Friday, December 30, 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2011 (post 3 of 15)

Friday 16 September 2011
I woke up at 4:25 AM and was out of the hotel at 05:05 AM. I walked with my backpack and a heavy load of my mountain gear packed in one of those large polythene shopping bags that scare taxi drivers away.

I was told I should have been at Lamadi at 07:30 AM. I was there before six and met the same two characters who promised to arrange a ride for me through the Serengeti but instead made me loose two days at Lamadi before I opted for a flight from Mwanza to the Kilimanjaro International Airport.

By 10:00 AM I had decided there was no chance I would be traveling by car to Arusha today and I hopped on a bus to Mwanza.

Next: I'm in Moshi

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2011 (post 3 of 15)

Friday 16 September 2011
I woke up at 4:25 AM and was out of the hotel at 05:05 AM. I walked with my backpack and a heavy load of my mountain gear packed in one of those large polythene shopping bags that scare taxi drivers away.

I was told I should have been at Lamadi at 07:30 AM. I was there before six and met the same two characters who promised to arrange a ride for me through the Serengeti but instead made me loose two days at Lamadi before I opted for a flight from Mwanza to the Kilimanjaro International Airport.

By 10:00 AM I had decided there was no chance I would be traveling by car to Arusha today and I hopped on a bus to Mwanza.

Next: I'm in Moshi

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2011 (post 3 of 15)

Friday 16 September 2011
I woke up at 4:25 AM and was out of the hotel at 05:05 AM. I walked with my backpack and a heavy load of my mountain gear packed in one of those large polythene shopping bags that scare taxi drivers away.

I was told I should have been at Lamadi at 07:30 AM. I was there before six and met the same two characters who promised to arrange a ride for me through the Serengeti but instead made me loose two days at Lamadi before I opted for a flight from Mwanza to the Kilimanjaro International Airport.

By 10:00 AM I had decided there was no chance I would be traveling by car to Arusha today and I hopped on a bus to Mwanza.

Next: I'm in Moshi

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Alex Nyirenda remembered

It is the third death anniversary today of Brig. Alex Gwebe Nyirenda.

I pay special tribute to this illustrious Tanzanian who at the eve of Tanzania's independence climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and placed the Uhuru Torch at the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro on 9 December 1961.
Uhuru Peak at the top left point of the photograph, as seen from Crater Camp
A few years ago, when I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for the second time, I began to toy with the idea of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro on the 50th independence anniversary. It is Nyirenda's climb at the eve of independence 50 years ago that has inspired hundreds of Tanzanians this month - including his children Alex Foti Gwebe Nyirenda, and Tima Gwebe Nyirenda - to retrace his steps and commemorate independence on Africa's highest peak.

I will report on this historic climb on this blog soon.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2011 (post 3 of 15)

This is a continuation of the posts from my September 2011 climb of Mt.Kilimanjaro.

Friday 16 September 2011
I woke up at 0425hrs and was out of the hotel at 0505hrs. I walked to the bus stop with my backpack and a heavy load of my Kilimanjaro gear stashed in one of those large polythene bags that scare taxi drivers away from me.

I was told I should be at Lamadi before 0730hrs to hitch a ride across the Serengeti National Park, an attempt that has ended in failure in the past. I arrived before six and met the same two characters who made me hang around Lamadi for two days. By ten in the morning I drew on my past experience and decided there would be no travel to Arusha today through the Serengeti and took a bus to Mwanza.

Next: Jaffar Amin says he's in

Related posts:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2011/10/the-mwalimu-nyereremt-kilimanjaro.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2012/01/the-mwalimu-nyereremt-kilimanjaro_4.html

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb: day 7

The exotic flowers of Mt. Kilimanjaro appear in various shapes and colours.
At Mweka Camp I added this specimen to my collection of photos of Kilimanjaro's flowers although I am yet to identify its name.

