I am a Pioneer freethinker in Tanzania, Professionally trained in Farming (Tanzania), Cultural tourism (Tanzania) and Eco tourism and Youth development from the grassroots (Japan). Experienced in Tour-guiding, Teaching, youth mentoring/incubating. I discovered the label “Humanism”as a philosophy and alternative life-stance to religions through book reading intensively, by way of self studying extensively while a youth in search for answers, who am I, where it all came from and what forces have shaped me as a modern African..?
By the year 1998 before the coming of internet cafes in Tanzania, I already came to know two words, “Freethinking” and “Humanism”.
I discovered myself as one, living ethically guided, rationally without believing in a supernatural being, long before knowing those labels.
My first encounter with internet in 2000 was to go search for word “Humanism” outside dictionary. The WWW organizations came about. Eureka! I got empowered to know that although I was alone here (in Tanzania), there are people elsewhere who thinks and live like me!
Also by book and then follow up on internet, I noticed IHEU and what it was about.
I wrote to its Secretary. 2 years later I applied for Congress and selected, I attended the 50th IHEU milestone conference in the Netherlands, and spend times at the university libraries there, reading on my own.
I have been a Free-and-fearless Thinker Activist, Teaching, translating, interpreting, grooming, incubating youngsters philosophical-wise, freethinking-wise and entrepreneurship-wise, ever working to support Humanism philosophy. For that cause I have, on occasion, visited the neighboring countries of Uganda, Malawi and Kenya.
Not easy, for one faces constant ostracism and excommunication. Its hard to be an independent minded thinker, let alone a freethinker in Africa, may be more so in my own (otherwise peaceful) country that at the same time demands complete conformity…what a paradox..!?
However, “open mindedness” thinking outside the box and full Liberty premised on on secular grounds is what our society needs, to move away from “dark age attitudes” collectively to embrace rationalism that is empirically-based, to attain an emancipatory African-centered renaissance moving our societies to the level of better life and understanding commensurate with the scientific achievements (on one hand) and ethical human empathy (on another) of the 21st C.
Fortunately re-thinking with “new eyes anew” seems to be the “zeitgeist” for the young generation of Africa, been unsatisfied with “blame gaming” colonialism while the new “saviour elites” in power not moving Africa any forward, hippo mud-stuck, in fact in some cases retrogressing to becoming the stumbling blocks for the collapse of their societies vis-a-vis the very promises ideals of uhuru they inspired the populace to sacrifice life for in the first place. “Utopia” that became “dystopia’, kakistocratic, half a century of political independence. Enough of that “transvalued” attitude of “witch hunting” blaming it all to the past – colonialists, imperialists to cover for the present elites “incompetencies”. Together with the youth, I am for this “Freedom freethinking attitude” but importantly now add it with DEAR LIBERTY, yet the base for Africa has to be Indigenist, Okot P’Bitek line, living ahead of time, modernize without necessarily westernizing nor arabising, and to understand the difference..!
So be it..!
Nsajigwa for Jicho jipya -Think Anew, Dar es salaam Tanzania