Friday, May 25, 2018

He celebrates his birthday daily


By Jackson Biko

The other day my friend Paul and I were at a bar talking about a friend of ours called Silas. He wasn’t even our friend; he was our friend’s last born, which means he was never really our friend.

Then we all grew up and we all became friends because after a certain age it doesn’t matter how much older you are. Then he fell sick and died 24 hours later.

It was freaky; he went to bed and never woke up again. Meningitis, apparently. He died very young – in his early 30s. But what a character, what charisma, what presence.

Even in childhood he had that thing about him. Everybody was drawn towards him, men and women. You wanted to know him. You wanted to talk to him longer. Women adored him. They flocked to him, sat at his feet, hung onto his words, hung onto his coat-tails and they would do anything for him.

And with him. It was amazing. We were reminiscing about him because there was a guy seated at the table next to us who had a small harem of striking women with him.

And they didn’t look like his sisters. Granted, it’s not uncommon to have many women at a man’s table but the energy at that table leaned towards him, like a centrifugal force.

He also had that energy of t There are chaps like that, who are born with that magnetism. They could go to a party not knowing one single person but at the end, everybody would know him. My university roommate was like that. Our room was a revolving door of women, most of them very beautiful, and if they were not beautiful they were very smart. At first I thought, how does he do it because he doesn’t even have any money like the rest of us?

We lived in a squat hovel that you couldn’t swing a cat in. He didn’t even have a bed! He slept on a mattress from the floor. Yet these beauties would come and spend the night on that floor! Then come back again! It didn’t take me long to figure out that it was his charisma, the ease with which he spoke to anyone regardless of who they were. He never judged anyone. He would flatter you, which meant you always were happy to see him. He also had an abundant, generous heart. Whatever he had, we would all share (money, not women). And I also noticed that because of his charisma the guys who had tons of cash but who couldn’t string a sentence to save their lives became his friends so as to get the crumbs that fell off his table, so to speak.

Although Silas was the quiet guy and my roomie was the loud guy who slapped backs, there was a third guy who had a different kind of charisma.

He used to play the guitar. Quiet guy, mostly. You would hardly hear his voice, unlike my former roommate who had a big laugh, always worked the room and was always at the centre of attraction. This one was a leopard; he hated attention. He walked the shadows with paws of cotton, never drawing attention to himself. You could be at a house party and then suddenly realise that the crowd in the house had thinned considerably. Going outside, in the backyard, you would find him playing a guitar surrounded by people holding their drinks. He was the type of guy that men would tell, “What’s your number, boss? Let’s do something.” These are the same guys who you will lend money again even though they haven’t paid the first debt. The guys who get business not because they can get the job done, but because they look like they can get the job done.

The same guys who somehow can get a woman to pay their rent. Or take a loan for them to start a business. Or leave all their friends for. They are the male version of the femme fatale.

And because of this, they never quite exert themselves to do anything because the will of the world tends to bends towards their slightest whims.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Blending tradition with creativity

Part of the performances at the Haba na Haba

Part of the performances at the Haba na Haba dance festival. PHOTO | FILE 

By Salome Gregory

Dar es Salaam. Traditional and contemporary dances in Tanzania have for a long time lacked a platform to showcase the wealth that the country has in this genre in an industry that employs hundreds of thousands.

Most have settled for what everybody has to offer with very little time and creativity attached the choreograpgic elements which are key to any such performances.

In 2010 after Isaack Abeneko returned from Senegal, he and his former band members at Lumumba Theatre started free workshops on the subjects, it was at thses discussions that the value, goals and training of African contemporary dance, and methods came up.

Contemporary dance is a genre of dance performance that developed during the mid 20th century and has since grown to become one of the dominant genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world, with particularly strong popularity in the US and Europe.

It was through the influences that he had gathered in Senegal that convinced Isaack Abeneko to start a traditional and contemporary dance festival in Tanzania which he aptly named Haba na Haba.

Abeneko is a contemporary live performer, actor, dancer, guitarist and choreographer.

His music is delivered from various Tanzanian traditional dances, melodies and rhythms, blended with contemporary dance music to illuminate and inspire the next generation.

Speaking to The Beat, Haba na Haba as the artstic director Abeneko says, soon after he came from Dakar he shared what he had learnt there with Lumumba Theatre group. “With Lumumba Theatre Group we started with street presentations where by different people were trained on traditional and contemporary dance until when we found it ideal to start Haba na Haba festival in 2017,” says Abeneko.

