Friday, January 19, 2018

A season of reckoning at Sauti Za Busara 2018

Segere Original (inset), Grace Matata (bottom

Segere Original (inset), Grace Matata (bottom left) and Msafiri Zawose (bottom right), will all feature at this year’s event. PHOTO | FILE 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. The Sauti Za Busara festival is about three weeks away and already there is plenty of action at both the headquarters and at the Old Fort.

Having suffered a setback in 2016 when the festival took a hiatus due to funding issues, they now look set to produce a world class show that suits the pedigree of the festival.

Organisers have announced that the festival that has been named among Africa’s best by CNN and the BBC is set for its 15th edition beginning on February 8 to 11 at the Old Fort in Stone Town Zanzibar.

This year’s festival is set to be held under the theme United in Music because organisers believe in the universal language of music.

Featuring an array of artistes and groups that represent Africa’s diversity, this has so many times proved to be the stage where African stars show the world their true creative powers in an iconic setting that dates several centuries back.

“This stage has hosted some of the hottest artistes in the past and this year it is not going to be any different and we are up and running to make sure that the festival takes place as planned,” says festival director Yusuf Mahmood. According to him the globally acclaimed extravaganza takes place at the Old Fort and Forodhani Gardens, hosting 46 exhilarating music performances bringing over 460 artistes on three different stages on four nights in February.

“All the 46 groups and artistes that were selected have confirmed their participation,” he says.

According to him Tanzanians and international visitors from all over the world should look forward to an exciting and diverse line-up of highly talented musicians whose talents have been the talking point across Africa and beyond.

The 2018 edition beat odds with more than 400 applications being received during the selection process that organisers say was a bit head-cracking given the fact that most of the groups that applied had the qualities, but organisers were looking for what they call the ‘Busara qualities’.

As some have already labelled it, this could be the best line-up that Sauti za Busara has assembled in recent years mixing both the young and old, all sharing one objective as they stand ‘United in Music’.

The groups that represent Africa’s diversity are from Algeria, Burundi, DRC, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Taking off from where the 14th edition left off, the list also features iconic sounds from Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar with 15 groups out to show the world the rich attributes of Tanzanian music.

The local revellers are set to witness the rebirth of Tanzania songstress Saida Karoli who returned to music last year with a bang after several years off the stage.

The groups include Kasai Allstars (DRC), Zakes Bantwini (South Africa),  Somi (Uganda / USA), Msafiri Zawose (Tanzania), Ribab Fusion (Morocco), Kidum & the Boda Boda Band (Burundi / Kenya), Mlimani Park Orchestra (Tanzania),

Also on the rich list are Grace Matata (Tanzania), Mohamed Ilyas & Nyota Zameremeta (Zanzibar), Makadem (Kenya), Diana Samkange ‘MaNgwenya’ (Zimbabwe), Fatma Zidan (Egypt / Denmark), Inganzo Ngari (Rwanda).

Others are Segere Original (Tanzania), Simangavole (Reunion), Maia & the Big Sky (Kenya), Kiltir (Reunion), El Dey (Algeria), Simbin Project (Senegal / Switzerland), CAC Fusion (Tanzania), Mbanaye (Malawi), Ernest Ikwanga (Malawi) and Isack Abeneko (Tanzania).

Keeping in the true tradition of the Sauti Za Busara all the groups will perform live with the first performance taking place at Kisonge before the Carnival Parade sets off the proceedings for four days of great entertainment at the Mambo Club, Amphitheatre and at the Forodhani Gardens.

As Yusuf Mahmoud, Festival Director recently said, “Music is a universal language, through which the world sees Africa is positive; Africa is vibrant, Africa is rich in its many cultures and expressions. We need to build bridges of peace and unity across the world; what better way to do this than through the universal language of music?”

Many musicians corroborate the festival director’s view given the fact that the season has been confirmed as another tourism season by local authorities in Zanzibar as the number of visitors to the Isles almost double.

According to Maryam Hamdani, leader of Zanzibar’s Tausi Women’s Taarab group, the festival brings many benefits for local artists.

“Sauti za Busara festivals are vital to us musicians as well as music fans. Through the years Busara has managed to promote us and made us stronger and stronger as we get a place to show our abilities. We have learnt a lot from meeting different musicians. We have gained a lot from the various workshops. We gained a lot from the encounters with musicians and journalists from all over the world,” she told the Beat

As a result every year, artists spotted at Sauti za Busara are invited to perform at other festivals around Africa, Europe and beyond.

Local musicians seen at the festival in Zanzibar who were then invited to perform internationally include Msafiri Zawose, Jagwa Music, Leo Mkanyia, Jahazi Modern Taarab, Tausi Women’s Taarab, Culture Musical Club, Maulidi ya Homu ya Mtendeni and many more.

Interestingly, they all illustrate examples of original music with cultural identity that is unique and can only be found in East Africa, which has been one of the guiding factors in the choices of the artistes selected over the years.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Alikiba voted most influential musician

Musician Alikiba

Musician Alikiba 

On Monday this week a list of 50 most influential young Tanzanians was released after a research was conducted by Avance Media. Categories ranged from journalism (media), sports, social work, technology to entertainment. In the media personality category, Clouds FM’s Millard Ayo emerged atop the list, while Jacqueline Mengi was named the most influential young Tanzanian in the lifestyle catergory, Jumanne Mtambalike topped the list of most influential young Tanzanian in the science and technology category, with Mbwana Samatta bagging top honours in the sports category. Overall, Samatta was recognized as the most influential young Tanzanian. In entertainment, Alikiba topped the list, followed by Diamond Platnumz. Alikiba’s influence in Tanzania’s music industry cannot be understated following a legion of fans he commands. He is one of a few artistes who comman a big crowd and are very influential.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Rayvanny receives YouTube award


The Wasafi musician currently trending with his Makulusa song featuring DJ Maphorisa and Bucks has yet again made history in Tanzania’s music industry. This week he became the first Tanzanian musician to receive a youtube award for having many subscribers and viewers on his youtube channel. Raymond Shaban Mwakyusa a.k.a Rayvanny so far has 57 million views on his youtube page, with over 2250,000 subscribers. YouTube sent the Tanzanian star an email informing him of his latest achievement, and later sent him the award which he received on Tuesday of this week.

On his instagram page, the singer thanked his fans for the support, and promised for more dazzling hits this year. In a week that saw his name miss out on the list of Tanzania’s most influential young people, Rayvanny has rallied back with a victory of his own – and quite a feat it is.

Last year Rayvanny achieved another rare milestone by becoming the first Tanzanian singer to receive a BET award. This latest accolade sees him continue a steady path of creating a unique legacy for himself in the music industry. The singer, signed under Diamond Platnumz’ WCB record label has become one of the top dogs in Tanzania’s music scene within a short period of time. There’s more to come from this young talent.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Women objectified in music videos


By Mpoki Thomson

 Seems like every song that gets released these days comes under great scrutiny for some reason. In the recent past we’ve witnessed a list of tracks get banned in the country for having sexually explicit content – both audio and visual.

Let’s admit it, some of us are guilty of ogling; once or twice we sneak a peek at somebody’s body, and just wander off into unchartered territory where only our imagination gets a front row seat.

Being privy to our thoughts, this presents no problem to society, but what happens when women stay half naked on tv screens – flaunting their bodies to all and sundry?

Where do we cross the line to treating a human body like an object of pleasure? Being a video vixen in Tanzania means you’re exposed to the filth that has become part and parcel of our entertainment industry. National Arts Council of Tanzania (BASATA) has tried to curb the level of sexually explicit content that finds its way into bongo music videos.

Just this week, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Juliana Shonza wreaked havoc on bongo flava as she ordered for a reinstatement of decorum by identifying ‘bad seeds’ in the entertainment industry who are allegedly ring leaders of promoting sexually explicit content.

She summoned Gift Stamford famously known as ‘Gigy Money’ to her office, and cautioned the artiste against being at loggerheads with the government, for it will only end in the artiste’s detriment.

Gigy Money, though now seemingly reformed (maybe due to her baby-bump), gained popularity for posting nude photos that left nothing to the imagination on social media platforms. She later capitalized on her fame by becoming a musician, releasing a few successful songs along the way.

But it looks as though her past has come back to haunt her. This comes at a time when the government, following President John Magufuli’s comment on decay of morals among our entertainers, is on a heated crackdown of any artiste associated with objectifying the female body in the name of doing music, seems like it’s no longer ‘business as usual’.

A few artistes have fallen victim to the detailed BASATA rules that compel artistes to conform to a certain level of modesty in their music content. Successful songs such as Zigo remix by AY featuring Diamond Platnumz was hit with a daytime ban even though the song in particular was positively received by fans.

The video, shot in South Africa, featured a number of women in skimpy clothes exposing their bodies. Chura, a very popular song by Snura was the talk of town upon its release due to the raunchiness of the video. It too did not survive BASATA’s surveillance and was consequently banned.

Some artistes have had to make two video versions for their songs; one that adheres to the level of modesty permitted in Tanzania, and another that aligns with international standards. Shetta, a local rapper says that strictly conforming to rules set by Tanzania’s arts council would mean that artistes miss out on the international market, a market perceived to be more welcoming to bouncing bosoms on screen. “We need to set the standard for our songs and videos to match the international market,” he said.

Video director Hanscana, whose résumé boasts some of the biggest names in bongo fleva, is of the opinion that the rules set in our local music industry are very limiting. “As video directors, we need to diversity our way of thinking and adjust our perception. Art is a field that requires expansive imagination so I think we shouldn’t be confined to a particular set of rules when trying to express ourselves artistically,” he said.

Men the perpetrators

Even though men can be objectified as well, most often, it seems the art of objectification occurs at the hands of men. Objectification can cross the line into unquestionable misogynistic territory.

From sexy dressing, dancing to speaking in seductive tone, it is very apparent that women are being objectified in music videos. Music fan Nyabulima Aggrey questions the motive behind women exposing their bodies by staying half-naked in music videos. Is it to make the song popular, or further promote the ill-fitted notion that women are sexual objects with the purpose of pleasuring the man? “Why does society condone such acts? Why do we let these women lose their identity by being belittled to nothing but sex symbols?” she queries.

Women have become the face of nudity and obscenity in Tanzania’s entertainment industry. Take the current crackdown on entertainers who expose their bodies online and in music videos; almost all of them are women. The president himself said it at a podium, in front of dignitaries. He said that women are the culprits of exposing their bodies in the entertainment industry. “Men do not expose themselves as much, they can be seen in vests or shirtless but women go to the extreme,” he said on national television. This shows that women are at the centrestage of the nudity narrative.

Some claim that women do it for the money, but in an interview with a local television channel, video vixen who goes by the name Badgirl Lisah said that models in music videos in Tanzania are unfairly paid. “Most of them do it for the fame, especially when the artiste who requested for a model has a big name in the industry,” she said.

National arts council’s move to curb the rise of nudity in the entertainment industry has to a great extent contained such content from being the main feature in music videos. And as we saw tears freely flowing down the cheeks of a heavily pregnant Gigy Money this week, it is clear that gone are the days of nudity in our entertainment scene.

But the effect of this is that big names in bongo flava now produce songs targeting the international market, forsaking the Tanzanian market – perhaps we’ll catch on with time.

The African culture does not favour women exposing their bodies publicly with the purpose of pleasuring unidentified men, that’s why banning sexually explicit videos has been witnessed in other African countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.

Recently in Kenya, Sauti Sol was dealt a heavy blow when their song ‘Melanin’ featuring Nigeria’s Patoranking, even with its infectious tune was banned by Kenya’s arts council. In Nigeria, artistes like Wizkid and Davido, two of the biggest names in Africa’s entertainment industry have also been at the receiving end of bans from their government following excessive nudity in their music videos, much to the dismay of their fans, an inclination to society’s role in promoting sexual objectification of women.     


Friday, January 12, 2018

Oprah for president after Globes?


        Could Oprah Winfrey run for president and beat Donald Trump? The United States was ablaze Monday with speculation that the billionaire talk show queen might be nurturing White House ambitions after an impassioned Golden Globes speech.

Winfrey had barely heralded a “new day” following a sexual harassment watershed, before calls snowballed for one of America’s most famous women, a self-made tycoon born into poverty, to run for the highest office in the free world. Hollywood’s loathing of Trump and Democrats’ bafflement that a crass-talking reality star with no previous government experience could win the presidency have fuelled talk of, well, why not another television star, only one with the “right” politics?

Twitter ignited, Democrats championed her as superior to Trump and even Republicans admitted she was a formidable opponent to a reality star president, who himself named Winfrey as his pick for vice president in an interview 20 years ago.

The White House even waded in, saying Trump would “welcome the challenge, whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anybody else,” when a spokesman was grilled aboard Air Force One.

The only fly in the ointment? Winfrey’s denial. “I don’t, I don’t,” she reportedly said backstage at the Globes when asked if she planned to run.

“There’ll be no running for office of any kind for me,” she told CBS in October. But fevered speculation only escalated. “Oprah for president? She’s got my vote,” tweeted pop superstar Lady Gaga.

CNN quoted two anonymous “close friends” as saying Winfrey was “actively thinking” about a presidential run. Her longtime partner suggested that she could be persuaded.     


Friday, January 12, 2018

Brown makes history with globe win


The This is Us star became the first black actor ever to win in the Best Actor - TV Drama category, responding to the news: “I feel a tremendous sense of pride”.

“To finally be the first of something is really interesting because I never considered myself to be a trailblazer,” he told press backstage. “I just try to stand in my truth all the time and if I come from a place of truth, that’s all I can do. I can’t worry about trying to be Jackie Robinson or anything else, but I’m honored.”

“He’s a fish out of water and two individuals who love him and appreciate him take him into their lives even though he doesn’t look like they do,” the actor said of his performance as the adopted son of white parents. “He’s trying to find his way in the world. Growing up, my mother always told me I’d have to work twice as hard; that the world wasn’t going to react and respond in the way of my white counterparts.”

