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.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Modeling is not for the faint hearted – Odemba


By By Paul Owere

In 1998 a certain teenager shocked Tanzania and Africa when she emerged as runner-up at the M-Net Face of Africa modeling contest.

Miriam Odemba’s reception at the Julius Nyerere International Airport ( then Dar es Salaam International Airport) was one of a kind, she had taken over a patch that was once reserved for high profile dignitaries and heads of states.

At a tender age of 17, she had defied odds to become the first Tanzanian model to compete at the Elite Model Look in Nice France leading to a lucrative contract with Elite Model Management in New York.

A statement of intent had been made and others have remarked a silent revolution was in its infancy.

It signaled that times had changed, dark skinned models from this part of the world would now become a common feature on the runways.

Though that was almost 20 years ago, Miriam looks back at that particular moment with nostalgia as she admits that without that contest maybe she wouldn’t have made it to where she is.

“Face of Africa transformed my life. I was thrown into the spotlight almost instantly and became famous not only in my country but in Africa as a whole. Suddenly even what I was wearing became trendy with signature styles being named after me,” says Miriam.

She adds: This is something that I can never forget. I made friends and acquaintances throughout the world most of whom I am in touch with till today. What a wonderful, transformational experience.

Today she is a proud mother, a businesswoman and a brand ambassador for various companies within and outside of Tanzania.

Her journey towards the pursuit of a career in modeling was to suffer a sudden halt by the sudden death of her mentor Amina Mongi.

“At that point I must say that I did not know much about modeling and when my mentor and manager Amina Mongi passed away, I was really shaken up. I was only 17! I am thankful that I had the support of friends and family, Ruge Muhataba, Joseph Kusaga and most especially my fans.”

She had to pick up the pieces and rise again for she believed that it was meant to be and today she is based in Paris working with a modeling agency called Urban Talents Modeling Agency.

But even as glamorous as it may look there are still some hurdles that she has to deal with as a dark skinned model.

“Black models are quite limited in the fashion industry and they really struggle to be accepted by the fashion mainstream. Asian models have grown in prominence over the past decade to appeal to the Asian market but black models are still too often relegated to the token status even though there are some few successful black models,” says the mother of one.

She adds: I love fashion…I love modeling and I love beautiful things but there is much for which the fashion industry deserves to be criticized: the obsession with skinniness, the obsession with youth.

According to her it is time for black faces to grace the cover of big magazines because she doesn’t see anything wrong with.

But even then it hasn’t been all negative, she has since grown to appreciate some of the things that have come with the job as she admits that it has been a learning curve.

“Modeling has helped me develop my communication skills and has allowed me to travel to different countries. Because of my career, I meet new people almost every day. Photographers, agents, other models… I have to communicate with many of them,” says Miriam who was in Tanzania in August.

To her fashion is like an extension of her personality and a platform that showcases what kind of mood she is in.

“My fashion always flows with the feel and my mood of the day. I can invite people in and show the softer side of me… fashion gives a certain amount of freedom and allows me to be any person I want to be,” she says.

Despite the stereotype that is associated with models of her type there is an indication that the industry is finally changing.

“The industry has changed so much since then – as mentioned previously, we didn’t have social media. Models didn’t have easy access to their fans and vice versa. The world has become more accessible. Agencies are paying more attention to the power of social media and the power of the model as a celebrity,” she tells The beat.

She adds: Ethnic beauty is more acceptable and celebrated than it was several years ago. Black models with African features are now being included in castings rather than black models with European or ‘fine’ features.

The developing trends in the industry means in feature as opposed to now as the industry gets more accommodative on certain issues.

“Plus size models are working it on the same runways with the Zero size models for big brands such as Channel, Balmain, and Givenchy to mention a few.”

She adds: Ashley Graham changed the modeling industry when she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The world stood up and took notice. Tess Holiday and Philomena Kwao are other plus size models who are doing really well.

Beyond the glamorous lifestyles that their fans see on television, Miriam admits that modeling is a very tough industry that requires a tough skin for one to survive.

“Modeling is a tough industry… it can be quite depressing sometimes. For instance, you can have three big castings in a day. This therefore means you must be hardworking and competitive by nature. Sometimes your casting agent can tell you that they think you are very ugly!” Such challenges according to her are just some of the things that makes one grow as long as one stays positive and passionate about the job at hand.

Though not much has been achieved on the local frontier in comparison to other fields like music she sees a bright future especially with the strides that models such as Flaviana Matata and Harriet Paul have made.

Apart from her job on the runway she remains passionate about Tanzania and issues that affect women.

“I love showing off our Tanzanian heritage! I have worn the Maasai Shuka and Maasai jewellery in various fashion shows. I am very passionate about helping women and children and also enjoy my work as a brand ambassador for Schwari Tanzania and my fitness project Run with Odemba,” she says.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Tigo Fiesta to take on Tanga

New comer Mimi Mars

New comer Mimi Mars 

Tanga. With 11 regions already covered with the Tigo Fiesta which is set to reach its climax later on next month, the extravaganza this week takes on Tanga at the Mkwakwani Stadium.

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

Organisers say the Tanga 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 to go to Moshi, Dodoma, Morogoro, Mtwara before climaxing in Dar es Salaam.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Miss Universe too close to call


By Majuto Omary

Miss Universe Tanzania beauty pageant has been scheduled to take on Saturday at the National Museum Hall.

The event will see 10 contestants contesting for the top three spots that will see them represent the country in the international beauty contest such as Miss Universe, Miss Earth and Miss Tourism International.

According to organiser Maria Tsehai Sarungi all preparations are complete and beauties are in the camp at Sea Cliff Court in Masaki under matron Lilian Loth who was the first runner-up at Miss Universe Tanzania 2016.

She named the contestants as Lilian Maraule , Glory Gideon, Melody Tryphone, Anitha Mlay, Silvia Mkomwa, Rogathe Ally, Prisca Dastan(all from Dar es Salaam) while from Mwanza are Maureen Foster and Mary Peter. There is also Zahra Abdul who is from Mbeya region.

She said they expect an exciting event due to the qualities of the contestants who have been lined for this year pageant. Contestants will line up in two outfits which are African prints and evening gown.

“All preparations are in top shape and we expect a closely contested event. We conducted the best scouting and got the cream; our focus is to get the best contestants who will represent us well on the international platform,” said Maria.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Alicios relocates to Congo after 24 years

Congolese Singer Alicious Theluji

Congolese Singer Alicious Theluji 

Nairobi. Congolese singer Alicious Theluji arrive in Kenya 24 years ago as a six-year-old child and she spent all her childhood and adult life in the Kenyan capital but she has finally decided to move back to Congo. Word from close associates has it that she has gone back to her roots in Goma in Eastern Congo where she was born.

For a while, she has been quiet in the music scene and says this is because she has relocated back home after it became peaceful.

“I have actually moved back to Congo for some time. I came to Kenya while I was six years old. I have lived here, I have grown up here and I feel like there are things I really need to learn from Congo,” Alicious says.

Alicious, who burst into the limelight in 2012 when she dropped her first single ‘Mpita Njia’ featuring Ugandan singer Juliana Kanyamozi, moved to Kenya with her mother to escape political violence in DRC.

The now 30 year-old and a mother of one has been one of the few female musicians doing rather well in the Kenyan music industry.

After her breakthrough with the ‘Mpitia Njia’ hit, she went on to feature in another club banger ‘Mobimba’ alongside the now defunct boys band P-Unit.

Over the years, she has released several songs and collabos with Kenyan heavyweights including ‘Posa ya bolingo’, ‘Anita’, ‘Nyumbani’ featuring Kagwe Mungai and ‘Ya Nini’ featuring rapper Khaligraph Jones.


Friday, October 27, 2017

We are not trying be a group says AY


By By Paul Owere

Rappers AY and Mwana FA have in the past collaborated on various projects including an album from their days as members of the East Coast Team that was a major force in the emerging Bongo Flava industry.

Over the weekend the two released their latest single ‘Upo Hapo’ but this time it involved another hip hop star Fid Q, something that left many wondering whether they had formed a new group.

“If that was the case then it would be a blessing to us and to the industry but as far as we are concerned this was just a project that we felt we had to do,” says AY when he visited the Citizen offices.

The new video has been a great hit already as it takes a different route from the flashy lifestyles that most Bongo Flava videos of today display.

“We wanted something unique that tells the kind of maturity that we as artistes who have been on the big stage for almost 15 years,” says the singer.

According to AY they three are already established artistes and stars in their own right who are already doing well in their careers.

“When you look at what Fid Q and Mwana FA has achieved there is no need for has to go in the direction of putting up a group for now,” he says.

He adds: As you are aware I have always collaborated with Mwana FA on many songs so I felt there was need for to come up with something new that injects in new energy and that is what Fid Q brings into the mix. After the Dar es Salaam launch the trio intend to embark on a countrywide media tour before they take it to the rest of East Africa with Nairobi and Kampala on top of the cards.

“We have always set the standards, long before anyone ever thought of going to record abroad I was already working with the Ogopa Djs and later when the Nigerians came into the picture I was there,” says AY

In another development, AY whose last major hit was Zigo Remix says he has been silent since that release because he believes there is need to create demand as opposed to the idea of visibility.

“As a brand you have to create some longing because if you are always available then at some point you could become irrelevant to the very fans that you think you are reaching out to,” he says.

According to him despite the blame falling on artistes for producing a certain type of music, he says fans shape the kind of music that because without them who else would they be producing the music for.

“Artistes always try to stay relevant by bending to the torrents of the day or else they would get broken should they resist,” he says.

He sees the rivalry and constant squabbles in the industry as a sign that there is some money that is coming in otherwise all this would be uncalled for.

“Right from the days of East Coast, we never believed in stunts. The rivalries that you see now in Bongo Flava are because there are some gains and that is why the fights have become a common place,” says the rapper.

AY began his career with the group S.O.G. in 1996. He decided to go solo in 2002. Though there are no records available AY is believed to be among the first Bongo Flava artistes to have recognized the commercial potential of hip hop earning him the tag ‘Mzee Wa Commercial’.

He was member of the musical group known as East Coast , but now he’s no longer part of the group. He has released several songs and albums most of the times collaborating most with an ex-coast artist MwanaFA with hits such as Habari Ndio Hiyo, Usije Mjini and many more becoming hits.


Friday, October 27, 2017

My near kamikaze escape


By By Mlagiri Kopoka

There is a new way to beat the ever worsening traffic jams in Bongo. Yes, a way of getting public transport right up to your doorstep.

The other day, I was feeling a bit lousy at work. It must have been the effects of the brown or rather green bottles.

I decided to dock at a new joint which seems to have the latest arrivals. Here they are in all shapes and complexion, no wonder Mama Watoto has been warning me from going to that place.

These girls must have been tutored on how to handle mischievous customers like this lot I found here especially after the fight that broke out last week.

I took my place at the counter where some other patrons were involved in some sports discussion.

It was all about some old football executive who used his position to make things happen !

Talk of a funny world!

The argument was rather an old one whether Fifa chief was right to stay ensconced in his position as allegations of a bribery scandal raged on is one that is dominating.

I still don’t know what to make of Blatter’s stepping down, whether it was a confession, a moment of clarity, or an admission of guilt.

It is just natural that these arguments sometimes drag on to the late hours of night, sometimes even beyond mid-night.

The rhetoric ranged from why Uncle Sepp wasted resources to organize an election yet then resign to whether he was really involved in those kickbacks.