He says, the main objective of coming up with the Haba na Haba festival was to provide contemporary dance performances in both indoor and outdoor spaces, reaching new audiences in the local community, and increase the value of contemporary dance as well as providing professional training to local dancers.

The festival which takes place indoors brings together great traditional and contemporary dance performances from a number of different groups from local and international artists and dance groups.

He says, Haba na Haba is a free event which gives a two weeks intensive dance workshop for beginers and advanced before workshop days and later followed up by two days of performances.

Commenting on the festival line up the Haba na Haba managing director Shabani Mugado says, the dance performances preceded by a line up of visual art activities including Children’s Art Classes.

The line-up included ChapChap Nature Body Painting, A Public Art Workshop which used the body as a canvas to create beautiful works of art inspired by nature, and the highlight of the night, Mama and Home Exhibition which was opened by Resident artist Walter Simbo Urasa.

He says a total of 13 groups performed at the festival. The grouops were 21st century, Chemli shine dance (Tanzania), Face Off by Ibuka dance foundation (Tanzania), You are welcome to stand at my place (Rwanda/Tanzania), White Wolf by DDI (Tanzania), Nyarero cultural group (Rwanda/Tanzania), Msimamo dance group (Tanzania), Mwili katika nyakati za mwisho by Yolanda Gutiérrez, The fabric of the universe by Benedetta Reuter (Germany/Italy), My white painting by Aloyce Makonde(Tanzania), Inside out by Samuel Ekeh (Lagos) and Shout by Nantea dance company.

On the first night six groups presented including Chemli, Face off and Nyarero cultural group rocked the indoors stage.

Chemli brought a story about how many people around the world have no idea what opportunities are around them and how they should be grateful and closer to them when they reach at their work place.

Shine dance Tz brought legendary story with traditional dance and songs from Tanzanian tribes with contemporary dance and bright light called Chemli (Chalwyn lamp).

Face off looked into the different faces we pick just so us to fit into society. We are required to talk, dress and behave in certain ways without which we become outcasts.

These labels according to them become part of our many identities and without them we tend not to function properly.

Face off brought a story of how often we find ourselves assuming different characters in our daily lives in order to be able to fit in society.

We are shaped and programmed so we find ourselves wearing one face to ourselves and another to the public but eventually we give into what might be the truth.

Haidary Chumambili is a group leader of Shine dance Tanzania. Commenting on the festival he says, he is happy that soon after their performance he got an opportunity of exchanging mobile numbers with different people in the musici indusrty.

“It was a very good opportunity for me and the group to show our work to the audience. However I would call upon organizers to add more of traditional groups and bring a balance between contemporary dance and traditional groups,” says Chumambili.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Search bridging the talent gap digitally

Contestants hold their breath for the final

Contestants hold their breath for the final announcement. PHOTO I SALOME GREGORY 

By Salome Gregory

Dar es Salaam. It has been a long time since you last heard of a talent search in the country and the memories are sometimes nostalgic as they gave birth to some of stars that we have today.

Unlike 10 years ago, the advent of digital technology now means things have to be done digitally as opposed to the long queues that participants had to brave to get to the auditions.

On that night, 15 young men and women seeking for a career in music had gathered at the ‘Imba na Mimi, to present their work for adjudication.

To some, this is a chance of a life time, and no wonder applications flooded the account but they had to make a choice to come up with the finalists.

The contest which is conducted through the social media has two phases, the first one took place early in January.

Contestants were required to tag their recorded audio or video of them singing on Instagram, Whatsapp number, Facebook or Twitter under ‘Imba na Mimi’ account.

Speaking to The Beat, the project coordinator Emmanuel Stephen says, phase I was a pilot phase which aimed at creating awareness to get the clear image of the contest that leads to phase II which is set to take place soon after the Holy Month of Ramadhan.

According to organisers ‘Imba na Mimi’ contest aims at discovering young and raw talents in music from people aged 18-40 years old in Tanzania.

Emmauel Stephen the project director who is also the contest’s coordinator says the contest is organized by Cam studio under One Love Unit TZ an organization deals with organizing different entertainment gigs in the country.

“I decided to come up with Imba na Mimi contest after I realized a lot of music talent was being left out just because they have no right platform to practice their music,” he says.

