Join me into a discourse analysis of one of my favorite speeches by His excellency John Pombe Magufuli, the President of Tanzania. The original text was recorded in Swahili during one of his public rallies and was published in YouTube by Jiwee information desk. The real date of publishing is no clear but it is around October 2019….you can follow this link to listen to him speak. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlLWAL-J4zs )

In the wake of alternatives on which is the right way to develop Tanzania, and a general desire to enlighten his people on the dangers of neocolonialism, The president is pleading with his people to understand his stance in a tough and comic manner using Swahili, a language that is understood well by the local masses.

There is a general sense in which African countries believe its time for the west to cede ground and stop interfering with African development by imposing their western development theories leave alone outright plunder of African resources through cunning tactics like travel alerts, disease outbreak alerts or even tagging development or high interest loans which keep the continent dependent for generations to come.


From their own description , J WEE info is a registered online television dealing with providing all kind of news around East Africa with over 785,000 followers from mainly Tanzania. They publish politics, entertainment news, sports etc. It’s possible that this Chanel is inclined to the ccm which is the current ruling party based on the positive image portrayed about Magufuli but it could also be that the publisher is simply populist and therefor looks for material that has a higher following among the Tanzanians in order to improve his viewership and hence financial returns. Jiwee Infor desk encourages decency in discussion and tolerance to to everyone’s opinion.

As already mentioned, the medium of my discourse is a youtube video from Jiwee info desk which was also uploaded in other media channels like Jamvi online TV. The quality of the video was average but the message was loud and clear. The text being in Swahili and the message full of Jargons, every single dot of information delivered was vividly well received and understood by the masses being addressed. As an East African myself, I am familiar with the general context of His Excellency President Magufuli’s communication.

My discourse strands are based on very important points passionately highlighted by the president in his address and i will be analyzing as i move a long.

  1. How to eliminate poverty; Magufuli opens his statement with WE meaning he treats himself as part of his people and therefore the need they have is his own need. “we are fighting the dangerous enemy-poverty. He goes strait to his understanding of the solution by giving practical examples of how to eliminate poverty, firstly, by using locally available resources to develop infrastructure. “when we use our own money to extend power lines and reduce the cost of electricity, build ships, railway and buy aero planes in cash when we have bargaining power, we are overcoming poverty” .
  2. Foreign aid; President Magufuli stressed a very important point that “rich people do not beg! The essence here is that if African leaders realized the wealth they have and develop within their own means, there would be no need to seek foreign help.  ” It is therefore pertinent that Africans believe in themselves and understand that they can fund development projects them selves at cheaper costs than running after donors who peg loans to their ideologies and Africans have to pay heavily for several years. Actually in other rallies , Magufuli stated that Chinese loans are only good for mad people, because they are extortionist. “If we can collect taxes worthy 7.5 trillion each month , why should we go to borrow and moreover with high interests?” “They will wonder, for this is the Tanzania we want to build” Notice the way he introduced a new verb, “They”, he is identifying a common enemy of the people that doesn’t wish well for Tanzanian development. “They cannot be happy when you are building your infrastructure like railway with your own money at 6,5trillion, they want you to borrow from them and build at 20 trillion and pay back heavy interest rates for generations to come,.The road at Uhuru Dar-es-salaam was built with donor funds , since independence, the loan was only completed 50 years later. I am begging you Tanzanians, please understand me now when am still leading you, when I have left, you can choose to misunderstand me! and let this stay for your memory
  3. Poverty mentality. “Tuliwekewa mawazo” , we have been labeled as poor.  And our own people have contributed to this menace. There is an underlying fact being insinuated here that Tanzania is not poor. He says “We see African leaders who are operating fake economies based on donor funds and many go begging for mere toilets to be constructed. Services are not delivered with the excuse that there is a delay in donor funding! “why should you wait for donors, donate yourself ,you have money, how do you go a broad and say, look at these children, they need toilets”.”Let me give you my own example when i was a member of parliament. There was a school called Ilemela, it was closed because it has no toilets, the  area counsellor was the chairman of the board. I went and told the children that you will not go home , stay at school and be using the toilet of the chairman/counselor, lucky him he has died before he could face justice. The moment children intruded his toilet, he build their own toilets within two days, you can go to that area and find out the truth, the school is called Ilemela”
  4. Warning against colonial tactics and deliberate misrepresentation of Africa. The president also stressed his challenges how he is being attacked by external forces. His understanding is that whenever an African country starts to make progress ,many unscrupulous tactics are implemented on them like creating the notion of dictatorship, discovery of unverified diseases aimed at scaring the masses, issuing of dumbfounded travel alerts to impact tourism etc.”I am being attacked from all sides but all this is for you, You voted me for free and this is my sacrifice to you, this work is not easy, they will fight you, they will call you names, they don’t get tired. They will tell you there is a new disease and in those very places where sickness or war is being announced, they go and excavate gold.If you want to milk someone, you must scare him.With these colonial Tactics, any nation that begins to move forward will be attacked with several weapons.We got political independence but we did not get economic independence. We have continued to be milked, i beg you Tanzanians to understand me.,There is a time they said here in Tanzania we were burrying many people. Because i knew there was nothing like that i chased the announcer. I remember i chased him in the middle of the night at 1 am, there was no death in Tanzania as he claimed.After 1 month being chased, he was promoted to become their boss there because he was sent to spoil our image, so that no more tourists come to Tanzania, These are colonial tactics i want you Tanzanians to understand.