There are those who argue that under Blatter, Africa made huge gains and there are some just won’t take it.

“Which gains? Are you talking about the synthetic football pitches? What I know is that those who are defending that guy were direct beneficiaries,” said one fellow.

Another reminded the table that the only reason why the guys were not talking about the ills was because they had mouthfuls.

“Wewe it is bad manners to talk while eating,” said another fellow wearing a Man United shirt.

Well, I had a funny headache that was as a result of my undertakings the night before after the man from Kisangani resurfaced to paint the town red.

I could therefore not afford to involve myself in this debate first because I didn’t see anything wrong with someone ‘eating a little’ from his work place.

After all, man eats where he works. Secondly, I am still very green about how things work in most places.

Something must have happened as the whole counter fell silent for a minute or two.

One of the new waitresses who I later learnt that her name was Bora had come to the counter to collect drinks.

Necks turned each time she went back and forth to the counter.

To mark his turf whenever the fat guy placed his orders, it included Bora’s as well.

“I think this time around they have got a gem. You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!”

The guy next to where she was standing kept showering the girl with praises. He would touch her all over in very provocative ways.

Soon we had forgotten all about football and attention was now on the new recruits.

Not to miss on the new arrival, another patron who was drinking alone in a corner beckoned Bora to his table.

He went on to whisper something in her ears which I guess was nasty given the girl’s reaction.

In the argument that ensued, the man went on to accuse the girl of being a prostitute.

“Stop interfering with my life, bwana. Go tell that to your poor wife. If you really loved me you should have married me,” she barked back.

Then suddenly the man stood up and hit Bora with a bottle on the face. She squealed in pain.

I had not paid my bills, I chose to flee on a boda boda which ended up in a trench!


Friday, October 20, 2017

Gayo an artist fighting war against corruption


By The Beat Reporter

Dar es Salaam. It all starts with a minor bribe.

A young man without a driving license drives his car and gets stopped by the police, instead of ending his illegal ride; he bribes the police officer and drives off.

This is the start of James Gayo’s latest work on corruption.

The long-time cartoonist has produced a 32-minute radio play to demonstrate the devastating effects of corruption.

“My goal is to make people hate corruption,” Gayo says.

The 55-year-old artist does this by creating a story that stresses on the severe consequences of what seems like a minor bribe.

So the young man in the story who just bribed a police officer drives on and crashes into a family gathering and dies on the spot.

“I wanted to expose the listeners to everyday situations that they have experienced and demonstrate the far-reaching effects corruption can have,” Gayo explains his reasoning behind the radio drama.

It’s not the first time Gayo has produced works on corruption. He is the creator of the cartoon character Kingo and has also produced the TV series “Taswira Yetu” that follows customers as they pursue different services in public offices.

With the help of hidden cameras, the series revealed corrupt behavior of police officers and public servants on several occasions.

“We actually wanted to show the good and the bad sides of civil service, but unfortunately there were almost exclusively bad ones,” Gayo states. With his latest work, he wants to shake up the public.

“The problem is that we don’t talk enough about corruption. For many people corruption is something that concerns only the big guys, forgetting that they are directly involved as well. But if you bribe a police officer or a public servant to speed up an administrative process, you are part of it too.”

Gayo’s work is one of the five projects that were chosen by the Swiss Embassy to tackle the underlying problem of corruption.

“Art and culture promotes crucial drivers of social change and behavior,” explains Swiss ambassador and representative of the East African Community Arthur Mattli the idea of the effort.

In total some Sh190 million were given to five local organizations, these are , the National Museum of Tanzania, the Tanzania House of Talent, Art in Tanzania, Kijiji Studios Tananzia and Gayo’s Gaba Africa Ltd.

These groups used various mediums including visual, performing and media arts to discuss the dangers that corruption presents. They included dances, exhibitions, music concerts, a puppet theatre or a film drama.

“We have funded cultural organisations because we support Tanzania government’s fight against corruption,” explains Mattli.

Gayo is convinced that art is a perfect medium to convey the message to the people.

“People just love arts, no matter whether it is film, music or painting, art is accessible to everyone and it is therefore a very powerful platform,” he says. The artist’s engagement against corruption is routed in his personal experiences with public servants over the years.

“I sometime ask myself if anything in this country actually works without bribes,” he says.

A particular case that shocked him was when he wanted to get a title deed for his piece of land at the ministry of Lands and human settlements several years ago.

He pursued the deed for four years, turning down several requests for money when they finally told him his file had disappeared.

He had to report the matter to the former director of the ministry of land he whom he happened to know to get things going and surprisingly, the file resurfaced the same day.

Even as wide-spread as corruption is, Gayo is not pessimistic about the future. For him, it is conceivable that in 10 years corruption will still be a problem in Tanzania. “The people are ready for it,” he says.

As bad as corruption is, Gayo thinks of it as a symptom that will soon disappear as soon as the public services get better.

He uses the health service as an example. “If there is sufficient treatment for everyone, then there is no more need to bribe a doctor”, he says.

Gayo also criticizes the excessive bureaucracy that creates a lot of room for corruption.

“As soon as the bureaucratic processes are streamlined and new technologies are used, then room for corruption will shrink,” he says.

He expects the government to act. “It’s not enough to hate corruption,” he says. “You also have to take comprehensive measures to reduce it.”

Alongside the radio drama, Gayo has also created a cartoon magazine that tells the same story in images and words.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Hoyce temu looks at her reign as Miss Tz


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Eighteen years ago a young beauty Hoyce Temu rose beyond the limits of the day to be crowned Aspen Miss Tanzania in a hotly contested pageantry.

Those were the days when Miss Tanzania was one of the hottest events on the entertainment calendar, probably only next to the Simba –Yanga derby.

It was not an ordinary night as that win made her the sixth queen in modern day history of Miss Tanzania and the last in the 20th century.

Today, even with the turmoil that is at Miss Tanzania, it is a decision that the former beauty queen does not regret ever making.

So much water has since passed under the bridge but Hoyce Temu still believes that it was the right decision to join the contest because her motivation then is still the same today.

“I wanted to be the voice of the voiceless in Tanzania with more focus on children women and the underprivileged,” she told The Beat this week in an exclusive interview.

Unlike the beauties of those days, Hoyce who had just completed her A-Levels at Zanaki Secondary School decided not to pursue a career in modeling or any such related fields.

The temptation to follow other fields was just too strong and it took some pep talk from some of her close friend and family.

“When I won Miss Ilala which gave me the ticket to compete at Miss Tanzania I had just finished my Form Six. I had been selected to join the University of Dar es Salaam on a government sponsorship,” she says.

And soon after the win came the Miss World challenge which was held in the UK, one that she admits still brings nostalgic memories and probably this is where she made up her mind to go on with school.

“My friend and mentor Angellah Jasmine Kairuki who was recently named Minister of Minerals, made an effort to attend the event in London. We had a long history together because we were together at Zanaki Secondary School,” says Temu who is pursuing her PHD.

She adds: After the event, Angellah came to the backstage and held my hands firmly, and asked me to look in her eyes and she said ‘promise me that you will go back to school’.

After she had served her term she immediately went back to the University of Dar es Salaam and it was here that she caught the eyes of the then First Lady Mama Anna Mkapa.

“Through ‘Equal Opportunities For All’ foundation I was awarded a full scholarship to study in the US,” she says.

Walking away from the glamour that was associated with beauty queens at the moment was not easy, but she had to adjust to the basics to fit in her new surroundings.

“Being a daughter of police officer maybe helped me to adjust faster to lead the real life of who I was and to become a humble servant of people in the community.”

She swapped Dar for Arizona to pursue the very objective that made her enter the contest in the first place for she believed it was the key to unlocking her potential.

“I wanted to be one of the people changing societies given my humble upbringing in village. To me poverty is not just a word but an experience,” says Hoyce who was raise in a family of six daughters.

She adds: I wanted to keep my promise and my dreams. Angellah and I were friends and later a trusted mentor and we always believed that education was the foundation of anyone’s life.

Several years down the road she still holds the belief that Miss Tanzania platform can be a ticket to glory to both winners and losers if well handled. “If well planned and handled carefully as per the title’s requirement which is ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ it could be a ticket to glory and it could also be a ticket to ‘hell’ if mishandled or misinterpreted.”

According to her the bottom line is that the title has a lot to do with serving communities in various aspects as well as being goodwill ambassadors.

She believes that whoever joins the boot-camp is good enough to be a queen but she is also aware of the differences that exist in the then crop of beauty queens and today’s millennial queens.

“Individual behavior and attitude towards beauty are things you can’t avoid and control. A big difference comes in the tenure of each beauty queen; the devotion to the community, walking the talk of ‘beauty with purpose’.”

She adds: In terms of technology, there is more access to information today but surprisingly the Miss Tanzania organizers are yet to match the gap in the digital community.

She yawns for the glory days and she doesn’t mince words on some of the critical issues that she would change should the opportunity provide itself.

“First the selection of organizers in the regions, the preparations, selection of participants and to see the ‘beauty’ with purpose is being acceptable in the community at large.”

She says that the only way the pageant can regain its credibility is by participants and organisers sticking to the guidelines.

“We need the young blood to organize the events and more sponsors to support this. May be it is time for the Government to see the pageant through a different lens given its potential to market the country, therefore support with some funding.”

Today as a mother and a career woman she has some advice to pass on to young women who aspire to follow her path.

“Beauty pageanty should be a bridge to reach other heights. It should be ‘leaf’ which gives a good shadow when the sun is too hot. Dream big, focus, work hard, be humble to everyone, learn to listen more than talking, keep studying by acquiring various skills in your life, and learn to prioritize,” she says.

Even in her roles as UN communication specialist based in Dar es Salaam she says what has kept her going is remaining down to earth.

“I continue being myself. I live the real life. Keeping myself busy has automatically sent me to the ‘low profile room’.”


Friday, October 20, 2017

Artistes shaping the new face of East Africa’s politics

Joseph Haule aka Prof Jay a rapper was elected

Joseph Haule aka Prof Jay a rapper was elected to Tanzania’s Parliament in 2015 PHOTO | FILE 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Being a politician has become so much like being a pop star - it’s all about performance, and style over substance - that it’s brainer so few other musicians have stood up to be counted

This year, Uganda and Kenya became the latest East African countries after Tanzania to vote active musicians into the legislature after Tanzania bringing the number of prominent artistes to four in the region. Bobi Wine and Jaguar joined Tanzania’s Sugu aka Joseph Mbilinyi and Prof Jay aka Joseph Haule to make history in the East African states by becoming legislators.

Though not the first time that artistes have crossed boundaries by swapping the stage for the August House and in the process changing personality. Bobi Wine the self professed Ghetto president has since shed off his dreadlocks for a completely different look, Sugu and Prof Jay gave up the jeans for three piece suits.

These were chart toppers in their countries who led the local population into consciously accepting local content on the airwaves, something that was once taboo.

As musicians they were critical of the governments of the day and politicians who only used voters as means to get to top political positions only to forget them.

Sugu aka Joseph Mbilinyi was very critical of police brutality in his ‘Mikononi mwa Polisi’, Prof Jay in his debut album ‘Jasho Machozi na Damu’ had a hit single ‘Ndio Mzee’, whereas Jaguar got popular with his hit single ‘Kigeugeu’ across East Africa. These have now become firebrand members of parliament in their respective countries thanks to a massive following by their legion of fans especially in this day of social media.