This was the last day of the climb and before we left Mweka Camp for Mweka Gate I thought it was a good time to take a few mementos of the climb. Before the photo was taken I asked: "Can I hold her?" And I think Deo said: "Yes, but don't get too comfortable!"
Before leaving Mweka Camp, from left to right: the author of this blog, Aneth Tillya, and Deogratias Semiono. They both reached the summit. I managed to reach Stella Point.
So just to be on the safe side, I held Aneth as high as possible.

At Mweka Gate we were received by the District Commissioner and officials from Zara Tanzania Adventures, including Zara's proprietor, Zainab Ansell.
After a few speeches and the award of climbers' certificates, the entire group of climbers, dubbed the Kiboko Team by Cloud TV's Anthony Nugaz (in black jacket), posed for a group photo.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb: day 3

When climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro through the Lemosho route the views of Mt. Kilimanjaro change by the day.
At Barranco camp the image of Kibo would be unrecognizable to the familiar view of Mt. Kilimanjaro from Moshi where, weather permitting, both Kibo and Mawenzi peaks are visible.


One of the expedition members, who everyone called Mpemba (native of Pemba), flashed a thumbs-up sign in the comfort of his tent. The national flag was a reminder that we were climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to mark 50 years of Tanzania's independence.

Post related to this one:
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2012/06/weather-on-mt-kilimanjaro.html

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The start of the Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb 2011

Early in the morning we assembled for a photo session at Springlands Hotel before embarking on our first day of the Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb organized jointly by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and Zara Tanzania Adventures.
Zainab Ansell, third from left, Zara's proprietor, and her sister Remmy Adam, fourth from left, joined staff and some of the climbers to see off the group of twenty-plus climbers that I was leading on this historic climb to mark 50 years of Tanzania's independence.
When we stopped briefly in downtown Moshi, the German film crew of Benjamin Leers, right, and Maurice Hüsni, second from right, joined Aneth Tillya, second from left, and another unidentified climber for a photograph.
The four made a photogenic quartet and attracted the attention of others who took several additional photos.
After we registered our names at the Londrossi Gate of the Kilimanjaro National Park we began the 25 minute drive to the edge of the rain forest where the 4-5 hour trek to the first camp, Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree), begins.

Because of the wet road condition, the minibus dropped us some distance before we reached the drop-off point and we were asked to wait to be picked up by an off road truck described by one American climber as "a truck with attitude", a menacing truck that can tackle the worst road conditions. Others decided to begin the walk before the truck's arrival.
The road conditions were so bad that even "the truck with attitude" had to stop some distance before reaching the end of the road and the beginning of the foot path. It would be at least an entire hour of walking before we reached the normal drop-off point.
Some of the porters began to walk ahead of us. My fourth Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, the first time I had attempted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro twice in a year, was underway.

The Mt. Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb

We have just completed registration at Londrossi Gate for the Mt. Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb, 4 - 10 December.
The temperature at Londrossi is 27° Celcius.

Londrossi Gate is used by climbers using the Lemosho route.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Mt. Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb kicks off

A reporter from Star TV, below right, interviews Majira newspaper's managing editor, Imma Mbuguni, minutes before the commencement of the Mt. Kilimanjaro UhuruClimb.
The climb has been organized jointly by Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and Zara Tanzania Adventures.

I have been honoured by TTB as the leader of this climb to mark 50 years of the independence of Tanzania mainland.

We plan to be at the summit on the anniversary, 9th December.

Related post:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2012/05/the-weather-today_29.html

An interview prior to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

In the afternoon Benjamin Leers and co-filmmaker Maurice Housni decided they should begin to interview me for the documentary, The Teacher's Country.