“When those kids were making trouble, she said I wouldn’t have the same kind of latitude as them if I got in trouble. The repercussions would be different.”

“You wrote a role for a black man, that could only be played by a black man,” he said to Fogelman, who was in the audience. “And so, what I appreciate so much about this is that I’m being seen for who I am, and being appreciated for who I am. And it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me, or dismiss anybody who looks like me. So thank you Dan.”

Backstage, Brown said he felt the weight of his historic win. “I stand up here hold this trophy. I hope another black actor will be up here holding this trophy not 75 years from now,” he said. The Twitter account for the awards show shared an interview with Brown following his win, where he talked about the impact of the victory.

“I’ve never been the first person to win anything, so to be the first black man to win best lead actor in a dramatic series is kind of amazing to me

He beat out Jason Bateman for Netflix’s “Ozark,” Freddie Highmore for ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” Bob Odenkirk for AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” and Liev Schreiber for Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.” The 2018 field for Best Actor in a TV Drama was a competitive one, filled with character newcomers and familiar favorites. On the heels of the wild early success of “The Good Doctor,” Freddie Highmore could easily have nabbed the award from a voting base that loves rewarding popular broadcast shows. Last year Brown was eligible for a drama series actor nomination for his role as Randall Pearson on the first season of “This Is Us,” but the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., failed to recognize his work. (He was, however, nominated for his supporting actor role as Christopher Darden in the limited series “The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.”)

The Television Academy took notice of Brown’s turns from the light-hearted and almost goofy dad on the NBC’s family drama to the stressed out and breaking down son who just connected with his own biological dad, only to lose him months later. Brown was nominated for his first dramatic lead actor Emmy in the summer of 2017 and later took home that trophy in September.

Now he has his first Globe to match. Brown’s win bodes well for the overall prospects of “This is Us,” which is also nominated for Best Drama Series.

There were several historic winners at this year’s ceremony: a sign both of a hopeful future, but also a bleak look at the Golden Globes’ shameful lack of diversity in years past. Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to win the esteemed Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men,” Winfrey said in her powerful acceptance speech. “But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up.”

Aziz Ansari also became the first Asian-American actor to win the Golden Globe for Best Actor - TV Comedy or Musical, thanks to his work on Master of None.     


Friday, January 12, 2018

Chidi Benz in hot water, again


        Rashidi Makwiro, famously known as Chidi Benz, is facing another spat with the police. News circulated online regarding the rapper’s latest arrest in the country’s capital. It was later revealed that Chidi Benz, along with other suspects was arrested in December last year following allegations of possession of heroine. Dodoma Chief of Police, Gilles Muroto said the artiste, together with his accomplices, are being held by police. He named other suspects by the names Godfrey Nyadzi, Maisha club (Dodoma) finance manager, Rajabu Ally and Mariam Lema who are business personnel. The Police Officer said that the suspects were apprehended along Makole in Dodoma at 12 noom on December 30 last year by police patrol on duty that day. “We are still continuing with investigation, once investigation is done, they’ll be arraigned in court,” he said.

Chidi Benz has fallen from grace, once a respected and admired artiste in Tanzania’s music scene, he is now a shadow of his former self, involved in one scandal after another – all related to drugs.     


Friday, January 12, 2018

Women in Hollywood fight against Harassment


More than 300 top women in Hollywood — from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Thompson and Cate Blanchett — unveiled an initiative last week to tackle pervasive sexual harassment in workplaces, calling special attention to their “sisters” in less than glamorous blue-collar jobs.

The initiative, dubbed Time’s Up, caps a year in which the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal touched off a deluge of allegations that brought down powerful men in entertainment, politics and the media, prompting companies, government agencies and even the US federal court system to re-examine harassment policies.

But in an open letter printed in The New York Times, the new initiative lends the star power of its A-list members to the cause of women in less prominent fields, urging support and respect for farmworkers and others whose humble positions leave them vulnerable and voiceless.

“We fervently urge the media covering the disclosures by people in Hollywood to spend equal time on the myriad experiences of individuals working in less glamorized and valorized trades,” the group says in its full-page ad.

“To every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss, every housekeeper who has tried to escape an assaultive guest, every janitor trapped nightly in a building with a predatory supervisor, every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile... we stand with you. We support you.”

$15million goal

Last month, the head of Ford Motor Company apologised to employees at two factories in Chicago and promised changes, after a scathing expose by the Times detailed pervasive harassment and mistreatment of women at the plants dating back to the 1990s. It was one of the first major media investigations into sexual harassment in blue-collar workplaces. Among the specific steps it announced, Time’s Up has established a legal defense fund that, in just 12 days, has raised $13.4 million toward a $15 million goal aimed at providing legal aid for women and men who were sexually harassed, assaulted or abused in the workplace.

It has vowed to push for legislation to strengthen laws on workplace harassment and discrimination.

The group insists that more women must be brought into positions of power and leadership, while every woman should have equal benefits, opportunities, pay and representation.

As for Hollywood, it wants “swift and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone.”

And it called on women to wear black at Sunday’s Golden Globes as a statement against gender and racial inequality, and to raise awareness about the group’s efforts.

‘Dear sisters’

The open letter in the Times, which also appears in the Spanish-language La Opinion, opens with the words “Dear Sisters” in large, bold type, and closes with the words “in solidarity,” followed by the names of the 300 women.

Several of Weinstein’s accusers signed the open letter. They include Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale, as well as Salma Hayek, whose lengthy account of mistreatment by Weinstein — “my monster,” she called him — was widely circulated on social media after appearing last month in The New York Times.

Weinstein has denied some of the allegations, including Hayek’s assertion that he pressured her to do a nude sex scene in one movie.

Other prominent women lending their names to the Time’s Up cause are actresses Natalie Portman, America Ferrera, Amy Schumer, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Susan Sarandon, Uma Thurman and Viola Davis; producer Shonda Rhimes; Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley; feminist activist Gloria Steinem; lawyer and ex-Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen and Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel.     


Friday, January 5, 2018

From Vee Money to the Compozers, what a year ender!!!!

Vanessa Mdee and Mohombi perform ‘Njoo Kwangu’

Vanessa Mdee and Mohombi perform ‘Njoo Kwangu’ 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. It was a weekend that was full of all sorts of merry making as folks sought to bid farewell to a rather very eventful year.

There were events that shaped the industry in the past 12 months, some were indeed embarrassing but the same breath there were those that were worth celebrating.

And sometimes as they say it does not matter how you start your journey but rather how you finish for as we have come in a world that is becoming increasingly twisted, the end justifies the means.

And so as the week wore on news of the day had it that Vanessa Mdee would be holding a listening party for her debut album Money Mondays at the Hyatt Regency. To make it even spicier it was an invite only event therefore guaranteeing that no unwanted faces would gatecrash the party as the case has been at certain events recently. Talk of turbulence; it was a year that the singer admits that it was one to forget after she was named in that infamous list to the extent that she even contemplated throwing in the towel.

On this day Vanessa was at the door with a couple of assistants to welcome her guests in person after having held a press conference earlier on in the day at the same venue.

Her guests ranged from super models Flaviana Matata, Harriet Paul, Idris Sultan, Joh Makini, G-Nako, Ommy Dimpoz plus several other high profile socialites who rock the city. Do remember Kwanza Unit? Well one of its founders Kibacha aka KBC was also in the house.

And just as many had suspected Vanessa revealed that her beau Jux was the rock that stood by her during the turbulent times and if it was not for him then the Album wouldn’t have been completed.

Incidentally Jux was also in the house and the pair was later on in the night quite inseparable as they mixed with their guests after she had given the audience snippets of some of the five songs or do on the album.

So we now know that all that while Jux and Vee Money have always been an item and they never separated even a single day!

Hers was a story of some relentless effort towards achieving what not many female musicians have achieved in the industry in recent years in Tanzania.

The songs on her album just like most young women today are a tale some personal battle with romance and especially with the advent of the social media platforms such as instagram. On her guest list was a high profile guest as well in the name of Mohombi , a Grammy award winning artiste with a rich resume that is probably just as illustrious as his songs. The two joined hands in giving revellers a full dose of their collaboration effort ‘Njo Kwangu’ a song that got the audience on their feet.

Mohombi who previously had collaborated with Diamond Platnumz was returning to Tanzania for the second time after his first visit ended in a disappointment when power failure forced the show to close before he could perform.

This time around as he danced on the table he was buoyed with the fact that African music is travelling places

As part of her collaboration efforts she was joined by Joh Makini in a redoing Marijani Rajabu’s Pumzi a song that is definitely likely to take the slightly older folks back into the days. Irrespective of how far this album might or might not go, she has laid the mark of a diva ready to take on the industry. But as we were still thinking of Vanessa word had arrived that a certain boy band from the UK called the Compozers were in town. The group is formed of Nana ‘Pokes’ Ntorinkansah, David ‘Melodee’ Ohene-Akrasi, Stephen ‘Drummerboy’ Asamoah-Duah , and Charlie ‘Biggz’ Mensah-Bonsu who were all born in London to Ghanaian parents. Though with a high profile resume elsewhere, this was their first time to perform in this part of the continent and the gig was testimony as to why they are so famous in West Africa and Europe. As the countdown to 2018 beckoned the British band that had on the night chosen to go the Karaoke style got the audience which was mainly corporate in a dancing mood.

Their set for the night included music from the old school to some of the most famous African artistes such as Davido and Wiz Kid.

The compozers believe music can be used to transform the lives of people around the globe. Music is a universal language and as the people’s band they use their talents to reach out to those who are unreachable through the touch of their instruments. They have travelled the world doing what they do best, performing with various award winning artists such as Wizkid and Fuse ODG.

On that night the quartet let the music do the talking as they took revellers through a musical journey worth being labeled a true year ender at the Hyatt Regency.


Friday, January 5, 2018

Nguza Mbangu’s desires and the ailing dance music

The Nguza family when they paid a courtesy call

The Nguza family when they paid a courtesy call to the President early this week. PHOTO | MCL 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Four weeks ago veteran singer Nguza Mbangu Viking and his son Johnson Nguza aka Papii Kocha were released from prison on a presidential pardon after they had spent over 13 years serving a life sentence.

This week, the family paid a courtesy call to the President at his Magogoni residence, it was something that they had longed for, and finally their wish was granted.

This did not sit very well with certain circles as they went on a rant on social media platforms.

Whatever the President discussed with his guests is something that we cannot delve into unless it is offered through the approved channels.

All that the public was made to understand was that they are ready to return to work as entertainers and that the President had given them the green light to return to work.

In his own words, the junior Nguza aka Papii Kocha said they were set to take dance music back to its glory days when they filled halls across the city.

Their return to music industry is one that their fans are eagerly waiting for given the pedigree that they once had prior to their incarceration with hit single Seya enjoying massive airplay.

The Nguza family’s views on what the industry has become isn’t very far from the truth, the genre is in tatters with nothing to show.

Times have changed indeed, the space that was once reserved for Nguza and co have long been taken over by some new kids on the block as Bongo Flava rules the roost.

The truth is that bands like FM Academia, Twanga Pepeta, Akudo and many others are struggling; they have been relegated to playing in dusty halls in the city’s periphery.

As valid as the Nguza’s claim of reinstating dance music to its rightful place could be , it remains interesting to know the route that they are likely to take in this era of social media.

But as many have observed before, dance music has probably been its own enemy in the past decade despite enjoying a massive following amongst what was the perceived middle class.


Creativity within these bands is questionable as the quick fixes that some of the bands have sought hasn’t worked; many are accused of being copy cats.

The realisation of this once protected fact drove most young fans away who were supposed to be the potential fan base for the future survival of the bands.

“For example when Akudo came with ‘Mapenzi Yako Wapi’, we realised that it wasn’t their own composition, all they did was to put in some Kiswahili words and with time fans learnt about the truth,” says himself as Rajab Juma, 29.

In a world where visibility and image is everything most of the bands are yet to compose songs that bear their own identity and stick in the memories of fans as in most cases the story line is jumbled to the extent that one can’t tell what the song is about.

According to pundits the bands are stuck with the old compositions which do not address today’s issues.

“If you are going to compose a song that doesn’t relate these young people’s needs there are always going to be a problem,” says on pundit.

However, some blame it on the new media that has made Bongo Flava what it is today, and therefore, enjoying massive radio and TV airplay in comparison to Dance music.

“There was a time when a radio like Clouds had special session to play our kind of music on a programme called Afrika Bambata, this helped to market the music. How are people going to like something they don’t hear?” she questions.

She adds that even those at the helm of the radio stations that have an inclination towards Bongo Flava and that is why they have been banished to the shelves.

Though she maintains that their fan base hasn’t been depleted as many suggest she says it is important for the bands to go back to the basics.


The advent of social networks has in the last couple of years acted as a major marketing tool in the industry.

However, most of these bands are yet to embrace the social network as way of publicity and marketing which leaves them dependant on yesterday’s ways of doing things.

To stay relevant there are some like Christian Bella who came to the realisation that the genre was on its death, he decided to reinvent.

According to him, Bongo Flava was just too powerful, he had to do something, though he can’t be classified as a pure Bongo Flava artiste Bella fuses some its flavour in his compositions.

Song such as ‘Nani Kama Mama’ featuring Ommy Dimpoz and later ‘Nagharamia’ featuring AliKiba was a complete change of direction from what he once was while at Akudo.

He has undergone a metamorphosis of some sort, performing at sold out concerts across the country.

The dying Libanga

There was a time at the peak of their power; bands such as FM Academia, Twanga Pepeta, Akudo including Nguza in Seya they would sing about some rich men.

Those were the days when names such as Ndama Mtoto Ya Ng’ombe, Papa Msofe, Mzamimiru Katunzi, and others could be heard during performances.

But what the majority of their fans didn’t know is that while they attempt to outclass the queen dancers, there was much more to Rumba than the writhing of waists and trouser-tearing dance antics.

Amid their crowd pulling performances singers throw in a name of a popular rich man or even a football player like their counterparts in DRC do and in the process making a quick buck.

These Pederejees have all since gone under with some lengthy serving jail terms making the industry a very arid place today.

