Name ID 1122

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Arusha Times
Page Number: 6
Extract Date: 2000 April 29

Saifi Soda Fountain

We move onto Saifi Soda Fountain on Wapare Street. The building is perhaps 50 years old. The style is Art Deco again. The white lines standing out from the reddish brown building as well as the central cylindrical shape draws one's attention to the structure. Like Most buildings constructed for Asian business people at the time, this one accommodates the business, in this case a shop, and the soda factory in the ground floor and residential rooms for up to 4 families in upper floors.

At Saifi Soda Fountain we come upon the history of the Sheikh Abitalin Gulamhusein's family, whose grandfather emigrated from India and who started a soda factory in Tanga in 1894. Whose father moved to Arusha and continued with the business at Saifi Soda Fountain on Wapare Street in 1952. And whose son today, is helping run the fountain, making 6 flavours of soda with the same machines imported from England in 1952 and whose spare parts have to be skillfully improvised because the factory in England has long ceased to be.

Unfortunately however, we can not muse much longer on this charming piece of history for time is up, Jan has people to meet, and in Belgium appointments are made in time. So we thank the very hospitable Gulamhuseins and we head back to Jambo Snacks where Jan to wind it all up, explains the urbanization structure of Arusha Town.

Extract ID: 4283

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Arusha Times
Extract Author: Nyamanoko Bwire and Staff Writer
Page Number: 275
Extract Date: 20 June 2003

SDA celebrates 100th anniversary

This week, the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church is observing its 100th Anniversary of gospel ministering and community service in Tanzania.

The church's first team of missionaries consisting of W. Ehlers and A C. Enns from Germany, sailed into the Tanga port in early 1900s, before trekking on foot up to the Pare mountains in Kilimanjaro, where they established the first SDA mission in 1903.

From Kilimanjaro, the missionaries moved onto the Lake Victoria zone and put up another mission station in Mara region, and later Mwanza.

Today the Seventh Day Adventist faith is widely spread in Tanzania, rejoicing with over six dioceses, 1,407 churches and more than 400,000 followers.

Arusha is the national headquarters of SDA in Tanzania, with head offices located in Njiro area of the municipality.

Extract ID: 4297

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Boyes, John (ed. Mike Resnick) Company of Adventurers
Page Number: 112
Extract Date: 27 March 1903


We reached Tanga and dropped anchor in the beautiful little harbor on March 27. Tanga was then a clean little town, well laid out with broad streets and avenues of trees. The inhabitants, like those of Mombasa, were chiefly Swahili, with, however, for so young an African town, a fair sprinkling of white people. There were a number of Indian stores and all the hotels were kept by Germans. There was quite a force of Native soldiers, and a very good Native band which played in the garden on the public parade. The trouble with Tanga was the climate. It was not so healthy as Mombasa, and fever was very prevalent. During the day-time it was intensely hot, and at night, as soon as the sun went down, mosquitoes gave us no rest.

An old Indian resident offered me the use of some land for a camp on the outskirts of Tanga, so I pitched our tents on this site, and all our goods were brought to the camp. I obtained licenses without much difficulty and had the guns registered and the ammunition passed through the Customs House without trouble.

Having decided to use donkeys for transport we began making pack saddles. Some Natives were engaged and a lot more trade goods bought, such as cloth and blankets, and provisions for the Masai porters we were to take with us. No donkeys were to be had at Tanga, however, and I found we should have to go to Korogwe, the then terminus of the Usambara Railway, sixty miles away, before any could be procured. The wet season was just beginning and it rained very heavily. We were very thankful when everything was on the train and safely on its way. Korogwe is situated on the banks of the Pangani river at the foot of the West Usambara Mountains. It was a most unhealthy place, a region of swamps and fever with the hateful mosquitoes ever present. The river was infested with crocodiles, which could be heard moving about in the water at night whenever we approached,

I bought some donkeys here, but not sufficient for my purpose. As all the boys and my two companions were new to the work, I had a most difficult task to get everything in order. The rain came down in a steady downpour, which made things very unpleasant. I found time to visit the station of the Universities' Mission, and was well received by the three missionaries in charge.

