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Tanzania host cultural tourism festival to save African languages

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania is set to host an international cultural tourism festival aimed at conserving, and sustaining four African languages and culture, which are on verge of extinction in the face of rising modernity, organizers said Tuesday.

The festival which will be held in September, this year in Haydom, a rural town in Manyara region north of Tanzania, has been organized by Four Corners Cultural Festival (4CCF) in collaboration with the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB).

Nelson Faustine, project officer of 4CCP, and one of the organizers of the annual cultural event said: "This year’s cultural celebration is all about sharing traditional lifestyles, unity, and sharing storytelling through dancing, drumming and singing."

He, however, said they have chosen Hydom as a venue for the event because it is the cultural melting pot centre, in which the four popular ethnolinguistics African tribes meet.

"These are the Bantu, Khoisan, Nilo-Saharan and the Afro-Asiatic.

In the neighbourhood the Bantus are represented by Waisenye, Wanyiramba and Wakimbu from Singida region; the Khoisan is represented by Hadzabes."

"While Datogas represent Nilo-Saharan and the Afro-Asiatic family is represented by the Cushitic Iraqw, locals based in the Haydom sprawling rural and laid-back town."

He said that the four languages are on verge of extinction in the face of rising modernity in Tanzania and Africa at large.

"That’s why we’re meeting to among other things, discuss on how to preserve them for tourism and future generation."

"We want also to use the event as a platform to address issues related to education, environmental conservation, health and community development in a broader perspective ...we’ve invited local and international leaders and policy makers at the important event," said Nelson.

Paul Fissoo, manager for tourism services, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) also described the September Haydom Cultural Tourism Festival as an important avenue for Tanzania to showcase the country’s cultural tourism treasure.

"We view the event as a way of promoting a culture of the area and eventually encourage domestic tourism in the country," Fissoo said, adding that the event is expected to bring on board hundreds of participants from Tanzania and the rest of the world.

TTB spokesman Geoffrey Tengeneza described the festival as key towards promoting Tanzania’s cultural tourism.

The festival, according to him, will also help to lift spirits and bring about hope and optimism into understanding the world of culture and part of their heritage.


Tanzania seizes 428 bags of marijuana in mountain village

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s Drug Control and Enforcement Authority (DCEA) said Thursday they had seized 428 bags of marijuana on the slopes of Mount Meru.

Fredrick Kibute, a senior official of DCEA, described the consignment as one of the largest marijuana seizures in northern Tanzania this year.

He said that the 428 bags of marijuana was impounded in Engalaoni village in Arumeru District early Thursday.

"Our officials camped in the village for almost one week to unveil the haul of marijuana. But we managed to seize all the bags on Thursday morning when we carried out a house-to- house inspection," the official said.

He, however, said no one was found in those houses.

"The area where the bags were hidden has no roads, making it hard to be accessed by government officials and security forces ... there is no vehicle getting into the area.

"This is what encourages people to continue growing the illegal crop."

Kabute called upon Tanzanians particularly those living on the slopes of Mount Meru to stop from growing cannabis, which is prohibited in the East African nation.

Tanzania is one of the largest marijuana producers in Africa.


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