UnboundTanzania: Asante Sana!

By Verlaine-Diane Soobroydoo on 01 Jul 2022Motivation


Anyone living, moving and dreaming in Dar es Salaam will tell you that Dar es Salaam never sleeps…that Dar is the 24-hour life city, where anyone can just walk from 8 am to midnight, and from midnight to 8 am — may you be in Kitusu or in Kigamboni across the water from downtown, one ferry away.

By 5:30 am there is already so much life happening in Dar es Salaam. Bibi Titi Mohammed Street, named in honor of one of Tanzanian’s fiercest women freedom fighters, is burgeoning with life. Taxis are trying to get through the shadows and find their way to early rising passengers. Motorcycles are waiting to pick up rides for the work day; women set up their fruits and vegetables for the market. One man helps another carry a heavy load. Three young women students walk with their backpacks alongside each other, exchanging smiles and secrets only known to the wind.

Young men run down the streets to unknown places, children play between their mothers’ legs — time of innocence — while passengers stand and wait still for the bus to arrive, hands on their hips or simply caring for their business at the moment. A beautiful scene of beautiful people walking, standing, waiting for something, for someone. Four buses finally arrive, welcome and load passengers. Everyone naturally finds their place along the bus line and adjusts their movements until the correct space, the right place is found. A mother holds her son, merchants whistle to sell their boxes of sweets and cashew nuts. A man holds four truck tires: he is in hurry and seems to have urgent business to attend to. The alarm sounds: we are ready to go now. The four buses depart in line with lights still on to cast away the early morning darkness that covers the sky just before sunrise.

It is wonderful to take a moment to witness life coming together again, each morning, and fading away, each evening, at the same meeting point — and when the sun goes down, we quickly realize that the lights go on and life continues in Dar es Salaam.

I was enveloped by this life energy when I arrived in Tanzania for the launch of my book Unbound: Twitter Thoughts for the Heart and Mind with landmark TPH bookstore on Samora avenue.

Unbound Book Launch at TPH with Mr. Tapiwa, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The #UnboundBook Tanzania launch at TPH was moderated by International Development Consultant and Changemaker Atteeya Sumar, and joined by Tanzanian youth leader John Mbundi. Together with the readers and bookshop team we engaged on the power of words to heal, build and positively shape our minds, and on the importance of communities to sustain positive societies.

I was cheerful to meet with Tanzanian author Nahida Esmail, who authored dozens of books for children and youth and showed up to the Unbound book launch with so much love, so much care — bringing with her in the room the core essence of sisterhood “I couldn’t miss seeing you in Dar es Salaam” she shared with me “I am here to support you my sister” which brought so much joy to my heart, and covered both Atteeya and I as we prepared to discuss the meaning of healing and community through Unbound, particularly for women.


The Dar es Salaam journey continued as I joined Miranda Naiman, Founder and Managing Partner of Empower, and her team for an Unbound evening of heart-to-heart talk and community building with their #EmpowerAcademy program. Empower walks the talk in Tanzania and globally by inspiring positive change and growth through nurturing meaningful and long-lasting connections that empower people and organizations to flourish.

The discussion was moderated by Joanna Mallya, Brand Manager at Empower, who was able to guide an intimate discussion for participants and I to share our dreams and actions to build more positive lives and societies. We reminded ourselves of the power we hold in recentering our hearts and minds when challenges arise, and to let go of what needs to go when the time comes for new chapters to be written and nurtured. I was deeply moved by the visions and energy shared by young Tanzanian dreamers coming from various walks of life at Empower.

Tanzania’s women are groundbreakers when it comes to coming together from various walks of life, including beyond Tanzania, to build dreams of positive change. I was inspired to walk down the streets of Dar es Salaam and be a witness to women’s leadership in action displayed in public spaces, including with the leadership of the first woman President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Her Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan, whose outreach efforts to build sustainable peace and development at community, country and global levels, are redefining women’s public presence. This inspiration offers a sense of possibility to young women and girls in Tanzania and beyond.

Her Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the first woman President of Tanzania

I was also deeply grateful to Her Excellency Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, a groundbreaking woman leader and Tanzania Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation for the warm welcome in Dar es Salaam and the continuation of the much-needed work, particularly through education, for women girls in Africa and across the world.

Courtesy call with H.E. Amb. Liberata Mulamula, Tanzania Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation

We continue because we know that Kidogo, Kidogo as would share John.

Wewe ni Mwamba
Wewe ni Mwamba
Wewe ni Mwamba…

Asante, Asante sana, Dar es Salaam…