Of the four apart from Jaguar’s fist fights with Babu Owino recently, and Sugu’s being thrown out of parliament, it is Bobi Wine aka Robert Kyagulanyi who is attracting headlines in Kampala.

His participation in the anti-age limit campaign that led to a fight inside the Ugandan Parliament was one that has drawn him admirers especially the young and slated by old guard in equal measure. “I have grown up during this regime but I want to see change, that is why I am part of the change that I want to see,” Bobi Wine told his fans on Saturday night at a heavily guarded concert. And as things stand, he has emerged as the face of the opposition in the current Red Ribbon campaign against the removal of the Presidential age limit which is currently capped at 75.

“This country has never had a peaceful handover of power and this is our only opportunity of having a peaceful change as opposed to the bloodshed that we have seen in the past,” he said. He has also emerged as serious critic of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni something that prompted the President to write an open letter in the Daily Monitor recently in which he didn’t seem very happy. In reply the 35-year-old was even more sarcastic saying the president’s letter had several contradictions.

“I don’t speak for myself but for millions of Ugandans, young and old men, women and children, who want nothing but a better country for themselves, their children and the generations to come,” he wrote.

A decade ago this could have been a mere wishful thinking in East Africa, for politics was not a thing for a certain class who were raised through the party ranks to serve the established order. But the question that many continue to ask is what really makes these artistes turned politicians tick?

According to one pundit, as opposed to an ordinary folk who is joining, artistes such as Prof Jay or Bobi wine in this case has a fan base that he has already built during the 15 years of performances across the country.

“The artistes resonate with millennials who share a common vision and probably even aspirations, that is why they are even ready to pay a certain amount just to watch him,” says James Balita who is an avid follower of Bobi Wine.

He says that some of the issues that rappers Sugu and Prof Jay sung about in their compositions are the realities that most young men continue to grapple with.

“In the situation of Uganda it is even worse with a population which has 60 percent of its people are below the age of 35 there is certainly room for artistes like these ones who mix art with activism,” he says.

The old guard in most cases have not helped the situation either as they continue being dismissive of these type of politicians forgetting that they are operating in a digital age with platforms such as Instagram, Whatsapp,Snapchat and Facebook are a click away.

There is a thin line between their works as artistes and politicians which sometimes remains blurred to their adoring fans.

But even then this should not take away the gloss for they remain committed to the cause of the people whom they are the very product of.

It will therefore be no wonder to see more artistes join the fray in elections especially parliamentary and who knows may be even the presidency some day.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Prezzo shamed by Amber Lulu

Prezzo and Umber Lulu

Prezzo and Umber Lulu 

Dar es Salaam. Controversial Kenyan rapper CMB Prezzo was left embarrassed after his attempt to hit on famous Bongo Flava socialite and video vixen Amber Lulu hit a snag as he was friend-zoned.

A video that has been doing rounds showed Prezzo trying to get cozy with the bootylious video queen, first inside a car and then in a hotel room.

The videos made many to believe that the two must have started some kind of a romance, barely two months after Prezzo was dumped by his girlfriend of two years socialite Michelle Yola, who is now pregnant. However, according to the vixen, who is a lookalike to famous American socialite Amber Rose, Prezzo advances on her bore no fruits.

Lulu insisted that the rapper was just a friend and there was nothing more than that despite having been in the same hotel room for some time.

Lulu’s sentiments were backed up by her close friend and fellow video vixen Gigy Money who referred to Prezzo as a “nagging lice”.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Can Bongo Flava learn from Dayna Nyange?


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Bongo Flava is a complicated place where sometimes the scandals and the conflicts dominate the music that is being played, in fact on many occasions personality issues are at play.

The stories are usually almost the same as they range from who is sleeping with who to is driving what car, a bit trivial but that is our way of life.

They fight for almost everything from the naming rights to buying views on Youtube and Vevo, whatever it is, the fans too have been lured into it and it is therefore just healthy to belong to a certain team with the flimsiest of all reasons.

And for that matter, no one is willing to concede any grounds at all, for they are all big enough to be considered superstars!

In 2013 a conflict between Diamond and Dayna which had been simmering for sometime was fully blown after latter accused the former of some double standards.

According to Dayna the beats to Diamond’s Number One which was produced by Sheddy Clever was supposed to be her project and that Diamond was supposed to feature as a guest artist.

Though the original hit despite being a club banger across East Africa, it didn’t make it past 7 million views on Youtube, it is however the remix of the same song featuring Davido that is believed to have given Diamond his International breakthrough.

Today, it stands as one of the most viewed songs by Diamond with close to 29 million views, arguably the most by any Tanzanian artiste has achieved in modern era.

It is a talk and conflict that ensued thereafter was not very healthy, there were those who blamed Diamond for going against the gentlemanly arrangement which they had struck if at all there was any.

On the other side the realists say Dayna didn’t own the beat and as the norm is in modern day Bongo Flava the beats to the song remains the property of the producer.

The producer’s verdict didn’t help matters either as he reaffirmed that the rights to the beats solely belonged to him, not otherwise and that he had consciously decided to grant Diamond the permission to use it. Sheddy Clever who also produced her breakthrough single featuring Barnabas, ‘Nivute Kwako’ had decided to switch camp, a shift of loyalty towards someone who was first becoming a force on the Tanzanian music front.

As the debate raged on Dayna was left destroyed with no option but to complain, a move that fell on deaf ears, as her own version of the song hard gained very little airplay on radio stations.

Mending fences

This week the two artistes were part of the Tanzanian contingent that was at the Afrimma Awards in Dallas Texas where Diamond emerged winner of the Best East African Male category. Of the thousands who celebrated this victory was Dayna who was seated just a seat away from the Hallelujah hit maker.

“Wow We won !” on her snapchat, this was followed by an instagram post that read,’Proud of my brother @diamondplatnumz for the win’.

On that night she had been one of the lucky people to award the Ghetto Kids from Uganda the awards of best Dancing group.

In defending her post Dayna said she meant it and that there was nothing bad about her commending Diamond for his effort because at the end of the day the trophy had come home.

According to her the rift that was between them was now all in the past because she didn’t see any reason to continue with it. “ I met Diamond at the US embassy in Dar es Salaam and since we were all coning to Dallas we struck a conversation. There was this deep sitting feeling that something had gone wrong in the past but I did not see any reason to pursue it any further,” she said.

It was no wonder that they shared the same limousine while heading to the awards night and thereafter.

Her move to bury the hatchet was quickly hailed by some observers who say it was all about maturity because it wasn’t taking her anywhere.

She has done what some of the stars in the industry have failed to do and maybe they will take a leaf from her – to forgive and forget. Only time will tell!


Friday, October 13, 2017

Finally Diamond is on location with Rick Ross


Dar es Salaam. He has the Midas touch, and everything he touches turns into Diamonds, from the look of things there is plenty to come.

In a month where he has been dragged into scandals of all sorts with chief on the list being his admission that he strayed with video queen Hamisa Mobeto, Diamond has got something cooking in Miami.

Fresh from winning the Afrimma Best Male artiste East Africa in Dallas Diamond headed straight to work.

Last night, one of his latest posts on Instagram the singer was on set with Maybach music’s Rick Ross in what seemed to be recording session of his latest collabo with another American artiste after Marry You, a hit that he recorded with Ne-Yo.

“Diamond Platnumz x Rick Ross On set now somewhere in Miami #BlackBottleBoys and we never stop,” read the post on Instagram accompanied with a shot clip.

The two who have recently been quoted to have adopted new name the black bottle boys are ambassadors of the French made champagne Belaire.

The singer who recently released a new single with Morgan Heritage, Hallelujah which has dominated charts across Africa and beyond has got his fans rubbing their hands with glee.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Franco the lion that roared but never pounced

The grand master of Congolese music Luambo

The grand master of Congolese music Luambo Luanzo Makiadi aka Franco PHOTO | FILE 

By Amadi Kwaa Atsiaya

One of the most famous musicians that continental Africa has produced, DRC’s Luambo Luanzo Makiadi aka Franco has etched himself an eternal place.

This week rumba music enthusiasts all over the world commemorated with great nostalgia the October 12, 1989 demise of the Grand Master of Congolese music.

As the fallen musical titan is remembered, my mind jogs to a few years ago when listening to one such commemoration on radio.

A reporter was interviewing some residents of Kinshasa, and one man made a remark that made me get interested in Franco than ever before.

Of course his recognition as the foremost DRC musician is something I have always reserved for him. Yet, this remark by this rather dismissive Kinshasa resident was overly unsettling.

The man went in typical Kingwana (the Swahili dialect spoken in the DRC): “Franco; yeye alikuwa anaimbaka tu mambo ya upuzi upuzi tu. Ile nzembo yake ambayo mimi iko naona iko na maana ni ile nasema ‘mwana mama,” The interviewee was insistent that in his opinion, Franco was a facile and parochial musician and the only song by Franco that moved him was this one where Franco talks about his fear for death.

Many accounts of Franco describe him as having considered death as a great injustice. Right from the death of his own dad in his childhood, to the latter day in 1970 death of his younger brother, Bavon Marie Marie, Franco’s view of death was quite depressive.

This could be the ethos that this man on radio was imbibing from the song he quoted.

Before this settled, an encounter with a lady from the DRC obviously led to conversation about Franco and his music, and her conclusion was quite simple: Franco was just about women and cheating lovers.

In my opinion, sentiments by the two who in those years of Franco would aptly be referred to as Zairois mpe Zairoise tended to present a simplistic view of the personage whom writer Graeme Ewens calls the Congo Colossus.

Franco had been part of our upbringing, his songs serenaded us from childhood, through our teenage, and up to now, those of us who appreciate rumba still have Franco as an indispensable part of the African rumba menu.

To those who are in their late thirties and above, school days entertainment was not complete without a number by the Tout Puissant O.K. Jazz.

Franco was and still is a hero to many who greatly admired him during his life, for the kind of following he commanded not only in his home Zaire, but in Africa and the world in general. As an artiste, Franco was one of the most successful, yet the comments by the lady and gentleman from Kinshasa cannot be warded off just like a fly being whisked off one’s face.

As a symbol of success, Franco was a typical man who rose from humble and doubt filled origins to come to stamp his will and influence on his community.

Of the Congolese music movements that emerged in the 1950s, one can distinctly be attributed to Franco who formed such a vital tributary in Congolese music.

Like any society in the world, the Congolese society was and still is symptomatic of inequalities in terms of access to education.

Many factors contribute to these inequalities and economists and sociologists have addressed these inequalities in many a fora and publications.

It is instructive to note that Franco emerged from the leeward side of the economic fence.

His own mother, Mama Makiese, working as a vendor in an open air market in Kinshasa, and his railway employed father dying when Franco was still a little boy.

This in itself sets a young Franco into a world where abundance is not part of nature.

Educationally, all accounts about the famed musician point to very modest academic credentials.

At best, he was a primary school dropout, who found more fun in playing football and playing with improvised guitars from sardine tins than burying himself in books.

At the time he entered into the music world, Franco represented the artiste who is down on the ground.

Rather than reduce Franco to the two factors that the catalysts of this article simplified him to, Franco would rather be considered as an artiste who lived during a time that would have granted him real greatness but who let the chance slip through his large fingers.

Franco was a keen observer, and one of his pet subjects was the womenfolk, as rightly pointed out by the lady from Kinshasa.

What he chose to see in the lady of his interest is what left bitterness in the mouth of our male reference point.

Franco saw his woman as a victim of herself, a victim of her lover, but never as the two being victims of the circumstances visited upon them by a political situation that was symptomatic of entertainment aboard the sinking MV Titanic.

