Brief Biography of Pete M. Mhunzi
I am a native of Los Angeles, California. My first career was in the music business. For thirteen years,
I made my living playing the guitar with Rhythm & Blues organizations.
At age thirty two I decided to go to college. I enrolled at Cal-State University, Los Angeles as an Afro-American Studies major. The year was 1969.
In 1970, I began to study Kiswahili. A passion developed that has not subsided in the forty two years that have passed since then. In 1973, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in Drama. That summer I took my first trip to Africa, going first to Kenya as a guest of my professor of Kiswahili and economics, Professor Paul Mulwa Sumbi. On my own, I continued the journey and went to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
I began my teaching career the following fall semester at CSULA, Department of Pan-African Studies.I was hired by Professor Sylvester Obi Akalonu of Nigeria. My first assignment was “The History of African American Music.”
In 1975, I entered the Graduate School of Management at UCLA with a double concentration of Marketing & International Management. In 1977, I graduated with the degree of Master of Business Administration.
Because of my experience in studying Kiswahili, I became a teacher of English as a second language in a middle school and an adult evening school. After seven years I began teaching history at Pasadena City College.
In 2008 I retired as a professor of history at Pasadena City College after teaching there for twenty five years. While employed at PCC, I produced a series of concerts featuring my orchestra, THE EBONIC BLUES ORCHESTRA. Each concert was divided into two sections or sets. The first showcased the Blues and R&B. The second Jazz. Between the two sets one of the musicians would give a lecture on the history of his given instrument in the world of Blues and Jazz. I am presently involved with two Tanzanian organizations. The first is, The Friends of Tanzania. This organization promotes unity among Tanzanians; their families and friends in the Greater Los Angeles area. The second is Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America, DICOTA. This is a national organization that strives to improve relations between Tanzania and the United States and further involve Tanzanians living in the U.S. in the economic and social development of Tanzania.
I translate newspaper articles from Tanzanian Kiswahili newspapers. The originals are used to create examinations for clients of Avant Assessment, LLC, of Portland, Oregon. I am contracted as a consultant. I am a charter member of National Language Service Corps. This organization facilitated my employment with Avant Assessment. Finally I am a member of the Linguistic Society of America.
My activities for the past two years include:
- Accepting an appointment with the Department of Defense as a Federal Language Consultant.
- Completing a teaching assignment in Kiswahili as a lecturer in the Department of Applied Linguistics, UCLA.
- Translating the sub-titles of the video of President Obama’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
- Translating the sub-titles of the video of Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University.
I also volunteer for Translators Without Borders. I recently translated a handbook on the prevention of the Aids virus from English to Kiswahili. I also translated a textbook for teaching deaf children to read. Currently, my most daunting challenge is contributing to the expansion of my wife’s tourist business. For several years she has been taking airline employees to Tanzania. Now we are expanding the business to serve clients in the general public. We have an organized system in place headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania that includes trained experienced tour guides, luxurious lodges, comfortable vehicles and fascinating itineraries. The name of the business is:
KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL SAFARI TOURS.