Through the contest the young men will be paired experienced musicians who will take them through the ropes of the trade.

Participants came from different places in Tanzania such as Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Sengerema, Geita, Morogoro and Arusha.

All the 15 participants were live on stage and after a gruelling contest six were selected for the second round which will usher them into the second phase of the which will bring together between 20 to 30 participants.

They came face to face with two judges namely singer Belle 9 and Edward Lusala who had the daunting task of sending home more than half of the contestants.

Participants from Dar es Salaam were the toast of the day given their home ground advantage as they were cheered on by a rather handsome audience that was in attendance.

They included Rodgers Raphael, Daniel Alone and Christopher Sise,but none were named in the final six who will be joining the second phase.

And when the winners’ list was announced Chazz Barton, Rodgers Raphael,Daniel Alone, Christopher Sise, Tumaini Mrema and Tusa Victor emerged on top.

Commenting on the criteria used to select winners judge Lusala says, as experts thye had a particular criteria and according to them the contestant had to be unique.

“All of the top six contestants had qualities of being winners but just small elements in the music industry decided the day,” he says.

According to him, one can be a good musician but just one element can favour the other person.

“We were also looking at originality, vocal range specifically how can one remain in the key during the entire song presentation without going off key, and because it was a live show, stage and crowd management also mattered. We also looked at creativity too, “ says Lusala.

Chazz, phase I winner is a painter who paints peoples pictures for a fee of up to Sh80,000 depending on the customers agreement.

He says, he came to learn about Imba na Mimi contest through his friend Rodgers who emerged first runner up. Rodgers, tagged him on Imba na Mimi contest post and he decided to send his video singing ‘Heaven’ by Banky W.

“Soon my video was reposted by @imbanamimi page I knew I will get an opportunity to participate in the contest. Being announced as a winner left me in a shock as the contest had people who were hugely talented. I thank God for that and I am getting ready for phase II,” says Chazz.

During the first round Chazz sang his own composition titled ‘Me na Wewe’ which is yet to be officially released and his second song was by ‘Ipo Siku’ by Goodluck Gozbert.

Tusa Victor, is a Finance student at Mzumbe University. She says, through a friend who sent her information about the contest via her phone she applied by posting her video on instagram page with a song called Sitabaki Kama Nilivyo by Joel Lwaga.

Given her tight timetable at the University, it was not easy for her to come in Dar es Salaam, so the Imba na Mimi team had to visit her in Morogoro and record her work Read all about it by Emeli Sande at the Digital Vibes studio.

The competition has some strict guidelines, for a contestant to qualify, one must be living in Tanzania, must be ready to learn and be involved in the trainings, proper dress code, and if the contestant is a student, must consider and follow the Imba na Mimi timetable without affecting it otherwise will be disqualified. The contestants must be free to travel and stay away from his/her home. Stephen they spent about Sh21million from their pockets. But they are working hard to get partners and supporters like online radios and TV’S, established artistes, Radio and Tv presenters, DJ’s that can help to spread the news about Imba na Mimi and expand the network.

He says, Imba na Mimi spent a week taking the selected contestants to a professional studio to a recording 1 minutes audio clip and studio version video clips for everyone that will was posted and shared on Imba na Mimi social media pages for promotions .

The contest also used Tripple Malengo Limited voting system, voters were charged Sh200 for a single vote during the contest through the special numbers.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Celebrity merchandise and misplaced priorities


By Paul Owere @TheCitizen

Dar es Salaam. There were days when fans would proudly hoard vinyl records or proudly display their CD collections, these days, as technology renders obsolete any physical manifestation of such interests, merchandise allows consumers to own a piece of a celebrity’s world.

In a world where digital music now being seen as more of a throwaway commodity, fans are substituting it for a more physical, tangible product as a way to connect and be closer to the artist.

In the midst of dwindling album sales –mainly due to massively disruptive streaming services – live concerts and tour merchandise have become an increasingly significant part of the business model for artistes.

The subsequent frenzy that surrounds the release of such merchandise can be extraordinary and quite loud at certain times.

Despite being a new phenomenon in the developing world it is catching up in Tanzania with several artists signing up for all sorts of merchandise from confectionery to energy drinks.

This year will go down as one of a kind when crooner AliKiba scored on multiple fronts, first was the dream wedding in Mombasa which was followed by a reception in Dar es Salaam a fortnight later.

