A day in the life #2 (2008)

Barracka’s home. His father is a teacher and writer and so is relatively wealthy, putting the family firmly in the middle class. Regardless, by western standards living is basic – ten people call this small building home.

At 6.30am, Barracka is unsurprisingly not the most cheerful of children.

Like good children, Barracka and his sister Dolini (pronounced Doreen) brush their teeth

Barracka’s older brother Nicholas looks on.

The mother of the family: Pendo

Barracka and

The first time stamp of the day and way too early!

Barracka took this one. A sign of the Mangwela’s wealth is the fact they have electricity and a television. There is no lightbulb in the living room so in the evening the TV is used to see.

Breakfast. This consists simply of sweet tea


Barracka gets down to a little school work. Although it is the holidays his parents make him look over his books.

Barracka is in the pre-school of a primary school. Here he is mastering letter combinations.

After school work, Barracka helps on the family shamba. A shamba is a small farm and pretty much every family in the countryside has one, regardless of wealth. The rains are just starting and so it is a busy time. The family is growing two crops: Mahindi (maize) which is later ground into flour and then boiled to make ugalee. The second crop is Karanga (ground nuts – when baked they become peanuts). If you are old enough to walk then you are old enough to help on the shamba.


Cooking takes place in a room accessed from outdoors. A simple charcoal burner is used.

Today rice is on the menu.

Whilst his mother cooks, Barracka plays with a wheel.

Again, like good kids, the children wash their hands before eating.

The large pot contains wali (cooked rice) and to the right is nyama (meat) in a tomato broth.

Nom nom nom!

Time stamp.

Barracka joins some friends outside to play.

The family keeps these birds. I think they are pigeons or doves or something. They arent pets – they are food.

Nicholas hides indoors from the heat. Here he is reading an English-language bible.

Time stamp.

Two friends, Marium and Savella pop by.

Barracka standing on the wall outside his house.

Other children swing by.

Barracka shows off his cartwheels.

The sun is starting to get low in the sky.

Play continues.

It gets dark around 6pm.

This is a neighbor called Mbogo. I’m pretty sure Mbogo means ‘vegetable’ in Swahili.

Here I make my second and final appearance.

Barracka’s brother Nicholas gave them some bubble gum. Each piece costs 10Tshs (2000Tshs=£1=$1.50).

Supper time. Now they have Ugalee and meat. Pretty much everybody eats Ugalee every meal in Tanzania.

Nom nom nom! Again.

Final timestamp.

Barracka is looking tired so I left the family and went to my home. He goes to bed around 9pm.


About Imo & Tom Feilding

I'm in my 30s and work for the University of Bristol, I regularly visit Buigiri Village slapbang in the centre of Tanzania in East Africa. It is a very poor semi-desert area. I spend much of my time and money helping individuals improve their situation and I write about it on here.
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