    They will label you with sicknesses that don’t exist, its time now that Tanzania and all the nations of Africa start to believe in themselves.

    Why don’t Tanzanians and African nations want to understand why rich nations like DRC, continue to have terrible diseases, why cant we ask such questions?” The language used here is blunt and bold, this could owe to the kind of audience he wants to influence or its being driven by a lot of pressure to explain his policies.

  5. Guarding against corruption, By frequently calling masses “my brothers”, Magufuli shows that he cares for them well just like his own family. With tough and comic words / intonations and short breaks in his speech, he gains total attention from “his brothers” who are constantly entertained and seen laughing in amazement of their leader’s wisdom. And with such cocktail of communication techniques, he gets tough on the corrupt individuals, indisciplined school children and lazy leaders who want to copy paste western “human rights” without showing responsibility.””My brothers, funds were being stolen by corrupt individuals, I am telling you the truth i am not telling lies, i have been a minister for 20years, I understand very well what has been happening ,If you think am lying where did this miracle now come from, that now you are building a standard gauge railway, you are buying aero planes, hospitals, ships, with billions of shillings without donor fundingThose who believe in witchcraft would have said it is witchcraft but for us who believe in God we know it is God helping Tanzanians.”
  6. Caning, expelling and jailing indisciplined children. By boldly talking about canning, he knows his cultural setting, this has been Africa’s way of correcting children even as the Bible says, spare a rod and spoil your child!”It reaches a point when we talk about development that it is true development”. Perhaps meaning development in the cultural context.”I was talking to the headmaster of Mbea today and thanked him for thoroughly caning his students, i even told him he should increase more canes.It is impossible that the government pays billions to build schools  then children go and burn them down!I told him, all those children who were involved should be chased away, as i speak, all the form 5 and 6 students were expelled and the board has been dismissed because that is negligence on there part, that they are defending human rights! Which human rights when children are becoming stupid and developing horns! We must stop playing when it comes to development.This money has been collected from poor children and parents!, you cannot break school rules by carrying your phones , when the phones are taken a way you burn the buildings? such is a sacrilege! and let those talking about human rights build our classes now so that their messiahs will see, some of those children will only come back to school if their parents rebuild the school and who were directly involved should rot in jail.My brothers, I don’t say this because I am merciless, I feel deep love and moreover as a teacher, I request you parents and leaders, stop this thing of saying they shouldn’t be caned, i think we made a mistake when we changed the law, these stubborn children need canes. He wins over his people with empathy after talking very tough.

    Canes teach, that’s why children now come back home after eating school fees, the parents are helpless, I say cane even at home, if we don’t do this we will spoil our nation. Our children should be raised in a proper direction so that they will help this country. I encourage you head of security, when you come into such situations, start caning.

    You can see the Member of parliament over there, he is working well because he was caned well, I congratulate you. I thank you brothers for making good choices to vote in good leaders in CCM party, but understand that development doesn’t have a party. My brothers, I hope I have not wasted your time.” Magufuli. We note that The president used “Ndugu Zangu”, My brothers without and intention to omit the female gender in his address but he addressed them all as brethren!

And now, my final thought/findings

I am calling for the Magufulification of Africa. I cannot hide my extreme admiration of Mr Pombe M.

His excellency Magufuli portrays a new way of thinking in Africa that must wake up to the occasion that development is among Africans not abroad, Africa should develop in its diverse context. Secondly, If Africans change their attitude towards themselves and utilize their resources amicably while eliminating leakages of corruption, they can collect enough taxes to develop themselves and thereby kick out foreign economic exploitation inform of high interest tied aid. And lastly, Human rights are not universal, cultural imperialism promoted as human rights must stop.