By Godwin Semunyu

Last few weeks, Tanzania woke up to shocking news of a student in Butiama, Mara region, viciously slashing his teacher with a machete after being questioned for truancy. The attack was so fierce that the teacher narrowly dodged amputation.

Earlier last year, a teacher from Kibeta Primary school in Bukoba was sentenced to death by hanging for maliciously beating a 13-year-old pupil to death. Reports suggested that the student was severely beaten, for up to three hours, after being accused of stealing a female teacher’s handbag.

In many parts of  Tanzania, students spend more time at school than home, with an average of 30 hours a week, minimum. Students are molded by the teachers.

The wisdom and mentorship that teachers provide can be life-changing, especially for younger students. Teachers and students’ bonds are supposed to be an honest and transparent one. Never brutal.

Studies have shown that when a trusting relationship exists between students and their teachers, students are willing to engage in things that they would like them to.

Inevitably, when news of violence between the pair surfaces, it sends a shocking message that mirrors society’s moral gaps and cracks.

A student’s audacity to bring a machete to school, let alone attacking his teacher, says more of how far low we have gone, morally, as a society in raising our children. This is unacceptable and it should be condemned by all fonts.

Similarly, a teacher’s inhumaneness to beat a student to death, connotes life-size cracks in the society. He has been punished by the court of law, but as a society we need to ensure that  we do not return to such juncture, ever again.

Students’ discipline is without a doubt one of the most critical aspects of academic life’s success. But this is a collective responsibility. There will always be a student who will cross the line. Parents and teachers should  both be at task, collectively. Putting an indiscipline student back in line shouldn’t be a blood task.

In recent years, parents are increasingly shouldering the parenting roles to the teachers. But the two share a different opinion when it comes to correcting the wrongs once a child steps out of the line. One area of weakness is parents covering the wrongs.

Most teachers believe that punishment to students who violate the codes of conduct is central in instilling discipline. They think that if children are made to suffer (physically) for misbehaving, they will learn the lesson and not repeat in the future. Debatable.

But parents believe that some teachers go overboard.  Would the teachers apply the same level of discipline measures to their  own children? Doubtful. This has resulted to several court cases where parents are suing teachers for over punishing their children.

It starts feeling like the teachers are slowly taking the foot out of the gas. They seem to be at a loss about addressing the thorny issue of discipline. Resultantly, Some students go astray. Maybe they are left aloof a little too much.

As a society, we need to repair the cracks sooner than later. We need to evaluate scientifically if the old ways are still working.  But for this to work, we need to re-establish the parents-teachers collaboration and enhance teacher-student relations.

Growing up we used to have frequent parents to teachers’ meetings where several academic matters, including discipline, were transparently discussed. If canning was an option, you get your shares in front of your parents. There was no room for overdoing by the teachers of for a student to act wild. Parents and teachers were parallel when it came to discipline. Those days are unfortunately slowly fading under the excuse of busy schedules.

Teachers and parents should work closely to ensure that schools are a safe place for teaching and learning. We cannot afford anymore slip ups.

For comments: gsemunyu@epicpr.co.tz

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By Godwin Semunyu

Soccer goes down to the roots of Tanzania’s history. It is through the soccer fields in Jangwani and Kariakoo that the late Mwalimu Nyerere and the TANU comrades converged with the locals during the freedom fighting movements.

In Tanzania, whether you are a sports fan or not, you are somehow expected to support one of the two teams of Yanga or Simba. A friend once joked that we are first Tanzanians, then we mention our tribes, followed by our support for either of the two teams. I see no lie. Each club is estimated to enjoy a fan base of between 15-20 million followers. One of the biggest in Africa.

However, with all their mighty brand prowess and lucrative fan bases, Simba and Yanga are still living in the world of financial dependency. Relying heavily on funds from sponsors and “wafadhili,” in exchange for advertising values.

Leveraging on their brands’ equity, they are without a doubt the “adverting heavens” to most local businessmen. Perhaps that is their blessings in disguise. As a result, the clubs have developed a tendency of over-reliance to sponsors and individual benefactors, with minimal revenue alternatives, a recipe

for the rise of a solo voice, with financial muscles, to take the helm.

The downside to this situation, however, is the fact that it lacks a going concern and sustainability. When the dominant voice stumbles, so does the entire institution. Yanga fans learned the hard way when their previous benefactor stepped down abruptly. Within three months, they went from being the richest club in East Africa, to a club pleading for fans’ contributions to pay  salaries.

A few months back, Simba’s main sponsor pressed the panic buttons when he tweeted of his decision to quit the club, following a stint of bad results. All hell broke loose. He reverted his decision afterward, to the fans’ relief. Needless to say, they feared the worse.

Lack of sustainable revenue streams that act as shock absorbers, leaves the clubs vulnerable in case of any mishaps. History has taught that over and over again.

