Tanzania: Land of the Free

Uhuru na Umoja, translated to freedom and unity, is a very fitting motto for the country that has become a wellspring of cultural diversity and freedom.


The name Tanzania is a clipped composite of the names of the two nations that unified to create the country: Tanganyika (mainland Tanzania) and the island of Zanzibar. The suffix “ia” was added to form Tanzania.


Tanzania is the most ethnically diverse country in the African continent, with over 130 languages spoken within its borders. Despite this ethnic diversity, Tanzania has the most successful case of ethnic repression in Africa.


A perfect example stemming from this repression is the Zaramo people. This highly diluted, urbanized group has integrated elements from multiple indigenous backgrounds and is unified by the Swahili language.


The daily life and social customs of Tanzanians mirror the traditions of most African societies.

Dancing is an integral part of cultural life. Within East and Central Africa, it is common knowledge that Tanzanian women excel in shaking what their mama gave them.





Music plays a vital role in Tanzania's cultural life too. Musical sounds and themes have evolved due to multiple influences. Popular music has moved from Mchiriku to Taarab to Bongo Flava.


Bongo Flava is the most listened to music genre within East and Central Africa.


Tanzania’s Fascinating Facts


A new monkey species was discovered in Tanzania in 2003. The Kipunji are extremely rare, with a populace of less than a thousand animals. This discovery makes Tanzania one of the few remaining places in the world where the possibility of discovering new species still exists.

The Kipunji
The Kipunji
Source: WCSTANZANIA 2016


Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, houses almost all ecological systems. These range from farmland, rainforest, moorland, alpine desert, and an arctic summit.


The coconut crab calls Tanzania home as well. It is the largest crab in the world and also one of the tastiest.


Tanzania is also home to diverse, distinct, and delicious cuisines that include wild games like warthog, crocodile, antelope, or even ostrich sometimes.


Booming Careers in Tanzania

Tourism is one of Tanzania's biggest income generators. The country's pristine beaches and incredible safaris attract visitors who want to immerse themselves in the abundance of mother nature's beauty.


A pristine Zanzibari beach
A pristine Zanzibari beach
Source: Abercrombie & Kent

One would expect that the hottest careers fall within the tourism industry or the agricultural sector, accounting for 28.2% of the country’s GDP.


However, that is not the case. Individuals eating life with a big spoon in Tanzania have carved a niche for themselves in nontraditional careers.


Entertainers

Tanzanian entertainers are the highest-earning entertainers in East and Central Africa.


Elite musicians such as Diamond Platnumz charge $70,000 per show. Diamond Platnumz (born Naseeb Abdul) is a music mogul that owns Wasafi Record Label, one of the biggest record labels in Africa. His fame stretches globally with fans in the U.S. and Europe. He has collaborated with big names from Africa and America, including Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg.


The Tanzanian entertainment industry is so highly regarded that it is easy to move from the industry into government positions.


Jokate Mwegelo is a District Commissioner in Tanzania who thrived in the entertainment industry before being appointed a district commissioner.


Jokate Mwegelo
Jokate Mwegelo
Source: Wikipedia

Online Vendors

Most Tanzanian sellers are shunning bricks-and-mortar shops. It feels like everyone is moving online with the advent of social media and digital marketing. There are numerous e-commerce sites in Tanzania, but most vendors prefer Instagram.


Instagram offers vendors an avenue to reach 4.3% of the nation’s population.


Whatever your needs are, you can be sure to find a vendor on Instagram. These range from body lotion to houses for rent, home-cooked meals, cars for sale, and people selling Instagram accounts.


Influencers/Content Creators

If there ever were an Olympics sport for people that know how to use clout, Tanzania would never move from position one.


Tanzanian influencers and content creators are so good at creating and monetizing attention that the Swahili-speaking nation has coined a Swahili word for clout, Kiki.


What's not to love about influencing? Content creators get free food, clothes, shoes, and sometimes even free cosmetic surgery. All these on top of the money they are paid to advertise the freebies.


The Tanzanian government has noticed the impact of influencers on Tanzanian society and often works with these individuals. The government routinely appoints entertainers and influencers, such as Hamisa Mobetto, to positions of influence such as Brand Ambassadors for the Tanzanian Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA). The appointments are meant to inspire young people to utilize social media positively.

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