Then came the launch of his energy drink, ‘Mofaya’ which by all accounts caught many by surprise, he had once again pulled a clever move on his fans and the industry all together. The media has been on an overdrive to promote the drink which according to him is canned in South Africa but with prospects of opening up a factory in Tanzania.

AliKiba like any other businessman is quite upbeat about his latest creation just as he has been about his music, for he is targeting the larger East African regional market.

Speaking at a local radio station Times FM the Mvumo wa Radi singer said it was a process that took them a whole year to finally come up with the drink which he owns its rights in East and central Africa.

Though not yet available in the market the crooner says they have already received hundreds of applications of agents who would wish to supply the drink locally.

This was not the first time that a local celebrity had launched a product, from Idris Sultan’s shoe range to Diamond’s Chibu perfume; it is now trend that is catching.

The question that immediately raised comes to mind is whether AliKiba’s energy drink Mofaya has the star power and influence to change consumer choices or even at its best last on the shelves long enough to attract corporate investment.

Consumer behavior is one of the most difficult things to change and as it stands the drink will have to shove its way into what already seems like a saturated market with many such products locally manufactured.

In January 2016, Tanzanian super model Flavianna Matata launched Lavy a nail polish line becoming the first celebrity in her line of trade to launch a personalised polish.

“It has been a two year journey for me to make it a success. Of course I could not have made it my own so I decided to reach out to my few friends who are experienced in processing these kinds of products. I had a difficult time when I was trying to come up with a color that would be sort of unique and bright and also the people that I expected to help me weren’t really accommodating so that’s why I have few friends.” She said then.

The product was soon available at Zuri Cosmetics, Pikasso salon and Shear Illusion. those who have tried it have had good things to say about it though it remains just that - a celebrity product.

In 2015 another Tanzanian celebrity and former Miss Tanzania Wema Sepetu launched a lipstick line which she christened ‘Kiss by Wema Sepetu’.

It became an instant hit with the controversial beauty queen instantly hitting One Million followers on Instagram.

Despite the early vibe that was followed the luxurious inauguration on her birthday where she was handed a Range Rover as a present, the lipstick it remained more of a celebrity affair.

In 2012 when Jokate Mwegelo’s rivalry with Wema which dates back to their days at Miss Tanzania was still hot, the actress unveiled the Kidoti Brand, one that has gone on to deal with designs and a hair line to compliment.

Market analysts say: If that name is regurgitated in the media, it sets up demand. The biggest driving force in what makes a consumer purchase a celebrity item is whether the star has the influence. This is perhaps one factor that has helped ‘Diamond Karanga’ to excel though some say it has only managed to do so because right from the beginning it was meant to be a mass product targeting low income earners.

Misplaced priorities can be costly in business and this could be the case with many of these celebrity merchandise that fail to identify their consumers.

We are yet to get any figures of how many of these products that have graced the market in the past five years have done but word out there suggests that many are not doing great.

From Shilole’s chili sauce, Wema’s ‘Kiss’ lipstick ,Diamond’s Chibu Perfume none of these products have managed to become a mass product. After the frenzy that followed the post launch period many of these products went into oblivion some with no trace because such products lack the longevity of classic brands to enable them stay on the shelves.

And as they say, there is a difference between coping with fate and inviting danger, the failure of a certain song to become a hit single cannot be the same as failure of a business venture.

It remains interesting on what seductive marketing techniques AliKiba is going to use to beat competition and change the consumer mindset that is already rooted at the market place. Those in the know admit that when the market is saturated, people’s attention span tends to be limited.

But even as bleak as it might be, it has been proven that artists can use these merchandising avenues as a way to bring in income.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Lulu begins her community service


Dar es Salaam. Actress Elizabeth Michael aka Lulu this week kicked off her community service in Dar es Salaam three days after she was from Segerea Prison.

Lulu together with 9 others have been deployed at the Ministry of internal affairs where she will serve her probation until November 2018 which was supposed to be her release date.

According to probation officer Charles Nsanze the actress is required to serve 20 hours per week which translates to four hours daily from Monday to Friday.

“She will not attend to the assigned duties on Saturday and Sundays plus all the Public holidays” Nsanze told Mwananchi.