Traditionally, from the birth place of Rumba, this is known as ‘Kobwaka Libanga’ an expression that can be used to describe a little child who throws a stone to get a parent or an older person’s attention.

It could be too soon to write off the Nguza’s desires to roll back the golden years of dance music in Tanzania, however, the truth is that while they were away so much has happened in the industry.


Friday, January 5, 2018

Dully Sykes releases Coconut video


He is considered as one of the pioneers of today’s Bongo Flava whose hits have been part of the genre’s journey and as some of his compatriots throw in the towel, Dully Sykes has continued to be relevant.

This week the singer released the video for his latest single Coconut which come on the heels of his other single Bombadier which has been quite a great song both on TV and in night clubs.

The video that was directed by Joowzey maintains some of Dully Sykes’ trademark with several scantily dressed girls dancing around him raunchily.

In the song he praises a girl that she calls Coco who he says is the best ever and would never leave her for any other.

The song is a sign that Dully Sykes is starting the year on a high note with more yet to come from the Salome and Ladies Free singer.


Friday, January 5, 2018

‘No man wants to be my ex’- Huddah


The New year comes with its fair share of surprises and for some celebrities like Kenya’s Huddah Monroe they are just kicking off from where they stopped as she brags of an intact body.

For many a woman, there are numerous ways and ideas on how to keep their man locked in

- It turns out popular Kenya beauty entrepreneur, Huddah Monroe has also got a few ideas of her own. Towards the end of the year Huddah dished out tips on how to use and dump rich men.

Well, this time around, she has once again taken to the social media platform to reveal why no man wants to leave her. According to her, her body is still intact and she’s got the African sauce.

The controversial Kenya socialite rose to fame in 2014 after she clinched the coveted slot of representing Kenya in the Big Brother Africa – BBA reality show in South Africa.

She currently owns a successful cosmetic business and makes her money from modelling, curtain raising events and products promotions


Friday, December 29, 2017

Top 10 stories that rocked Tz showbiz

There are events that shape society and some

There are events that shape society and some shall remain in our memories forever due to their impact. 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. The Christmas trees are finally drying up and as the sounds of Jingle Bells is only a distant memory as curtains roll down on 2017.

As the days and months flew by many mouthwatering events took place that kept us entertained with every ticking second on the clock, from the fashion world to the music industry. These events made the industry very busy, with one thing in common, a leap into a brighter future.

In this end of year edition we take a recap of some of those thrills and frills that were worth your time throughout the year.

RC Makonda’s list

The year kicked off early with drama on the social media but then in February a rather unprecedented move the Regional Commissioner came up with a list of people involved in drug abuse and trafficking.

Drugs have always been an entertainers’ bane and there were time when some bragged openly about their involvement in the consumption of such substance.

This list came at a time when rapper Chidi Benz was struggling at a rehab with drug abuse related problems.

Many an entertainer was in the list something that left their fans spell bound, it as quite an illustrious one as it included actresses, musicians, promoters and even video queens.

Some of the high profile names to grace the infamous list included Vanessa Mdee, Wema Sepetu, TID, Agnes Gerald, Mr Blue, Tunda, Petitman, Romy Jones, the list is rather endless. Those were turbulent times for entertainers indeed!

Many of them pleaded guilty and were placed under supervision and some like TID even volunteered to join the campaign against drug abuse.

Though some calm returned after a short while, there are some whose cases are yet to be decided by the courts of law.

Diamond’s love triangle

Diamond Platinumz is undeniable one of the biggest stars of African music today and perhaps one of Tanzania’s greatest musical export who commands a huge following across the continent.

His meteoric rise to continental and international fame is a story that could make an epic film, a boy from alleys of Tandale who went on to prove a point to the world.

Though he might not be the greatest talent to have graced the stage, to most of his peers he is a dream come true for he has set the bar too high.

Off the stage, however, Diamond aka Chibu Dangote attracted attention for issues that were less musical. His taste for finesse does not stop with mansions, cars and fine clothing; he has an eye for beautiful women too, he dines and wines with the best.

His philandering ways became one of the most talked and trending issue on the social media when he openly admitted to cheating on his spouse Zari with video vixen Hamisa Mobeto.

The truth was going to set him free, free from the gossip that had now reached deafening proportions and his 3.9 million followers were demanding answers.

The denial game was becoming a tired cliché,.

According to the singer he had strayed with the model and the product of this liaison was the birth to a baby boy whom the model had chosen to name Abdul Latif.

It was a liaison that started with the video shoot of smash hit Salome and in his own word Satan crossed his way.

He, however, said that the kind of atmosphere that the model created was one that was meant to brew controversy, one that sent signals that I had deserted her in her hour of need. Unlike many women who choose to raise their lover’s child without drama, Hamisa Mobetto could have none of it!

Hamisa wasn’t comfortable with the laid down plan which was meant to keep her in the background.

Though Zari has since forgiven her straying boyfriend , there is a war of words raging in the social media between the two women.

Babu Seya’s release

Every December 9 Tanzania celebrates the Independence of Tanganyika, a day that is usually very eventful in many ways.

The 56th celebrations was unique in many ways a first, it was the first time that the Dodoma hosted such a celebrations, and then came the Presidential pardon, this too, was the first of its kind.

Death row convicts and those serving lifetime sentences were set free by the President sparking frenzy across the city.

The most popular of those acquitted were singers Nguza Viking aka Babu Seya and his son Johnson Nguza aka Papi Kocha who were serving life sentence in Ukonga Prison.

It was freedom at last after several futile attempts to appeal against the life sentence and they seemed resigned to their fate.

The social media got a bit noisy with their hit single Seya becoming one of the trending issues of the day.

Bars and night clubs dedicated on their playlists songs such as Fanta, Salima and Seya, with revellers dancing emotionally.

Many of their fans look forward to that concert when father and son shall hit the stage once again after 14 years’ absence.

Lulu’s incarceration

At 21 years Elizabeth Michael aka Lulu’s life has been more of a fairy tale, she wined and dined with the high and mighty in Dar es Salaam.

Life for the young actress who rose to fame as child star was one on the super highway, but that was not until November when she was jailed for two years.

The jail term was perhaps not all that a shocker after the jury had unanimously agreed that the actress was guilty of unintentionally killing fellow actor and then boyfriend Steven Kanumba in 2012.

The judge cited a poor defense that the actress put up during the hearing and therefore in his own words Judge Rumanyika said: I was left with no choice but to convict the defendant.

The court session prior to her sentencing was quite a crowd puller as it was packed with relatives, artistes, and the general public who were anxious to hear the judge’s ruling.

It was a land mark case that drew emotions from different angles who had a version or two of their own story more especially because the involved parties were both Bongo movies’ stars in their own right.

Dogo Janja’s wedding

Age has been a very contentious subject in this part of Africa lately, once it was a symbol of wisdom as age-set was a key element in societal issues.

But for those in the showbiz it was more about the relationships that were considered inappropriate in terms of age .

As some forces put it then, this obsession with age was rather discriminatory and quite inconsiderate at some of the forces at play.

The story that rocked the entertainment world was the Irene Uwoya and Dogo Janja marriage, the only reason why society was so gripped with this story was not about the success or the failure of the marriage.

It was rather because of the age difference as the couple set the internet ablaze, Irene was on the receiving end as they called her all sorts of names.

Bongo Flava Rivalry continues

It was again a year of drama with the two main forces AliKiba and Diamond Platnumz lighting up the industry.

When AliKiba released ‘Seduce Me’, it was his first hit in almost 12 months, Diamond and co responded by releasing ‘Zilipendwa’. A war of words emerged, one that threatened to tear apart the industry.

The noise has been deafening and to a certain extent there are those who claim it is good for business. Whether good or not for the neutrals it is a bit distracting in many ways.

Rayvanny wins BET

Despite success by his seniors in the nascent Bongo Flava industry, Rayvanny beat the odds to become the first Tanzanian artiste to win the BET awards.

He joined Uganda’s Eddy Kenzo as the only artistes from East Africa to have won the prestigious award that defines black entertainment.

He beat well established artistes in the International viewers’ Choice Dave (United Kingdom), Amanda Black (South Africa), Changmo (South Korea), Daniel Caesar, Remi and Skip Marley all from Jamica.

This came after several years of false starts for artistes whose names are now synonymous with Bongo Flava itself such as Diamond, Vanessa Mdee and even Alikiba.

And it was from a very unlikely source, from an artiste who only made a break through over a year ago.

The gloom at Miss Tanzania

Miss Tanzania continued to be a very troubled place with organisers failing to get sponsorship to stage the final event.

The opted for the easier way out to get a representative for the Miss World contest, just as the case was in 2011, the committee went for last year’s runner up! The reasons that have so far been given just don’t add up whatsoever.

The recent misfortunes in the industry which began with the coronation of Siti Mtemvu in 2014 have left the pageantry in tatters.

As predicted then, the in-fights have reduced sponsors confidence in the contest that at one time was one of the hottest dates on the entertainment calendar.

The emergence of Aslay

Tanzania’s showbiz has been a very noisy place lately to the tune of threatening an outbreak of a fully blown conflict, shaking the very foundations that the nascent Bongo Flava was built on.

However, far from the maddening crowd a Prince has been born and he has taken away the spotlight from the so-called kings and queens of the industry with compositions that will last long enough to tell the tale.

Dogo Aslay’s compositions have taken the Bongo Flava fraternity by storm with his releases in the solo project just months after they split.

He has been churning hit after hit with songs such as Mhudumu, Likizo, Usiitie Doa featuring Hadija Kopa, Angekuona, Pusha,Natamba, Mario, Hauna and several others becoming household names.

Unfortunately, with the nature of Bongo Flava industry not many seem to be paying attention to the great lyrical content and the art of storytelling that this lad exudes in his compositions.

Maybe the wait is finally over for that breath of fresh air in what seems to be congested room saturated with Afrobeats.

And as many a pundit admit he is the lad to beat in 2018.

The dry awards season

It was a year of no awards at all despite having several that are registered by the National Arts Council.

Awards such as the Kilimanjaro Tanzania Music Awards and the recently registered EATV awards remained as mere talk.

Though Basata is yet to publicly admit that the former sponsors have withdrawn their funding, it is quite clear that the only thing that is holding the once prestigious awards at bay is the funding crisis.

It is a crisis that doesn’t seem to be close to an end as more companies are getting tight on s[pending money on none revenue generating ventures.

They might be forced to channel their energies elsewhere.


Friday, December 29, 2017

Vanessa to test ride Money Mondays

Vanessa Mdee

Vanessa Mdee 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. The release date for her album Money Mondays has been set for January 18 but Vanessa is already into the groove as she is set to host a listening party tonight at the Hyatt Regency in Dar es Salaam.

The invite only party is set to give the cherry picked guests a first feel of the 18-track album especially the songs that will be playing for the first time. Mohombi who is one of the collaborations that worked with Vanessa on one of the songs is part of the illustrious guest list that features the cream of the industry.

The Swedish-Congolese singer and Vanessa Mdee will do a special performance after the listening party is done. Money Mondays features collaborations from across Africa and was produced by producers such as Nahreel of the Industry, Bob Maneck, Breezy, Eliarkis,Ekelly, with Vanessa taking on the role of an executive producer.

The songs that have already been released off the album includes the lead simgle Kisela, Cash Madame, No Body But Me, and Juu a track that features her former botfriend Jux.

The realease of this albume comes at a time when most local artistes have declared not to release albums with preference to singles due to rampant piracy.

In a recent interview Vanessa stated that she was not deterred by any of these assertations because she doesnt intend to market the album in the conventional channels.

Already one of the leading online content marketing Mkiito is on board.


Friday, December 29, 2017

Scottish label cuts ties with singer Malaika

Queen Malaika

Queen Malaika 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. It was a deal that was supposed to turn around Queen Malaika’s music career but before even the first song is launched off their project it has emerged that the Scottish based label Urban Studios has severed ties with the singer, The Beat can reveal. In a communiqué that was sent to the beat, the Queen Malaika project has been suspended due to unavoidable circumstances.

“It is with profound sadness that we have to inform you and the public that the “Queen Malaika” project had to come to an abrupt end. After carefully reviewing the progress of the project and professional misconduct on Malaika’s side, we have conclusively decided it is to the best interest of both parties that the “Queen Malaika” project must come to an end. This was not an easy decision to reach and iIt is also not how we had envisioned,” reads the statement in part.

Urban Studios team which includes Hassan Nganzo, Aloyce Gelase and David Roddie who were spearheading the project made the decision to suspend the project however they say they will continue their search for new talent as well as working on new potential projects under ‘Trend Differently’.

Speaking to The Beat, Hassan Nganzo said that it was unfortunate that they had to end the project after so much work had been put into it with countless hours were devoted to the project. Aloyce Gelase stated, “I am disappointed we had to cancel the project but it’s not the end. For now we have to focus on other projects but we will consider planning a project with Malaika in the near future assuming all parties agree and set new contractual obligations”

David Roddie stated “I was delighted to meet Malaika and had fun making music for her. Unfortunately this music won’t be released in the near future”.

He added: Unfortunately the music produced and written for the project by David Roddie and Stephen Dunn will not be released any time soon.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Vanessa Mdee closing 2017 on a new high

Vanessa Mdee

Vanessa Mdee 

By Paul Owere, The Citizen

Dar es Salaam. Vanessa Mdee is probably one of the hottest female musicians on the continent today and the multiple award nominations and wins is testimony to this growth.

Having risen from a VJ at MTV and a radio presenter at Choice FM she seems to be scaling the heights that not so many of her compatriots have been able to. This week she speaks to the Beat on the new album, the record deal with Universal and even some personal life. Below are excerpts of the interview.

Lets talk about Money Mondays, is it finally out as you had promised?

The album is ready and the pre-order link for this long awaited project is out!! It has 16 tracks with two bonus hits featuring several collaborations from across Africa. Some of the songs were released before, but most are those that you will hear for the first time.

Artistically what approach does this album take?