They join me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, beginning tomorrow, to mark 50 years of Tanzania's independence.
They chose a scenic spot among the rice fields close to Springlands Hotel. As they set up their equipment and carried out a sound check, a noisy bird attracted their attention.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Benjamin and Maurice arrive in Moshi for Kilimanjaro anniversary climb

The filmmakers, Benjamin Leers anMaurice Hüsni, arrived in Moshi from Dar es Salaam today and in the evening they spent time in an Internet cafe' near the Buffalo Hotel in downtown Moshi to link up by videophone with their relatives in Germany.
In two days we embark with them on the Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb organized by Tanzania Tourist Board and Zara Tanzania Adventures to mark 50 years of Tanzania's independence. Benjamin and Maurice will also shoot part of their film documentary in which I will also answer questions on how Tanzania has evolved during its 50 years of nationhood.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tanzania Tourist Board holds press conference for the "Kilimanjaro Uhuru climb"

This morning I attended a press conference called by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) to publicize the forthcoming "Kilimanjaro Uhuru Climb" to take place from 4th to 9th December to mark 50 years of Tanzania's independence.

The Tanzania Tourist Board gave me the honour to lead other climbers on this historic climb as part of country-wide celebrations. The objective is to retrace the footsteps of Lt. Alex Gwebe Nyirenda who at the stroke of midnight on 9th December 1961 placed a torch and the flag of newly-independent Tanganyika on the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak and the world's highest free standing mountain.
With me at the press conference was Deogratias Malogo, left, and Geoffrey Meena of the Tanzania Tourist Board.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Training in Germany for Kilimanjaro

I took a bicycle ride through a scenic route of Leipzig with filmmaker Benjamin Leers, with whom I will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro next month to mark 50 years of Tanzania's independence. It was good exercise for the upcoming climb and I told Benjamin I would tell my guide, Yahoo, that this time I trained in Germany for my climb.
Later at a cafe', we met his co-partner, Maurice Housni, with whom they will film a documentary during the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.

Related post:
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2012/10/yes-mt-kilimanjaro-is-in-tanzania-and.html

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2011 (post 2 of 15)

Thursday 15 September 2011
I am in “standing mode”, busy to the core, hovering over my office desk rather than sitting down as most people do. And as always, I am also in apprehension that I have several important tasks I should complete before my departure for the annual Kilimanjaro climb, but there appears to be little time to complete these tasks.

As I wondered how I would travel to Moshi this time around I recalled that someone I know mentioned he was driving to Arusha tomorrow. I called him to find out whether I could hitch a ride and he reassured me I could. 

Later, he came up with what I suspected was a monumental work of fiction about having to suddenly change plans and drive through the Serengeti during the night to rescue another colleague who had been involved in a road accident.

Later in Musoma I found out that the Extra Musica Band was performing tonight and I suspected my ride to Arusha had been compromised by their presence.

Having being assured of a possible ride through the Serengeti tomorrow I left in the evening and spent the night at Bunda.

Next: Another disappointment

Posts related to this one:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2011/10/the-mwalimu-nyereremt-kilimanjaro_9.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2011/12/the-mwalimu-nyereremt-kilimanjaro_19.html

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2011 (post 1 of 15)

Wednesday 14 September 2011
I realized today there's little time for anything else other than prepare to travel to Moshi for the Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity climb 2011. So I cleared my papers and sorted out what I felt were priority tasks before my departure.

In the afternoon, and under an approaching rain cloud, I rode my mountain bike for more pre-Kilimanjaro exercising but the ride was short-lived. Barely five minutes into the ride, after I reached the furniture shop, I realized I would ride into a rainstorm if I rode my preferred route. Instead, I chose a new route towards the Makore Primary School.

Next: Departure for Bunda

Posts related to this one:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2011/10/the-mwalimu-nyereremt-kilimanjaro.html

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The forest below Mt. Kilimanjaro


The last day of most Mt. Kilimanjaro climbs involves a trek through lush forest from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate.

It is rich in exotic plants. I have just completed the annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb. Posts of the annual event will appear in this blog within the next few day

Friday, September 23, 2011

We are on our way to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro

We have just arrived at the registration point, at Londorssi Gate, on our first day of the Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jim Becket, Jaffar Amin, and Andrea Wobmann to climb Kilimanjaro next week

I have been on the road (figure of speech) since yesterday on my way to Moshi for the 4th annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb. I intended to travel directly from Butiama to Moshi through the Serengeti, but travel through that World Heritage site remains most unpredictable for me. I have ended up in Mwanza and plan to fly to the Kilimanjaro International Airport tomorrow.

