Historical development of radio plays in Tanzania and its relevance to society

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University of Dar es Salaam
This dissertation examines the development of radio plays in Tanzania from 1961 to 1978 with specific reference to the social, economic and political, factors which have influenced the content of radio plays. From this perspective the development of radio plays falls into two phases; namely, the phase before the Arusha Declaration (1961-1966) and the phase after the Declaration (1967-1978). In the first phase plays generally focus on the cultural theme of the conflict of the old and new; the generational conflict, the urban-rural disparity, and Africanization. The plays of the second phase fall under the political theme. Specifically they portray problems of socialist reconstruction. In each case the plays are seen to be relevant as their major themes spring from historical realities in Tanzania. The examination thus shows that economic and political changes have been influencing the content of radio play, and that plays produced before the Arusha Declaration mainly depicted the cultural contradictions that existed between the new and the traditional values. Plays produced after the Arusha Declaration however focused on political questions raised in the course of socialist reconstruction, for example the questions of good leadership and participatory democracy. Furthermore, the solutions to such problems are given a concrete, realistic form in post-Arusha plays in contrast to the idealistic and often mechanical solutions reached in the pre-Arusha plays. Finally, the data on audience response collected in Dar es Salaam and Ubena zomozi Ujamaa village support the importance of radio plays as a means of reaching the masses. High percentage of the population in both urban and rural samples listened to the plays, discussed them and found them educative.
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Radio Plays, Radio and Literature, Radio drama, Radio drama
Mbogo, E. D. Y (1980) Historical development of radio plays in Tanzania and its relevance to society, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (