The Dubai Jubilee Games are around the corner and the air is full of excitement, determination and brotherhood! In a few weeks, Ismaili athletes from around the world are going to meet up in Dubai and compete. The energy has been infectious! Athlete or not, everyone wants to make their mark. One such Jamat is that of Tanzania. Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania hosted a small friendly volleyball and throw ball tournament between Tanzania and its neighbor Kenya. Teams comprising of athletes from across Tanzania and Kenya gathered up to give each other a little taste of the competition that awaits them in Dubai. However, as is always the case with Tanzania, what started off as a simple friendly tournament, quickly turned into a three-day super exciting weekend in which every Jamati member got to be part of the journey to jubilee games. Thanks to a simple torch that every Ismaili around the world has now gotten to know as the Fanous!
The Mwanza Jamat, known for its warm hospitality, delicious food and grand gestures quickly took advantage of this opportunity to come together and organize the launch of Tanzania’s Fanous Roadshow. It all started from first receiving its neighbor Kenya accompanied by its own Fanous that it had launched just a few days prior. Despite a tiring 20-hour journey by road, the Kenyans arrived at the Mwanza Jamat Khana with their Fanous and flag held up high, and their national anthem playing in the background. Led by their captain, they marched towards the leaders of the jamat and handed over their Fanous to the President for Western Tanzania Altaf Hirani. This was a symbol of their arrival.
The next day, the jamat was up early, ready to receive yet another Fanous. Flown in from Dar-es-salaam, this time it was Tanzania’s very own. The players and jamat exchanged warm hugs, chai and let the games begin! As the games continued, everyone in the Jamat; children, seniors, volunteers, scouts, all wanted to get a glimpse of the Fanous and take a family photo or a selfie.
The old and sick were also able to be part of the Jubilee Games as the Fanous visited their homes also.
In the evening, Mwanza organized a unique ceremony that involved the scouts hosting the flags of Tanzania, Kenya and the Ismaili My flag, each followed by its anthem. The captain for Team Kenya, Nooramyn Esmail, marched forward to officially hand over Kenya’s illuminated Fanous as a symbol of passing the light of frontierless brotherhood to Tanzania. Later, the Captain of Team Tanzania, Zulfiqar Haji, handed over an unlit Fanous to the President. The President then touched the two Fawanees together to borrow the light of Kenya and illuminate that of Tanzania, symbolizing that we are one Jamat, bound together with one light. This marked the Launch of the Fanous Roadshow in Tanzania.
The next day, the entire jamat showed up in their whites, as requested, unsure of what is in store for them that day. What followed was an activity that involved the entire jamat in creating a human emblem of the Jubilee Games Dubai 2016. With a mix of patience, excitement and superb organization, the Jamat was able to come together and form a number of human formations that were all shot from the sky using a drone. The footage from this has already touched the homes of many, and has since become a statement for Mwanza, and Tanzania as a whole. One that shouts out to the greater Global Jamat, we are one, we are here and we are ready to compete. Let the games begin!