Movers and shakers in Israeli society
One can make a lot of friends over a five year period, and judging by the huge crowd enjoying a sit-down dinner at the Amphoraei Winery in Kerem Maharal, that’s exactly what Tanzanian Ambassador Job Daudi Masima and his wife Yohana have done.
Masima is his country’s first resident Ambassador to Israel, and as such opened the Tanzanian Embassy. A civil servant for almost 45 years, working in foreign relations, and rural development, and holding high ranking positions in Social Services, the Defense Ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office and more, Masima’s CV also lists the fact that he is a seventeen-handicap golfer.
In fact many of his friends from the Caesarea Golf Club dominated some of the table at the winery where first and foremost Masima was celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Tanzania’s Independence. Secondly, the event provided a platform for naming the winners of a golf tournament that had been held earlier in the day at the Caesarea Golf Club where Masima is a regular player.
Thirdly it was to announce the fact that he will soon be concluding his posting, so it was a kind of -pre-farewell party. Much as he loves the game, Masima can tell jokes about it too.
An example: A a newly elected politician was told that all politicians play golf. So when he was interviewed, and was asked by the journalist whether he played golf, his answer was “of course.”
“What’s your handicap?” asked the journalist. “Congress,” was the unexpected reply.
There is no doubt that Masima enjoyed his time in Israel, and that he genuinely considered it a great honor to be appointed his country’s first resident Ambassador here.
In fact, when he presented his credentials to then President Reuven Rivlin, he donned a white kippa and recited the Shechehiyanu prayer in Hebrew, which is said in appreciation of experiencing a blessing in one’s life.
This week, he reiterated how honored he felt, saying that it that it was the greatest honor of his life and that Israel would remain in his heart. He also shared some of the history of his country with his guests. The United Republic of Tanzania, was previously two separate countries -Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
Previously ruled by Germany and England, each had gained independence in 1961 and had merged in 1964 to form one nation that is made up of more than 120 tribes.
In the interim he declared, Tanzania has achieved more than Germany and England were able to achieve together in 70 years. He cited the new modern international airport, and approval for the construction of a hydropower plant and a new modern rail line.
He also mentioned some of Tanzania’s breathtaking tourist attractions, and on the subject of tourism, said that it was unfair on Israel’s part to single out Africa for a travel ban.
For all that, the two countries are deeply intertwined, he said, and looked forward to the period when travel between the two countries would be revived. Some 40,000 Israelis visited Tanzania in 2019. To set the ball rolling for renewed tourism from Israel to his country, Masima donated three prizes to the winners of the tournament. One was an all expenses paid trip for two Zanzibar; another a Safari tour, and the first prize both Zanzibar and the Safari.
Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej represented the government at the event and paid tribute to Tanzania’s late president John Magufuli who died in office in March of this year. Frej said that Magufuli had never been afraid to voice his close connection with Israel in public. He added that Israel hopes to strengthen this connection with the new government. Frej had never met Masima before, but was so impressed with him that he spontaneously pledged that for as long as he is in office, he will continue to support Tanzania, and will bring more students from Tanzania to study at Mashav, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.