Tanzanian World of Radio and Video

by Joseph Healey

Presently I am working half time as the Coordinator of the Mission Awareness Committee (MAC) of the Religious Superiors' Association of Tanzania (RSAT). Members of MAC produce a monthly half-hour radio program in Swahili called Sisi Sote Ni Wamisionari ("We Are All Missionaries") on Radio Tumaini ("Radio Hope"), the Catholic FM radio station of the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam. The program uses a magazine-type format combining interviews, short talks, songs, instrumental music, short stories and practical examples. This year we have produced six programs on "The Missionary Outreach of the Responsible Family," the 1996 theme of the implementation of the African Synod in Tanzania, on such topics as street children and orphans, youth, refugees and the rights of women. A program on the 50th Anniversary of the Maryknoll Society in Africa featured an interview with Mike Snyder.

Another program featured an interview with the Tanzanian artist, Charles Ndege, on his religious paintings in three books - Were You There: Stations of the Cross, The Clever Young Man and the Monster, and Towards An African Narrative Theology.  Other programs focused on the reflections of Cardinal Polycarp Pengo on the 1994 African Synod, missionary themes in Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation, The Church in Africa, book reviews of the Swahili translations of two church documents on mission and the reading of short stories on pastoral and mission life in Tanzania. Some of these programs are sent to other Catholic radio stations in Tanzania such as Radio Kwizera in Ngara, northwestern Tanzania for the Rwandan and Burundi refugees and Radio Maria in Songea. Audio cassettes of the programs are also circulated for private and small group listening.

Through the RSAT Justice and Peace Commission Dave Schwinghamer has contributed to Radio Tumaini programs on the elections in South Africa, the death penalty, the United Nations Covenant on Children and the international arms trade.

Video Tumaini ("Video Hope"), the Tanzanian counterpart of Ukweli Video, is off and running in studios adjoining Radio Tumaini near St. Joseph's Cathedral in downtown Dar es Salaam. Videos produced in Swahili in the past year in the PAL System (on sale in Dar es Salaam and available for borrowing from the Maryknoll Regional Video Library, Makoko, Musoma) are as follows:

  1. Jirani Yangu Ni Nani? (50 minutes) on the life of Small Christian Communities in Kaliua Parish in Tabora Archdiocese.

  2. Kardinali Lavigerie na Utumwa (78 minutes) on Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, M.Afr. and slavery in Africa.

  3. Mateso ya Yesu Kristo (60 minutes) on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ as dramatized in Misungwi Parish in Mwanza Archdiocese

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