Head of the Police Performing Arts group, Inspector Daudi Masanja, is pleased when they have to participate in shows that are based on the friendship between China and Tanzania.
The reasons for this he says, go beyond the fact that these opportunities help strengthen the bond that already exists between the two countries.
“One of the indirect ways in which we benefit greatly from such performances is to demonstrate and advertise to our people here that the police’s work is not just using weapons to fight criminals in the streets.
In addition to this there is also the angle that we get the chance to sensitise members of the society through The Arts. That way they can be informed and educated,” Inspector Masanja told the ‘Daily News’ recently.
Shows like the one they participated in at the National Museum and House of Culture, in Dar es Salaam’s City Centre last week, gives them, Inspector Masanja added, a wonderful opportunity to go beyond the borders that people have placed for them. In that particular event, which took place under the banner, “Experience China in Tanzania” he had come with one section of 30 performing artistes.
These artistes represent one section of five within the Police Force, which consist of 201 members in a total, of which 67 are women. They had prepared and presented a ngoma piece called “Kibisa”, from the Waha ethnic group in Kigoma Region.
It’s an active warrior piece that involves the dancers bearing spears and shield to show that every Tanzanian is a guardian of the country. The other piece, called “Muhambo” depicts the joy people have after a harvest, when they fully have realised what has taken place. The police group also joined forces with the Chinese acrobats and the JKT Army Steel band group for a rendition of the popular song: “Malaika”.
This is a song, which the Chinese troupe had chosen themselves, for all the participants to sing together. For them, according to Inspector Masanja, this is a good way to show unity between the two countries. His colleague, Amiri Mkufia, the Arts Teacher of the JKT Mvulana troupe, had come with 34 performing artistes.
Their main contribution for the evening’s performance was their presentation of a Chinese song. He was very proud of the group having learnt a number of this Asian country’s song from the numerous performances they had with them, both here at home and in China.
This, he says, helps build the relationship between the two countries and makes the continuous exchanges between the artistes more beneficial to all concerned. The premise here is that people become more familiar with each other depending on the amount of intercultural mixing there is between them.
However, for it to be successful there has to be a good relationship at the foundation, he maintains. “We are often exchanging various aspects of our two languages and even our culture on the whole with the Chinese artistes.
This wasn’t our first time to work with the Chinese. I myself have worked with them together with members from our troupe on numerous occasions. We’ve been to China many times, since 1982. Even this year we’ve been there,” Mkufia explained, with much pride.
There is much, he maintains they as artistes benefit from working with the Chinese, who he recognises as having a much more advanced technological system and means of operating. He also had words of praise for the new theatre at the National Museum and House of Culture, which reaches international modern standards, although much smaller than the ones in China.
It is from the Chinese that they learnt how to use such state-of-the-art theatres properly, which includes position on stage and use of equipment like microphones and props. The teachings they were given even went as far as explaining the importance of presentation and clothing.
These aspects could be seen at the above mentioned performance, at which the ‘Daily News was present. After the show the opportunity was taken to talk with the main organiser, Xian Ding. This locally-based Chinese businessman, who was given the mandate by the Chinese government, had expressed his positive expectations to the ‘Daily News’ even before the show.
While the Chinese acrobatic team was here conducting the performance, 280 pieces of Tingatinga works from 38 local artistes was being exhibited in the Tian Jin City of China. After one week there they returned to Tanzania last week onTuesday. The two events were part of the two governments’ exchanging culture through their artistes.
The Chinese team had arrived in the country from Saturday September 22 and left for Uganda mid last week. They stayed in Uganda for two days, during which time they had some performances before returning home to China.
By IMAN MANI, Tanzania Daily News