Zanzicode update – courses running already

After all the new years celebrations and post-ICTD2010 work, here’s some news on our Zanzicode projects.

Since the end of last year the new course with twelve new students is running. They are introduced on the Zanzicode blog with a picture and a statement. My favourite one here by Aboud:

I hope to be able to learn this technology that moves the world to another stage.

Well, let’s hope it moves at least the career possibilities of our students to another stage. Of course we are looking forward to learn about their progress and wish Salum, our teacher the best of luck.

Chembe Ventures

Also our second course in Zanzibar, the Zanzicode Business Incubator which we have initiated together with Chembe Ventures has started with five participants. Martin and Salum are both teaching (and learning by doing) about web entrepreneurship in Zanzibar. After the course ideally the students will have created a business themselves and will be operating it. We’re curious how this will turn out.

If there’s an interested organisation out there which is active in Zanzibar and might achieve their goals better with IT we’d be happy to know more and maybe collaborate. Contact info can be found here.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Zanzicode update – courses running already
was published on 14.01.2011 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
No Comments AddThis Feed Button

Swahili Course – Lesson 5

As Daniela Wolf unfortunately quit the entire Zanzibits Support project, I attended the Swahili course lesson 5 alone today. Elisabeth taught me how to negate verbs and we practiced all possible tenses and persons.
In Swahili, negation is somewhat tricky as some verbs’ negations are radically shortened and have very little in common with the original form. Here are two very drastic examples:

  • ninakuja = I come; siji = I don’t come
  • ninakula = I eat; sili = I don’t eat

Afterwards we read and translated some dialouges Elisabeth had prepared:

A Unataka kula? Do you want something to eat?
B Hapana, ninataka kunywa chai. No, I would like tea.
A Unakunwya na maziwa Do you drink it with milk?
B Hapana sinwyi na maziwa, ninakunywa na sukari tu No, I drink it without milk, I drink it with sugar only.
A Utakwenda sokoni leo? Are you going to go to the markeet today?
B Hapana sitakwenda, nitakaa nyumbani. No, i wont go, i will stay at home.
A Utafanya kazi? Are you going to (do) work?
B Hapana, nitapata wageni. No, i will receive guests.
A Mambo, je kuna mambo mazuri? Hi, is there a good message?
B Mambo simazuri, ni mabaya. The message is not good, it is bad.
A Pole, una matatizo? Sorry, do u have problems?
B Hapana sina matatizo makubwa lakini madogo. No, I don’t have big problems, but smaller ones.
A Unakwenda kazini? Are you going to work?
B Siendi leo. I don’t go today.
A Na mimi sitaki kwenda leo, sikuandaa vizuri. I don’t want to go today either, I’m not properly prepared.
B Na pia sikulala vizuri leo usiku. I haven’t slept well today night.
A Unataka pilao? Do u want pilao (Tanzanian meal)?
B Hapana, sina njaa, nimeshiba. No, I’m not hungry, I’m full.
A Lakini utakunywa chai sio? But you will drink tea, wont you?
B Hapana, sitaki, nimeshiba kabisa kabisa. No, I am really really full.
A Utakuja lini tena? When are you going to come again?
B Sijuii. Labda baada ya weki moja. I don’t know. maybe in one week.
A Usinisahau. Don’t forget me.
B Sawa, sitakusahau. Kwa heri. Ok, i won’t forget you. Bye.
Ali Mambo vipi mchumba. Hello, fiancé.
Sarah Wewe! mimi sio mchumba wako, toka! You! I’m not your fiancé, piss off!
Ali Lakini na kupenda. But I love you.
Sarah Lakini mimi sikupendi, nampenda mwingine. But I don’t love you, I love someone else.
Ali Kwa nini hunipendi? Why don’t you love me?
Sarah Kwa sababu wewe ni mwongo, unasema vitu vibaya. Because you are a liar, you say bad things.
Ali Nimesema nini? What did i saiy?
Sarah Unasema maneno mabaya na una mpenzi, nimewaona. You’re telling bad things, and you have a lover, I have seen you.
Ali Mimi na nani? Me and whom?
Sarah Wewe na mpenzi wako. You and your lover.
Ali Sio kweli. wongo. That is not true. Lie.
Sarah Labda wongo, labda sio. Maybe a lie, maybe not.
Ali Mimi sina mpenzi, na kutaka wewe tu. I don’t have a lover, I only want you.
Sarah Haya bwana, niache niende, nina kazi nyingine nyumbani. Alright now, let me go, I have other things to do at home.