The actress was sentenced to two years in prison in November last year for causing the death of celebrated Tanzanian actor Stephen Kanumba. Lulu was found guilty of killing Kanumba after she pushed him away following an argument over a phone call she had received.

Kanumba slid and fell on the floor, hitting the back of his head. He died moments later.

The case dragged for five years until last year when High Court Judge Sam Rumanyika sentenced Lulu to two years in prison for manslaughter.

Lulu had initially chosen not to appeal the sentence.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Lupita tipped for Black Panther II role


Film producer, director and screenwriter Ryan Coogler has disclosed that he is more than ready to make a female Black Panther spinoff movie with Lupita Nyong’o ain the lead role.

From a budget of 200 million dollars availed to him by the Marvel Studios, the 31-year-old American produced a 95 per cent cast black super hero movie Black Panther which now sits at position 9 among the highest grossing film of all time.

Since the movie’s release on January 29, 2018 the film is reported to have made over $1 billion as of March 18, 2018.

In the movie, Oscar award winning actress Lupita plays the role of Nakia, girlfriend to Black Panther, King T’Challa,

With the movie’s great success, there have been talks of producing Black Panther 2, with Coogler now reportedly keen on casting the women involved in the first project as the main stars. During an interview with movie critic Elvis Mitchell at the Cannes Film festival last week, Coogler said he feels that the women actors in Black Panther were a major factor in the movie’s success.


Friday, May 11, 2018

AliKiba dragged to court for child support


Dar es Salaam. It was a dream wedding that drew attention from across the region, one that belonged to the fairy tales.

However just a few days after wedding his Kenyan sweetheart, Amina Khaleef, and with a planned trip to Venice, Italy for his honeymoon on track, Bongo Flava star Alikiba was dragged to court for child support.

According to local daily, the artiste was taken to court by a businesswoman Hadija Hassan, who claims Alikiba has been slacking on his responsibilities of providing for their five-year-old daughter.

The newspaper reported that Hadija moved to the Childrens’ Court in Kisutu, Dar es Salaam on April 17, 2018 – demanding child support.

In her claims, Hadija say she lives in Magomeni, in the Tanzanian capital and earns her living through the sale of second-hand clothes.

Hadija also claims she gave birth to her daughter with Ali Kiba in January 2013 in Dar es Salaam and that the musician has violated the Tanzanian Children’s Act 2009 regarding child support.

Hadija also claims that Alikiba has failed to pay for their daughter’s school fees of Sh950,000.

She now wants the court to compel the artiste to pay a total of Tsh1.3 Million for the child’s monthly upkeep as well as the ‘arrears’ of the months accrued since he stopped remitting the money.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Banned Rafiki sparks debate in Kenya


Nairobi. A Kenyan-made film on lesbian love is set to premiere at the Cannes festival this week -- but at home, the movie has been banned, a decision exposing the bitter debate over homosexuality in East Africa.

“Rafiki” –- meaning “friend” in Kiswahili –- is adapted from a prize-winning short story called “Jambula Tree” by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko.

The film, telling the tale of two young women whose fathers are political rivals, is the first-ever film from Kenya to get a slot at the world’s most prestigious cinema festival.

It premiered on Wednesday in the “Un Certain Regard” category, reserved for emerging directors or unexpected or marginal themes.

The ban was announced by Ezekiel Mutua, a self-described “fervent moral crusader” who runs the Kenya Film Classification Board and has described his job as “upholding our cultural and moral values through content regulation.”

He railed against the film for seeking to “normalise homosexuality in Kenya” and condemned it for showing “the resilience of the youngsters involved in lesbianism.”

He demanded that director Wanuri Kahiu cut the “offensive classifiable elements”, including “romantic scenes” and “a happy ending”.

Kahiu has declined to speak much about the Kenyan ban, focusing instead on the premiere.

But she wrote on Twitter that she was ‘incredibly sorry’ about the ban. “Adult Kenyans are mature and discerning enough to watch local content but their right has been denied,” she said.

- ‘International ridicule’ -

What might have been a moment of celebration of a breakthrough success by a local filmmaker has instead won Kenya “international ridicule,” said columnist Makau Mutua in last weekend’s Standard newspaper.

“Me thinks Mutua should go back to his homophobic Neanderthal’s cave,” wrote Mutua.

Mutua, the censor, he wrote, “is among a cabal of homophobic state officials who haven’t read the 2010 Constitution.”