On the morning of Easter Sunday we began our long and tedious journey into the interior. I found that travelling had been made much easier in German than it was in British East Africa, for rest-houses had been erected by the Government a day's march apart. Headmen of the villages close by were responsible for the proper maintenance of these rest-houses. They were also expected to bring in food for the guests, chickens or eggs or whatever of their produce the travellers might require,

Our safari now consisted of about twenty-five porters, thirty donkeys, X, my brother, and myself.

It was hot work travelling with the donkeys, which were no different from other donkeys in their obstinacy, and required much coaxing to move at anything quicker than a snail's pace. The roughly made pack-saddles were continually going wrong and our progress was necessarily slow, averaging about ten miles a day.

Extract ID: 3585

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Samler Brown , A and Gordon Brown, G (Editors) South and East African Year Book and Guide for 1920, 26th issue
Page Number: 520-521E b
Extract Date: 1914 November 2

History of East Africa : The War with Germany in East Africa 1914

1914. - Hostilities were commenced by the Germans who advanced from Tanga. Having repelled this force the British attacked that town (on November 2-4, 1914) but were obliged to withdraw with serious loss (795 casualties).

Extract ID: 3530

See also

Samler Brown , A and Gordon Brown, G (Editors) South and East African Year Book and Guide for 1920, 26th issue
Page Number: 520-521E c
Extract Date: 1915

History of East Africa : The War with Germany in East Africa 1915

1915. - At sea a naval force bombarded Dar-es-Salaam, and occupied the German island of Mafia in January, 1915; the Koenigsberg was driven to take refuge in the mouth of the Rufigi River, where she was bottled up and sunk, but her ten big guns, each handled by its team of 400 natives, figured subsequently in many a land engagement.

On Victoria Nyanza the British seized the port of Shirati in January 1915 and on March 6th the Winifred destroyed the only German armed boat on the lake. Bukoba was afterwards taken by assault and the Germans retired from the western shore of the lake.

The attack on Tanga and the numerous smaller engagements that followed served to unmask the strength at the disposal of the enemy and made it evident that a powerful force must be organized before the conquest of the Colony could be systematically undertaken. Such an enterprise had necessarily to await more favourable conditions on European battlefields and elsewhere. But in July, 1915, the last German troops in S.W. Africa capitulated to General Botha, and the nucleus of the requisite force, composed of seasoned Colonial Volunteers, became available.

Extract ID: 3531

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Arusha Times
Extract Author: By a correspondent
Page Number: 313
Extract Date: 25 March 2004

How Tanga survived the "Ice Cream War"

Two prominent families of Asian origin have their roots in Tanga. The Karimjee Jivanjee family settled in Tanga in 1830 while that of Khanbhai has a history in that coastal town that dates back to 1836. After many years of neglect, what makes Tanga tick today is only its history.

Tanga is the most important Tanzania port after Dar, and lies just south of the Kenyan border. Like Bagamoyo, it has an air of fading decadence about it and would not feature in any travel guide were it not for the superb beaches which sprawl to the south of the town, and the vibrant night life that transforms the town after dark. It was here that a German expeditionary force led by Colonel von Lettow-Vorbeck defeated a joint British and Indian landing force in 1914, aided and abetted by millions of angry bees whose hives had been destroyed by gunfire.

The tragic though comical consequences of that battle shaped the opening chapter of William Boyd's contemporary novel, "An Ice Cream War". About a thousand years ago persons migrated to Tanga and gave it its name, which in Persian has four meanings: straight, green valley, road beside mountain, farm on mountain or rolling hill.

In 1857 Richard Burton, the explorer, visited Tanga and described it as a patch of thatched pent roofed huts, built upon a bank overlooking the sea".

He estimated the population to be 4,000 to 5,000, which included fifteen Baluchis and twenty Indian merchants. The town was under the rule of The Sultan of Zanzibar. At that time Tanga was trading post dealing mainly in ivory. The annual trade in ivory was about 70,000 lbs. Tanga was a small outlying settlement compared to its more prosperous neighbour, Pangani.