However, Franco was many things at the same time. He was a social commentator, pillar of the status quo, and even a billboard or bullhorn for commercial enterprises both at home and abroad.

True to the observation by the lady from Kinshasa, Franco composed a lot of songs about the relationship between women and fellow women, and between men and women.

As Mario was raising so much dust in dance halls across East and Central Africa in the eighties, in Kinshasa, the song that was most warmly received was Mamou.

Franco goes on to enumerate all the gossip and bad mouthing going on between the two. Yes, Franco is talking about an important human relationship – that between a man and a woman, and between friends.

Again, questions are left to linger: What conditions bring about such a state of affairs, that a family should be so separated?

In view of the foregoing therefore, one would find it difficult to take the views of the lady and gentleman of Congolese origin referred to earlier from the face value, but rather from a critical perspective.

What the man referred to as ‘mambo ya upuzi upuzi’ was Franco’s failure to stand up to be counted at a time when his country needed him most owing to the artistic gift he had.

Whatever the case, Franco is one of the most influential personalities who lived in our times, and history presented him with great opportunities to make a more significant contribution to his society, but he failed to seize the opportunity by the collar and wrestle it to the ground.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Tiwa Savage mending fences

Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage 

Tiwa Savage made the crowd go wild at the AFRIMMA awards when she brought Teebillz to stage and hugged him. Tiwa Savage and her husband, Teebillz shared an affectionate hug on stage at the just concluded African Muzik Magazine Awards.

According to popular Nigerian blogger Tiwa Savage brought Teebillz out on the stage at the award show which was held in Dallas, United States. The couple hugged very tightly, thereby making the crowd go wild.

This is definitely good news for all the lovers and fans of Tiwa Savage and Teebillz. Two weeks ago, Teebillz, took to Instagram to profess his unending love for her even though he eventually deleted the post.

There are hints that the singer and hubby are fully back again.

This latest development is coming just a few days after Tiwa Savage made known her position about gender equality. The Mavin Records diva made her submission during a chat on “The Mid day Show” with The Beat FM’s Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru who engaged her in a discussion on the subject.

Tiwa Savage spoke about the very sensitive topic and was very clear about her views which didn’t go down well with all the feminist and gender equality advocates.

“I know I’ll ruffle a few feathers but I also don’t think men and women are equal, I don’t think that’s how God created us that way… especially in the household anyway.

“So I think as females when we realize that yeah we can be strong in our career, but when we are home we have to realise that the man is the head of the house,” the music star ended her comments,” she said.

Looks like the “First Lady” of the Mavin Record Label is putting past marriage issues behind and opening a new chapter in her marriage.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Hugh Masekela battling cancer

Hugh Masekela

Hugh Masekela 

Johannesburg. South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela has cancelled his commitments for the immediate future‚ saying he needs all his energy to continue his fight against prostate cancer. In a statement issued this week‚ he requested privacy going forward “so that I may rest and heal”‚ adding that this would be his only public statement on the matter. Masekela has been under treatment for cancer since 2008 when doctors discovered a small “speck” on his bladder. He said the treatment had appeared to be successful but in March 2016 he had had to undergo surgery as the cancer had spread. “In April 2017‚ while in Morocco‚ I fell and sprained my shoulder. I began to feel an imbalance when I was walking and my left eye was troubling me.

“Another tumour was discovered and subsequently‚ in September 2017‚ I had emergency treatment‚ and the tumour was neutralised‚” he said in the statement.

“It is a tough battle but I am greatly encouraged by the good wishes of family‚ friends and everyone who has supported my musical journey‚ which remains the greatest source of my inspiration‚” the jazz legend added.

He said he was in a “good space as I battle this stealthy disease” and urged all men to have regular tests to check their own condition.


Friday, October 6, 2017

A Perspective on Diamond Platinum’s “Hallelujah”


By Dennis Massawe

So, what is the big deal about the song “Hallelujah” by the artist Diamond Platinum? Isn’t it another hit that is rocking the air waves in Tanzania and overseas...?

I do not know much about him apart from the fact that he is a Tanzanian artiste. His international exposure has set high expectations as a Tanzanian ambassador in music and arts.

While his fans are going gaga, it is important to put on our thinking caps and closely evaluate the potential impact of his new single track titled “Hallelujah.”

The problem is not the use of the word “Hallelujah,” and certainly not a problem using the word as a Muslim; but rather the context the word is being used and how it is interpreted through the song.

In his work Diamond contextualizes and interprets the word in a sensual framework. Even if we were to conjure that he is “praising God” for the gorgeous woman he is alluding to, his creative work renders itself to a systemic problem.

The word can be used where married couples are expressing the joy of sex as a gift from God. Apart from the confines of acceptable norms of marital sensual intimacies, the word will be out of context because God does not condone fornication and related behaviors.

The word can be used in the joys of triumph and brokenness as exaltation of God regardless of the circumstances.

Therefore, Diamond and others who have wrongly used the word stand to be informed and pointed to the correct interpretation.

In Diamond’s song, whether done strategically, arrogantly or out of sheer ignorance - the bigger picture of the problem is a case of religious defamation. How is this possible? Well, let me explain.

Just as Arabic is the original language for the Quran, so is Hebrew and Septuagint is for the Bible.

There is lot of grammatical explanation but I will simplify and make it easy to understand: the authentic meaning of word “Hallelujah” in Hebrew means “let us praise the Lord.”

It is divided into two words – Hallelu – let us praise, and – Jah – which is one of the Hebrew names for God.

Hence, Hallelujah – Let us praise the Lord. “Unlike other words in the Bible that were translated, Hallelujah was left in its original form because it was considered too sacred, too authentic to be violated in a way that it would depart from the original,” Professor Jonathan Lipnick from the Israel institute of Biblical studies explains in one of his lessons. Now that we understand the sacredness of the word, let me explain how possible the case of religious defamation can arise from the song. The geo-religious space has changed significantly from the past. More tension exits between religions as it is exhibited across the world.

If religious sacredness is handled carelessly, the countries that almost share an equal demographic of Islamic and Christian believers are at the highest risk. Tanzania happens to be one of those countries that both religions share the most space.

In the United Nations, the case of religious defamation took a long time to come up with a resolution from 1999 until 2010.

The reason for the discourse was among others to ascertain that religious defamation is a violation of human rights. The fact of the matter is that religious defamation arouses tentious sentiments and polarizes religious communities. Can you imagine for a minute; what if a Christian artiste would equally misconstrue a sacred Islamic word?

What if they contextualized it within sensuality and sensationalism-and by doing so, they got some million impressions on social media….? Would it incite or cause a type of intifada? Thus, a stitch in time saves nine - as the old adage goes; a timely management of insensitive religious expressions will save a lot of chaos. It was through my Facebook feed that I saw a post that was oozing with agitation at how the word was desecrated.

Then it got me thinking about the potential negative impact of the song in the Christian community. But I was comforted by the management of religious polarity in Tanzania between Christians and Muslims. I use the word management because the potential for religious feuds are volcanic.

Thank God that even though Christians and Muslims are almost equal in numbers, religious peace and stability has been managed amicably in Tanzania for the solidarity of the Tanzanian people goes beyond religious differences and tribalism.

And then I thought maybe I should just keep quiet and let it be. My conscience wouldn’t allow me to do so as a musical artist and as theology student who uses the word “Hallelujah” in sacred worship of God. I reached a conclusion that it would only be fair to share my comments and hopefully influence a positive discussion and action.

The privilege of influence entails responsibility and accountability.

As a content creator, I must consider all the facts and facets to the best of my knowledge.

I am not saying that the artist in question did not do his homework. I am also not implying that people of all faiths do not have moral and spiritual contradictions on sacred issues.

We will be responsible for such contradictions both in secret and in public before our Maker. For example; one artist that used the word “Hallelujah” in expressing his contradictions was Leonard Cohen.

His song “Hallelujah” has been quoted as being a beautiful, ironic and melancholy masterpiece that relates to God and the artist’s emotional journey. “The Song explains that many kinds of Hallelujahs do exist. I say: All the perfect and broken Hallelujahs have an equal value. It’s a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion…” Although he had his share of spiritual and moral contradictions with the sacred word, his rendition of “Hallelujah” sincerely connects God to his circumstances in life in meaningful ways.

In all fairness, there are Christians who abuse or blaspheme the sacred. However, in all social groups that share the same codes, the tendency is to allow impunity within the family but not for those who are not of the family.

Diamond is a Muslim, and because of being of a different family, it is highly likely for his presentation to be deemed as desecrating a sacred word in Christian faith.

In conclusion, it is my hope that a healthy discussion will arise for the sake of religious and civil peace. I also hope that the artists will be careful on how they influence their communities and the nation at large as good ambassadors.

Fame and fortune that leads to distraction and disorder of people is insignificant and a haunting legacy. There is an intricate balance for freedom of expression and respect for religion that must be observed.

Religious defamation is an attack to human dignity that can incite violence if not managed.

Dennis M. @thedmass (Media Producer. Musical Artist. Minister) Former ITV Producer/Director.


Friday, October 6, 2017

How realistic are Julitha’s chances at Miss World?

Nancy Sumari remains a unique case in the 23

Nancy Sumari remains a unique case in the 23 years of Miss Tanzania. Photo|File 

By Majuto Omary

Dar es Salaam. Julitha Kokumanya Kabete will represent Tanzania at the Miss World beauty contest on November 18 in Sanya China after she was handpicked by the Miss Tanzania organizing committee.

Organisers say their hands were forced into this unorthodox method due to the delay of getting clearance from the National Arts Council (Basata) a body that sanctions such contests.

According to Lino International, they only received the green light a couple of weeks ago, at a time when the Miss World contest is only a couple of weeks away, meaning they could not wait to get for the Miss Tanzania winner.

Julitha is former Miss Dar Centre, Miss Ilala who finished fifth in the 2016 beauty pageant which was held in Mwanza for the first time in the history of the pageant.

“She has experiences in international beauty pageants as last year she represented Tanzania in Miss Africa and did well, apart from that, she is talented, disciplined and these are some of the critical aspects that we took into consideration for her selection,” says Rico.

They believe she was the best choice given her ability to express herself, her vast knowledge of Tanzania’s tourist attractions and international exposure which are some of the issues that gave her an edge above the rest.

This is not the first time that the agency has resorted to handpicked candidates, in 2012 Lisa Jensen was handed the rather undesirable task of representation as the organisation again cited being time-barred.

He representation was very lukewarm, nobody ever noticed let alone recognize her attempt at the world crown.

Miss Tanzania has been a troubled place in recent times as what was once one of the hottest events on the entertainment calendar is now only a distant memory to most.

The in-fights and the abdication of the crown by Sitti Mtemvu in 2014 left the organisation with a very bad image making it difficult to lure corporate sponsorships.

Could this quest be some form of wishful thinking? Though organisers a confident that Julitha isn’t only going to Sanya to make up numbers, statistics state otherwise.

Hers is a quest to emulate Nancy Sumari’s 2005 feat who remains an isolated example in the history of the pageant locally and given the state of affairs it is likely to take a very long time.

On that December night in the glare of global audience, Nancy Sumari dazzled as she walked away with the Miss Africa World crown in the Chinese city of Sanya.

As many insiders admit, they had anticipated her win which reverberated across the country and continent as she achieved what many can only afford to dream about.