The Government has instructed for the two clubs to embark on the ownership model where shares are distributed into 51% to 49% sets, with the ordinary fans owning  59%  and a mega investor(s) owning the remaining 49%.

This opens up doors for the clubs to start trading shares at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and generate an instant capital to fund operations and growth. Apart from investing in squad and training facilities, it could also be ventured into income-generating tributaries like bonds or short-term fixed plans, to guarantee working capital.

The move will also amplify the fan bases as many will jump at the opportunity to own a part of their beloved clubs. Furthermore,  as a public listed company with mandatory transparency practices, the clubs will win the trust of many supporters to turn them into active members hence garner annual membership fees.

Merchandise, TV rights, and Kit sponsorship are football clubs’ major cash-cows, but with unbalanced books and desperate need for funds, the clubs naturally lose grounds on deal negotiation tables with advertisers. Nevertheless, by becoming financially stable, the clubs will have an upper hand and detect terms.

For instance, the clubs could opt the modern way of kit sponsorship where multiple advertisers are accommodated. Recently, the English club, Arsenal, signed with Rwanda a three years kit sponsorship deal worth USD39 million to have a “Visit Rwanda”  Ad on the sleeves. Mind you, Arsenal already had five years kit deal with Emirates Airline worth £200m (USD 280mmillion) for the front part of the jersey and around £300 million five years deal with Adidas,  for the company’s logo on the top left corner, of the same jersey.

The optimal point is, if our clubs are to make a significant leap forward, financial independence is of the essence. But since mobilizing capital the old way has proved to be a daunting task, floating shares are the only light at the end of the tunnel.

Send your comments to gsemunyu@epicpr.co.tz

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A Swahili street slang that means ‘until we make it’ and/or ‘until it all makes sense’ and/or ‘keep your eye on the ball’. The slogan has been at the centre of my personal drive since I started my entrepreneurial journey back in 2016.

Through both steady and unprecedented times this slogan has been the driving force in facing challenges and pushing through hard times.

Our country is not unique in facing this COVID 19 global pandemic. As business owners, we are being hit with the same negative consequential economic effects as faced by those in fellow developing nations. Being a practising corporate lawyer and an inward investment advisor places me at the country’s entry gates exposing me head-on to investor challenges and strategies during this uncertain time.

The act of advising clients to send employees on unpaid leave, forced leave and outright closure of business tends to send a very grim picture on what is going on the ground.

Yet, being at the gateway exposes me to foreign investor interests, and new market entry propositions in the midst of all the economic and logistical challenges. From December 2019 to April 2020 we have set up investment vehicles on the lookout for opportunities in tourism, microfinance, manufacturing and some in relief efforts towards the effects of Covid-19.

The question that comes to mind is ‘What are foreign investors seeing that we as Tanzanians and local business owners are not seeing?’ Should we really be cowering in terror, depressed and paralyzed out of fear, waiting for the storm to settle (until when?) or should we use this time to not only take care of ourselves and those around us but to also re-strategize, seek new growth opportunities and better position ourselves for the brighter days?

The current situation took me back to my employed days when once I had gone three months without a salary during which time I realised I could actually survive running my own business, and thrive. In those months I improved on client relations and found ways to make money on the side by purposefully marketing the broad range of skill sets I had acquired over the years. That was the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.

Therefore, this pandemic can be responded to with the same resilience. Why not innovate? Why not think out of the box? Why not tend to the untouched wish list? Why not now?

Should we keep dwelling on the unknown and that which we have no control over? I believe we should face what we do know and improve on what is within our means. That is the spirit of #Mpakakieleweke

With that being said, our firm is pushing our online employment law application www.kazibox.co.tz which allows employees and HR managers alike to easily access essential employment law related resources through a webapp. Since many companies have implemented social distancing policies there has been a huge increase in online communication and administration in the country. We trust we can capitalize on this.

In a more personal capacity, I am chasing my dream to enter the tourism and risk management industries. How crazy is that? Building a beach camp site when there are no tourists to be seen…yet.

Being involved with the risk management firm www.castorvali.com at a time when major projects are on a slowdown has also led to the opening of other opportunities like the issuance of reports and updates on COVID-19 and its impact on business within the East African region. These reports are proving to be of increased significance to corporates keeping an eye on their investments in East Africa.

This in my mind is what the ‘Mpaka Kieleweke’ slogan is all about: taking the bull by the horns and dealing with whatever comes our way as it comes. I honestly believe that in the end the sun will shine, and we will be better positioned to continue the transformation of our beautiful growing nation.

Let us be safe, and let’s keep chasing our dreams as they are all we got.

By Kamanga Wilbert Kapinga ~ Managing Partner at KW Kapinga & Partners

SOURCE: HERE

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