Money Mondays is a concept based on the evolution of self. The betterment of self, I have come from On air personality to singer to an actress. It is about the idea that one can keep evolving in life in career in love and then Mondays representing the first day of the week. In this case with new beginnings, fresh starts everyday is a ‘Money Monday’, you can start again and be great. You just need to choose greatness.

What collaborations do you have in this new work?

My collaborations are very organic. I love to work with people who just flow with me from the conception of the ideas all the way to the development of the song. You’ll see a large percentage of my collaborations are with Tanzanian artists. And you know I had to throw in some dance hall and hip hop vibes!

Word has it that you have been signed by Universal Records Germany. How true and to what extent is this likely to be the game changer?

By signing, I already changed the game! The contract between Universal and I is very unique, it is non generic and created to my liking. I wouldn’t want to say too much on this right now... but just get ready for more great music from me in 2018.

Through Mdee Music you are managing some artistes what has the journey been so far?

Mdee Music is my label. I am also signed by my own label, I constantly demand for high levels of management, professionalism, caring, consistency, and open minded management, meaning all artistes signed under the label receive nothing short of this management! I have put together a great team who make sure that all this fall in place.

The festive season us here do you have any performances lined up?

The festive season is here but almost wrapping up! December is always a busy month for me. I have had performances both in and out of Tanzania every weekend since the beginning of the festive month. I will be performing in Nigeria next week and will usher in the New Year as the headlining artist at the highly anticipated NYE party in Diani Kenya.

On a quick take what can you say were some of the events that influenced 2017 for you and your music?

The past year has been a rollercoaster ride. I have hit highs and extreme lows. I have shed tears of frustration, exhaustion and even heartbreak. On the flip side, I have shed tears of joy, love and appreciation! And I am now closing the year with the release of my album. And I cannot thank the Lord more for moulding me into what I have grown to be. I don’t allow myself to be influenced by life events, I only learn and prosper from them. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

Mimi Mars is probably one of rising talents in Bongo Flava today, what role have you played in her growth?

Mimi Mars is my younger sister. Given a gift by God to spread love through song! And she is killing it, check out her brand latest single Sitamani which is out now.

Did you and Jux really separate or it was some stunt? And if so was Kisela dedicated to him?

I don’t play when it comes to matters of the heart. I prefer to guard and protect my heart! As far as I am concerned, as an artiste I only dedicate music to my fans. I do not make music for individuals.

Who worked on the cover design of Money Mondays?

The Money Mondays cover design is a collaborative effort between myself, my team and of course, the genius who brings our visions to life, Osse.


Friday, December 22, 2017

How safe is that local night club in your area?


By Beat Reporter

Dar es Salaam. The night life in Dar es Salaam is one of the most robust in the region with certain sections of the expansive city getting known for wild parties

The years of economic boom which has made Dar become one of the fastest growing cities in Africa has come with a fair share of a cultural shift with a population of almost 6 million.

The thirst for night life has led to the mushrooming of several night clubs amd lounges in suburbs such as Sinza, Tabata, Mikocheni, Kinondoni and many others.

However, a recent survey by The Beat shows that most of these so-called pleasure share a common feature.

They are poorly ventilated, overcrowded, with no smoke detectors, most lack firefighting equipment with no clear exit signs in the case of an emergence.

There are some that are located on the high-rise buildings that would make evacuation such a huge task.

These are supposed to be comfort zones but instead they turn into more of a death trap and a ticking time bomb in the waiting.

But come dusk, all and sundry prefer the corner nightclubs to quench their thirsts after a hard day’s work with all caution thrown to the wind.

To them gone are the days when they used to flock the city centre’s night clubs to catch a drink and perhaps a dance as well.

In almost every suburb, what were once shops or houses are now big time party zones which do not only sell beer but also play music with LED TVs to provide live coverage of both local and European football leagues.

The VJs have fast replaced the DJs as the music played is often beamed on the screens as well.

To match the advancement in technology many have multiple sockets to enable patrons charge their smart phones.

To some the emergence has come due to the enforcement of the law that doesn’t allow public performances and bars to go beyond midnight. Though this is not a new law, it is one that had been ignored for quite a long time and the only places that are allowed to sell liquor beyond midnight are clubs with night club licenses.

Like some of the beach hotels around some of these clubs are grass thatched and as a certain insider says, it is to suit the scotching temperatures.

“I don’t see any reason why I should run the risk of going to town in the evening and yet I can get the same thing here at the neighbourhood,” says Cathy Alphonse a university student at Mabibo Hostel.

To many like her, clubs and lounges have come in handy to solve their thirst for entertainment.

But as brawny bouncers usher revellers into these joints after some rudimentary security checks, and the party begins, many are oblivious of the danger of the makeshift nature of their surroundings.


Most of these establishments, do not have clear marked emergency exits as required by the law and even where there is, it is either not clearly marked or the club is too small to accommodate even the smallest stampede.

They also in most cases lack smoke detectors with shoddy windows which can’t allow easy flow of oxygen in the event of a fire outbreak.

The entrances and exits are so small that it can hardly allow three people at ago and a stampede would be inevitable in the event of such accidents.

“I go to these clubs but when you look at some of the joints, there is no escape route it’s more of a dungeon and I just can’t imagine what would happen should fire break out,” says James Marwa.

In 2008, some 19 children perished in a stampede after a fire broke out at a night club while celebrating an Eid fete in Tabora.

The over populated Club Bubbles had no fire escape route and apparently its jerry-built doors could not hold the fear stricken crowd.

And then there was the tragic Brazil fire. The fire broke out in a nightclub in southern Brazil when a band’s pyrotechnics show set the building ablaze and fleeing partygoers stampeded toward blocked exits in the ensuing panic.

At least 233 people were killed instantly. According to reports most of those who died were suffocated by toxic fumes that rapidly filled the crowded club after sparks from pyrotechnics used by the band for visual effects set fire to soundproofing on the ceiling.

Firemen say one exit was locked and that club bouncers, who at first thought those fleeing were trying to skip out on bar tabs, initially blocked patrons from leaving. The security staff relented only when they saw flames engulfing the ceiling

There was a single exit from the Santa Maria nightclub. Images of other revellers trying to dig a hole at the back of the club to rescue trapped loved ones were very horrific.


Though most are licenced by the relevant city authorities, there are fears that some of these night club operating in the city are unlicensed to carry out such duties but the gravest concern is their poor architectural designs.

According to a fire officer with Knight Support who preferred anonymity, most clubs do not observe safety procedures.

“It is a prerequisite that a club that holds more than 100 people should have signs to lead people to the assembly points,” he says.

Unfortunately very few night clubs have assembly points and some that have the space usually turn it into a parking area.

Fire exit signs are worn out and there are some that just don’t have these signs at all.

He adds: “But the onus should also be on the club goers to demand for these things though it is basically the responsibility of the proprietor.”

Clubs like Elements, Maisha Basement could be an example from where the others can draw inspiration from.

However, even with such strides, the appalling nature of the mushrooming night clubs which don’t meet the safety and environmental requirements, lays bare the level of negligence at these heavily patronised facilities.

But even then it is mind boggling why revellers and owners remain unmoved in the face of such tragedy.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Miss Tanzania 2017 cancelled


By Omary Majuto

Dar es Salaam. Organisers of Miss Tanzania beauty pageant have announced the cancellation this year’s contest due to lack of funding.

According to Lino International Agency’s Information Officer, Hiddan Rico the Miss Tanzania committee met recently to iron out some of the critical issues and realised that they couldn’t stage this year’s contest despite the fact that some of the region had already got representatives for the final contest.

He explained that the main cause of failing to secure sponsors is the time limitation as the National Arts Council (Basata) only granted the licenses to stage the contest in September whereas many sponsors require prior information of at least six to nine month.

“We struggled to find the sponsors to stage the contest, many firms were not ready to support the event due to the limited time, some of them requested us to adjourn till next year,” “As the sole organisers of the event, we agreed with them and all contestants who were supposed to contest in this year’s event will feature in the next year contest. Majuto Omary

Miss Tanzania agents who also failed to stage this year, are requested to do so before May next year,” said Rico.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Welcome back Babu, but times have changed

Nguza Viking aka Babu Seya and Johnson Nguza

Nguza Viking aka Babu Seya and Johnson Nguza aka Papi Kocha on their release over the weekend. PHOTO | FILE 

By Paul Owere

Every December 9 Tanzania celebrates the Independence of Tanganyika, a day that is usually very eventful in many ways.

The 56th celebrations was unique in many ways first, it was the first time that the capital Dodoma was hosting such a celebrations, and then came the Presidential pardon, this too , was the first of its kind.

Death row convicts and those serving lifetime sentences were set free by the President sparking frenzy across the city.

The most popular of those acquitted were singers Nguza Viking aka ‘Babu Seya’ and his son Johnson Nguza aka ‘Papi Kocha’ who were serving a life sentence in Ukonga Prison.

It was freedom at last after several futile attempts to appeal against the sentence hit very hard rocks and they seemed resigned to their fate. The social media got a bit noisy with their hit single Seya becoming one of the trending issues of the day.

Bars and night clubs had songs such as Fanta, Salima and Seya on their playlist, with revellers dancing emotionally.

Many of their fans look forward to that concert when father and son shall hit the stage once again after 14 years’ absence.

As reckless as we tend to be in our gossip sessions, there were even those who dared to propose who should promote their first concert.

There were those too who were quick to question the correctness of acquitting these musician but they were quickly reminded that it is enshrined in the constitution.

At the time of their arrest and later conviction in June 2014 ‘Seya’ was the song of the day as the duo performed at different venues attracting a handsome audiences.

Those were the days when Congolese musicians and bands that were affiliated to dance music dominated the entertainment scene such as Twanga Pepeta, FM Academia, and others.

Tanzania at that time was still under the leadership of President Mkapa and President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was the country’s top diplomat.

All these might seem like it was only yesterday, but 14 years can be a very long time especially when in confinement and detached from a world that was once adored you.

Times have changed indeed, so has our music therefore, it is quite an interesting prospect how the two are likely to integrate into normal life and more so music which was their trade and hopefully still is.

But as we welcome Nguza Viking and co back to the entertainment fold there are several events that might offer a rude welcome to the duo.

TMK was the hottest group

In the early days of Bongo Flava apart from singers such as Dully Sykes dominating the playlist, an all male group had emerged in Temeke which boasted of musicians such as Juma Nature, Chege, Temba and many others.

This group was at that point the toast of the city especially with their signature dance skills that set them apart from several others.

Unfortunately, as Babu returns this group is no more with most of its members having gone solo and some have disappeared into oblivion.

Bongo Films

Tanzania’s film industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the years to become one of top industries on the continent in terms of output with the late Kanumba emerging as one of its stars.

At the time their incarceration Kanumba was still a struggling artiste who had just joined Kaole Sanaa Group.

Bongo films are now the staple and the industry now boasts of its own stars such as Vincent Kigosi, Irene Uwoya, Gabo Zagamba and many others.

Miss Tanzania

This was at some point one of the hottest events in town, one that was a must attend for the socialites of the day.

Silvia Bahame was perhaps the last beauty queen that the Nguza family saw and that was during the vibrant times of the pageantry.

Beauty queens who followed there after such as Nancy Sumari went on to win the continental award in 2005 whereas Wema Sepetu is now an actress.

Miss Tanzania has since descended into turmoil with no signs of returning to normalcy any time soon.

Bongo Stars Search

While they were away a new talent search was born some three years later christened Bongo Star Search, now even with what seems like a waning popularity BSS remains a force to reckon with in the industry.

The search has gone on to produce some talented musicians who are now forces to reckon with in the industry such as Peter Msechu


There was a time when live bands were the ultimate entertainment experience as they registered full house attendances especially in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam.

These bands are currently a struggling lot especially with the rise of Bongo Flava and solo artistes.

Many have disintegrated whereas others that have survived are only in a name as they can barely put up a show.

Diamond and Alikiba

Many things have happened in the last decade in the entertainment industry but perhaps one of the greatest features was the rise of AliKiba and Diamond in the second half of the first decade of the millennium.

They arrived at a time when crooners were not anything to talk home of in the nascent Bongo Flava industry, but little did the industry know that they would revolutionize the proceedings.

It is still debatable whether these are the finest musicians that Tanzania has ever produces, but they have since become the reference point in Tanzania’s music enjoying a massive following across the continent.

Bongo Flava in general has become a force to reckon with on the continent as Tanzanian musicians have gone on to win awards at continental shows.

Aslay and the new breed

If there is anything that has happened in Bongo Flava in the last one year then it was the emergence of Aslay as a solo artiste with string of hit songs that has got the nation singing.

Alongside in Nandi who is a product of THT, an organisation that emerged in the quest to nurture young Tanzanian artistes.

All these developments might paint a dynamic industry that has changed , but don’t be fooled, however saturated it might be Nguza could still have a place should he chose to return to music.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Beating the festive season blues


By Mlagiri Kopoka

We are getting close to end of the year and it is rather uncharacteristically cold. So the other day it rained all night long. It continued raining in the morning.

I made a desperate effort to go to work through the rain without an umbrella. The children had vanished to school with the only one that was available in the house. To make the story short I did not get to the office that day.

On my route to the bus stop the rain somehow got even heavier. I was getting wet almost everywhere from head to toe.

Then I looked around for shelter and like a miracle Shemaya’s shop was open at such early hours of the morning.

I found myself saying thanking the creator. So I crossed straight to the shop for shelter. Now my dear, you know the wonderful occurrence that took place.

At that shop I noticed bottles of all sort of wines and spirits hanging on the shelves.

Alas! I asked if I could be served during those hours of ‘kazi tu.’ The answer that came was as sweet melody. And you guessed correctly that I could be served right there!

Mmmh, the place turned out to be quite comfortable and warm as I sat on a plastic chair.

Settled I ordered that small bottle of the ‘spirit of the nation.’

Soon I was no longer shivering as the spirit lightened up my system; a really warm, relaxing feeling crept through me.

