Experiential Manifestation of Youth Violence in Tanzania: A Case Study of Commando Yosso Notorious Youth Gangs

  • JM Mwambi


In many societies youth constitute presumably large segments of the population and loci of dependable breadwinners. The majorities do not however represent monolithic and organized social order, designate instead mundane performances such as rural-urban migrations, forming gangs for notorious activities and carrying out uncontrolled street-level informal economic operations. An increased trend of rural-urban migration annually exacerbates the common problem of youth unemployment. Problems of street-level employment opportunities force many youth to join notorious gang activities aimed at terrorizing communities barely for the sake of making ends meet. They formed nefarious gangs that assumed a common name of Commando Yosso deviously engaging in night licentious activities. A full-fledged program for eradication of violent gangs was established and implemented victoriously. The escalation of perilous activities of the Commando Yosso gangs paradoxically attracted many more rural youth who swarmed with alacrity in Dar es Salaam City in anticipation of making quick fortunes. Alas! Uncovering the dissolution of notorious youth gangs’ activities, the naïve new city comers joined in desperation street level petty businesses. The urbane former Commando Yosso conjoin other unrepentant youth to become regular street-level petty business marchers, hence took up an assumed name of Machinga or Wamachinga1. Therefore, it is significant for relevant authorities to enforce policies of an early warning intervention as a way of restraining notorious youth gangs before they become uncontrollable. This is of paramount importance because in most cases dangerous escapades start as a dot on the horizon.

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eISSN: 0856-6739