There might be less of charity this year because the groundwork for the preparations for the fund raising drive has been inadequate. Before departure towards the summit, scheduled for the 20th September 2011 I will decide whether it will be possible to launch an effective funding appeal or postpone this appeal until the next climb.

The interesting aspect of this year's climb is the decision by a renowned American film director, Jim Becket, to shoot a documentary film during the climb. Jaffar Amin is also joining me to climb again Kilimanjaro this year following our plans during last year's climb to raise more funds for charitable causes.

Jim has decided that the documentary will cover a range of subjects, including the environment and how it affects Lake Victoria and Mount Kilimanjaro. Since Jaffar will also join the climb, Jim wants to explore the past historical relations between Tanzania and Uganda and how these have changed, focusing on what Jaffar and I have done.

Swiss national Andrea Wobmann who has worked as a volunteer in Mwanza is also joining this climb.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mawenzi peak

On a perfect day Mawenzi, which towers at 5,149m above sea level and is one of Mt. Kilimanjaro's

two peaks, offers the best backdrop for descending from the summit.

I took this photograph on 13th December 2010 (exactly 9 months ago to the minute of this post) during my descent from the summit at Kibo, at 5,895m above sea level.

Posts related to this one:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2011/01/the-mwalimu-nyereremt-kilimanjaro_2.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2011/01/the-mwalimu-nyereremt-kilimanjaro_13.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2008/12/the-receeding-snows-of-kilimanjaro.html

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's Kili time!

It's time for Kilimanjaro, again. The mountain, not the lager.
If this bicycle could talk it would complain how I have neglected it for the whole year and only now that I am preparing myself to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro beginning September 20, have I remembered that it exists.

Today, for the second time in 3 days, I rode the bike for a distance of about 5 kilometres around some of Butiama's hilly terrain. It was Yahoo, the Mt. Kilimanjaro guide, who had suggested I buy the bike to help me strengthen my leg muscles.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My visit to one beneficiary of last year's Kilimanjaro climb

During last year’s Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb, I was joined by Mary Kalikawe from Kiroyera Tours and William Rutta of the Bukoba Disabled Assistance Project (BUDAP), a Bukoba-based organization formed in 2005 to provide “…appropriate training and employment in the production of handicrafts and related products” for its members, who are predominantly victims of polio.

BUDAP’s products include traditional drums, and handbags made from traditional African khanga and kitenge cloth.

After the climb I visited Bukoba and BUDAP’s premises near the Bukoba airport. I met some of BUDAP’s members and shared with them stories (only true ones) of the adventures of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
In the photograph, from left to right: Baraka, Ashirafu, Themistocles, the author of this post, and Elias.

If you wish to donate to BUDAP you can contact them through:

Bukoba Disabled Assistance Project (BUDAP)
P.O. Box 485
Bukoba - Tanzania.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Travel options to Mt. Kilimanjaro: to hitch a ride across the Serengeti or to fly?

This post, is a continuation of my older posts from my other blog From Butiama and Beyond. Traveling between where I live and the starting point of the Kilimanjaro climb always presents challenges. 
***************************************************
I arrived in Moshi last night, having failed to cross the Serengeti National Park by car at a cost of 23 US dolllars. Placing reliance on cars that may or may not pass through Ndabaka Gate, the western entrance to the Serengeti National Park, was like playing the lottery.

In the morning I decided to board a bus from Lamadi, the small town close to Ndabaka Gate, for Mwanza from where I took an afternoon flight to Mwanza. In the end I did not see a single wild animal and paid much more than the 23 dollars I budgeted for. But I can still say I crossed the Serengeti - at 5000m above sea level.