Soon I was speaking to the shopkeeper in fully Swanglish as if he was so Museveni with a pipeline project. When the rain finally stopped; my head still had the wisdom of postponing work for the day. So I send a SMS to my boss who happens to be a good Christian. “Boss, the rain has done things beyond explanations, won’t be coming today.”

Now warmed up, I felt buoyant; so I marched straight to Mama B’s to kill off the day.

At Mama B ‘kazi tu’ hours commandments has long lost it emphasis. It’s business as usual. On the TV screen the Kenyan Citizen channel was on air. As I watched the lunch time news bulletin; my mind I thought of folks in Kisumu. “When would their Raila set them free?” I wondered the great ransom they would have to pay until ‘Baba’ gets that “nusu mkate?” Soon Ochieng came in saying he needed some boosting before go to work. This Ochieng guy was really dark, I mean really pitch black. So the pub fellows’ nick named him, “Zungu.” I asked him if he did not see he was already very late for the day.

He laughed showing bright white teeth, “The Boss is never late.” He looked at the TV screen once and demanded that the channel be changed. “But why? We are getting news from Kenya and you know they are living in very interesting times,” I protested. “Oh, this Citizen channel is biased against Nasa and Raila,” he said angrily. “Why are you so angry about it? This is not Kenya, and besides the elections are over and the Uhuru guy is officially in charge. “You don’t understand.” “Understand what?” I sharply asked him. Then I said, “Are you from Kenya or from this country?” “Of course you know me, I am from Shirati.” “ So if you a kamongo guy from Rorya or I don’t know where in Tarime, you should be helping Kenyans overcome tribalism and not taking sides.” I told Ochieng.

“ Aaaah, let me ask you guys is JPM also a Luo like Raila? Suddenly, Gumpy who had been quiet all a long asked this really awkward question.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Lilian still critical of judges at Miss Universe


Dar es Salaam. Miss Universe Tanzania, Lilian Erica Maraure has secured a contract to feature in various fashion shows in the US But despite winning such a lucrative deal, Lilian seems to be in a complaining mood as she habours a feeling that she was denied the opportunity into the Top 16 despite the fact that she dominated website and social media votes. The contest which was held at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, saw Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa emerge winner. According managing director of Compass Communications, Maria Sarungi Lilian may feature in the next year’s Las Vegas fashion shows following her performance at the Miss Universe pageant.

Maria said apart from securing these deals, Lilian has also been awarded a scholarship to study in US and she is expected to choose her field of expertise.

“It is good for us our queen has made us proud by securing these offers despite the fact that she did not do well in the pageant, we will meet with her and discuss the offers,” said Sarungi.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Ten years of Swahili Fashion Week

Models hit the ramp at the end of Afrika Sana’s

Models hit the ramp at the end of Afrika Sana’s showcase at the Swahili Fashion Week 2017. PHOTO I SDR 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. The haute couture fraternity over the weekend descended on Dar es Salaam for the 10 edition of the increasingly popular Swahili Fashion Week 2017.

And as many an observer will say this has not been a mean feet by any standards for it has been years of hard work and dedication given the fact that it is the only one surviving in this part of Africa.

There was no better place to catch a glimpse of what is to come than at the launch at National Museum in Dar es Salaam, where the Cream de la creame converged.

As part of the diversity and growth, this year’s show featured emerging designers’ competition featuring finalists who were selected by an independent panel of judges.

These included Agnes Sixbeabeatus, Anjali Borkhataria, Charity Nyaimaga, Edina Emmanuel, Emmanuel Kisusi, Gisela Kaguo, Jackline Ottaru, Liberatha Alibalio, Mary Immaculate Gervace, and Mohammed Juma.

And for the first time the contest was shared as Emmanuel Kisusi and Maryimmaculate Gervace emerged winners replacing last year’s Shahbaz Sayed.

Featuring over 30 local and 13 international established designers the whole place was abuzz with activity, as models graced the catwalk to showcase some of the collections on offer.

In the name diversity again, plus size women too were celebrated for the first time in an industry that has in the past drawn criticism for its inclination for the size zero models.

Mustafa’s resume has grown with time from attending fashion galas to hosting one in his native country and from the kind of association he had in the just concluded gala, he is with the best.

For the three days as designers, models, fashionistas and socialites sampled the designs on offer, one thing that sticks out is the fact that the show has grown to gain a rare international recognition.

Behind what you see on the stage there is a lot of hard work and time invested and it is not for the faint hearted.

As the men and women with fine taste from the A-list converged in Dar es Salaam, some have been wondering how the idea of this epic fashion extravaganza was ever conceived.

The Swahili Fashion Week, Mustafa Hassanali’s brainchild was conceived from a friend’s advice while staging an exhibition in Mozambique. “Given the experience I had gained from the different exhibitions that I had attended, I thought it was about time to create a platform through which we could celebrate our own designs,” says Mustafa.

But the idea did not crystalise immediately.

“At first I thought about creating an East African thing, I realised that Swahili would have a broad coverage than just East Africa,” Mustafa told the Beat in an interview.

It is for that reason that during the week Mustafa himself does not exhibit his creations and instead gives the opportunity to other designers from the Swahili speaking countries. “It was not about me, there was a need to come together and collectively promote the buzz about what is ours,” he once told the Citizen.

However, as Mustafa had the grand vision of creating a platform for designers, a crude reality was waiting in the wings.

There was basically no support for his new born project and he had to grapple with funding given the fact that even attendance for the show was quite low.

From very humble beginnings struggling with sponsorship, 10 years down the road the extravaganza has grown with fondness in many hearts and it has become the reference point of fashion in this part of the continent.

The number of designers who sign to show case at this gala is testimony of how fast the event has grown in stature.

Apart from the designers, the exhibition also attracts models who travel from different countries to come for the casting.

To these women it is a platform for major things that lie in the waiting, for it doesn’t come any bigger than this!

When Mustafa Hassanali came up with Swahili Fashion Week in 2007 it was more of a wild goose chase, but 10 years down the road may be it is time to take stock.

For example in 2012 of the 50 designers who showcased their collections, 15 were international, 22 were ‘established’ Tanzanian designers and 12 were up and coming.

Together with other shows such as the Red Ribbon, Lady in Red, Kanga Ya Kale, Harusi Trade Fair and others such as Kidoti, point toward a vibrant industry- a lion waiting to pounce.

These shows have been very instrumental in not only showing the African creativity but also in unearthing young talents who are now ready to challenge the old guard.

Local fashion shows even scored a rare one in 2009 when Mustafa Hassanali hosted super model Naomi Campbell who is undoubtedly one of the greatest models to grace the catwalk on this planet.

“These, however small, are some of the signs that the industry is heading in the right direction. There are issues but these are things that have to be taken with one step at a time,” says one fashion writer.

Well it is at this stage that the serious question pops out whether the industry has finally come of age.

As one pundit puts it; if the number of shows in recent years is anything to go by then probably the answer should be in the affirmative.

In the earlier days local fashion exhibitions were more of entertainment events where most of the patrons were more attracted to the models than the collections.

However, this trend seems to have gradually changed with more of the extravaganzas featuring a local audience that are proud of the Made in Tanzania brand.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Irene Veda is a woman on a mission

Irene Veda

Irene Veda 

Dar es Salaam. When she turned out in a film Kitendawili with Single Mtambalike several years ago not many knew her but Irene Veda came to prove something when she was selected for the Big Brother Africa Hot Shot in 2014 which was eventually won by Idris Sultan.

Irene had impressed the judges with her acting skills, saxophone playing, and her great exposure that has taken her to several countries around the world.

But her very first breakthrough could have come with the winning of the Miss Lindi crown in 2012 and as she admits her participation at the reality TV show changed her world and the way she sees many things around her. This week the Beat caught up with her and below are excerpts of the interview.

The Big Brother Africa was such an experience, what has life been like there after?

It has been a rollercoaster of so many things. My life changed since then. I had to deal with spontaneous meetings, deals, interviews and appearances. Although my image was much in demand, I needed to focus on my craft. So I had to take some time off and concentrate on myself, which was an important retreat that continues to humble me to date.

How did the BBA experience help you shape who you are today?

The BBA was indeed a big shot, which made me get to know so many people and the entertainment industry in the country. Nevertheless, I still had a long way to go and so much to give to my loyal fans who I believe I still owe a lot, something I absolutely look forward to in the near future.

You have been playing the sax for sometime where did this journey start from?

This journey started at school when I was studying in France and Switzerland. Since then it was an on and off relationship, because of school and later university commitment. Until some few years back that I finally committed to playing saxophone full time. As a musician you need to be in a long term relationship with your instrument for you to understand it and vice versa, it to you. It’s therefore a life commitment!

Apart from playing the sax what else do you do?

Apart from being a musician, I’m an actress and I have featured in several films in the past and I guess there is more to come; besides I am also a presenter.

I am currently working at an arts and educative centre in the Program management department. I also do cook....well sometimes. I sometimes wish we had more than 24hours a day just to be able to do all this in a day.

Two weeks ago you played with Vanessa Mdee at the Tigo Fiesta how did it feel like being on that stage?

The few minutes that I spent on that stage were very empowering because in my days as a performer this was the biggest audience that I had performed for, because if I am not mistaken there were about 20,000 people in there.

Have you recorded any songs of your own?

I have recorded a couple of my own songs and also been working on numerous hit cover songs played by me on the saxophone.

Given the kind of market that we have is your music is paying your bills?

In the country is not really the case. Many of the artists have to be creative nonstop to keep the music alive. It’s wise to set up a business aside or any of that sort to keep you going. So as to continue with what we love to do.

What do you think has been the highest point of your music so far?

The highest point of my music is yet to come. Although at the BBA Opening show had me feeling like this was just the beginning and a fortnight ago at the Tigo Fiesta was very thrilling couple of minutes........both completely sensational!


Friday, December 1, 2017

Was tigo Fiesta a missed opportunity?


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. The Tigo Fiesta finale is considered as one of the hottest nights in Tanzania’s entertainment industry as it brings together the cream of the music industry both local and foreign on the same stage.

In the past 16 years on this very ground, lasting bonds have been built, hatchets were buried and even new relationships have blossomed.

The party trail that kicked off in Arusha in August reaching out to regional towns and cities such as Songea, Kahama, Musoma, Shinyanga, Singida, Tanga, Moshi, Morogoro, Dodoma and Iringa.

Other towns that festival went to include Mbeya, Tabora, Mtwara before finally coming to the Dar es Salaam gig.

At all these venues, the concert registered record attendances that will take some time to break, especially the launch in Arusha which beat the usual stereotype a violent city.

There was uncertainty as the city’s law makers had stuck to their guns that the show would end at 1 am as stipulated by the City Council laws on open air performances. The Regional Commissioner had set it clearly in black and white; therefore, it had to take some superior intervention I guess to allow the show to go on until 6am.

And due to popular demand the show received a nod from the President who allowed citizens to party until early hours of Sunday and maybe it was just what we were looking forward to.

It was a stitch in time that saved nine, as rogues usually way lay returning revellers who they rob of their valuable possessions with the festival ending at sunrise not a single case was reported.

The extension of the performance hours was a great boost as youthful revellers turned up in large numbers to watch their stars on stage. And as some have suggested the Sh10,000 entry fee was an extra impetus for more revellers to turn up.

The bad news, however, that accompanied the announcement was that this was the alst time that the venue was going to be used for such occassion.

The last time the festival relocated to other venues such as Posta Grounds and the National Stadium (Uhuru Stadium) revellers were not comfortable.

Revellers were left exposed to hooligans in the Stadium event wheras Posta Grounds’ logistics just couldn’t cope with the traffic.


As promised it was one hundred per cent local act with a lineup of performers with resumes just as sterling as probably their own fashion senses were at hand to entertain an equally expectant audience. Leading the park were female artistes Vanessa Mdee, Maua Sama, Nandy, Lulu Diva with performances that started early in the evening carrying on until the break of dawn.

Others who were equally a hit with the fans included Jux, AliKiba, Dogo Janja, Chege, Stamina, Christian Bella, Ben Pol, Weusi, Dogo Asley and others in no particular order.

But as the audience celebrated the high profile performances, probably what caught their attention was the return Afande Sele’s appearance on stage.

The idea that most of these acts perform live was a popular one to most of the revellers but at the end of the day it came to individual artistes’ ability to execute such a monumental task at hand.

There were those that were up to task such as AliKiba, Ommy Dimpoz, Nandy, Ben Pol to mention a few, whereas to some like Dogo Janja this was not their kind of thing, he struggled performing with the band.

It was either that he had not practiced enough therefore rendering him incapable to meet the demands of the day.

His compatriots such as Aslay and Mr Blue settled for a full playback performance and even with its short comings it still served the purpose of the day.

The International artiste debate

Tigo Fiesta organisers might have achieved their objective but there is one question that just won’t go away very soon and that is the issue of international artistes (Read American).

To some of the revellers despite a high profile production, some of the artiste do not fit the profile that Tigo Fiesta provides.

To them this was only for the best whose repertoire were detailed enough to match the night under the stars. “It is true we are giving value to the Made in Tanzania but some of these singers are still struggling and this is not a place for strugglers,” commented one reveller.


If at all the stage was glamorous, there was even much more on the sidewalks as the youthful crowd at the venue had a fine taste for fashion.

Led by their stars such, it was a gala where plenty was on display.

Some like Maua Summer and Vanessa Mdee were like some Kamikaze mission as their dressing left very little to imagination!

Among their disciples all you could see were the Little Black dresses, paisley getups, tank tops and some hot pants for the young women, the kind of stuff that would make you reconsider your taste for haute couture.

Though there are no official records available, it is believed that the boutiques and hairdressers in town were in brisk business as revellers were eager to dress to impress.


It seems to be the last detail that many talk about yet it is the cornerstone on which every concert is based without which revellers just won’t show up.

This one went down as a show with the tightest security arrangement that Leaders’ Club is yet to experience as police and security personnel covered a radius of 3km around the grounds.

With over 40 infrared camera set in and around the grounds, every detail of what was happening here was recorded and monitored in real time .

