Zanzicode online

Since yesterday,’s Zanzibits support project is now browsable at

You can find information and contact data there, and Fritz, our teacher who is currently there shares his experiences on the Zanzicode blog:

There is also a Zanzicode FlickR account with pictures.

So what is Zanzicode actually?

We provide free education in the field of Web Development to a small number of talented and motivated students of poor background in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Our goal is to help build the personal careers of our graduates as well as to kickstart a local web development community. After getting to know the place and the people during a support project for the Zanzibits School for Film and Multimedia in 2009, we firmly believe that there is both talent and demand for professional web work in Zanzibar.[from the Zanzicode page]

We are currently preparing the second round of classes for 12 more students, starting in January 2010.

If you are interested in getting involved the project – as sponsor or guest lecturer or if you are in the area and just want to say hello – please contact us.

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Zanzicode online
was published on 09.12.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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What’s new?

In the mean time there was not too much going on with – everybody was busy with something else. I am looking forward to an internal meeting in the beginning of December though, where we will set the path for the coming weeks and months.

One main thing we are currently working on is the preparation for the second round of our Zanzibits support project. Our representative Fritz Grabo in Zanzibar is having rehearsals to choose future students and is working on improving the infrastructure on the ground – repairing stuff, improving furniture and several other things. Here in Austria we are looking for sponsors for the project – so if you want to support a small-scale project for capacity building in Zanzibar, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Some events which we are looking forward to are the launch of the eDevelopment Thematic group Flagship Report and an Open Source workshop, also by the eTG group. Furthermore we will be present in Berlin at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress (26C3) in December.

One past event we will write about soon is the World Social Web Dialogue – there is still some planning and internal coordination on the way.

So – quiet times, but there’s more to come soon!

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What’s new?
was published on 25.11.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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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.

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Swahili Course – Lesson 5
was published on 02.04.2009 by admin. It files under east africa
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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).

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Zanzibits Support – teacher wanted
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Swahili course – lesson 1 & 2

In summer 2009, Daniela Wolf and I will offer a comprehensive IT course (Zanzibits Support) in cooperation with Zanzibits in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania. In preparation for the course and the stay in Zanzibar we attend a weekly, private Swahili course lead by Elisabeth Zenz who has lived there for over 1 year.

The course is mainly intended to teach us the neccessary skills to be able to get along in everyday life, do small talk, go shopping, etc. Also, Elisabeth has set herself a target to teach us as many cool slang words as possible so we can impress locals 🙂

In the first lesson on March 4th we were taught pronounciation, how to greet and say goodbye, how to do basic smalltalk (habari za …), the numbers from 1 – 1000 and the most important persons (mimi = i, wewe = you, kaka = brother, dada = sister, mama = mother, papa = father). During the course we read some small talk conversations in groups of two to improve our articulation.

In the second lesson on March 12th we read some more advanced dialogues in groups of 2 and afterwards analyzed the vocabulary and tenses used. We learned the three most important tenses (present tense, past tense, future tense) which should suffice. After we had learned some more places you can go to (njumbani = home, kazini = to work, shuleni = to school, sokoni = to the marketplace) we simulated shopping at the marketplace:
how to order food (mchate = food, mkate = bread, yai = egg, matunda = fruits, ndizi = bananas), ask for the price, complain that the price is too high (which we were told to do always) and how to bargain.

As soon as we are satisfied with our articulation we are going to record complete dialogues in groups of two and offer these audio files under a Creative Commons licence online. Also, Daniela and I are collaboratively keeping course notes and a vocabulary on Google Docs which we will publish as well at the end of our course in June.

From now on, there will be a blog post about our progress every week.

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Swahili course – lesson 1 & 2
was published on 12.03.2009 by admin. It files under east africa, global
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