This is as far as Tanzanian contestants have gone with many posting very dismal shows that left fans wondering why they ever made the journey. However as Lundenga and his committee have every reason to beam with confidence and hope that Lady Luck smiles down on Tanzania, only miracles can save Julitha’s quest for the global victory.

Given what happened in the past two years, pundits say the country is still a long way from achieving success in that arena as they point fingers at the mode of preparations leading towards the World stage.

The 11th hour preparations leaves contestants with very limited time master the competition’s rudiments.

Most countries that have excelled in this competition always select their beauty queen a year in advance.

For example as cameras follow the events in Sanya, South Africa which has a great track record in the event have already launched the search for next year’s beauty queen.

According an insider, given the time limit the winner usually doesn’t have enough time to acclimatize with her new celebrity surroundings.

This according to him allows the selected bunch of young girls time to be tutored into the basic skills like etiquette which most of our contestants lack.

But even as odd rear their ugly heads, there is more that Tanzania can get from the Miss World contest than just the crown.

The source maintains that Miss Tanzania and Miss World is a marketing tool that is yet to be exploited especially in the tourism sector.

“ It is common knowledge that Tanzania is the home of one of the most beautiful tourist attractions yet the we struggle with low numbers of tourists,” he says

Tanzania first got its beauty queen in 1994 when Anna Maeda won the crown. She was then followed by Emily Adolph in 1995 before Soshe Sinare did it the following year.

Then Saida Kessy from Arusha broke the Dar dominance in 1997when she swept the crown which was then known as Aspen Miss Tanzania at an emotional event held at Diamond Jubilee Hall.

Basila Mwanukuzi from Kinondoni won the pageant in 1998, followed by Ilala’s Hoyce Temu and Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

Dar es Salaam continued to dominate the pageant in 2001 through Temeke’s Happiness Millen Magese who won the pageant and followed by Angela Damas in 2002.

Temeke was in the thick of things again in 2003 through Sylvia Bahame and later Kinondoni dominated the pageant through Faraja Kotta, Nancy Sumari, Wema Sepetu and Richa Adhia in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively.

Before Genevieve Mpangala and Salha Israel whose term comes to an end tomorrow, Mwanza had taken a two-year winning streak with Nasrin Karim and Miriam Gerald winning in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Others who followed were equally not luck with their attempt at the crown and it remains an interesting prospect if at all Julitha has what it takes to make it to the top.


Friday, October 6, 2017

SZIFF brings a new lease of life to Bongo films

Elizabeth Michael in a recent photo shoot.

Elizabeth Michael in a recent photo shoot. PHOTO I FILE 

By Majuto Omary

Dar es Salaam.

The Tanzanian film sector or industry had been in some downward spiral in the last five years or so with the players blaming it on myriad of issues.

Chief on the list of the malaise is piracy as the filmmakers cry out loud on the persistent problem without any solutions in the near sight.

Some have offered to change tact whereas there those who opted out completely for there is not a point sticking to a job that wasn’t going to pay the bills.

 This week there seems to be some development is the industry as pay TV providers Azam announced the launch of an international film festival which is set to be held in Dar es Salaam in April.

The festival has been christened after one of the channels on the Azam platform called Sinema Zetu International Film Festival.

The festival is under Swahili channel 'SinemaZetu’ will focus on Kiswahili Panorama will also features Swahili filmmakers from other four countries artistes such as  Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Speaking at the launch the Jury Chairman and festival mentor Professor Martin Mhando said they will start receiving entries between now and November 30  for films that were produced between 2015 to date.

Mhando who achieved success during his tenure as festival director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival for 10 years says the films shall be screened from December 1.

He said each category will have four films to be televised till the festival’s gala night on April 1 at the venue that is set to be announced.

 “Bongo movies industry has slowed down.  Azam TV has seen it and the festival will now give a new lease of life through this creative initiative', the aim is to bring together different stakeholders in the Kiswahili language film industry through our channel Sinema Zetu . The channel is unique because it only shows Swahili movies and our aim is to grow our language and culture,” says Mhando.

 Festival Director Jacob Joseph reinforced that  SinemaZetu International  Film Festival ( SZIFF ) is a competitive and unique event where ‘ Documentaries, Short Films, Animation and  Feature films ‘ produced/dubbed in Kiswahili  will be screened.

 The festival provides film enthusiasts, a platform to watch their films through ‘SinemaZetu’, the flagship movie channel of AzamPayTv Limited.

According to him popular festivals like the ZIFF still reach a limited audience but for the industry to grow there is need for a wider coverage.

“We will be working with our festival partners positioned in Morogoro, Zanzibar, Tanga, Arusha, Mwanza, Dodoma and Mtwara, Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Bujumbura and Goma.  They will be responsible for raising awareness, motivating and be the collection point for the films,” said Jacob.

 According to Zamaradi Nzowa the festival coordinator, the aim is to grow the industry and enable audiences to watch quality films that bear in mind the element of cultural integrity.

 “The festival will enhance professionalism in the industry through establishing excellence and raising standards, but also enable audiences to watch films of quality,” says Nzowa.

The festival is likely to screen close to 150 films. In acknowledgement of the role that films play in contemporary society, festivals bestow certificate of excellence and cash awards to filmmakers as a tribute to their creativity, innovation and commitment.

During the hours of screening, the channel will be Free-to-view with a panel of critics to discuss he films after presentation and some filmmakers will be at hand to present their films as well.

This will improve the capacity of the viewers to analyse the some of the elements that they see in the film.

In another development the festival has appointed AMVCA award winning actress Elizabeth Michael aka Lulu as the brand ambassador for the festival.

Lulu who rose from a child actor to become one of the most prominent actresses has praised the move saying this could be career changing move at a time when there are so many negative forces facing Bongo movies in Tanzania.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Gigi Money stroking controversy again


Dar es Salaam. Video vixen and now singer Gigy Money is never short of controversy, her latest might rub the big powers in Bongo Flava on the wrong side.

After she released her debut single Papa which has become a staple in the city’s night clubs, the singer now says the raunchy hit is a bigger hit than AliKiba’s Seduce Me.

Speaking on Planet Bongo early this week the singer said her single was a bigger hit compared to AliKiba’s Seduce Me which has received great reviews across the region.

“The only thing that is making it big is that he was already an established artiste and his fans were missing him, yet as a debut single not many expected this from me,” she said.

Gigi Money’s Papa which was released a month ago has so far received some 380,000 views on Youtube compared to the over 6 million of Seduce Me. Though she admits that AliKiba is a successful artiste, some say this was meant ot be a dig at the award winning artistes.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Super Nyota a conveyor belt for Bongo Flava


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. The Tigo Fiesta is a show that draws attentions from thousands of revellers for it’s a moment to savor as the youthful fans get to meet their idols.

To the teenage fans, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity, one that they can’t miss whereas for the artistes who can hardly manage the costs of organizing a countrywide tour, this is just the place to be.

As the show runs across the country, a parallel talent search contest called Super Nyota is another attraction that brings hundreds of youth who believe they have what it takes to succeed musically.

Armed with the belief that they are talented enough to become the next big thing in the industry, the young women and men brave the long queues to be tested by the judges.

Unlike other searches where it is the cash prize that is the main motivation to the contestants, here it is the opportunity of performing at the finale which is the attraction to most youth

Last weekend in Mwanza Fatuma Msafiri emerged winner and therefore qualifying to perform at the grand finale in Dar es Salaam, a show that attracts the best artistes both local and international.

She braved it all beating a contest from mostly male contestants who dominated the Top Four to take home the crown.

The rather excited Fatuma was at a loss of words and all she is looking for is the final day, one that she termed as a day of reckoning.

And as the judges admit, it was a difficult decision to make, one that could have gone anywhere that evening but it had to come to some of the little details to decide the winner.

At a time when talent search shows aren’t doing that well across the region Super Nyota remains as one of those that have stood the taste of time.

According to organisers the only reason why they came up with the Super Nyota contest was because they realised that stars have to be nurtured and the only way to do that was with a talent search.

Though not many have made it to the top, their products such as Ney Lee, Rachel, Young Killer and most recently Ruby have all become a sensation in the industry with a string of hits.

They believe it is in line with the objectives of the Fiesta festival which has in the past become a career launch pad for many artistes who would have rather struggled to make it.

According to Joseph Kusaga the managing director of Clouds Media Group, the festival was founded with the objective of promoting local content and to him it is a celebration of how far local music has come especially the Bongo Flava genre.

“Our objective in the beginning after we set up the Mawingu studios and later the radio station was to promote our home grown artistes, therefore this provides a platform for us to scout for talent,” he told the Beat in an earlier interview.

He adds: We started off well, though we are yet to reach the whole country, through Fiesta we have managed to bring several artistes to the limelight.

Though the talent search was only a later addition to Fiesta extravaganza Kusaga says the artistes who grace the final show should have every reason to succeed thereafter.

With 11 stops to go, the search is proving to be one of a kind as hundreds of young people show up, this weekend the search goes to Kigoma and Tabora.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Veteran King kiki not bowing out soon


Dar es Salaam. There is a belief that Bongo Flava has taken over the proceedings in the music industry, leaving very little space for old timers who still have taste for rumba.

The frailties of most of today’s rumba bands could well lend credence to this argument, many no longer attract the huge audiences they once did in the 90s and some are long extinct.

No wonder they enjoy very little air play on radio and TV stations which are the main avenues of promoting content.

In the middle of this noisy debate there is one man who just won’t bow out of the game as yet with a following that matches the best the current crop of artistes.

Having been silent for some time Kikumbi Mwanza wa Mpango aka King Kiki is back performing with his band Orchestra La Capital aka ‘Wazee Sugu’ at Escape One, 40 years since he arrived in the country.

Now in his twilight, King Kiki continues to bear the evergreen tag as he plays one of his famous hits Kitamba Cheupe much to the delight of the most middle age audience.

At 70 he still has the energy and the vocal prowess to sustain over two hours of nonstop performance, a feature that has deserted many of today’s crop of artistes. Maybe it is this plus his ‘Chungulia’ style that continues to draw even youthful audiences at his performances wherever he goes.

He bears the mark a true icon of rumba who just won’t be pushed aside any time soon for he has what it takes to last a little longer than many can anticipate.

His has been a long journey that dates back into the early 70s when he first arrived in Tanzania from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) with a band called Fouvette Jazz Band, on the invitation of Fred Ndala Kasheba.

His early influences started with the visit of Mama Africa aka Miriam Makeba to the then Zaire now DRC in 1952 when his brother took him along to the show.

“I have been blessed to travel widely to perform but I am yet to see a performance of that level because Makeba just knew how to do her thing and that is why he left a lasting impression on everyone who attended the show,” he once told Mwananchi in an interview.

This by default was to mark the beginning of his journey into music, one that would take him to several countries before finally landing in Tanzania which ended up being his home.

King Kiki says his journey into music started quite early in 1962 with Fauvette Band but it was popular songs such as ‘Jacqueline’ and ‘Kamarade ya Nzela’ that kick started his journey to Tanzania

He was an instant hit with the rumba audience in the country; he was to return later in 1977 to join Maquis du Zaire which was under the leadership of the late Chinyama Chianza.

Maquis a band that was formed in 1966 as Orchestre Super Gabby, a group made up of some young Zairean musicians. In 1972, the band changed its name to Orchestre Maquis du Zaire and moved to Tanzania, where they became quite popular and so decided to stay. Today, with a membership of over 40 musicians, they are still one of the most popular bands in Tanzania.

Through one of the most popular styles of the time, ‘Kamanyola Bila Jasho’ King Kiki dominated with hits such as ‘Nimepigwa Ngwala’ and ‘Kyembe’.