The security personnel which included uniformed and plain clothed policemen admitted that there were no incidences reported during the show as security was well taken care of.

Though it felt a bit uncomfortable dancing amid such a strong security presence, it was worth it as the entrance was clear with only ticket holders were allowed near the perimeter fencing.


Friday, December 1, 2017

A little taste of ‘Elegance’ in Dar

Revellers chill in the early hours of the

Revellers chill in the early hours of the weekend at Elegance Lounge 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. The partying scene in Dar es Salaam is one of the fastest changing facets of city life with more joints coming up with ways to attract revellers on a regular basis, for they are the lifeline of such investments.

The choice of a place to go is one that is dependent on a wide range of issues from the music to the type of crowd, for you just have to get it right – therefore you have to tread carefully.

There were days in time when party goers had to go all the way the city centre to find some pleasure, but the changing times on the party scene has brought some of these joints right to our door step.

It is no wonder that some of the once up a time great places in town are finding customers hard to come by. These joints have become so many that every suburb boasts of one or two, usually with a string features that is meant to give revellers a feel of comfort away from their homes.

I have always been a nocturnal person; I mean I operate better in the cover of the night especially with the scotching heat of this city.

On this particular weekend there were plenty of things going on in the ‘Haven Of Peace’, a grand gig at Leaders’ Club was on top of the list and there was also the Liverpool versus Chelsea game to mention but a few.

The latter had been branded as a teenager’s party after they announced that the usual line-up of Americans and Nigerians wouldn’t be part of the show.

The search for where to be led me to Sinza Mori opposite Big Bon on your way to Meeda, on a friend’s suggestion we zeroed on at Hotel Elegance which is quite a new place but quite ideal for party animals.

This part of town in the years gone by was known as the partying hub of the city with bars in almost every street corner.

It has the kind of lads whom my skin is comfortable with and I could see quite a number.

On the second floor you find what has become one the hottest lounges in Sinza, at the door you part with 10k for your drinks coupon, for they don’t encourage idlers of any kind.

I think there is a strong reason why clubs that don’t charge entry fees and key to it is that there are some revellers who just walk into such places to inconvenience patrons.

There is a lot to talk about this lounge but for today I shall concentrate on the service, music and the audience. With more space than the average lounge in town the joint has a resident DJ at Elegance has a great taste to match the dynamic lifestyle of city residents and he has the skills to match some of the best DJs in town. I did not bother to find out his name but I am sure he is a DJ something or there about. With comfortable couches that ideal for relaxation and other high stools for the sports lovers, it is likely to tickle your fantasy in many ways, by the way, most of the couches are two-seaters. I guess you know what I mean.

As we cross to the other side of the night I notice that more youthful revellers start to trickle in, some as I am informed were attending a wedding that was taking place on the same building.

The makeshift dance floor is soon full with dancers gyrating to the tunes of Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi and Justine Bieber’s Decipacito much to the envy of those sitting on the comfortable chairs. The music gets slightly louder and soon there is no one sitting as the DJ gets them dancing to some of the hottest mixes.

Elegance Lounge remains a place to go with quite an ambience to suit today’s city lifestyle, however, there are certain things that I don’t seem to understand.

For example why do most people park outside yet there is a spacious parking lot on the ground floor, maybe someone has to explain this in time.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Big Brother East Africa set for 2018

Idris Sultan winner of BBA 2014

Idris Sultan winner of BBA 2014 

God Father East Africa, widely touted to be the East African version of Big Brother Africa (BBA), is set to be aired in early 2018. Like in BBA, millions of cash will be up for grabs for the last contestant standing. They will be battling it out for Sh2.5 million. The last BBA in 2014 was won by Tanzanian photographer Idris Sultan. Producers, led by Allan Komba who works with EATV, have been conducting a series of meetings with the recent one happening in Nairobi, so as to ensure that the reality show takes off in the early months of 2018.

Plans for the God Father East Africa auditions are at an advanced stage and will be carried out in Nairobi, Kigali, Kampala and Dar es Salaam.

“If you are selected by the producers, you must be willing to travel at your own expense to be auditioned at a time to be scheduled .”


Friday, December 1, 2017

Release date set for ‘Money Mondays’


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Vanessa Mdee is probably the hottest female artistes in Bongo Flava and beyond with several hit songs under her belt.

Now the pint sized singer is set to go one more by releasing her long awaited album which she has titles Money Mondays.

Though details about the much anticipated album remain a well protected secret, Vanessa has announced that the album is set to be released on December 20.

According to her the little details regarding the tracks on the album will be unveiled soon and the album will be exclusively available online.

Apart from Navy Kenzo who released an album earlier on this year, Vanessa becomes the first female artiste in Tanzania under the Bongo Flava tag to release an album.

Having risen to prominence in her first collabo with Ommy Dimpoz, Vee Money aka Cash Madame has gone on to release songs such as Kisela and many others.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Diamond’s ‘A Boy From Tandale’ to hit stores today


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Diamond Platnums is set to release his sophomore album ‘A Boy from Tandale’ today and to give his fan base a taste of what the album is likely to contain the singer this week released two songs.

The songs titles ‘Niache’ and ‘Sikomi’ are both slow tempo highlighting some of his latest struggles and regrets in his chase for romance. The lyrics look like a diss to most of his past flames such as Wema, Penny and regrets of his recent cheating scandal that was hit in the social media.

From the rest of the content Diamond sounds a very tired man romantically and he blames his choices in the past who have come up with teams on the social media.

It is not clear whether this is the route that the Bongo Flava singer has chosen to take throughout the album. The album according to WCB insiders will be available online and other platforms such as


Friday, November 24, 2017

It is Tigo Fiesta finale and it’s local

Bongo Flava artiste Ben Pol Performs during the

Bongo Flava artiste Ben Pol Performs during the festival’s stint in the capital Dodoma. 

By Paul Owere

The Tigo Fiesta festival has reached the home stretch with the final concert set for Leaders’ Club on Saturday night and for the first time in the 16-year history it is going to be an all local act.

This comes after a nationwide tour that took local artistes to regional towns of Arusha, Musoma, Kahama, Mwanza, Tabora, Kogoma, Sumbawanga, Mbeya, Iringa, Njombe, Songea,Tanga, Moshi, Dodoma, Morogoro, and Mtwara.

Held under the theme ‘Tumekusoma’, the festival witnessed several artistes take the stage some for the first time in their careers.

The new arrangement of having an all local set up with an international outlook replaces the norm of hiring international artistes for the grand finale.

In the past the event has hosted artistes such as Ludicrous, Lil Kim, Shaggy, Rick Ross, Kate De Luna, Eve and many others.

Organisers say the time for local artistes to fill up these grounds was long overdue.

Their choice for a local theme was prompted with the fact that Tanzanian musicians are respected elsewhere which is a manifestation of how far Bongo Flava has gone.

“When you look at it carefully we already have International artistes here who grace big stages elsewhere in sold out concerts. In the face of that what more do we need,” Clouds Media Group’s Ruge Mutahaba said in an earlier interview.

Speaking yesterday Ruge said the show is set to start at 2pm with some live bands playing and the first artiste is set to go on stage at 4pm. “We are ready to give revellers an experience of a life time, to make them comeback next time to support local content because the shows have been produced to meet their desired taste,” said Ruge.

According to him, a total of 17 artistes have been lined up for the finale that is set to pit the best of Bongo Flava artistes, most of them being those that made it to the 15regional towns such as Ben Pol and Vanessa Mdee.

He named others as Ali Kiba, Aslay, Ben Pol, Barnaba, Chege,Darasa, Dogo Janja, Jux, Fid-Q, Rostam (Roma na Stamina), Rich Mavoko, Nandy, Mr Blue, Vanessa Mdee, Maua, Ommy Dimpoz, the Weusi crew comprising Joh Makini, G-Nako and Nikki wa Pili.

Speaking yesterday at news conference Tigo’s, William Mpinga also reiterated that the Tigo Fiesta 2017 Tumekusoma Festival will feature 100 per cent local artistes and local content.

“The grand finale features 100 percent local content. This is because Tigo Fiesta 2017 is determined to revolutionalize the music industry by supporting the growth and development of local talent. We have provided popular local artistes with a platform to travel across the country meet their fans and perform live in front of thousands of people in 17 regions of the country,” Mpinga said.

He adds: We believe that the promotion of budding talent music industry and create job opportunities for the youth. Through this year’s festival we have uncovered fresh talent through the Tigo Fiesta 2017 – Super Nyota contest and the Tigo Fiesta 2017 – Cypher rap competition. The winners of both contests will perform at the grand finale tomorrow.

The laws

As Dar revellers gear up for the charged up affair, there was word that the concert wouldn’t be allowed to go all the way to the wee hours as the norm as has been.

The implications of this are rather simple, not all the artistes who were supposed to perform will get the rare opportunity to perform at this iconic ground.

Should the Regional Commissioner stick to his word to observe the law as required, then the concert will only go until 1am.

And according to PrimeTime they have organized for transportation to take show goers from the concert to different connection points after the show.


Though the partnership between CMG and Tigo has constantly insisted that they are finally ready to stage a show with 100 per cent local content, there are questions that emerge.

The final show at Leaders’ Club is supposed to be a celebration of Bongo Flava’s journey, therefore a place to showcase the best stories that have unfolded in the two decades.

These stories cannot be told in any other way apart from quality performances and creativity that underscores the milestones of the industry.

This, therefore, calls for a performance of its kind to prove doubters that these artistes have grown to the standards that we crave for from foreign artistes who rake in hundreds of millions.

The recent past has not been a very great story as many of the artistes have stuck to playback and even those who tried to go the live root, either sounded flat or were just not into the business.

According to CMG and Tigo the show is going to be live and every artiste will perform live come tomorrow night.

The costs of hosting foreign artistes could be astronomical with some asking in excess of Sh230 million for a 45 minute concert, however many revellers admit that this isn’t likely to be the same.

“The only reason why I looked forward to this show in the past was that I expected to see an international artiste and I think that even the artistes learnt something from the visiting performer,” says one Rajab Minja a resident of Kinondoni.

In 2012 when Rick Ross came to Tanzania hundreds of revellers travelled from neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Rwanda to watch the show, highlighting the festival’s prominence.

The last 16 years have been great and the show’s model is one that many countries are looking forward to emulate, this therefore demands that the artistes rise up to the challenge that is being put to them!


Friday, November 24, 2017

Malaika to perform in London

Queen Malaika

Queen Malaika 

Tanzanian artiste Queen Malaika has been quiet for some time now and word has it that she is in London working on some musical project. Sources close to her say the artiste is working on staging a joint performance during the Kenya Tanzania Independence day which is scheduled for December 9 at the Vuk Luxury Banquette Suite in London. The show is set to feature other artistes from, Tanzania such as Lameck Ditto, Mwalubadu, Chambi, Engine and DJ Andy. This comes at a time when the Rarua singer is believed to be working on her album under the tutelage of Scottish producer and song writer David Roddie who owns the Urban Studios in Glasgow. According to him the aim to work with Queen Malaika is to develop her sound so that it gains global appeal.

and polish the talent she already has and develop a new song that catches everyone’s attention globally.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Lady Jaydee lands mega deal in Kenya

Lady Jaydee

Lady Jaydee 

Three months after Lady Jaydee left Rockstar 4000, the veteran Bongo Flava musician has reportedly signed a multi-million shillings album deal with Pan African music Power House, Taurus Musik based in Nairobi.

Even though the news is yet to be officially confirmed by the two parties, reliable sources in the Kenyan showbiz have confirmed that the Siku Hazigandi hit maker has already struck the deal that will see her record three albums under the label over a period of 4 years.

Lately, the Tanzanian songbird has been making several trips to Kenya and was recently spotted in Magadi shooting the video of a song that could probably be her first single under the Taurus stable.

In September this year, Lady Jay Dee walked out of Rockstar 4000 a label that has self styled King of Bongo Flava AliKiba reportedly over contractual issues. NMG


Friday, November 24, 2017

Keiffer going places with photography


Shawn Kieffer is a Tanzanian photographer based in Cape Town South Africa who has almost seen it all.

His choice to become a photographer was a natural and necessary one. In many ways, his preoccupation with beauty gave him an alternative to the loneliness he experienced in school, and in the social environments outside his family home. He has won several accolades including fashion photographer of the year Africa by AFSA.

How does it feel like being recognized on a platform like AFSA?

I’m so incredibly honored to be recognized by the ASFA committee. I am indeed overwhelmed at this incredible news. This is a huge honour. On the other hand my deepest gratitude goes to the Swahili fashion week team and for those who nominated me.

Do you think you have what it takes to win the categories?

The main reason why I think I’m the perfect candidate for the award, I believe that the talents they seek are well matched with my qualifications and skills. There are several people who know me either in person or online — and those are a lot of people.

What distinguishes you from the rest of the crowd?

As an imaginative and passionate photographer with two-plus year truck experience in Fashion photography, I am a people person with a knack of getting smiles and making clients happy. I am reliable and capable of handling a fast-paced environment and above all I always deliver results on time. I am highly organized and extremely attentive to details, with an eye for presentation.

Does Photography pay or you are doing it for fun?

Photography business/market is huge. As long as there is demand for photographs produced to specification, there will always be a demand for professional photographers, be they studio, technical, commercial or journalist.

There will always be a market for professional photos. Companies always need product photography, and people will always want a well lit professional portrait. Modelling agencies will always need a well skilled professional photographer to shoot a full portfolio look.

What has been your best experience so far?

I was in Germany doing some modelling work with one of the leading agencies there for a three month contract. After five weeks I was selected to be on Beyonce’s media team for the Formation World Tour. I still have my media pass. I think I’m going to frame it . Beyoncé was scheduled to perform in Dusseldorf at the Esprit Arena. Her stage set up consisted of a moving cube screen that could split in half and rotate in a circle. On this screen, during her outfit changes and during her songs, she displayed snippets from her “Lemonade” film.

