One day mypick-up truck broke down on the road from Maswa to Bariadi in Western Tanzania. After I had waited for half an hour, a big Coca-Cola truck came by and the driver, named Musa, kindly towed my vehicle to the next town. This was a not-uncommon occurrence of friendship and mutual help on our poor dirt roads.
While we drove into town I sat in his big cab and we talked about, of all things, religion. Musa was a Muslim who belonged to the Nyamwezi ethnic group.
In commenting on the tensions between Christians and Muslims in Tanzania, he said, “There is only one God. God is like a large Baobab tree with different branches that represent the different religions of Islam, Christianity, African religion, and so forth. These branches are part of the same family of God – so we should work together.”
Simply put, Musa taught me a wonderful African metaphor for world religions and interreligious dialogue.