Just like most rumba artistes of the time, two years later he left Maquis Du Zaire after he was approached by a certain Hugo Kisima who requested him to lead Orchestra Safari Sounds with another style that was known as ‘Masantula Ngoma ya Mpwita’ which later evolved to become ‘Duku Duku’.

Of the songs that King Kiki remembers during that era is Msafiri a song that many say symbolized his nomadic music life as he was to leave Safari Sounds to form Double O a couple of years later.

This band would also get disbanded later due to management issues leaving King Kiki with no choice but to settle for guest artiste performances.

At these guest appearances he would team up with Emmanuel Mpangala and Nguza Viking to form a lethal musical partnership.

Just like in the 1980s King Kiki continued to move from one band to another, this time around after leaving Nguza Viking’s band in 1994 he joined forces with Ndala Kasheba to form Zaita Musica and it was here that the Kitambaa Cheupe was born.

It is a style that he has continued to use with his La Capital Band aka Afrika Bara Gumu, a style that he says symbolizes peace and love.

King Kiki, a naturalised Tanzanian citizen since 1997 believes La Capital Wazee Sugu which he formed in 2003 is probably the best band in the city today and this could as well be the last band for him since he left Katanga.

Though most of his peers who came with him to Tanzania in the 70s are no longer active or met their destiny, King Kiki remains an isolated figure who is ready bear the torch.

It is not clear how long this rumba maestro can continue thrilling audiences but by gauging from his recent activity he is far from being written off, for has the energy and the will to keep going.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Check before you order

Mlagiri Kapoka

Mlagiri Kapoka 

By Mlagiri Kopoka

I was with an old friend of mine who is a fisherman . We sat sipping our drinks quietly at our local pub the other day.

He asked if I was in position to offer him another drink. Although my pockets were in the red I looked at his unhappy face and pulled out a Sh1,000 note.

“That is all I can afford to offer you today,” I said skeptically as I handed the note to him.

His face brightened a little as he took the note and tacked quickly it in his shirt pocket.

He went on sitting without ordering anything. I knew there would be other uses for the money other than the drink he had asked for. That didn’t concern me.

From where we sat I would see the place had changed a lot since the days when we played on the lake’s beach yonder; on the right of the Fish market from where we sat .

As boys I used to swim and fish in the black-grayish fresh waters of Lake Victoria right in front of us.

The vegetation, the white sands and the numerous birds had disappeared from the beaches. They had been replaced by all sorts of shacks and shanties of petty businesses. Only flocks of marabous scavenged the dirty surroundings.

A newly created garbage dump nearby seems to make it even more conducive for the rummage.

Garbage is dumped just a few meters from the lake shores. The birds might be having a great time but how much is the black-milky liquid oozing from the dump to the lake waters below polluting?

But who cares anyway, we all have work to do.

No wonder there are no longer men with fishing rods dotting the beach rocks at this time of the day as it used to be back then.

Actually I noted the number of rocks sticking out water has increased as the water levels have shrunk exposing new rocks once covered by water.

My friend the fisherman must have seen my look of concern and read my mind.

He said to me, “Things have changed man. This lake is dying and nobody is giving a damn. Just look, would anybody in his right senses put that garbage dump on the lake shore?”

He posed, and then went on, “Fish have disappeared along the shores. It’s not possible to survive as a small fisherman these days. The waters are just empty.”

Then he leaned forward, and sad in a low tone like a person who did not wish to be over heard.

“Areas that still have some fish are held by the Lake Mafia groups. They are well armed. They kidnapper fishermen who dare trespass their waters. They torture, imprison and even carry out extra judicial executions,” he said.


He stopped talking as we looked at the barmaid who was coming towards where we sat. She had this small figure in a tight jeans trouser that showed her round hips bulging form her slim waist like two semi circles.

She wore a pink long sleeve blouse; her hair was obviously a wig with shiny black feathered hair. The hair was long on both sides covering her ears down to her shoulders.

“Would you like another drink?” she asked. I said, No. Then she asked me to pay for the drinks she had served me earlier.

I usually don’t carry any money in my wallet so I checked trousers pockets for the note I thought I had. Checked the front right pocket, it was not there, the front left not there also, back right empty, back left nothing!

“Lipa bwana!” she said impatiently. “My salary is not going to be deducted because of your drunkenness.”

“I think I left the note in….my …” before I could finish explaining she had jumped and caught me by the collar.

What followed is not easy to narrate. It’s best if I left it untold. However I did learn something extremely important, ‘check your pocket before order anything at a pub’.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Miss Higher Learning contest called off


Dar es Salaam. Miss higher learning 2017 beauty pageant which was scheduled to take place today at the King Solomon Hall has been called off and instead organisers say another date shall be announced.

In a statement sent to the Beat organisers say they were forced to reschedule the event given the fact that most higher learning institutions are yet to resume which makes it difficult for the beauties to assemble.

“As you are aware most of our higher learning institutions are yet to resume and as we promised we want to have as many contestants as possible,” said Muba Saedo whose agency has been cleared to organise the contest by Miss Tanzania organizers, Lino International Agency and National Arts Council (Basata). He said so far 15 contestants have reported to the rehearsal camp at the Maisha Basement under trainers, Clara Michael and Blessing Ngowi.

Some of the higher learning institutions which have confirmed participation are Institute of Social Works (ISW), Tanzania Institute of Accountancy, Dar es Salaam, Institute of Finance Management (IFM) and College of Business Education (CBE).

Others on the list are University of Dodoma (Udom), Tumaini University – Makumira, The Institute of Accountancy Arusha (IAA), Ardhi University, Mzumbe, Tanzania Public Service College (TPSC), Iringa University and Tanzania Aviation University.

Though organisers did not mention being cash strapped, Saedo said they were still in the hunt for sponsors to make the event a success.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Lilian crowned Miss Tanzania USA


By By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Beauty pageantry in Tanzania is no longer the glamorous event that it was some eight years ago, to be in precise it is an industry plagued with a myriad of issues, therefore in search for redemption.

However, thousands of miles away from home in Washington DC some home grown talent are perhaps showing Lundenga and Co just how they should do it.

Over the weekend the Miss Tanzania USA franchise crowned Lilian Muttakyawa as their beauty queen at a ceremony that was witnessed by several Tanzanians residing in the US.’

Lillian a registered nurse in critical care unit and daughter of a famous music promoter had beaten a bevy of beauties to succeed Ayesha Kamara whose term had come to an end.

Those in attendance had travelled from almost every corner of the US and beyond including former Tanzanian ambassador to the US Liberata Mulamula, and comedian Masanja they were all there to celebrate Tanzania’s diversity.

For her efforts Lilian took home a crown and sash plus a slot to compete in the Miss Africa USA.

She also took home a cash prize as well as other gifts such as gift baskets, etc. The second and third runners- up also get sashes and win prizes.

Her coronation came in a week when the minister whose docket handles cultural issues in Tanzania Dr Harrison Mwakyembe warned organisers of such contest to make sure they were professional.

Though it’s equated to failure these days locally, Tanzanians in the Disapora continue celebrating the beauty that was bequeathed to them by their motherland.

To them it is an event that offers them the opportunity to reconnect with their roots in Africa and their unique identity that makes them who they are.

From the traditional regalia to the dances that are performed they all served as a reminder that they are off springs of a certain place in the land of Kilimanjaro.

The US edition of Miss Tanzania is run by Winnie Casey who has held the franchise ever since it was founded.

She believes in an ideal situation every individual is supposed to be proud of his roots irrespective of the reasons that took them to the US and she is happy that the situation in the US allows such a celebration.

“We celebrate our roots because without this we would be nobody and that is why we founded this edition of Miss Tanzania,” says Casey who also owns a fashion line called Mitindonite.

According to her besides educating Tanzanians and other nationals in the US about our Tanzania the pageant helps to improve relationships between Tanzania and the US.

“It promotes Tanzanian culture to the multi-cultural community based in the United States by showcasing her beauty to the world,” she says.

She adds: We strongly believe in the tourism message of Tanzania through Miss Tanzania USA and are proud to help attract both domestic and international visitors as well investors. Our newly crowned Miss Tanzania USA 2017, Lilian Mutakyawa, will be a positive role model and portray the true face, creative, supportive and multicultural aspect of Tanzania that the whole world needs to see.

On the coronation night the African print, Maasai Shuka and Kanga dominated the designs that the girls wore on the runway.

The Kanga according to the organisers is one of most important components, if not the essence of the pageant as they seek to remain as African as possible.

“The Kanga is a very colorful, versatile piece of cloth that can be worn in many ways. During the Miss Tanzania USA, the outfits that the contestants wear are made mainly of Kanga,” says Winnie Casey. The winners is now set to visit Tanzania later this year in a campaign to promote local tourist destination in the US


Friday, September 29, 2017

Dillish the next puzzle that Zari has to solve


Winner of Big Brother Africa 2013 Dillish Matthews has got the internet abuzz again after she posted a picture that many concluded that she was pregnant.

This comes in the wake of rumours that the Namibian has been having a thing with Bongo Flava star Diamond Platinumz.

In the instagram post the beauty is seen holding her bulging tummy accompanied with a caption ‘a baby or burger?’.

Her 340,000 followers were immediately on her case demanding to know the father, whereas those from Tanzania were mainly concerned with the association she has had with Diamond.

The Wasafi CEO is still reeling from a recent scandal where he openly admitted to have fathered a child with video vixen Hamisa Mobeto.

With reconciliation seemingly on the cards with the mother of his two children Zari Hassan, this could present another banana skin for the multi award winning star.

From the look of things he is on the right track after they were seen cozying up at over the weekend in South Africa at Zari’s birthday party.


Friday, September 22, 2017

New AU statute to boost African cinema industry


By By Paul Owere

There is a general consensus that African cinema isn’t where it is supposed to be given the number of stories that are there to be told, yet very few of these stories make the mark at continental level.

Many observers admit that it is an industry in crisis, from the names that have been adopted for national productions such as Bongo movies which present an identity crisis to the budgetary crisis that it faces.

On many occasions African cinema has only hit the global scale when produced by foreign producers who tell the stories in their own lenses.

As Dexter Davis an American Film producer pointed out at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in July, there is nothing like a film industry in Africa.

“You cannot claim to have an industry without enough screens where the films can be shown because that is the only way you can recoup the investments,” he pointed out then.

Though it continues to operate informally, the audiovisual and cinema industry account for $5 billion of the continent’s GDP, employing an estimated 5 million people.

With the current push for its development, the industry is expected to grow to over 20 million jobs and US$20 billion in annual GDP contribution.

This week ministers of in Nairobi African Union member states ministers of Youth, Culture and sport endorsed the Draft Statute of the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC).

The AACC was established in June 2016 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia as a specialized agency of the African Union. The Ministers also approved establishment of the AACC Temporary Secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya.

The establishment and the endorsement of the statutes is the result of concerted efforts led by the Government of Kenya which also hosts the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), the African Union Commission (AUC).

The statute has been endorsed by leading film producing countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others.

Establishment of AACC was first called for by the AU Executive Council in Maputo, Mozambique some 14 years ago.

The African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) will be responsible for the promotion of the rapid development of the African audiovisual and cinema industry and shall encourage creation of appropriate structures at the national, regional and continental levels; strengthen cooperation between African States in the area of audiovisual and cinema; and promote the use of audiovisual and cinematic expressions as factors of job creation, integration, solidarity, respect of values and mutual understanding in order to foster peace, a positive image of Africa, and prevent conflicts.

