The Wachagga tribe number about 310,000 and they live on the slopes of Kilimanjaro Mountain - an extinct volcano which carries a mantle of snow all the year round.
The Wachagga tribe number about 310,000 and they live on the slopes of Kilimanjaro Mountain - an extinct volcano which carries a mantle of snow all the year round. They are extremely progressive people and 6 years ago decided to draw up a Constitution electing a single Paramount Chief - Thomas Marealle II - to rule over them. Each year they celebrate this occasion as "Chagga Day". They raise a coffee crop which this year will be sold for upwards of GBP2,500,000. The crop is marketed by their own Co-operative Society which has its headquarters in Moshi, a picturesque little town standing at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Scattered over the mountain are 16 villages almost invisible amongst the rich vegetation of banana palms and coffee bushes.
With their profits the Wachagga have built the Kilimanjaro Native Co-operative Union building which has a well-equipped library, residential quarters, a commercial college, a museum, its own printing press and is one of the finest buildings in East Africa. They are also in process of building a theatre which will seat 700.
Chief Thomas Marealle is a well-travelled man speaking fluent English, and recently completed a long tour of the United States when he addressed the Trusteeship Committee of the United Nations. He traces his family back for 16 generations during which time they have always lived on Mount Kilimanjaro.
SYNOPSIS: On the slopes of Kilimanjaro in Tanganyika lives one of the most progressive tribes in Africa - the Wachagga. And Chagga Day is one of the most colourful celebrations in this very colourful land.
Thomas Marealle (MARRY-ARLEE), Paramount Chief of 310,000 Chaggas arrives with the local District Commissioner, Mr. A.B. Hodgson, to read his annual message to the people.
A great feature of these festivities are the ngomas (EN-GOAMERS) and some of the most famous are these Chagga warriors from Rosi (ROASSEE). But there are other dances going on at places all over the great Mountain where there are 16 prosperous coffee-growing communities. Each year Chief Marealle selects one of them to honour with a visit. This year it is Rombo
There are six thousand happy people gathered here to greet their Chief. The Chaggas have a reason to be happy - their coffee crop this year will be worth about two-and-a-half million pounds.
This may not seem like dancing to you but as time goes on things get more lively -
In Moshi town at the foot of Kilimanjaro there are groups like this at almost every street corner. (Moshi pronounced MOW-SHEE). Well, the sixth Chagga Day is slowly drawing to a close as the setting sun throws a pink light over the snows of Kilimanjaro - but the dancing will go on till dawn.