And staying at Lamadi gave me an idea about writing a guidebook on budget travel. I stayed at the Nima Delux Guest House for 9,000 shillings (6 US dollars). At Mama Mniko's I ate a meal of rice, beans, and
Balala fried fish for 1,300 shillings (0.86 US dollars). Bus fare to Mwanza 3,000 shillings (2 US dollars).
At Mama Mniko's where a plate of food sells for Shs.1,300/-.



Inside my room at Nima Delux Guest House, Lamadi.
Then the final expense item and a reminder that plans do not always unfold as expected, I paid 220,000 shillings (147 US dollars) for the flight from Mwanza to the Kilimanjaro International Airport.


Posts related to this one:
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2011/06/across-serengeti-again.html
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2011/06/serengeti-crossing-not-yet-i-settle-for.html
http://madarakanyerere.blogspot.com/2011/06/through-serengeti-this-time-from.html

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mary Kalikawe and William Rutta reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro: post 4 of 4

Mary Kalikawe is the Managing Director of Kiroyera Consulting, a tourism company based in Bukoba which opened a branch office in Mwanza in 2010. She joined the 3rd Annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb in December 2010. 

While I set off from the west with Jaffar Amin from Londrossi Gate on 7th December 2010 on the Lemosho route, Mary and William Rutta also set off from the east from Marangu Gate on the Machame route. 

In this fourth and final post she shares her experience of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Mary Kalikawe
The guides are well trained to handle climbers. Considering how tired they themselves are at that point, it is commendable how they keep up the words of encouragement with the sole aim of getting you to reach your ultimate goal, Uhuru Peak. The guide constantly talks to you out of falling asleep on the steep slopes telling you it is most dangerous and could be fatal.

Coming to the financial price of an individual climbing the mountain, I must say it is a formidable challenge for ordinary Tanzanians to get the thrills of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. Putting together my air fare from Mwanza, the fees paid to the tour operator, hotel and food in Moshi, tips and cost of mountain gear I come to a whooping 1 million shillings. Consider that this is for a Tanzanian who pays only a negligible rate of only Shs. 1,500 daily park fees to the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. The rest is for the guides, porters for whom you have to have at least five, accommodation, food and transfers from Moshi to the mountain gate.
There are many ways of saying you reached the Summit. William Rutta sports a t-shirt with the message.
Kilimanjaro is not for the faint-hearted nor is it for a Tanzanian with an average income. It is still early, we are still requesting contributions to BUDAP and to Chief Wanzagi’s Girls School. Payments are to be made directly to the accounts of the two beneficiaries.
Account Name: BUDAP, Ac. No. 027201092625 Bank: National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Bukoba Branch, and to Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls’ Secondary School Ac. No. 030201191529, Bank: National Bank of Commerce (NBC), Musoma Branch.
Do make a donation if you can. It will go a long way towards meeting our fundraising goals for the Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climbing 2010.

Posts related to this one:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2011/06/mary-kalikawe-and-william-rutta-reach_16.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2011/06/mary-kalikawe-and-william-rutta-reach_14.html

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mary Kalikawe and William Rutta reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro: post 3 of 4

Mary Kalikawe is the Managing Director of Kiroyera Consulting, a tourism company based in Bukoba which opened a branch office in Mwanza in 2010. She joined the 3rd Annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb in December 2010. 

While I set off from the west with Jaffar Amin from Londrossi Gate on 7th December 2010 on the Lemosho route, Mary and William Rutta also set off from the east from Marangu Gate on the Machame route. 

In this third of four posts she shares her experience of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Mary Kalikawe
Mount Kilimanjaro climbing was very haaard!! While Jaffar and Madaraka climbed on the Lemosho route, I and William used the Marangu route, the narrow heavily-trodden path between that goes through the Horombo and Mandara Huts. I had left the gruesome climb behind and felt pain in my legs and thighs but smelling ‘triumph’ and longing to tell the whole world about my success in reaching the almost “unreachable” Uhuru Peak at my age of beyond forty!