One of the parts of the concert was when she showed “throwback” footage of her and Jay-Z raising their precious daughter, Blue Ivy, together. She also showed a video of her 16 year-old self bragging about her belly button ring she had just gotten for her birthday. Beyoncé also thanked her fans for always supporting her and encouraging her to do what she loves. It was all real cute.

And what has been the worst or most difficult part of this journey?

Well my friend a well known designer in Tanzania once told me I will never make it, and that he doesn’t see me as a photographer. I will never forget this statement as I’m happy I have proved him wrong. Even though he has since apologised to me, it is something that has kept me on my feet. I became more motivated and ambitious to achieve something


Friday, November 24, 2017

Sauti Sol and Patorankin release Melanin


By Paul Owere

Kenyan boy band Sauti Sol has released a new featuring Nigeria’s Patoranking titled Melanin The song which was co-written by the talented Kenyan songwriter and singer Nviiri The Storyteller and produced by Sauti Sol becomes the first single off of Sauti Sol’s upcoming music project titled African Sauce LP.

The track showcases Sauti Sol’s authentic afro-pop perfectly fused in R&B and Patoranking’s dancehall magic, giving off the best of both worlds.

Having maintained friendship for many years, while watching each other grow into continental greats, Sauti Sol and Patoranking unite in Melanin to deliver a powerful collaboration with a strong message; celebrating women of color.

Africa’s top music video director, Clarence Peters, redefines Afrocentric meets Caribbean vibes in this Lagos shot music video, with rain pouring, slow motion dancing and steamy scenes.

Speaking on the collabo, Patoranking said, “I’ve known Sauti Sol personally for about three years, and I can truly say that we’ve been fans of each other as much as we’ve been friends. I am happy we finally release a track that represents us both in equal measure. We can only go higher!”

For the better part of 2017, Sauti Sol was silently and tirelessly working on the Afrikan Sauce LP across Africa.

“We couldn’t be happier to share this news with our fans. Our aim with this LP is to connect Africa through music” revealing, “The LP’s body of work will be a continuation of our LIVE AND DIE IN AFRIKA theme.”


Friday, November 17, 2017

Nandy and AliKiba shine at Afrima


Sunday night will go down as one of the greatest nights in starlet Nandy’s life when she was named the Best Female artiste from East Africa for her song One Day at the Afrima Awards in Lagos.

This was the first award that Nandy has won after she took part at the Tecno Take the Stage contestants in Nigeria two years ago.

Joining her on the illustrious list was Bongo Flava ariste AliKiba who scooped two awards for the Best African Collaboration and Best African RnB and Soul for his song Aje remix featuring MI Abaga.

In an era where most artistes no longer release albums Uganada’s Edddy Kenzo continued illustrious rise with the Album of the Year win for his album Biology.

The event which was held at the Eko Expo Hotels in Victoria Island was hosted by singer Akon who was joined by Sophy Aiida, a Cameroonian-French entertainment broadcaster.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Tough times for Dar city centre pubs


By Paul Owere

The Dar es Salaam Central Business District is known to be the place where serious business deals are struck!

Ten years ago this was also known to be the entertainment hub where revellers from the expansive suburbs came to quench their thirst after a long week and sometimes even during the week.

However the emerging trends today indicate that all is not well with the once busy joints settling for a handful of customers even on what is supposed to be a busy Saturday evening.

Facilities such as Club Bilicanas have been demolished whereas others have closed down due to lack of business.

Our survey at some of the joints in town starts at Break Point bar and restaurant that used to be close to the famous Club Bilicanas reveals that the place is uncharacteristically quiet.

Four revellers are watching the game between Ivory Coast and Morocco, the band that used to play here on such days is no more and instead there is some music playing from the background.

They, too, get disappointed and leave after The Elephants against the round of play ship in two quick goals that ultimately killed their hopes of making it to the World Cup finals in Moscow.

“Most people come here during the day for lunch and sometimes in the late evening but at night like now we receive very few customers,” says a waitress who did not disclose her name.

The nearby stalls that used to operate late into the night too have closed early as a couple of boys hang out waiting to wash cars for revellers, but they too admit that business is slow these days.

“ We are usually busy during the day but in the evenings these days we rarely get vehicles to wash as there are very few customers here,” says Karim Ahmed who has been washing cars at this parking lot for five years.

He is quick to attribute the lack of customers due to the closure and demolition of what used to be the hottest entertainment joints in the city Club Bilicanas early in the year.

“Most revellers who came to Break Point back in the days were those who were taking their while before they enter Club Bilicanas, now that this club is no more, they don’t find any reason to come here late in the night,” he says.

George’s Bar and Grill used to be just one of those places where civil servants especially bankers came to catch up.

Despite the renovations that have taken place, it too seems deserted, save for a few senior citizens sitting at the centre who were having some cold ones.

The barman too seems to be very bored at what is rather a very lonely counter as he wipes the glasses to hand it over to waitress.

What was once the VIP area, too, remains closed and according to one of the longest serving waiters, it is set to undergo major repairs.

According to the barman ever since government announced the move to Dodoma took away most of their customers.

“Most of our revellers were government officials who were transferred to the Capital City Dodoma and that is why most of the time this place is rather very lonely,” says the barman.

In Upanga, next to Las Vegas Casino, the famed Jolly Club was once a place where revellers mingled until the wee hours but that all seems to be in the past now, the turn up here is equally low. The girls who used to hang around this place have long left the area, the strict rules by the authorities have forced them to seek refuge elsewhere in the suburbs.

Changing trends

As the fortunes for bars at the city centre seems to be deeming there trend suggests a blossoming lifestyle in the suburbs where lounges have sprouted in almost every corner.

These developments according to have meant that not many people find it attractive to go all the way to the city centre to have the same drink that they can have in the comfort of their neighbourhood.

“In the past we would go all the way to dance at Club Bilicanas but even long before it was demolished most of my friends had stopped going there because we could still find entertainment in our neighbourhood in Tabata,” says Bahati Henry.

The newly renovated Forty Forty Club which is a local pub in Tabata is where Bahati and his friends hang out because they feel at home with the company as opposed to the city centre where they mix with strangers.

“In those so-called city pubs we do not have access to credit which is a limitation to some of us who earn money once a month,” says Julius Kipingu.

With more companies moving their operations from the city centre this has dictated the trends other service industries such as the entertainment joints that have been forced to follow them there.

In Masaki the famous Samaki Samaki was full house and the revellers here are rather from the middle income strata, no wonder they can afford the pricing of the beer.

The lowest price that a is charged for local beer at this watering hole is Sh5,000, this according to observers could also be a factor that especially those from the suburbs take into consideration.

Whether it is the pricing or location of these city pubs as opposed to the recent developments in the city’s lifestyle it remains a very disturbing spectacle especially with the view that some of these investments are yet to recoup the investments.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Rita Paulsen: From BSS to television show

Rita Paulsen

Rita Paulsen 

By Paul Owere

Rita Paulsen made history when she came up with a talent search show Bongo Star Search, one that has shaped many music careers in the country, She has since moved on to another self titled TV show that airs on Azam TV weekly. This week the beat caught up with her for a chat.

It has been a year without Bongo Star Search, does this mean that you have abandoned the show?

No not really, and I think it is unthinkable that I can do such a thing. It was a collective decision that I and those who are close to Bongo Star Search made because we wanted to give it a break and created some demand with the hope that when it returns it will come back with a bang! There has been several creative issues that have been going on to give the show a new direction and I think you should expect to hear from us early next year.

When you look back at the 10 years of BSS do you have any regrets?

I really don’t have any regrets whatsoever because it is something that I started from scratch and still went on to become one of the most watched shows by young people across the region.

What is your take on the first season The Rita Paulsen Show?

The show has done so well making it one of the best local content that is available on TV as opposed to what it was then. People are learning so many things and in the process changing people’s lives. As a production team we, too, have learnt our lessons and we hope that the next season is even going to be better for us and the viewers too.

Can you confidently say you have achieved your objectives?

I must say that I didn’t expect it to grow the way it has and the positive reviews that it has been getting. As a producer this is rather dangerous because it lifts the bar slightly higher which means today’s success is often tomorrow’s challenges, but it is one that we are ready to live with.

What is the difference between the Rita Paulsen at BSS and the one at the TV Show?

It is the character that I carried from BSS that I took to the Rita Paulsen show and I think when the show was launched it came just at the right time after doing BSS for a very long time. Ordinarily it would have been very difficult for me to break through and gain the kind of acceptance that I have without that background.

It gives me great satisfaction because this is what I always wanted to do and I think by the way it has gone I still have room to come up with another show.

What should the audience look forward to in the second season?

There is plenty coming up, we are trying to empower people to make them realise that there is a lot that that they can achieve. Without saying much I have to say that the show promises to bring to people’s living rooms how people have made it in the face of adversity.


Friday, November 10, 2017

What is the age limit in relationships?

Diamond Platnumz with Zari Hassan the mother of

Diamond Platnumz with Zari Hassan the mother of his two children PHOTO | FILE 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Age has been a very contentious subject in this part of Africa lately, once it was a symbol of wisdom as age-set was a key element in societal issues.

Examples from neighbouring Uganda does not suggest that any longer, they don’t want leaders who are above 75 years of age, no wonder it is a debate that no one can tell which way it will go.

But this should be a story for the serious guys, we are consumers of light stuff thrive on gossip, for we just can have enough.

And just like some people have put it, I also have a feeling that this obsession with age is rather discriminatory and quite inconsiderate at some of the forces at play.

Last week the story that rocked the entertainment world was the Irene Uwoya and Dogo Janja marriage, the only reason why society was so gripped with this story was not about the success or the failure of the marriage. It was rather because of the age difference.

Men have always married women very many years their junior and to most showing off pretty little thing (PYT) is a conquest that often celebrated with pride and she is the trophy.

Women on the other side they risk being labeled as cougars, sugar mummies and all sorts of nasty names but this has not stopped today’s woman to define her taste for finer things.

It is rather confusing whether it is the sweet faced young men who are chasing after the grown woman or the other way around but from the look of it they seem to have room for one another.

Older men must a very worried lot, for what was once their reserved space has been taken over and the noise is rather deafening.

Women have turned tables, and there is every reason to be worried about that young lad hanging around the Madame, he is not just the errand boy he could well take your place!!!

Most folks who gone that route admit that it is just not the same, as older women tend to understand their younger spouses better than men

Bongo Flava cases

In our world of Bongo Flava this is not new one of the most successful Bongo Flava artiste of this era is in a relationship with a woman eight years his senior but that hasn’t stopped the relationship to flourish.

Just like Dogo Janja and Irene, Diamond’s relationship with socialite Zari Hassan started off as some project, it was later to unfold right before our eyes that it was more than just art. They have plenty to show for it, business deals that they have struck together and above all the two children and maybe more is yet to come.

Diamond was picking from where he had stopped with former beauty queen Wema Sepetu who was also a couples of years older. Word from the grapevine has it that they never said goodbye!

Wema replaced him quite fast with another younger man Idris Sultan who had just won the Big Brother Africa 2014 jackpot of $300,000 and there was even a rumour of miscarriage.

Then there was once upon a time the Nuh Mziwanda and Shishi baby aka Shilole affair which never ended well, as the squabbles took its toll.

Shilole has since gone on to make other conquests and Mziwanda moved on to a marriage that failed rather miserably.

It seems this virus has a way of getting into the WCB fraternity, dancer Mose Iyobo and crooner Harmonize were not left behind in the chase.

In his early days as he sought his balance in Bongo Flava Hermonize found himself in the arms of Bongo movies actress Jacqueline Wolper, they were inseparable and seemed to be destined for the dreamland.

This was not to be! It was one that fell flat on the face; the singer went on to compose a song- ‘Nishachoka’. Can you Imagine- he was a bad loser, not graceful in loss! Another case of that really got tongues wagging was the relationship between Aunty Ezekiel and WCB dancer Iyobo, though they seem to be coasting freely, there are some who are not comfortable with the numbers.

But why?

In most cases the women who go for these young lads are usually in positions of power economically, just like the men they make the call.

In most cases the women who shy away from such liaison are usually wary of the numbers. There is always the ‘boy toy’ remark, mostly coming from men of the woman’s age which is a threatening aspect to most women.

And as one insider says: Older successful men are used to being in control of a woman, and that doesn’t sit well with modern women, Younger men have grown up with working women and have worked for female bosses, so they’re more likely to treat women equally.

“When you’re an ambitious woman, it’s very difficult — you either have to subsume what you wanna do for somebody else, or live with the struggle to fight your partner on top of business survival, and it’s a very unhealthy relationship,” Nicole Wipp tells the New York Post.

Nicole a 45-year-old attorney and entrepreneur found a perfect match in her husband, Marcus Sutherland, a 33-year-old paramedic.

“Dating somebody younger than myself, there’s an acceptance of ambitious women — it’s more normalised.”


Friday, November 10, 2017

Why Yamoto reunion is a rather distant illusion

Yamoto Band

Yamoto Band 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. It is like everything he touches turns into gold, he is the lad with a Midas touch and he is enjoying every moment of it.

With 13 hits and seven videos under his belt, Dogo Aslay has left the other band members chasing shadows in the wake of his pursuit for a solo project.

His performances at the ongoing Tigo Fiesta have on many occasions left audiences asking for more as they sing along with him.

Songs such as Nyaku Nyaku, Natamba, and many others have become house hold names gaining massive airplay on radio stations and social gatherings.

He had a way of how to announce this meteoric rise by purchasing a German machine (BMW X5) which makes him the envy of many a Bongo Flava artiste.

In his own words he says it has all been up to his fans and that is why he is seeing some of his childhood dreams come true.

And guess what he has some bad news for Yamoto Band; he is not looking back and may be this could as well be the end of pending reunion into a mere illusion.

“I don’t think I want to go back to band but I appreciate all that I acquired while there because the band gave me a great fan base on which I rely on even today,” he told EATV in an interview.

According to him the break from the band routine had enabled each one of them to showcase some of the qualities that they could not have shown while under the band management.

Despite a reported rift between him and the other members of the crew the singer says he is happy with what the other members are doing as well.