With the coming of the Germans to East Africa in the last quarter of 19th century, the port of Tanga probably offered less resistance to The Germans compared to, for example, Pangani, which was more heavily fortified. The Germans took control of the coastal area from the Sultan of Zanzibar in April 1891 calling their colony Tanganyika. In the same year, Tanga was designated a township.

From then on, large scale developments, pushed by private German commercial interests took place. A wharf with a railway line to the interior was developed, construction of the Railway line started in 1896. The line reached Korogwe in 1902; Mombo in 1904 magnificent Cliff block hospital was built in 1902.

The Usambara Mountains were opened up as reliable roads and bridges were built which are still in use today. Rail line was also planned to go to Lushoto and beyond. A short line was built at Shume; parts of it still exist today. The Tanga town centre was also properly planned and developed. Most of the commercial cum residential buildings in use today are from that German period of 1891 to 1914.

Sisal, a plant that looks like yucca, was introduced into Tanganyika by the Germans in 1893. Sisal produces the longest and strongest natural plant fibres, hence the longest and strongest ropes, everything from the largest ropes to tie battle ships to docks to twine for boxes. Sisal was so lucrative with no competitors that it was then called the "white gold of Tanganyika".

Tanga became the largest producer and exporter of Sisal in the world. In 1913, Tanga exported 20,800 tons of Sisal fibre from its port. In 1914, during World War One, an historic battle between the German and the invading British forces was fought in Tanga. The battle is vividly described in the book "Ice Cream War" by William Boyd. The British forces suffered a serious defeat. However, two years later, the British finally pushed the Germans out. There are three graveyards in town exclusively dedicated to the fallen soldiers from those battles.

The British ruled Tanga (and Tanganyika) till independence in 1961.

The Sisal industry reached its peak during this period exporting 200,000 tons in 1958; thereafter nationalization, mismanagement and the rise of synthetics to replace natural fibres destroyed the Sisal, which today is about 8 per cent of 1958. The rise of the Sisal industry in Tanga brought in migrant labourers from throughout the country and the neighbouring countries. Many of these labourers have stayed on. This has given Tanga a truly African cosmopolitan population, with almost all tribes of Tanzania having a considerable presence in Tanga. The indigenous tribe living around the town is the Digo.

They are mainly Moslems, who live on or near the coast. Fishing and subsistence agriculture is the main socio-economic activity. Tanga is renowned for its powerful presence in the Kiswahili literature scene. It has produced some literacy giants and is in the forefront of pushing the language to new heights. For instance, the legendary Shaaban Robert, an author and poet of many authoritative works, was a Tanga resident and is buried a short distance from the town.

Tanga is today the fourth largest town in Tanzania and the second largest port.

Extract ID: 4706

See also

Holland, Rodney Trip to Tanzania
Page Number: x
Extract Date: August 2005

The trip to Tanga

The trip to Tanga was very nostalgic and as soon as we arrived we went to look for our house in Raskazone which after some hunting we found . We made arrangements with the owners to go back to see them in the morning.We were invited into the house and had tea with them the house looked a lot smaller than I remember it 40 odd years ago and it still belonged to TANESCO which is the company my father worked for. Tanga town looked very much the same but in need of a good face lift but I am sure in time things will get better.

After an extemely bumpy trip by road from Tanga to Pangani we arrived at Emayani beach resort and enjoyed a relaxing 3 days before setting off to Lushoto via Tanga for one last look. Lushoto was pretty cold but we were able to visit the boarding school(which is now a Law School) were Jill and I were sent at the age of 7 I only had a few memories of this but it was good to visit infact all the places we visited were good for my wife and my cousin to see as they had heard so much about it but never actually seen the places.

Extract ID: 5109

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: By a correspondent
Page Number: 313
Extract Date: 25 March 2004

Tanga has four meanings

About a thousand years ago persons migrated to Tanga and gave it its name, which in Persian has four meanings: straight, green valley, road beside mountain, farm on mountain or rolling hill.

Extract ID: 4707