Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tanzania's Got Talent

From the June 5th edition of the Tanzania Daily News: Identifying, Developing Your Child's Talent

Elementary to primary school is where it all starts in building and developing your child's talent.  When a child reaches the age to start school, parents get overly excited to begin the educational journey for their kids, however expensive it might be.

Goals and wishes for what their children may or should major in when they reach universities will already have been planned.  Nothing is wrong with this kind of arrangement as parents do so believing that they are helping out, although it may not do justice to a child's talent, which they do not give the opportunity to grow naturally.  It is in these early stages of their educational journey that parents should concentrate on what talents their children have and who they want to be.

Although it may change as they grow, it will be a map which will give them a rough picture of who they really are and build some kind of confidence in themselves.

"I love drawing because it is my talent, which I started developing since Grade Four," says Abdul Abasi, a Grade Six student at Magomeni Primary School in Dar es Salaam.  Abdul, who is thirteen years old, shared this thought while showcasing some of his work together with his classmates recently as the nation was celebrating the International Cultural Diversity Day.

With a passion for drawing and proud of it, he says that apart from Mr. Wambura Maro, who is his teacher, he doesn't have any other support to help him develop this talent.  "I have told my parents to take me to various drawing competitions so as to see how good I am compared to other children, but they normally reply that they cannot afford it," adds Abdul.

In his understanding, tradition is made up of the culture and morals that are practiced by a certain community.  With part of his traditions being drum dances, drawing, and crafting, Abdul says "I am proud that I will be able to preserve my ancestors' history through my drawings."

"My dream is to become a famous and most talented fine artist in my future, as once my work is known to the world, so will my nation be," says Abdul.

Neema Tony, who is also in Grade Six, says that she loves drawing as it is a place that she can express her feelings and a way to help her relax as well.  "I love drawing and it has been a talent that has always been in my family in which I am dedicated to make it grow," says Neema.

In relating tradition and her drawings, she says that, "Tradition is the history of who our ancestors were and who we are supposed to be; it's the beginning of our history that was brought by our great-great-grandparents, and by drawing we are preserving our historical background and tradition."

Abdul and Neema's teacher, Mr. Maro says, "Children, who are tomorrow's generation, are supposed to be taught about our tradition and culture so that it will not be forgotten in this or the coming generations."

By going that extra mile, teachers can show the children how to preserve that culture by first preserving the students' talents.  "As a teacher and also a parent, I focus on helping all children learn how to draw, but in doing so I help these kids learn how to develop their talents," Mr. Maro states.

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