreat to Kondoa and beyond, However, history apart: Half way up the short escarpment was one stationary 'ambulance' or, in reality, a 2 ton Ford V8 lorry converted for passenger carrying, but on this occasion it had a load of medical equipment on board weighing less than a ton. I wondered how the contents in the boxes would survive after being bounced over miles of a 'corrugated' road surface? After struggling with various engine components for over an hour the thing eventualy started but firing on only 7 cylinders. As for the 8th, to hell with it. (my feverish cold taking over!). Off on the road again ascending to an altitude of 6,000 ft. above sea level and with darkness approaching rather quickly. There was a definite chill in the air and, to my sorrow, my British ‘warm' army great¬coat was, by now, in Bereko! There were more stops en route, but we eventually made it to the camp by 9.30 pm. The Mess cook had put aside a plateful of dinner for me, no doubt on Ali's instructions. Some kind soul gave me a stiff whisky. The tent was up and my campbed all ready to flop into. The CO came over to ask where I'd been, so told him! Whereupon, he withdrew. By the time I had swallowed my drink, eaten my dinner, performed my ablutions, my colleagues had retired to their respective nests so I did likewise, under three blankets in this cold spot, We were at an altitude of about 6,500 ft, asl.

Morning came round much too early but the cup of tea brought in by Ali at 6,15 am was most welcome, A busy morning began with breakfast at 7.30 am and a departure for Arusha at 8.30 am, about 130 miles away. My departure time, anybody’s guess! I scrounged as many spanners, screwdrivers etc. I could lay my hands on to deal with that wretched Ford lorry. One point I insisted on, the Bedford lorry, with its driver, would follow me, since I would be driving the 'wreck.', with the inexperienced driver sitting alongside. After cleaning all the fuel pipes, carburettor, the ignition system, petrol pump and anything else I could find, within reason, the engine actually fired on the fourth attempt. Like me, it coughed a lot and then picked up, sometimes on 7 cylinders, sometimes 8!

It was just after 11.00 am when I set forth. After nine miles, or so, the road descended to a much lower altitude and the area was flat apart from a few distant hills. The next minor settlement of note, was a place called Babati, with an extensive African population and about six Asian owned dukas - so I stopped close by to a large 'tin' (corrugated iron) duka and was welcomed in by its Asian owner. I was amazed at the variety of tinned provisions he stocked, also beer and soft drinks galore! So I treated myself to a Coca Cola straight from the fridge and a packet of savory biscuits. I also gave the two drivers shgs.2.00 each to buy themselves a meal as the chances of reaching Arusha in time for their evening meal with the mob was rather remote.

Arusha was still 110 miles away so as soon as possible after that short break, we were off, into a very warm afternoon. The Indian duka-wallah told me the main convoy had gone through about 10 am so, with luck, it should be 'home and dry' by 16,00 hours.

We made good progress for the next 50 miles through an area known as the Mbugwe 'flats' but when the undulating country was reached, more trouble. Being a hot afternoon the engine had been running at a higher temperature than usual but now, crawling up slight inclines in second gear the water boiled which made me suspect either the cylinder head was cracked or a 'blown' cylinder head gasket. Either way, I could do nothing about that, full stop! At the top of the slopes a halt was necessary to allow the engine cool down sufficiently before replenishing the water, which all took time. Bouncing along a flat stretch of road, in the dark, with the wooden bodywork and medical boxes creating a dreadful din there was almost an 'Incident on the Highway'? Unbeknown to me a car following in my wake of dust had been trying to pass but with all the noise I hadn't heard his dual car horns blaring forth. The first indication I got was from a bush on the roadside reflecting a strong light beam so I immediately pulled over to let the car pass. A few yards further along the road the car pulled up and out stepped a European male who beckoned me to stop. He strode over and, when he was a couple of feet away I wound down the window to be greeted with, in an Australian accent, a mouthful of abuse ending with " – you bastard"? Just what I needed! Momentarily, I was taken aback and just when I was about to give him a well directed punch in the face he stepped back realising that he wasn't speaking to an African lorry driver. I saw him later that evening in the hotel but he did not recognise me. Apparently, he was a high ranking official in the Govt. the Director of Lands and Mines! A pity he stepped away at the wrong moment before I could teach him a lesson in manners. However, the CO dealt with him on my behalf,

Extract ID: 5711

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Extract Date: 1984

linguistic diversity

It [Mto wa Mbu] has long been a trading centre where many different people have settled, notably the Mbugwe, Iraqw, Gorowa, Irangi, Totoga, Chagga and Maasai. The area ... is in fact the most linguistically diverse and complex in Africa. It is the only place in the continent where the four major African language families - Bantu, Khoisan, Cushitic, and Nilotic - occur together.

Extract ID: 3680
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