Soma and Soka

Soma means both  “to read” and “to learn”.  Demere Kitunga owns a publishing business and runs the SOMA bookstore, which we visited last Thursday.  Her vocation grew out of her own experience of learning to read and then educating herself by devouring story books of all kinds. She is trying to make opportunities for schools and readers to connect to books and foster reading, and sees these efforts as connecting children to African oral traditions.

Soka = Soccer

On Saturday we went to see the Simba team play Tanzania Prisons in the National Stadium.

Simba (red and white) is one of the top two teams in Tanzania.  The other is Yanga (“Young Africans”, which are green and yellow). It seems to us that most of our acquaintances identify (strongly!) as fans of one or the other. Many red-clad Simba fans appear in the pictures below, but we didn’t see a significant green-and-white Prisons contingent.

The Prisons team is not made up of prisoners, but was started many years ago by a group of police and prison guards.  Nowadays they recruit top players wherever they can find them.

At the beginning of the day Simba was #2 in the league, one point behind Yanga. Simba scored in the first minute and eventually won 3-0, moving to the top of the table.  But Yanga has played one fewer game…