The AACC is part of a 4 programme ecosystem that is mobilizing US$410 million in programme funds for the promotion of this industry over the next five years. These resources will be raised from both the private and public sector and will be implemented primarily by the private sector.

The National Governments and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) shall have the responsibility of incorporating sectoral activities of the audiovisual and cinema industry into their economic and social priority strategies to give the right signals for resource mobilisation.

The meeting also took note of FEPACI’s proposal on Regional Centres of Excellence in Film Production and Post-Production for the promotion and development of the audiovisual and cinema sector in Africa.

 Members were requested to support the creation of these centres across the continent to enhance production of more quality films.

It also took note of the initiative by FEPACI and AUC to develop cinematic expressions on African Union’s Agenda 2063 that will encompass all players in cinema production.

The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers which was founded in 1969, is the voice of the African Filmmaker.

The FEPACI Secretariat moved to Kenya in 2013 and began its work of facilitating, strengthening, and promoting the interests of the African Filmmaker through creation of structures and programme.



Friday, September 22, 2017

Video queens taking on Bongo Flava

We have taken over your space. Controversial

We have taken over your space. Controversial video queen Amber Lulu. PHOTO | FILE 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. They have got the looks, curves and the moves that are believed to be key to the commercial success of most music videos in the world today.

The models that are used in pop videos today to bring out the message and to give glamour to the video.

The true world of a video vixen has never been as glamorous as it is today with a different trend coming up on a daily basis.

The video vixen image has become a staple and a nuanced form of sex work within music; especially within the genre of hip-hop.

As it turns out many video vixens or hip hop honeys are aspiring actors, singers, dancers, or professional models, though some stick to it as a career.

The work of video vixens and their portrayal in music videos have on many occasions drawn criticism.

To some they are just some bimbos who have nothing to show apart from their bodies which they unreservedly display.

But maybe that is about to change in Bong Flava as video vixens are taking the game on and this time they seem determined to succeed against all odds.

When Amber Lulu a famous Bongo video model released her first hit ‘Watakoma’ featuring Country Boy, it seemed like some fluke. She went on to prove that she was into business when in July she released another single ‘Only You’.

To add some sheen controversial video model Gigi Money pursued the same route when she released ‘Papa’ which has since become a club banger earning plenty of airplay on both radio and TV stations.

These were at one time one of the most sought after video models whose controversy and daring personalities made them the go to models.

In the videos they do their stuff just like they would have done on another commercial video with very revealing images something that has attracted criticism from, some pundits and musicians.

Singer Dyna Nyange doesn’t seem to take it lightly who believes the models are just trying to come to terms with their situation.

Ismail Hassan a DJ at one of the pubs in Sinza also says this is quite against the division of labour and specialization in the industry.

“From the word go we knew Gigi Money as a video vixen now all of a sudden she wants to be recognized as a musician, this is not what the industry needs to grow,” says Ismail.

He says the airplay that the songs have received have been mainly because of curiosity and not that the music is great.

Video vixens haven’t always been this big. There was a time when there weren’t avenues for their kind of artistic expression and society was at its stifling worst.

So obviously they lost out on a lot of the action as many branded them as immoral.

Things have changed a lot however since satellite television and western TV stations started beaming signals into homes.

seeing scantily clad young women shaking on TV is not so outrageous anymore even though there are a few pockets of resistance.

The reality, however, is that the video vixen culture is branching out into a whole industry of its own with managers, tour dates and choreographers tagging along and becoming a constant feature of contemporary music.

Some video vixens who have made a name for themselves in the music industry, as well as girls with limited work as hip hop models, have gone on to other types of work with greater success, mostly by marketing themselves.

The hard liners maintain that video vixens are faced with emphasis on their physical aspects for videos where sex is often used to sell both the performer and the performer’s image.

Women’s derogatory images are the commodities sold through videos and photographs.

Whether the artistes’ move is a positive to the industry remains something that only time can tell.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Kleyah: I am working on new music


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. She has been quiet for some time now to the extent that her fans began wondering what happened to Kleyah whose pulsating beats on the ‘African Drums’ caught Bongo Flava by surprise.

Speaking to the Beat exclusively this week, Kleyah said there was plenty in the pipe line and that her silence should not be a major point of reference.

“I am working on an album which will probably be out sometime next year. I realised there was need for me to reorganize and strategize as an artiste,” said Kleyah

She adds: I realised that the standard music business model in Tanzania today of prolonged promotional campaign which is followed by a single and then another single and more singles, is getting tired and as a result it is becoming increasingly hard for an artist to stand out.

She believes that when an artiste releases fast paced work it’s easy to lose a sense of artistic direction as one may get lost in the trend and forget the creative part of the business.

“With an album, it’s easier to reflect on the kind of art you are creating and how to combine a collection of songs. That takes time, hence the silence so that when you come out, your work explains the silence,” she said.

The album according to her will feature some outstanding collaboration which she unfortunately can’t reveal at the moment due to contractual issues at hand.

“We are still working on some collaborations and when the time is right we shall put out the whole package including the three internationally recognized artistes that have already confirmed availability,” she told The Beat.

She believes that the consumer behaviour in this age is something that an artiste has to take carefully into consideration.

“We live in an era that is defined by consumers with increasingly low attention span. We get hyped on something instantly, make sure everyone is aware of how hyped we are about the thing, and then forget about it entirely in a few days when there’s a new thing to get hyped on,” she says.

Having had an opportunity to work in other parts of the world Kleyah says her experience in Tanzanian music space has a learning curve.

“To be honest my experience in Tanzania has been a learning process. I feel there’s a lot that has to be done to support artist growth. Such as copyright of material and the fact that artistes don’t earn any royalties yet it is out there being played in public,” she says.

She believes that these are areas where artists could recoup their investment they put in producing music and other material the way it is in other industries.

She cites the example of Ghana and South Africa that have put in place a mechanism that allows their artistes to earn from their skills.

“There is need for government to set up such avenues so that when we retire we can still earn from it.”

She has set her sight on the big prize and with the different sound that she produces it should be only a matter of time before it falls into place.

As you may have noticed with the songs that I have released in the past my sound is different. My aim is to break boundaries, gain international recognition and not to be confined and defined by one genre that is leaving most artistes in Bongo Flava lost in noise clutter.

In another development, Kleyah who quit a high profile job to pursue music has said she will be releasing a single next month to give her fans something to keep them as they wait for the upcoming album.

“There is something coming in the next couple of weeks and I hope they will like it,” she said during the interview.

She adds: I may release few singles but the quality of time and work I put in is worth it. An example is African Drum which won the 2016 video of the year at the international song writing competition in the US judged by leading international artists and record label executives.

Previously she has released songs such as the ‘African Drum’ produced by Nahreel, ‘Boom Bye Bye’ featuring Mayunga, ‘Msobe Msobe’ featuring Barnaba Classic and ‘Sioni’.


Friday, September 22, 2017

MUSINGS : We are just friends, how?

Mlagiri Kapoka

Mlagiri Kapoka 

By Mlagairi Kapoka

Revenge is sweet’ so they say but I have come to realise of late that some revenge missions can be suicidal.

It is about a scandal that has left everyone at the Kijiwe shocked to the spine after Juma was hospitalised due to a terrible beating.

Reason, he was caught in the act with another reveller’s sweet heart. It is still incomprehensible why a person would ‘do it’ with his ‘Shemeji’ yet we are spoilt for choices.

According to the Bongo culture, your buddy’s wife is your sister-in-law. For that matter, she is strictly out of bounds.

When I asked Juma, why he went on such a self damaging mission, he told me that he was just seeking revenge because he suspected his wife was cheating on him with that guy.

“Hiyo ni hatari! Did you ever catch them as you were caught?” I asked.

“No, but they were so friendly. And as you know when you see a dog playing with a piece of meat in most cases it ends up eating it!” he said as he stretched his bandaged arm.

“Did you try to investigate? I mean, was there any evidence of compromising behaviour between them?”

“Can there be a friendship between a man and a woman?” Juma answered with a question.

“Aha, that is not the problem here, you said you were revenging. Did you have any proof to justify your actions?” I asked him.

“I have told you. How can a woman and man be close friends? I was just suspicious.”

“So tell me what happened.”

Juma sat up on the hospital bed and started narrating his fantasy that almost sent him to meet his creator.

“I introduced this guy to my wife about a year ago. I was surprised that they hit it off almost instantly. The guy would visit even when I am not home,” he said.

“Then my wife started comparing me to the guy in almost everything I did. She would comment why I did not buy trousers like his, why didn’t I start such and such project like him. I got fed up. I warned my wife about being too friendly with the guy. It was like I had added paraffin to the fire, she just wouldn’t stop!”

“A day wouldn’t pass without her mentioning the guy’s name and showering him with all sorts of praise. And soon they started a certain project. I couldn’t stand it anymore.”

He was lost and didn’t know what to do. So he sought for some friends’ advice. ‘Dawa ya moto ni moto,’ he was told.

“It didn’t take me long to find the gentleman’s wife and soon we were best friends, too. As the days went by, we took our friendship to another level and soon we became more than just friends.”

Juma paused and gave me a look.

“Well my wife and the guys’ friendship ended after their fish pond project collapsed. That’s when I realised that they had no relationship. I was sorry but it was too little, too late. By that time my relation with the guy’s wife was like a wild flame. We had reached a point of no return and none of us had the guts to put the brakes on when tragedy struck,” he said.

Juma had been beaten severely, a beating that left him bed ridden for several weeks. I left the hospital perplexed; feeling very sorry for my friend. That is when I asked myself the same question: Can a man and a woman be just friends?

I think that isn’t a new question to you. I believe you have heard it before. Is the guy you irrigate your throat with at the local pub or the guy who you chat and share ideas with at the Kijiwe?

I do not know but believe me it’s dangerous for you brothers out there to become too friendly to your Shemejis.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Why Bongo Flava is stuck with playback

RAppers Stamina and Roma aka Rostamperform at

RAppers Stamina and Roma aka Rostamperform at the Tigo Fiesta in Musoma last weekend 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Bongo Flava is almost clocking 20 years since it first hit the air waves, and indeed, giant strides have been made to the extent of dominating airplay in regional radio stations.

Production houses and the DJs such as Bony Love who pioneered this music and the Mawingu Studios have long been phased out with a string of studios cropping up as genre strides on.

The years have seen Bongo Flava topple regional giants especially the Congolese rumba that used to be the staple in most night clubs locally and beyond.

The gains that the nascent genre has made are noticeable with artistes such as Diamond Platinumz, AliKiba, and Vanessa Mdee knocking on the doors of international domination.

The reasons why the early disciples struggled varied just as their critics but top on the list was that they were copying American Hip Hop and RnB at the expense of local flavor.

But that was soon to pass as the new generation performers started to tick the boxes and what was once considered as junk music gained airplay on mainstream media.

No wonder the MTV EMAs came to Tanzania for two years in a row in recognition of what these artistes have done in the promotion of Bongo Flava across the continent and elsewhere.

By some conservative estimates the industry is believed to employ over 50,000 people directly as artistes, producers, promoters and even video queens.

Though informal as it is, its contribution toward the economy has been enormous and it is likely to grow.

This success has not been without hitches as more challenges continue to rare ugly heads towards the industry and on top of the list is the continued use of Playback at live shows.

Last weekend at the Tigo Fiesta gig in Kahama and Musoma when the list of artistes was released they were categorized in playback, CD and Dj, then the live sections.

