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Cheche: Reminiscences of a Radical Magazine

Karim Hirji

Publication Year: 2010

Cheche, a radical, socialist student magazine at the University of Dares Salaam, first came out in 1969. Featuring incisive analyses of key societal issues by prominent progressives, it gained national and international recognition in a short while. Because it was independent of authority, and spoke without fear or favor, it was banned after just a year of existence. The former editors and associates of Cheche revive that salutory episode of student activism in this book with fast-flowing, humor spiced stories, and astute socio-economic analyses. Issues covered include social and technical aspects of low-budget magazine production, travails of student life and activism, contents and philosophy of higher education, socialism in Tanzania, African liberation, gender politics and global affairs. They also reflect on the relevance of past student activism to the modern era. If your interests cover higher education in Africa, political and development studies, journalism, African affairs, socialism and capitalism, or if you just seek elucidation of student activism in a nation then at the center of the African struggle for liberation, this book presents the topic in a lively but unorthodox and ethically engaging manner.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-

Acronyms

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pp. vi-

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Preface

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pp. vii-xii

The rationale for this book emerges from contrasting one event of the past with one of the present. In October 1967, the general meeting of the TANU Youth League in Arusha passed many radical resolutions which, among other things, called for the expulsion of all American Peace Corps volunteers from Tanzania (The Nationalist 1967e). ...

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1. An Era of Global Turbulence

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pp. 1-10

The world in 1970 was divided into three political camps. The USA led the capitalist camp (the Western camp) that also contained Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. The USSR, Eastern Europe, China, North Vietnam, North Korea, Laos and Cuba made up the communist camp (the Eastern bloc). ...

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2. Activism at the Hill

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pp. 11-16

Tanzania stands out as one of the few African countries that are struggling against imperialism. I spent the past three years [July 1967 to March 1970] in Tanzania as a student at the University College, Dar es Salaam (UCD). For me and my fellow students, it was a period of intense activism. ...

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3. The Spark Is Kindled

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pp. 17-34

It is a cool breezy Friday evening. Books and notes are cast aside; high spirits permeate the air. Soothing tunes of Congolese and local bands echo in the residence towers. Reggae or Calypso enlivens a few floors. The cafeteria side bar is packed. Students with budgets on the low side are glued to the gossip postings in the walkway tunnel nearby. ...

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4. Tribulations of An Independent Magazine

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pp. 35-52

During the second term of the academic year 1969/70, work on Cheche is one of many extracurricular engagements that keep us occupied. The Sunday three hour ideological class has a bulky reading load. The highlight is the class conducted jointly by Walter Rodney and Tamas Szentes, a Professor of Economics at the Hill. ...

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5. Not So Silent A Spark

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pp. 53-64

The academic year 1970/71 begins with a huge gap in our ranks. About fifteen senior comrades had graduated three months earlier. Yoweri Museveni and Eriya Kategaya are in Uganda. Charles Kileo is a teacher in Tabora. Andrew Shija is a TANU cadre. They had inspired and guided us. ...

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6. On Producing A Student Magazine

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pp. 65-76

In July 1969, I joined the University College at Dar es Salaam to pursue a BA degree. It was the era of the Arusha Declaration. Not only had a new ideological orientation towards socialism been pronounced, but it had then been followed by nationalization of “the commanding heights of the economy,” namely, banks, industries, farms, and other enterprises. ...

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7. Sisterly Activism

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pp. 77-82

Growing up in Unguja town during the colonial and post-colonial times exposed me to many persons with a progressive, anti-imperialist outlook. Abdulrahaman Babu, who led the Umma party, and Abdulrahaman Hamdani, my brother and a party activist, influenced my vision of the world. ...

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8. Night-Shift Comrades

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pp. 83-98

I joined the University of Dar es Salaam in July 1969. By then, USARF had been militantly active for two years. Cheche was born some five months later. USARF and its organ, Cheche, reflected a sharp break from the student movements so far prevalent at all the East African university campuses. ...

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9. Revisiting Cheche

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pp. 99-108

As the year 1970 was drawing to a close, dark clouds hovered ominously over the University Hill. When they finally descended, they brought forth a decisive bolt of lightening whose socio-political reverberations went far in time and space. That was the day of November 9th, 1970 when the chief bureaucrat of the University pronounced, ...

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10. From Cheche to MajiMaji

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pp. 109-122

USARF is dead; Cheche is history; we are sad and sullen. My diary reads that our will remains firm. We will not fade silently away into oblivion. Naijuka Kasihwaki and I spent last night composing Our Last Stand (see Appendix E). Henry Mapolu looked at our draft before we finalized it. ...

11. Poetic Sparklets

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pp. 123-132

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12. Socialism Yesterday

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pp. 133-154

The order to disband USARF and cease publication of Cheche, though conveyed by the university administration, came from the State House. Of that, there is no doubt. And in that, it infringed upon academic freedom, and the right to free speech. It was a blow against open, critical debate on socialism in Tanzania. ...

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13. Contemporary Capitalism

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pp. 155-172

Africa has undergone profound changes since 1970. Take the case of Tanzania: Most people then never made a phone call. Today, taxi drivers, street hawkers and even domestic servants carry mobile phones. Simple consumer goods like pots and pans, apparel and shoes were in short supply. ...

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14. Socialism Tomorrow

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pp. 173-196

After getting an intimate glimpse into radical student activism at UDSM after the Arusha Declaration in this book, it is natural to wonder whether or not the ideals and theories of that era are relevant today? How do we judge the student activism of that time? Such issues have been partially dealt with in several previous chapters. ...

Appendix A: Tables of Contents: Cheche & MajiMaji No. 1

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pp. 197-199

Appendix B: USARF & Cheche Timeline

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pp. 200-201

Appendix C: Program of 1969 Youth Seminar

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pp. 202-203

Appendix D: The First Syllabus for USARF Ideological Classes –1969

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pp. 204-206

Appendix E: Our Last Stand

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pp. 207-212

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Contributor Profiles

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pp. 213-216

George G Hajivayanis is a holder of a BA (Hons) in Sociology and Political Science (University of Dar es Salaam, 1972), MA in Sociology (University of Dar es Salaam, 1974) and PhD in Sociology (University of Paris at Sorbonne, 1993). ...

Bibliography

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pp. 217-232

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789987081363
Print-ISBN-13: 9789987080984

Page Count: 246
Publication Year: 2010