That constitution, voted for by referendum, has become the basis of legal challenges to homophobia in Kenya, spearheaded by the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC).

The group’s current court battle is its most important: using the freedoms enshrined in Kenya’s modern constitution to combat the bigotry contained in its colonial-era penal code.

“Clauses 162 and 165 talk about unnatural acts against the order of nature... (and) are used to target, specifically, sexual and gender minorities in Kenya. Our court case is a constitutional challenge to the legality of these laws,” said Waruguru Gaitho, a lawyer at the rights group.

Judges heard evidence in February and March, after a two-year delay, but are yet to give a date for their ruling. Until then, the threat of a 14-year jail term hangs over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Kenyans picked up by police or informed on by neighbours.

The irony is that the religious beliefs in which Kenyan homophobia is rooted -- and the laws that justify it -- are both Western imports.

Yet anti-gay groups claim, without apparent irony, that homosexuality is a liberal Western imposition contrary to “traditional” values.

“Homophobia is western, homosexuality is not,” countered Gaitho.

Kevin Mwachiro, author of the story collection “Invisible” about gay life in Kenya, said the situation for sexual minorities was improving, but contradictory.

“The fact we have a government that doesn’t have any new legislation to target LGBTI individuals, that is a plus, yet within that same government there’s a body that is banning movies made by Kenyans, about Kenyans, for Kenyans? That for me is the story of Kenya.”

“There is a lot of movement that is happening, some level of acceptance that is taking place,” he said.

- Progress? -

Activists say the picture for gay rights in Africa is often bleak but most visibly so in the east of the continent, where Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda also have a long record of stigma. In Kenya, high-profile gays have helped to lead the campaign for change. Celebrated writer Binyavanga Wainaina, who dramatically came out in 2014, last week announced his engagement.

But he said the couple would be wed and live in South Africa -- the only African country where gay marriage is permitted and one of few free of state-backed discrimination against homosexuals.

Wainaina’s declaration -– like the banning of “Rafiki” -– split the country’s commentariat and social media chatterers, trolls and gadflies. It earned praise from liberals and rights activists, and condemnation from conservatives and Christians.

Despite such progress, anti-gay sentiment remains dominant, and led from the top.

Last month President Uhuru Kenyatta repeated the anti-gay lobby’s “culture” argument in an interview with broadcaster CNN.

“This is not an issue... of human rights. This is an issue of society. Of our own base as a culture, as a people,” Kenyatta said.

Gaitho was dismayed.

“It casts a negative light as to where Kenya is at in its struggle for equality,” she said. And with the independence of the judiciary still in question, “There’s always the worry that statements made by powerful leaders might have a negative impact on cases like ours.”

Nevertheless, Gaitho said the situation was changing, if gradually.

“It’s not that all Kenyans are starting to be progressive and accepting,” she said. “But there’s a realisation that fundamental human rights belong to everyone.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Festival to celebrate Remmy Ongala’s music


By Paul Owere @p_owere

Dar es Salaam. It is almost eight years since music icon Remmy Ongala passed on, bringing an end to an illustrious career that had made him traverse the globe often entertaining massive crowds with his Super Matimila Band.

There was only one Remmy Ongala, whose artistic depth and strength was quite unmatched, his contemporaries admit that they really miss him a great deal.

Dr Remmy Ongala was and still is an integral part of modern Tanzanian history and culture who continues to appeal to a wide range of age-groups and the fusion of musical styles.

To some, he represents in the same way that James Brown did to early purveyors of American Hip-Hop and Rap and to the rest of the world, one of East Africa’s most popular exports.

His songs are quite popular globally, ‘Kipenda Roho’, was used in Oliver Stone’s film ‘Natural Born Killers’ whereas the famous ‘Dodoma’ was a soundtrack on Long way Down by Ewan McGregor and Charly Boorman.

Posthumously Remmy Ongala’s works received the Hall of Fame accolade at the 2012 Kilimanjaro Tanzania Music Awards.

His death was widely covered by the international press in the UK and the United States.

“A guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader who dominated the east African music scene with what his record company accurately described as serious dance music.... When his death was announced, his music was played nonstop on radio stations across the country...”- wrote The Guardian UK.

Whereas The New York Times wrote: He was a superstar in East Africa, and in the 1980s and 1990s he reached European and American audiences with albums for Real World, a label founded by Peter Gabriel, and international tours that included many appearances at Mr. Gabriel’s WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) festivals.

