Tanzanian Musicians and Sportspeople Need a Mental Overhaul

Published on 9th December 2008

There is a big difference between foreign music shows and local Tanzanian ones. This is not by accident but by design. One cannot fail to distinguish between a Tanzania-run show from a non-Tanzanian one. In Tanzanian shows, time management is not adhered to. If a notice reads that a (Tanzanian) music show will start at say, 10 pm, fans will show up at 11 pm since they are most certain that the musicians will arrive late.


Sometimes the hall will be packed by fans but the entertaining band will not be on site. Sadly, this is regarded as a normal way of life. Even in soccer matches, fans don’t show up in stadiums in good time nowadays. Why? They are most certain that the players will show up late. The time you arrive at the field to witness Yanga team practicing, is the precise time the Yanga players will be leaving their houses to come for the practice. For a change, should you decide to witness Simba team practice the following day, you’ll be astonished to find a quarter of the football stars  sitted and idling away. One will tell you that he has no sports shoes. Another one will say that he was not aware there would be soccer practice. Another one will ask you why you are bothered.

Lady Jaydee
This sluggish culture is rife among Tanzanian artists and sportspeople. Could it be a result of our socialist orientation that taught us that sports and arts were nothing but entertainment? We imbibed this and refused to see that music and sports are vocations that can enable us earn income just like any other job.


This has adversely affected our performing artists and sportsmen. You will find musicians and sportsmen unfulfilled in their careers, looking for other jobs. Most of them to date don’t believe that they can earn respect, excel and feed from their various talents. They believe that only politicians, lawyers, doctors, engineers and people from other disciplines matter. Foreign artists have tried to change this attitude among us to no avail.


However such musical bands as Akudo and FM Academia are rising to the occasion. Reason? They are changing their attitude. If they tell you that a show will begin at 10pm, they will surely arrive before 10pm. Musicians like Lady Jay Dee and Banana Zorro are taking their vocation seriously.



Tanzanians ought to emulate non-Tanzanian professionals. They take their work seriously. They know what they are doing. Look at football stars like Maurice Sunguti and Bonface Ambani of Yanga. In spite of their advanced age, they perform much better than their young and energetic counterparts. Why? They respect their vocation and treat it with seriousness just like any other job.


It is ironic that with in spite of the economic depression facing the world that has led to unemployment among other factors, our citizens still believe that sports is nothing but entertainment “after work.” It is time Tanzanians changed this mentality and sought to translate their various giftings into economic opportunities. Failure to do this will breed of poverty-ridden nation.


I once asked a youngster whose dad is a prominent footballer whether he knew his father’s work.  To my surprise, the youth told me that his dad was jobless, but plays soccer. What mindset are we inculcating in our youth? 


Sports and music have lifted living standards of millions of people the world over. The duo have contributed immensely to the economic development of nations. The white collar job mentally must be shunned. It is time Africans learnt to tap the  immense opportunities around them instead of blaming fate and parading begging bowls!

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