Tigo Fiesta is a gig that is supposed to celebrate the finest talent and the gains that Bongo Flava has made over the years, therefore, it was a surprise to see artistes who still insist on performing with CD playbacks.

The question that remains unanswered here is whether it is what the audience want or the dictates of the market place that forces artistes to continue using playback in the name of ‘live performance’

Live gigs are supposed to be an experience that an artiste seeks to give his audience, something that sticks into their memories.

Boni Love is a veteran DJ and producer who is credited with the early rise of Bongo Flava in the 1990s, he believes that despite the gains in the industry the playback is a major short coming.

He admits that there are situations that may not allow an artiste to perform with a band but there should be an improvisation to take care of such situations such as using recorded instrumentals.

“In my opinion the blame should go to those who manage artistes, they should make provisions for such occasions. During our early days we recorded two versions of every song which included the instrumental version with chorus,” Boni Love told The Beat.

Veteran musician John Kitime who is making an attempt to rekindle the golden era of music at Salendar Bridge Club this week says playback takes away magic of performance from the revellers and it to some it is just ok.

“As sad as it is some show promoters have in the past tried to normalise this pathetic situation yet in reality it is cheating as you don’t offer the audience a true picture of your ability,” says Kitime.

He adds: To the business people it is rather uneconomical to hire a band of 10 people and above yet you could still make do with just an individual with his CD and everything is just fine.

This, according, to him beats the issues of logistical complications that arise with hiring of a band which in most cases costs more.

The changing times and attitude of fans too especially the Millennials is to blame given the fact this is all they have known all their lives.

“The young consumers of this kind of performances have not known anything else and yet even when they cross over to the bands, there is even more chaos there,” he says.

He adds: With a string of producers who barely know how to play, the status quo is likely to continue

Speaking to the Beat Busara festival director Yusuf Mohamed in an earlier interview admitted that it is one of the saddest aspects in Tanzania’s music today.

“In the West, artistes who perform with CD backing tracks are rarely taken seriously,” he says.

He adds: At Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar we decided many years ago to ban playback, that is why we only showcasing musicians who play ‘100 per cent live’.

This was an expensive decision, of course, it means we have higher costs for travel, accommodation and performance fees but it’s a decision we have never regretted.

He believes it is a rewarding experience as artistes have to put in hours of rehearsals and discipline.

“Playing live brings spontaneity to the performance, it gives artistes more flexibility and the freedom to express themselves and communicate with audiences on different levels,” he says. Busara’s director says the only reason audiences keep coming back is because they know they’ll experience great music, with energy, friendliness, vibes and excitement.

“That is why many of the artistes after performing at the festival get invited to perform at other big events in Europe, Africa or the US,” he told the Beat then.

The only reason why people part with their hard earned cash is not to see an appearance on stage but a musical performance that involves all aspects. Unfortunately, most Tanzanian artistes today including the established ones prefer the easier way out!

This continued use of playback on many occasions has left the artistes exposed especially when performing songs that feature collaborations with artistes from other parts of the continent.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Fiesta leave arusha in frenzy


By Paul Owere

Arusha. Alikiba was forced to ‘Seduce’ the audience thrice, Aslay made a statement as a solo artiste and Ben Pol went on some kamikaze mission as he threw himself to an ecstatic audience. Warning, don’t try this again Ben!

This was the Tigo Fiesta at its best as it proved to be the toast of the weekend at Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium.

The northern tourist circuit had been granted a rare opportunity to kick start the annual fanfare that hosts the cream of the industry, one that for the past three years has gone to Mwanza.

The usually quiet environs of the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium burst into life with plenty of activity as petty businessmen cashed in on their merchandise which featured some of the handmade crafts to the Maasai Shuka.

With billboards strategically places at almost every corner of A -Town, there was an air of longing from the residents as PA systems boomed announcements on the streets.

Revellers, mainly youth, had come from almost every corner of the rapidly tourist city to witness this entertainment spectacle that attracts tens of thousands annually.

And here they were, swapping the mundane trappings of their daily lives to rub shoulders with the super stars that on an ordinary day they would only see on Televisions and social media.

They had travelled from far and near to have a glimpse of their homemade stars especially the ‘Weusi’ who are identified as Arusha born with a brand of hip hop that has kept them rooted to their humble beginnings.

Apart from the home grown talent the lineup was rich with artistes such as Vanessa Mdee, Nandy, Ben Pol, Country Boy, Rich Mavoko, Shilole, and Saida Karoli putting up one of the best shows that Arusha has seen in recent times. To most Bongo Flava artistes it is a season to stand up and get counted and it is not a surprise that many of them release hit singles towards the season’s events. It was perhaps Dogo Aslay’s night to host his peers in what to some was a statement of intent that he has finally come of age and can hold out on his own as a solo artiste after taking a break from the Yamoto Band.

He struck a code with the audience straight away with songs such as ‘Mhudumu’, ‘Mama’ , ‘Likizo’ plus several others as the over 10,000 audience went into frenzy.

The years of transition under the tutelage of Mkubwa Fella have really turned him into a darling of many as they sang and dance along with him.

It was a return on the big stage for Linah who welcomed her first baby several months ago and it seems she is ready to let it fly.

She might not the same starlets that was introduced to this very stage a couple of years ago she showed that she still has what it takes to survive the rigors of the game.

Though her baby fat is still evident she showed that she was putting in some work as she didn’t hold back an inch.

The night however went to the usual suspects with Alikiba being on top of his craft as he took his fans down a road to familiar, one that made them brave the chill of Arusha.

And they made him do it their style as they requested for his current hit song three times, and even then they couldn’t get enough of him.

Vanessa Mdee after the recent break up with beau Jux was up to her penchant of skimpy dressing even when the weather dictated against it. The fans just didn’t care all they wanted was her music.

Feza Kessy, yes, that chic from Big Brother Africa. She, too, is on a root towards revival as she got on stage wrapped in a Maasai Shuka, as usual with her trademark tinted hair, this time it was blonde!

There was a plus for the organisers as security was at its best as the demons of the past were finally banished.

The mobile money ticketing system too was another as it didn’t require festival goers to stand in long queues as it has been in the past.

This could only be the beginning of the Tigo Fiesta with next stop being Musoma a town that missed out on the action last year, but there is every evidence that by the end of the nine weeks Tanzania will have got the best of Bong Flava.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Aslay the crown prince of Bongo Flava


By Paul Owere

Tanzanian'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.
The teams have been formed and the missiles have been flying all over the place, the issues at hand are rather very unmusical to say the least.
However, far from the maddening crowd a Prince has been born and he is taking 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 a former member of the Yamoto Band has 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 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.
One pundit and composer Hassan Ndama who has worked with several artistes admits that they are songs that don’t need promotion to be played as the content resonates with both young and old fans alike. “The songs that he released this year alone are a manifestation that he has grown and maybe he needs just a little spark to take on the continental market,” says Hassan.
Though there was a time when record labels and managers committed themselves more seriously to developing the careers of their recording artistes, most managers today want a complete package.
“Today, it is much harder to find a record label or a management committed to this goal. When a major label signs a new artist or band, they presume the act has sufficient musical, songwriting, and performance talent, and are ready for the big time,” he says.
Singer Barnaba is among the accomplished musicians of this era given his ability to write, play multiple instruments and perform, he admits to be an avid listener and follower of Aslay’s music.
In an interview with EATV’s eNewz he says Aslay’s way is perhaps how to do it as opposed to what many of today’s artistes are doing.
“I like what Aslay is doing, he write a good story that we can relate with for example in his song Mhudumu, Danga, Pusha  and even Usiitie Doa,” he told eNewz.
He adds: He is not using so much energy to get his music to the public but when you go out there it what is being played in the bars and the good thing is that he has got people talking.
These remarks must have been very disturbing for the noisy neighbours who for some reason believe Bongo Flava revolves around the beef that they create at will for Aslay has let the audience talk.
 Maybe the wait is finally over for that breath of fresh air in what seems to be congested room saturated with Afrobeats.
When the Yamoto Band was formed they seemed to be destined for bigger things and that is what it looked like in the early days before the disruptive forces of the industry got the better of them.
With Aslay as the pillar on which the band was built by Said Fella aka Mkubwa Fella, Aslay has proved that he has what it takes go on his own and the band was only slowing down his progress for the years that they were together.
Mkubwa had a well calculated plan which unfortunately failed to take care of the individual egos of these up and coming artistes.
They had discipline; very well organized, all under the tutelage of Mkubwa Fella aka Said Fella and they were soon enjoying the fruits of hard work. They were stars who were destined for greatness.
Their 2014 hit single Nitakupwelepweta is still one of the biggest songs to be released by a Tanzanian band in the modern era.
The following year, they came up with hits such as Mahaba Niuwe and Cheza kwa Madoido and quickly rose to regional prominence.
However, since the release of Mama in February 2016, fame and fortune seems to have worked against them and it wasn’t a surprise to see each band member pursue a solo project.
Fingers have been pointed and unfriendly remarks too have been made for what seems to be thunderous fall for a group that was once the envy of many.
What was clear is that they all wanted to be recognized as forces of their own making rather than a collective unit that Fella had made them become.
Speaking to Bongo 5, the prominent businessman and promoter, absolves Dogo Aslay of any blame, saying it was being economical with the truth for each artiste to try to gain prominence than use the group for growth.
“When Yamoto was born, 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,” says Fella, of the situation.
But why did Fella absolve Dogo Aslay of the group’s collapse? Did he become too selfish for the group?
May be he was right because as a group, the other three were always bound to drag their feet at the expense of the multitalented singer who was a star long before the group was formed.
Last weekend in Arusha where he was performing at the Tigo Fiesta the dimunitive artiste showed how the years of transition under the tutelage of Mkubwa Fella had really turned him into a darling of the audience.
His performance was accomplished, though he is still miles away from the self proclaimed kings and lions of the day, there is every indications that with some slight polish he could well be the crown prince destined for the throne.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Lupita joins in fund raising


Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o joined other celebrities in the US to help raise money for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston and Hurricane Irma in Florida, in the Hand in Hand Telethon campaign that has raised more than $14 million.

Hollywood stars gave their contributions in different ways, including manning the help line telephones while others sang in the benefits concert and donated food stuffs and money.

The money raised will be used to aid the victims from the two hurricanes.

“Thank you for calling in! $14M raised and counting! Hurricane Relief #handinhand,” wrote Lupita Nyongo on her Instagram page.

Hurricane Harvey became the first major hurricane in the USA since Wilma in 2005. It mostly affected people in Texas and its environs.

Hurricane Irma is currently still active causing its havoc in the state of Florida.

At least 70 people died during Hurricane Harvey, and 22 deaths have been reported in the U.S. from Hurricane Irma.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Zari splashes cash on new ride


Life on the fast lane has its demands, without which you are basically a no body and that is exactly what socialite Zari is out to prove.

Diamond Platinumz’s has bought a brand new Mercedes Benz E 250 CDI estimated to be worth at least $79,000.

A seemingly excited Zari posted a series of pictures of the front and rear of the brand new car with captions ‘Welcome home baby’ and ‘That’s hot, taking baby home.

This comes barely a week after her nemesis, King Lawrence, who has all along opposed her relationship to the Tanzanian musician, unveiled his new Mercedes Benz AMG GT.

The two have been trading barbs on social media ever since.

Last week, King Lawrence flaunted his new ride when he posted a series of pictures while refueling his German machine.