Adolescents and Leisure: The Case of Makurumla Kagera, Dar es Salaam

Franziska Kissling, Constanze Pfeiffer, Brigit Obrist


Adolescents are a rapidly growing group in Tanzania. One out of five Tanzanians are below the age of 19, and a specific concern is their sexual and reproductive health. Although adolescent issues are now featuring high up on the agenda of policy makers and practitioners, little is known about the interactions between adolescents in Tanzania, especially with regard to leisure activities. This article presents findings from a research into social interactions between females and males aged between 15-19 years. The research was conducted in leisure places in the urban neighbourhood of Makurumla Kagera, located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Using a qualitative approach, a total of 20 adolescents were interviewed in a semi-structured style. Findings indicate that leisure places and adolescents’ representations are a controversial topic of discussion in Makurumla Kagera, especially with regard to appropriate female behaviour. This is not merely between generations, but also within the generation itself. A complex mosaic of attitudes and opinions about leisure places and related gender-based representations of adolescents can be observed.


Appadurai, A. 2005. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalizations. 7th Edition Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Beidelman, T. O. 1997. The Cool Knife Imagery of Gender, Sexuality and Moral Education in Kaguru Initiation Ritual. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Bucholtz, M. 2002. Youth and Cultural Practise. Annual Review of Anthropology, 31: 525–552.

Crawford, G., T. Blackshaw. 2009. Youth. In: T. Blackshaw, G. Crawford (eds.). The SAGE Dictionary of Leisure Studies. London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 224–225.

Emerson, R. M. et al. 2011. Participant Observation and Fieldnotes. In: P. Atkinson et al. (eds.). Handbook of Ethnography. London: SAGE Publications Ltd: 352–366.

Fuglesang, M. 1994. Veils and Videos: Female Youth Culture on the Kenyan Coast. Stockholm: University, Departement of Social Anthropology.

Gobo, G. 2008. Doing Ethnography. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Goffman, E. 1977. The Arrangement Between the Sexes. Theory and Society, 4(3): 301–331.

Kuckartz, U. 2010. Einführung in Die Computergestützte Analyse Qualitativer Daten. 3th Edition Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Liv, H. 2005. Eyes Have No Curtains: The Moral Economy of Secrecy in Managing Love Affairs Among Adolescents in Northern Tanzania in the Time of AIDS. Africa Today, 51(4): 57–73.

Lockhart, C. 2002. Kunyenga, Real Sex and Survival: Assessing the Risk of HIV Infection among Urban Street Boys in Tanzania. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 16(3): 294–311.

Maihofer, A. 2004. Geschlecht als soziale Konstruktion – eine Zwischenbetrachtung. U. Helduser et al. (eds.). Under Construction? Konstruktivistische Perspektiven in Feministischer Theorie und Forschungspraxis. Frankfurt a. M.: Campus Verlag: 168–187.

Niehaus, I. 2002. Renegotiating Masculinity in the South African Lowveld: Narratives of Male-male Sex in Labour Compounds and in Prisons. African Studies, 61(1): 77–97.

Obrist van Euwijk, B. & S. Mlangwa. 1997. Competing Ideologies: Adolescence, Knowledge and Silences in Dar es Salaam. In W. Harcourt (ed.). Power, Reproduction and Gender: The Inter-Generational Transfer of Knowledge. London: Zed Books: 35–57.

Raab, J. 2008. Erving Goffman. Konstanz: UVK Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.

Rwebangira, M., R. Liljeström (eds.). 1998. Haraka, Haraka... Look before you leap. Youth at the Crossroad of Custom and Modernity. Stockholm: Elanders Gotab.

Rweyemamu, D. & M. Fuglesang. 2008. Multiple and Concurrent Sexual Partnerships among Youth in Tanzania: A research study commissioned by Femina HIP in preparation for a regional youth MCP campaign. Online available at: [22th October 2010].

Schütz, A. & T. Luckmann. 2003. Strukturen der Lebenswelt. Konstanz: UVK Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.

Shaw, S. 2003. Feminist Approaches to the Study of Leisure: Incorporating Gender into the Analysis Of Leisure in Africa. In P.T. Zeleza, C.R. Veney (eds.). Leisure in Urban Africa. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press: 57–68.

Silverman, D. 2010. Doing Qualitative Research a Practical Handbook. 3th Edition. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Smith, G. 2006. Erving Goffman. London: Routledge.

Strauss, A. 1987. Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientist. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 55–80.

Tumbo, Z. & R. Liljeström (eds.). 1994. Chelewa, Chelewa: The Dilemma of Teenage Girls. Östersund: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.

United Republic of Tanzania (URT). 2012. 2012 Population and Housing Census. Dar es Salaam: Government Printer.

Zeleza, P. T. & C.R. Veney (eds.). 2003. Leisure in Urban Africa. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press.

World Health Organisation (WHO) (ed.). 2001. The Second Decade: Improving Adolescent Health and Development. Geneva: World Health Organization. Online available at: http:// whqlibdoc. 1998/ WHO_FRH_ ADH_ 98.18_ Rev. 1.pdf [29th July 2012].


  • There are currently no refbacks.