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Started by nTZ, 04 July, 2009, 15:12

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04 July, 2009, 15:12 Last Edit: 04 July, 2009, 16:19 by digitalsafaris
When I set up www.nTZ.info about ten years ago it was as a sort of scrap book, with a comprehensive list of books which mention northern Tanzania, and extracts from those books. The extract were chosen because of the events, the people or the places they referred to. To each extract I added a cross reference index making it easy to find all extracts about a particular person or place, and to follow events in sequence.

Ten years ago there was no Google, no blogs, no wikipedias and no interactive social sites such as Facebook and Friends Reunited.  nTZ.info was ahead of it's time. But now it shows its age and needs a redesign.

Feedback to the site is always welcome.  To my surprise (and pleasure) much of it was from people recalling their school days, and we now have a lot of contributions from ex-pupils of Arusha and other Tanganyikan/Tanzanian schools. Increasingly now I receive requests to get into contact with others.

Because of my policy of not publishing email addresses, and because I haven't developed any sensible system for filing all your feedback (now about 1000 emails) it takes a long time to reply to each requests and a backlog has built up.

So, I thought, there has to be a way to get me out of the loop and enable you to get in touch with each other, while at the same time protecting your email address.  Hence the introduction of this forum.

Guests can see all the published information, but not your contact details.

When you register, you will be able to make contact with others, and they in turn with you, although their email will be sent by the system, and they will not see your email address until you reply to them.

The idea is that you can contact people on the forum, and in turn they can contact you, but with sufficient controls to prevent unwelcome emails.

So please register - you will be asked to provide information like when you were in Tanzania and (if you did) which school you went to.  Don't forget to mention the names by which you used to be known, if you have married or otherwise are now known by different names.

And please, for everyone's benefit, do post your own recollections.  Instead of the long delay waiting for me to get round to posting them, they will be displayed straight away.  I've copied all feedback so far into the forum, but do repeat what you've said before, and publish under your own name.

Let's hope this provides a great place for you to share your memories.

Richard Allen

Many many thanks for creating this addition to your ntz website. I hope all your respondents to ntz will join this forum. I can only imagine the difficulty you had in adding threads to ntz and at the same time trying to record and help those who requested to be put in contact with respondents.

Well done.


I'm Sheila from the land of the ligths Denmark. Remember me as a good friend of yours. I just wanna introduce my self here to people knows me. nTZ forum was need a active member that will participate. Thanks for this kind a post.

David Marsh

Just posted this in the Soa Hill section, in response to an open post from Simon Watson.  Worth repeating here:


David here - the one and only administrator.  I couldn't agree with you more.

As you may have found I set this site up in 2009 to help handle all the enquiries that were coming from the first (circa 2000) website about northern Tanzania (www.nTZ.info) in the hope that it would look after itself.....

It's not help by being swamped by trolls, and you will have noticed a lot of spam postings and a members list full of strange people.  At the new year, I think, I cleared them all out, and hope that all the members are now genuine - but many still "hide" behind nicknames making it hard to recognise people that you might know.  Not sure what to do about that.

Still get about 5 people a day trying to sign up, ignoring the advise to choose a username which is not a jumble of letters and numbers, and to make sure your dates in TX make sense. 

I suspect that the forum is not so easy to use, especially for people of our generation (school in TZ in the 1950's), and I have to say that the look and feel of the site is a bit dated.  Your post is an incentive to me to see if I can freshen it up with a new look.  These days it has to work on everything from big screens to small phones, with tablets in between.  I'm stuck a little with the system I committed to 6 years ago (Simple Machines Forum software) so am constrained by what is available.  Similarly I need to update nTZ.info - the software behind that has totally broken!

I'm tempted to take them all down, but as you will see from the stats the Forum gets about 70 thousand hits a months. 1.8 million in 2014.  And nNZ.info had just under 100 thousand vists last year, which is not bad for a website that hasn't been updated for nearly 10 years (the history and the content is all still good!).

Any suggestions you, or anyone else, might have about how to regenerate interest in our past, and help encourage contact between people with that past in common, will be very welcome.

David Marsh - I use this account for personal postings.  Otherwise I use ntz for administration.


I'm delighted to see that the forum has returned refreshed.  I've missed it and had just about given up hope that it would be restored from the backup.

Simon Watson

Hi All Members...actually 261 of you that lie dormant somewhere without a keyboard or a Smartphone!! My last post dated the 28th May this year,"Get in touch,"is as i expected, unanswered.This has been,and is,a great site which the nTZ administrator David Marsh has put a great deal of effort into over the past 9-10 years.Shame on you Members that don't want to bring it alive again by sitting in your "Ivory Towers" somewhere in the World.It's very Sad.

Thanks David for still supporting the site.Every time i look it there are always 5-8 "guests" who are not Members, i assume,checking it out.Thanks guys. Very best...Simon.


Hi Simon
Have recently joined this forum being an ex pupil at Arusha School back in the early 70's. Its a shame there is much more activity on the site. I am going to upload some photos I have hopefully might kick things off.
Its possible that members have not switched on notifications therefore unless they keep coming back to the site regularly (which is easy to forget!) they won't receive notice of any activity?

Simon Watson

Hi Bhav,

Sorry for the delay in replying.I had almost given up looking for activity as you can see in my last post of July last year!! Photos a good idea! Over the years quite a few "Arusharites" have used this Forum and some photos may wake them up to get their fingers back onto the Keyboard!? I was in Moshi and Arusha several times in the middle to late 60's.Cricket for the Twigas,(the Tanganyika Touring Team) and after an exhausting climb of Kilimanjaro.Lovely air then.Don't know about now? Good luck with the photos.Maybe it will get some reaction....Best..Simon.


Hi Simon
Just logged in at random and noticed your post. Will get some photos uploaded.