Though many agree that the void that was left by Ongala is yet to be filled, a new effort by one of his children is set to show case his music in two months time bringing together several genres on under the African stars.

Speaking to The Beat, Aziza Ongala says the festival aims to provide a platform for artistes across Africa and beyond, whilst promoting and showcasing local talent enabling both to come together.

“Remmy’s dream was to develop the fusion of different art forms and musical styles. We aim to provide opportunities for local artists to develop and grow through building international networks, hence contributing to the social, cultural and economic growth of Tanzania,” she says.

According to her the Ongala Music festival is intended to become a beacon of Tanzanian culture and artistry, with performances and happenings documented on film and through recordings.

“This way we hope to encourage an international audience to come to Tanzania as the reputation of the festival grows,” she says.

The festival which is organised under the Ongala foundation aims at promoting some of the things that Dr Remmy held so dearly in a career that spun over three decades across two countries.

“The foundation seeks to develop and promote and encourage artists to use their talents to sustain themselves in the long run, raise their aspirations and achieve a better quality of life,” says Aziza.

The festival is set to be commemorated by the East African release of, Dr Remmy Ongala’ bestselling albums by Peter Gabriel’s European Real World Record Label, in addition to, the internationally established Festival, WOMAD - World of Music, Arts and Dance.

“Ongala Music Festival is a unique three-day live music event taking place on Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th August, 2018; in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam. We will be celebrating the music, life and legacy of Remmy Ongala (1947-2010),” says Aziza.

The first edition of the festival will feature various International artistes, young talented local artists and some of the older Tanzanian bands including a Remmy Ongala Tribute Band; made up of the remaining surviving members with Remmy’s youngest son on vocals.

“Musicians, artists and performers from Tanzania and across Africa will pay tribute by providing an assortment of entertainment, music and dance of various styles. Musicians will also have the rare opportunity to work with and perform Remmy’s music live,” she adds.

Some of the performers who have confirmed participation so far include Sitti and the Band from Zanzibar, King KiKi, Swahili Ally, Msafiri Zawose,, Carola Kinasha, Mlimani Park Orchestra, Leo Mkanyia. Others especially foreign musicians are yet to confirm but organisers are optimistic that they will iv due time.

But just like many other festivals in the country, they are struggling to make ends meet and they are on a vigourous fundraising drive to meet the deadline.

Who was Remmy Ongala?

Remmy Ongala and his seven-piece band, Orchestra Super Matimila were famous for fusing the melodic drive of Soukous, East African guitar styles, and Tanzanian rhythms, Ongala and the group accomplish their goal of inspiring audiences with their intellectual dance music.

While his songs focused on poverty, injustice, death, AIDS, institutional corruption, and romantic passion, Ongala used his melodic guitar playing skills and soulful vocals to lead Orchestra Super Matimila through an experience of infectious rhythms.

Born in Kivu region Eastern Zaire (now DRC), Ongala initially attracted attention as drummer and vocalist for the rumba band Bantu Success.

He left the group, in 1966, he devoted two years to his family before returning to music as a guitarist.

As a sideman, he worked with bands such as as Success Mwachame, Mickey Jazz, and Grand Mike Jazz. He left Zaire, in 1968, after he was offered a job by Dar es Salaam-based Soukous band, Orchestra Makassy.

Launching his solo career in 1980, Ongala joined Orchestra Matimila, a group that featured four guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and a horn section of saxophone and trumpet and within a few months, Ongala had become the group’s leader.

The first two albums recorded under Ongala’s supervision -- Mambo and Songs For The Poor Man -- were recorded during Recording Week at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios.

Ongala and Orchestra Super Matimila’s 1997 album, Sema, included tracks that were recorded in Sweden and the United Kingdom in 1994 and 1995, respectively, and tracks recorded at Radio Tanzania in 1984.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Danish festival puts Sukuma dance in limelight


By Paul Owere @TheCitizen

Dar es Salaam. Dance is an integral part of any given culture for it is considered as one of the most effective and ways of communication.

People all over the world have their traditional dancing styles that not only reflect their unique way of life but also their history and culture

Traditional dances are not only a form of pleasure and entertainment, but rather a way of bringing people and communities together and building solidarity.