On the steep slopes during the night climb to the summit, the mountain guides and porters who had been with us during the climb on previous days hugged me to avert a fatal fall backwards on the steep slopes down the mountain. Their jackets stunk of sweat. Mind you, we had been without bathing for five days. I guess I too was not smelling of roses. We continued through the night and after seven hours of excessive endurance beyond what I could ever imagine was within my capability, we had reached Gilman's Point!
At Gilman's Point: One down, one to go.
Gilman’s Point is the first point on the peak that is 200m lower than Uhuru Peak, the highest point of Kilimanjaro and of the whole of Africa. From that point I still had another three hours of climbing to get to Uhuru Peak. Those who saw my slow pace did not believe I could come this far! Scores of people who began with us at midnight had turned back due to fatigue, bad weather, and sheer fear.

The question ‘why am I torturing?’ myself kept ringing in my head. There are many possible answers. For one thing, the panorama at Gilman's point is a reward worth exerting for. The glaciers in the foreground of the deep crater valleys, the snow covered rugged surfaces and, above all, the much needed cup of tea served by my mountain guide Deo were all energy infusing.

At this point I made the decision to reach Uhuru peak for enjoying the glory of it. The contributions to BUDAP and Chief Edward Wanzagi’s School did not demand that I get up to Uhuru Peak. Gilman’s Point was a lot more than enough. But the guide, in disbelief, but seeing my renewed energy and enthusiasm to proceed said it will be an hour to Stella Point, two hours to Uhuru peak.
Finally, I reached Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the African continent.
I did it! And got a milliard accolades of congratulations but my guide was the brunt of a thousand complaints over factors he could not control: Why was the Uhuru peak signboard so far? Why do we still have to climb, didn’t you say we are almost there? And so on, and so forth.
William Rutta at the summit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mary Kalikawe and William Rutta reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro: post 2 of 4

Mary Kalikawe is the Managing Director of Kiroyera Consulting, a tourism company based in Bukoba which opened a branch office in Mwanza in 2010. She joined the 3rd Annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb in December 2010. 

While I set off from the west with Jaffar Amin from Londrossi Gate on 7th December 2010 on the Lemosho route, Mary and William Rutta also set off from the east from Marangu Gate on the Machame route. 

In this second of four posts she shares her experience of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Mary Kalikawe
A day before the beginning of the gruesome climb, I and William Rutta, Chairman of BUDAP, met Madaraka and Tshombe Jaffar in Moshi at a press conference arranged to publicize the event. It was an uplifting feeling to be in the presence of these two great sons of Africa who are putting reconciliation ahead of a now forgotten bitter history.
At the press conference: L-R, Mary Kalikawe, Madaraka Nyerere, Jaffar Amin, and William Rutta.
Tshombe Jaffar, father of five children, now running a private business in Dubai is a flamboyant cheerful character. He is very dark like his father, tall and on the handsome side. He is a writer like Madaraka and has a keen interest in history, especially of his tribe and its legends. He talks of his youth and the many questions he used to ask his father. He tells of some harsh treatment he sometimes got from school from those who would dare not confront his father but found Tshombe’s then docile character a room to revenge. They pinched him for being a Moslem and for being the son of the ruling president. It made them happy, a little revenge that they got away with. 
Coffee break after the press conference. L-R, William Rutta, Mary Kalikawe, and Jaffar Amin.
Tshombe Jaffar believes the exceptional fame in the two names of their respective fathers, Idd Amin Dada and that of Mwalimu Nyerere should be harnessed to draw development to the East African nations. Why should all the books and movies on his father go without any yield, he asks? Other clever people are earning big money on his name, he laments.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mary Kalikawe and William Rutta reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro: post 1 of 4

Mary Kalikawe is the Managing Director of Kiroyera Consulting, a tourism company based in Bukoba which opened a branch office in Mwanza in 2010. She joined the 3rd Annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb in December 2010. 