Tags: , , ,
Swahili Course – Lesson 5
was published on 02.04.2009 by admin. It files under east africa
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
No Comments AddThis Feed Button

Zanzibits Support – teacher wanted is organizing a comprehensive IT course in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, from the beginning of July until the end of September 2009.
The basic idea is to teach a group of 3 – 5 students with basic skills in web design to build solid web applications using PHP and Java as well as setting up diverse Web applications like wiki (MediaWiki), CMS (Joomla!) and blog software (WordPress). Also, basic Linux (Ubuntu) skills should be mediated, not only by using Linux throughout the whole course.
For complete information on the course itself please refer to the project wiki page.

Unfortunately, the teacher that intended to go there for the first six weeks, so from beginning of July until mid of August, quit completely so we are currently searching for someone who is interested and fulfills the requirements stated below. supports possible teachers as follows:

  • 50% of the airfare to Zanzibar and retour is paid (so approx. € 400 are to be paid by yourself).
  • The visa is paid.
  • Accommodation near the location of the IT course is provided (single bed room).
  • Spending money to cover expenses for victuals is provided.
  • A Swahili course with altogether 15 units to 1,5 hours each held weekly in Vienna is paid.
  • Martin Konzett who has been in Stone Town several times will travel to Stone Town with you and introduce you to the local habits and culture as well as to the students and anyone you need to know in Zanzibar.

What we require from a possible teacher:

  • Necessary skills: PHP (object oriented and using a framework like CodeIgniter or equal), Linux basics & administration (Ubuntu), Java basics (OOP basics).
  • Skills in setting up wiki, CMS or blog software are advantageous but not required.
  • The ability to teach a group of 3 – 5 people around 20 years old 3 hours a day, 5 times a week, 6 weeks altogether and to prepare for the course independently (which can be done on-site in Stone Town every day for the following day’s lesson, of course).
  • The motivation to learn Swahili as well as possible before departure and to lead the course in English and Swahili.
  • The ability to tailor the education in the course to the student’s needs individually as student’s education and skills may vary.

Anyone interested please contact Martin Konzett (see here).

Tags: , , , ,
Zanzibits Support – teacher wanted
was published on by admin. It files under east africa
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
No Comments AddThis Feed Button

MobileActive08: Jacob Mtalitinya (Tanzania)

In this week’s video interview Jacob Mtalitinya from the University of Dar Es Salaam gives us some insights into the usage and research of mobile technologies in Tanzania. He explains how the introduction of mobile phones has changed the way people in Tanzania communicate and why M-Pesa has become so popular. At the University of Dar Es Salaam Jacob Mtalitinya investigates the social impacts of mobile technologies. His group is also working together with international partners to push forward research in this area.

This is the 19th interview from our MobileActive08 video podcast series, shot at the conference in Johannesburg (organized by MobileActive and sangonet).

Tags: , , , ,
MobileActive08: Jacob Mtalitinya (Tanzania)
was published on 30.03.2009 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under sub saharan africa
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
1 Comment AddThis Feed Button

Swahili Course Lesson 3 + 4

During the last two Swahili lessons we focussed on reading dialogues to improve our articulation and learn to talk more fluently. These dialogues covered the situations “meet & greet”, “at the market”, “food”, “love / like” and the basics on on how tenses.

Here are some dialogues:

Bariki: Vipi Mzee
Aisack: Salama tu mzee
Bariki: Nipe habari! Mambo vipi.
Aisack: Mambo bomba tu. Vipi, za kazi?
Bariki: Shuari. Inatulia bwana.
Aisack: Safi. Mimi nakwenda shuleni bwana.
Bariki: Haya, kasome vizuri mzee.
Aisack: Issue sawa bwana. Tutaonana badaye.
Bariki: Haya, badaye.

