Consolata Peter Mushi is the UDSM’s ‘Alumna of the Month’ for June 2022. She is currently the Executive Secretary of the National Kiswahili Council in Tanzania, popularly referred to in the national language as BAKITA, or Baraza la Kiswahili la Taifa. She is a trained and experienced teacher as well as a passionate language trainer.
She was born on 30 November 1969 in Singachini Kibosho, in Moshi Rural district, Kilimanjaro region, and she had her primary education at Singachini Primary School from 1976 to 1983. Then she proceeded to Kibosho Girls Secondary School for both secondary ‘O-level’ and secondary ‘A-level’ education in the years 1984-1987 and 1988-1990 respectively. In 1991, she joined Marangu Teachers College for a two-year Diploma of Education in teacher education up to 1993. She was thereafter posted to schools, first at Rungwe Secondary School in Mbeya, where she taught from 1993 to 1995. Then she was transferred to Kilangalanga Secondary School in Mlandizi in Coast Region, where she taught for five years from 1996 to 2001. Her school teaching gave her a lot of exposure and professional experience in the “hearing and teaching” of languages, particularly Kiswahili not only to school pupils but also to foreigners.
In the academic year 1997/98, she enrolled at the University of Dar es Salaam for a bachelor of arts (education) degree programme, majoring in Kiswahili as an academic subject and Kiswahili Methods as a pedagogical subject in the-then Faculty (now School) of Education. She graduated in 2001 with a B.A (Education) honours degree. Supported by strong performance results, in the same year (2001), she decided to proceed to a postgraduate study programme in languages and linguistics in the-then Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She successfully completed her programme in 2004, receiving her MA degree in linguistics as well as finding a reassuring professional career and position with the National Kiswahili Council. She has now been working with the Council (BAKITA) for eighteen years since 2004.
At various times, Ms. Mushi served as a part-time lecturer at the Open University of Tanzania (between 2005 and 2009) and at the University of Dar es Salaam (between 2009 and 2010), in both cases helping to provide practical insights and experiences to much of the theory in student courses.
At BAKITA, she has served in the capacity of Language Researcher (2004 todate),
Acting Head of the Mass Communication Unit (from 2012 to 2016), Head of the Terminology and Dictionary Department (from 2016 to 2020), Acting Executive
Secretary (from December 2017 to February 2018) and again Acting Executive Secretary (from March 2020 to March 2022). Since March 2022, she is serving as the CEO, as the Executive Secretary.
Consolata has been described by many as an illustrious performer in her areas of competence in language and linguistics, particularly in language exegesis, text interpretation and Kiswahili vocabulary development. Apart from her master’s dissertation in linguistics on ‘Kikibosho Verb Derivation’ [‘Lahaja ya Kichaga’] in 2003, she has published widely on these and many other language matters. She has, on record, a number of books, including Kisa cha Ndembe (a story that was published serially in the Majira Newspaper (1997); Jando na Unyago kwa Wachagga wa Kibosho (2001); Moduli za Kiswahili Kidato cha 1- 4, books she wrote with others on behalf of the Tanzania Institute of Education (2005); Istilahi Sanifu Namba 6 (2004); Kamusi ya Diplomasia (2013); Kamusi Kuu ya Kiswahili (2015); Mwongozo wa Kitaifa wa Kufundisha Kiswahili kwa Wageni (2021); Kamusi ya Kiswahili kwa Shule za Msingi (forthcoming); Kamusi ya UKIMWI (forthcoming). Further, she has edited several works, including Kitabu cha Semi za Kiswahili (2008); Kamusi ya Karne ya 21 (2011); Thamani ya Ndoa Yako kwa Mungu (2014); Thamani ya Wivu katika Ndoa (2017); and Makosa ya Mara kwa Mara katika Kiswahili (2021), as well as eleven articles and papers.
Ms. Mushi has dutifully rendered considerable consultancy services to many government departments and private organisations in the form of language translations of texts and interpretation of policy documents. On many occasions, she appears on public forums and discussions in connection with developments and challenges in the Kiswahili language and uses: something that has helped a great deal in the wider knowledge, spread and acceptance of varied forms, styles and uses of Kiswahili. The University of Dar es Salaam is proud of her rhythm of work, her enthusiasm and her effort in educating the public through her work.