While I set off from the west with Jaffar Amin from Londrossi Gate on 7th December 2010 on the Lemosho route, Mary and William Rutta also set off from the east from Marangu Gate on the Marangu route. 

In this first of four posts she shares her experience of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Mary Kalikawe

It all goes back to SNV, the Netherlands Development Organisation, linking people’s capacities and supporting the development of Tanzania’s tourism sector. During my assignment with SNV in the Lake Zone I got acquainted with the village of Butiama, the home and burial location of Tanzania’s founding president, the late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere. The objective of a meeting with tourism cultural stakeholders at Butiama was to contribute further to developing Butiama as a notable tourist historical site. During the visit, Madaraka Nyerere, who is one of the sons of the Late Mwalimu Nyerere, briefed me of his annual fundraising event – The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.
Elias, a member of BUDAP in Bukoba.
I indicated my interest to participate in the charity climb and we mutually agreed that Bukoba Disabled Assistance Project (BUDAP) should be a twin beneficiary, alongside the Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls’ Secondary School, as a beneficiary for the charity funds raised during the 2010 climb.
The author of this blog, second from right, with members of BUDAP. From left, Baraka, Ashirafu, Themistocles, and Elias at their Bukoba premises.

Kiroyera encouraged the formation of BUDAP some 6 years ago with the idea that tourism could be helpful in creating jobs for polio victims of Bukoba who were roaming the streets begging. BUDAP’s members produce African drums, dolls, handbags and other souvenirs that are sold to tourists, and the local community. BUDAP is a model of pro poor tourism.
William Rutta (left) BUDAP's Chairman with me at BUDAP's premises in Bukoba.
I decided that Madaraka was not going to do the 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb alone. In recent years he has developed a friendship with Tshombe Jaffar Remo Amin, the son of the late Idi Amin Dada, former ruler of Uganda.

More than 30 years ago, Tanzania went to war against Uganda while their fathers were the respective leaders of the two countries. The war left many tragedies in both countries. To Ugandans Tanzanians are liberators who ended Idi Amin’s reign.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 12 of 12)

Next to reaching the summit, the most satisfying part of the climb is receiving the certificates for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. The honour for handing over the certificates rests with the people who led us to the peak and back to the comfort of Springlands Hotel, where the expedition began.
First in line was Jaffar (left) receiving his certificate issued by the Kilimanjaro National Parks Authority (KINAPA), handed to him by Solomon (right)
Then Ludovick (right) stepped in front of the camera to hand over Zara Tanzania Adventures' certificate to Jaffar (left)
Moments later, it was my turn (left) to receive my KINAPA certificate from Solomon (right)
And finally, Ludovick (right) stepped in view again to handover my certificate from Zara Tanzania Adventures.
We received two sets of certificates each, one issued by the Kilimanjaro National Parks Authority (KINAPA) and another issued by Zara Tanzania Adventures, the company that organizes the Kilimanjaro climbs.

Posts related to this one:
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2011/06/the-mwalimu-nyereremt-kilimanjaro_9.html
http://blogkili.blogspot.com/2010/12/the-mwalimu-nyereremt-kilimanjaro_28.html

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 12 of 12)

This is the twelfth of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.
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Monday 14 December 2011
Yesterday, a bruised toe forced Jaffar to trade his boots for sandals after we passed Millennium High Camp.
On the last day of the climb, Solomon (left) and Jaffar (right) in the forest section between Mweka Camp and Mweka Gate
Other climbers rush past us as Jaffar and Solomon pose for yet another photo.
He also wore the sandals today on the final stretch from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate. We were once again back in the forest and having carried two cameras during this climb I had the luxury of taking many photos of some of the flowers and plants of Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro Impatiens, Impatiens kilimanjari
At the edge of the road we were picked up by a rescue vehicle because of Jaffar’s bruises and rode the few remaining kilometres to the gate by car. The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb was over for this year.
The rescue vehicle at the edge of the road.
Jaffars (center) after signing the guest book at Mweka Gate as Solomon (left) and Ludovick (right) look on.