P: Sema.
H: Bomba.
P: Inatulia je?
H: Ndyio hakuna noma bwana.
P: Upo?
H: Nipo.
P: Haya, bayaye
H: Badaye

Vene: Vipi, ulikuwa sokoni jana?
Vingi: Hapana, nilikuwa nyumbani.
Vene: Utakuwa sokoni leo?
Vingi: Hapana, leo nitakuwa nyumbani pia kufanya kazi.
Vene: Mimi nitakwenda sokoni kesho, je utakuja?
Vingi: Sawa, nitakuja.
Vene: Haya, kesho.
Vingi: Kesho, usiku mwema

Anna: Karibu Rafiki yangu.
Neema. Ahsante. Nafurahi. Njaa inaumwa.
Anna: Ndiyo. Umekuwa na kazi nyingi…
Neema: Ndyio, ni kweli.
Anna: Unapenda kinwaji gani?
Neema: Napenda soda.
Anna: Soda gani?
Neema: Naomba…..sprite.
Anna: Sina sprite, samahani.
Neema: Coka?
Anna: Hakuna.
Neema: Sawa, nipe fanta.
Anna: Karibu.
Neema: Unapenda chakula gani?
Anna: Umepika nini?
Neema: Chakula unachopenda.
Anna: Je umepika Pilao?
Neema: Ndyio. Kweli. Karibu Pilao.
Anna: Ahsante.

C: Unajua Kiswahili?
B: Kidogokidogo.
C: Hamna Shida. Utajua badaye.
B: Ndyio najifunza Kiswahili.
C: Unajitahidi sana, hongera.

Tags: ,
Swahili Course Lesson 3 + 4
was published on 26.03.2009 by admin. It files under east africa
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
No Comments AddThis Feed Button

Airtime makes the world go around

Recently I wrote a short piece about the emerging mobile banking systems in Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar. The article was published in the bi-monthly Swedish eco- and lifestyle mag Camino. This issue’s theme was about “smarter money”, and I mention here the advantages of simple SMS-based services like the Z-Pesa, a credit-transfer service from Zantel, one of the main telecom operators in Tanzania/Zanzibar. You can send ‘hard cash’ if you get a Z-pesa account, but more common is to send SMS with ‘airtime’ (cellphone credits) to anybody with a cellphone (requires no fixed account).

The text is also about how the fast growth of mobile technology are changing the economical infrastructure in these countries, the difference it has made for people and the myriad of small businesses which has been generated around mobile phones. Also worth noting is, the embarassing fact that these simple yet great services still are not available in Sweden or Europe (at least not to my knowledge).

Check out the piece here (yes, in Swedish, but neat pictures to look at), or even better, get your own, shiny copy straight from Camino.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Airtime makes the world go around
was published on 16.03.2009 by Anders Bolin. It files under global
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
No Comments AddThis Feed Button

Zanzibar for sure. Stories from the field.

Due to the load of field work we have been busy with, and the lack of decent internet connection, we have not been able to post as frequently as we would have liked. So we give you here a wrap-up of the recent weeks activities so you get a glimpse of the many stories we have documented so far. Next week we will have free wi-fi in our apartment so we can also post some good shots.

We want to mention that the output of our misson is to shoot a movie and we will publish all the raw material of the Nikon D90 HD-ready video and H2 Zoom WAV audio as Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike and provide download or mail delivery service. (You should attribute “” and link to

The champion

We had a very interesting meeting with a guy called Juma Lukondya. We met him in Jambiani while we were staying at a local kitchen and he introduced himself to us as the bicycle champion of Zanzibar. It turned out that he is sponsored by the Austrian bike team Cyclopia. He is using his mobile phone to keep in contact with his family in a remote part of the mainland. He also get updates in his phone from upcoming bike competitions, it also keeps him in touch with the Austrian team. We have footage of him training on the beach, riding his bike and using his phone.

Massais at Paje Ndame

We had a very successful day meeting traditional Massais working in Paje. We interviewed Faraja who shared his experiences with mobile phones. He introduced us to his friends who were very cheerful and avid mobile users. We have lots of film material with them chatting and telling their stories and opinions of network operators. One guy was all the time dancing to his favourite mobile tune on his Nokia. Later they all gathered to play a traditional game called Bao, and all the time the phones are ringing while they are playing.