“We were in that band because we all had something to offer, as of now I am ready to help former band members should the need arise,” says Aslay.

Enock Bella who has just released a single post the band days is his point of reference and he believes that he will come good soon.

Though there are those who have in the past tried to blame him for the split of the band, Aslay who was the reference point from the beginning was according to Mkubwa Fella only supposed to show the others some direction.

“When I started Yamoto, I wanted Alsay to hold the hands of the others so that they become popular. But business has changed and groups are no longer in demand. The fee for a group is very different compared to that of an individual artiste,” Fella told one celebrity website, Bongo 5.

In that interview Fella admitted that it was more of a business decision to let the boys go solo than a sentimental one as some people have suggested in the past.

“When people hear the fee Yamoto demands, they run away yet they can pay an individual artiste up to Sh1.8 million. We looked at the situation and decided, as management, to let each artiste earn from their own sweat,” he says.

Beka Flavour, whose ‘Libebe’ has become a great hit after the group went separate ways, seems to be happier alone, even operating under a different management team.

“There were many things I could not do when in a group- my verses were short and there were so many levels of consultations every time something came up. Now, I am doing my own thing” he says.

But as the sky now seems to be the limit for Aslay he commits to staying humble for he believes he is yet to the level of his dreams.

“ It is not even a year since I went solo, I am yet to reach where I want to be, and besides I just a young artiste who is yet to experience many things,” he says.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Beaten at your own game


By Mlagiri Kopoka

As Matata entered the pub that evening, he noted three young women seated at a table, quiet close to the entrance. The pretty creatures were having a meal.

“It must have been a whole roasted chicken that they were consuming,” he thought. The three green bottles of some European brand also featured prominently on the table, accompanying their meal.

A girls alone squad is not something common at Mama B’s. Usually women around this place are accompanied by some male folk footing the bills.

Matata was confused, that’s what he thought. He never imagined at 50plus; he would still be interest in the opposite looks and morphology just like he was as an adolescent.

In fact, he felt more magnetically attracted to these women than when he was in his 20.

But in those days, when ladies fried the hair with hot iron combs, he didn’t remember seeing such beauty as he was witnessing at the table before him. Madonna!

“God forbid,” he thought, he was already a grandfather but here he was eyeing beauties as young his daughters with some really wicked desires creeping into his old brains.

“I am not the one to be blamed,” he thought unrepentantly “It’s all God’s work! God must have changed his creative tactics. These days the Almighty is not only being just more innovative, he must have completely shifted from the ancient expertise that brought our mother Eve into being. He was now in neuroscience’s robotics of ‘ the she’ creation.” He thought and laughed out loud like some lunatic as he sat at the counter.

“Matata vipi leo, what are you giggling at. Are you laughing at the denim mini- skirt I am wearing today?”

Chiku, the barmaid popped in asking, she moved closer, rubbing her bums on Matata’s knees as he sat on one of the high stools.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Busara still struggling despite potential

Past performances at some of the past editions

Past performances at some of the past editions of the Sauti Za Busara at the Ngome Kongwe PHOTO | FILE 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Sauti za Busara is one of the greatest festivals that has graced the African continent since the turn of the millennium as it celebrates Africa’s diverse cultures.

Even with this great pedigree the festival continues to suffer from inadequate funding that has seen them operate with a shoe-string budget and at one point organisers were forced to call it off.

Available statistics show that each year visitors to the festival inject more than $7.2m into the local economy with the festival dates becoming a high tourist season.

Last weekend, however, there was a ray of hope after the Norwegian embassy committed to continue helping the festival reach its objectives by extending $122,000 (Sh268.4 million) towards the organisation behind the festival.

Speaking to the Beat about the relevancy of this funding, Busara Promotions CEO Yusuf Mahmoud said it was a timely intervention coming from the embassy that has provided core funding for their activities since 2009.

“This greatly helped us promote Tanzanian and East African music worldwide, whilst offering training and capacity-building for music industry professionals, strengthening networking and partnerships and developing the organisation’s strategic planning, administrative, reporting, budgeting, financial policies and procedures, says Yusuf.

This should have sounded as a sigh of relief to the organisation, yet on the contrary the festival is still struggling to sustain itself financially.

“Busara’s funding crisis is far from over! In fact, there is still a huge gap to fill before guaranteeing the 2018 festival goes ahead as planned. To organise a world-class festival that lasts four days, with 46 live performances by musicians from all over Africa requires serious investment,” he says. He adds: Almost all artistes from outside the region have to find their own travel to Zanzibar, which greatly helps reduce costs.

However, he insists that each year they have to rebuild technical infrastructure for the event almost from scratch, including three stages, sound and lighting, stable power supply, water and backstage facilities, first aid, fire and other emergency services, marketing and promotion.

“When you add artistes’ fees, visa, travel and accommodation for 400 artists, salaries for 200 crew members, security, and a whole bevy of government taxes, licenses and permits, then you begin to get a picture of how much is required to produce an event of this magnitude and scope.”

Festivals of the same size elsewhere cost more than $2 million, yet Busara has been surviving on some $300,000; a fact that visiting producers find hard to believe.

“We continually ask ourselves why there is still the need to struggle for funds after 14 successful years. If one looks at other similar-sized festivals happening around Africa, their annual event budget is usually somewhere between $2m and $8m, with significant financial support from the public and private sectors.”

Several options are available to the organisation to raise funds and top of these as suggested by many is to increase ticket prices, something that Yusuf says would beat the very purpose of the festival.

“This would automatically exclude many Tanzanians from being able to attend. Busara is not motivated to produce a festival only for tourists. Critical to its success is the fact that the event is a shared experience for visitors and locals. Keeping Sauti za Busara accessible for the people who live here is our priority,” he says. During the festival access passes are priced at $120 for international visitors, $60 for African passport holders and Sh20,000 for Tanzanians for the four-day event.

The income generated from tickets sales covers only 30 per cent of the costs, leaving organisers with the challenge of finding donors, partners and sponsors to fill the gap. “The main reason Sauti za Busara continues to struggle to stay alive is due to the absence of financial support from the government, airlines, hotels and tourism industry, who are the main financial beneficiaries of the event,” he says.

According to him Busara needs to find a way through which a small percentage of tourism taxes paid to the government, or a fair commission on hotels and flight bookings to Zanzibar during the festival can reliably be paid to the festival, for it to be self-sustaining.

“Financial support for the festival from the government is yet to be seen, however, there are many individuals working in government who continue to support, assisting on issues such as policing, security and immigration. Zanzibar’s Commission for Tourism also distributes postcards to promote the festival at international tourism and trade fairs,” says Yusuf.

These events could paint a very uncertain future but Busara is not considering a relocation as some have suggested in the past. This would see the festival leave its home at the Ngome Kongwe in Stone Town.

“That is not a favourable option because the unique venue of Ngome Kongwe in Stone Town is an important part of the festival’s identity,” he says. According to him in February Sauti za Busara is looking forward to celebrate Africa’s rich, unique and diverse musical traditions.

The festival will kick off at Kisonge, Michenzani with a carnival parade, led by Haba na Haba contemporary dancers from Dar es Salaam.

“Then on three stages over four days the festival will feature 46 performances, all 100 per cent live. Our website already includes the 2018 line-up, with artistes’ profiles and video clips, including twenty groups from Tanzania and more from South Africa, Zimbabwe, RDC, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Egypt, Sudan, The Gambia, Reunion, Denmark and Switzerland.

Music groups that are bound to excite local audiences include Zakes Bantwini from South Africa, Afrikan Boy from Nigeria and UK, Ribab Fusion from Morocco, El Dey from Algeria, Alsarah & the Nubatones from Sudan/USA and Kasai Allstars from DRC.

Also on the list are Kidum & the Boda Boda Band from Kenya, Mlimani Park Orchestra from Tanzania, Mohamed Ilyas & Nyota Zameremeta from Zanzibar, Makadem from Kenya, Inganzo Ngari from Rwanda and Jally Kebba Susso from Gambia.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Tigo Fiesta takes on Mtwara

Mimi Mars

Mimi Mars 

After Tigo Fiesta taking on the central region with performances in Morogoro and Dodoma.

With 14 regions already covered with the Tigo Fiesta which is set to reach its climax later on in the month, the extravaganza this week takes on Mtwara at the Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium this weekend.

The festival has so far been to Arusha, Musoma, Kahama, Tabora, Mwanza, Kigoma, Sumbawanga, Mbeya, Songea, Iringa and Njombe ,Tanga, Moshi

Organisers say the Mtwara concert is set to feature a strong line up, maintain most of the artistes who performed at the Sumbawanga show last weekend.

The artistes include some of the hottest properties in the industry right now such as Rostam, Ben Pol, Nandy , Aslay, Barnaba, Maua, Becka and Msami.

Others include Darassa, Chege, Ney wa Mitego, Shilole, Fid Q, Ommy Dimpoz , Nchama, Bright and debutant Mimi Mars who has so far had a great outing.

Going under the theme Tumekusoma the festival is then set for a mega climax in Dar es Salaam featuring local artistes as opposed to the past.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Lilian Muttakyawa vying for Miss Africa USA

Lilian Muttakyawa

Lilian Muttakyawa 

Dar es Salaam. Africans in the United States is set to crown Miss Africa US at the Bowie State University at the Martin Luther Jr auditorium hosted by Dr Ako Tabetah.

According to organisers the contest brings together beauty, brains, leadership and goodwill from some of Africa’s brightest daughters.

The pageantry features contestants from Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Others are Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Ethiopia, Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Cameroon, Congo Brazaville, Congo DRC and Equatorial Guinea.

The 21 contestants who are all currently residing in the United States vie to replace Nereida Lobo from Cape Verde who won the contest in 2016.

The unenviable task on Tanzania’s part rests on the shoulders of Lilian Muttakyawa who won the Tanzanian edition earlier on in September beating other 10 contestants.

Lilian is an intensive care registered nurse which is reflection of how attached she is to the community’s wellness, she also leads free workout groups in Oakland Carlifornia

Her passion in community service has since earned her the nickname Miss Positivity, which she uses to accomplish her mission of fighting against Malaria.

The contest is a tight one with Congo’s contestant leading the charge with the amount of votes so far. Voting lines close today.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Swalha a stylist on the rise


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Fashion Stylist is one of the most popular emerging professions in the fashion world globally.

They select the clothing and accessories for music videos, concert performances, and any public appearances made by celebrities, models or other public figures.

Over the weekend Swalha Msabaha was at hand to show just how much styling is important in world where image has become so important.

Held at the swanky Serena Hotel Gardens, she was joined by some of the top women in the city including former beauty queens Nancy Sumari and Faraja Kota.

They had come to hear and interact with one the best in a field that is so crucial in image issues.

On this evening she cut a poise and look that said it all and as many who spoke to the Beat said, it was a statement of intent in many ways.

There were vendors too who showcased things like Sia Couture, The Rub Spa and Retrome-Make Up, Enjipai Jewelry and the Abaya collection by Anisa Tanzania who is probably one of Tanzania’s most celebrated designers based in South Africa.

But this all seems to be happening so fast, because those who at her previous events were left in awe.

Two years ago not many knew about Swalha Msabaha as a fashion stylist because just like in other parts of Africa it is an emerging trend and she is proving that she is the go to stylist in Tanzania who is destined for bigger things.

“Many of our celebrities can afford good clothing and that is where I come in I take a look at what they have and try to match up with their bodies and the event at hand,” says Swalha.

According to her, fashion stylists are often part of a larger creative team assembled by the client, collaborating with the fashion designer, hair stylist and makeup artist to put together a particular look or theme for the specific project.

“As a stylist I sometimes collaborate directly with designers to produce custom clothing for celebrity clients to suit a certain purpose or theme of the event that they are attending,” says Swalha.

The list of some of the celebrities that she has styled in the past include musicians such as Lady Jaydee, Barnaba Classic, Shaa and even Rita Paulsen aka Madam Rita on her Rita Paulsen Show which airs on Azam TV.

The strides that she has made have put her in good company and she is already attracting corporate sponsorship with Etihad and Barclays Bank lending her shoulder.

The event’s main organizer and major sponsor Abstrat had put together something unique to celebrate this emerging trend.

“Our main aim was to come up with a beauty and fashion event that was totally different, an event that would be memorable and we managed to achieve this,” Abstrat’s Abdallah Singano told the Beat.

But apart from the famous names Swalha also has several other individual clients whom she attends to.

“I have some people that style but those I will not name them right now,” she told the Beat on the sidelines of the event.

To Swalha styling is something that she had always had passion since her teenage years.

“I have always had passion for fashion and a keen eye for detail, as well as up to date with the latest fashion trends and colour schemes,” she says.

On this day Swalha was not alone, in her company was another celebrity stylist Veronica Odeka who had flown all the way from Lagos.

She took those in attendance on some of the issues that they need to give priority when creating a wardrobe even without spending so much money.

The international stylist, born and raised in Houston Texas, US has a portfolio that spans over10 years in high fashion print, commercial and runway modeling.

Through her outfit ‘Vane-Style’ she has become one of Nigeria’s most celebrated stylists and go-to person for the creation of signature style, personal shopping, wardrobe consultations, makeovers, personal and luxury shopping, styling for fashion shows, wardrobe detox and rebuilding, wedding style consultations, designer brand consultation as well as corporate etiquette and grooming seminars.

Veronica boasts of a clientele list envious to many, she’s worked with socialites and celebrities in Nigeria including Artistes Tiwa Savage, Davido and Waje,TV Presenters Adora Oleh and Dolapo Oni, OAP Toolz and Model Manager Elohor Aisien.

The list doesn’t stop there as she has also styled well-known international celebrities such as American Glamour Model and Actress, Carmen Electra, award winning Singer Alicia Keys and former member of Destiny’s Child, Farrah Franklin.

She also worked on big projects including Nigerian Idols seasons 1 and 2, Project Fame, Elite Model look Nigeria 2011 and 2012, Martini Male Model Search 2011, GTBank Commercials, MTN Lagos Fashion & Design Week 2011 and Arise Magazine Fashion Week 2011 and 2012.