As the tide was good we decided to go out fishing with captain Mohamed and his crew on a traditional sailing boat. The weather was stable but as we left Jambiani there was heavy rain all time we were on the boat. Everything got wet and everybody jumped into the water to have a swim. So no mobile phone acitvity on the boat. The fishermen left the phones at home charging. As we got back to their house on the beach they started using the phones and we did some interviews while they were repairing the fish traps and the nets and peeling the fish.

Local wedding

We were invited to a local wedding ceremony. It was a very nice experience and we were allowed to catch everything on film. It started outside and there was a big gathering of families and friends of the couple. There was a lot of people taking pictures with their cellphones and also DV cameras around. We brought a gift for the bride therefore we were invited in to their house where they had already set up a scene with lightning gear and filming equipment. Afterwards we were offered traditional spicy Pilau rice dish outside. All people were sitting on the ground between the village houses together with goats and chicken and eating the food with the hands from big plates.

Sound recording

We met a cool guy in Stone Town, Akhran Mohammed. He makes his living in town as a shopkeeper but his real passion is recording songs with his friends. He showed us to the basic studio they have and we filmed them while they recorded a new song. The sound producer provides a cool beat on his  Macbook while Akhran is rehearsing a catchy lovesong. When they are finished recording the producer converts the new song into a mp3 file and transfers it via bluetooth to Akhrans mobile phone. Later Akhran plays the song for his impressed friends on the phone in town.

What else do we have?

We cover the school in Jambiani where we are having Swahili lessons. Our teacher Mr. Faridi is holding a special class about mobile phones in his secondary school class. We interviewed the teachers and got a lot of opinions about mobiles. We have a lot of night life shots here and there. most of them in local bars and people having party.

We cover Zanzibits, a Dutch project, which is a multimedia school where they teach programming and handling complex software for editing media. We have a local band called Dwumbaki. They are playing Ngoma, traditional Zanzibarian music. We cover a local kitchen where potatoes are fried and we see randomly shots of customers coming in and out. We have the Jambiani town councellor and we follow him around in his duties. We feature the seaweed women harvesting and drying seaweed.

We follow the student Muhammed when he is playing football and taking photos with his phone. We film a fundi in town repairing and hacking phones. We join an engineer which is building up a new lodge. AND we went to another wedding (!).

We want to mention that we are using a 3 year old Nokia Communicator 9300i and we share it (2 people). It is very useful to write SMS on the keyboard and manage contents in folders. it is also a great notebook where you just enter rich text, format it with RTF editor and then bluetooth it to the Macbook, transfer it to a USB stick and then post this blog 🙂 Also, people we meet love to play with it and pretend doing phonecalls with it.

That’s all for now, stay tuned.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Zanzibar for sure. Stories from the field.
was published on 09.11.2008 by Martin Konzett. It files under sub saharan africa
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
No Comments AddThis Feed Button

30 hours on the bus: from Zambia to Tanzania

We wrote this blog post about our trip from Zambia to Tanzania already a while ago, but as said earlier Internet connections in Africa are sparse and I forgot to bring the text with me. That’s why we only post it now.

After a 30 hours bus drive starting in Lusaka, we arrived in Dar Es Salam on Sunday 19 October. The bus ride was quite an experience. It was overcrowded, both with passengers and luggage, since they were shipping some goods in strange boxes. The bus was old and dodgy and so was the street, especially closer towards Dar Es Salaam. We were also constantly stopped by the police at check points. At the first check point they took one of the conductors into custody (for whichever reason, we couldn’t find that out), after which more than half of the passengers exited the bus to demonstrate (successfully).

Crossing the border was also quite interesting. We arrived before 6am and had to wait until the gates were opened. There were many locals selling SIM cards and airtime, which seems to be the big border business (besides changing any currency into Tanzanian Shillings).

We only stayed one night in Dar Es Salam and took a speedboat to Zanzibar the following morning, where we checked into some private accommodation in the middle of Stone Town. Quite nice. Simple, but very authentic.

We did many interviews with locals in Stone Town the following days. More about that in another blog post.

Tags: , , , , , ,
30 hours on the bus: from Zambia to Tanzania
was published on 03.11.2008 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under sub saharan africa
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
No Comments AddThis Feed Button