In Africa, traditional dances are also used as a way of preserving culture through costumes that dancers wear and through stories told in the songs, molding the behavior of community members so as to abide by norms and culture.

The dances also encourage cooperation, hard work, and economic growth and are renowned for being filled with breathtaking showmanship and incredible feats of ingenuity and courage without threatening other communities.

Tanzania has over 125 tribes, each with a unique cultural identity with breathtaking dancing skills that leave visitors mesmerized on many occasions.

But though these dances are popular rarely do you find communities outside Tanzania performing these wonderful moves.

On one of his journeys film maker Richard Magumba explores the Sukuma dance called Ilelekejo which has become popular in Denmark as part of his documentary.

“I am currently filming a documentary on the Sukuma traditional dances called ‘Ilolekejo’ a Sukuma word for ‘use your side mirror to look at where you came from’ as a way to preserve and motivate them to value their culture through traditional dances,” says Magumba.

He adds: I was invited to attend a Sukuma traditional dance festival in Ramten Skov, Denmark in 2017 known as the Utamaduni Cultural Camp organized by the Utamaduni Cultural Association to experience and observe what takes place at the camp and get footage for my documentary.

The festival is an annual event which takes place every year in July for a week, where people from Denmark and other countries together with mentors of Sukuma dance groups from Tanzania gather and participate in the culture and traditions of the Sukuma people.

According to Richrad Magumba whose documentary is almost complete, participants get a rare opportunity to learn to play the drums and learn different Sukuma dances such as the Sogota and Bunungule.

But as Magumba parked his bag and lenses for the trip he didn’t know what lay in waiting for him in the Scandinavian country.

“When I arrived at the camp, I was in shock and couldn’t film for almost two days as I was amazed by the level of which the Sukuma culture was being preserved thousands of miles away from Tanzania,” says Magumba.

According to the filmmaker it was surprising to see a culture of people who live in a different continent thousands of miles away being preserved in a European country by a community with completely different cultures and traditions.

Organisers say the Utamaduni Camp was started in 1977 and have been holding such festivals for the past 40 years taking Sukumaland to Denmark.

“I was fascinated by the Sukuma community in Denmark who despite of living there for many years and others being born there, still preserve the Sukuma culture,” says Magumba.

The Sukuma community there has had a major contribution to the camp in terms of teaching dances and other Sukuma cultures at the Camp.

When he came home he shared the experience he had at the camp with other people through the teaser and photos he took while at the camp and it also sparked some raw emotions of happiness and intrigue.

Many have since expressed interest of attending the camp in the future.

“I was happy to see how our dances are preserved by some European communities, this has motivated me to value and preserve my culture as well. It also makes me want to learn more about the Danish.”

However what is even more amazing according to Magumba the festival is that it is organized by a Danish cultural Association which was formed by a group of Danes who were fascinated about the Sukuma culture.

Given the experience that the filmmaker experienced at the Utamaduni Camp in in Ramten Skov, Denmark, he just can’t wait to go back this summer.

The name “Utamaduni”, a swahili word meaning “culture”, was adopted by the dance troupe after a Danish cultural exchange with the Sukuma tribe in Tanzania in 1977. The exchange project in which the Danes also performed their traditional dance, was called “The cultural bridge”.)

From that early beginning of cultural exchange, rich and fertile images of African culture were absorbed by the “Danes” – all thanks to the Sukuma people.

Since then Utamaduni has woven a tapestry of dance, drum, and song rhythms into a bond of friendship with local farmers and handicraft artists, and has inspired more than 25 Danish dance troupes that meet weekly for dance and workshops.

The Utamaduni Dance Troupe brings alive Africa with its colourful and expressive performance.

Both the young and old are fascinated by the interaction of the big drums and the dancers, and enjoy invitations from the troupe to join the dance.

Richard Magumba is a Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Photographer and freelance Tanzanian Filmmaker with years of experience in the film industry. He began his career by collaborating with veteran filmmakers both from within and outside Africa.

He later trained at the Maisha Film Lab, Kampala Uganda and the University of Dar es Salaam where he excelled in video production. He enjoys working with clients, who range from public and private organisations to individuals, from concept development all the way to post-production to visually articulate and bring to life their thoughts and imaginations.

His skilled work and passion for what he does has brought him into contact with various organisations such as African Pictures, World Lung Foundation, International Labour Organization ILO, Embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania, Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief CPAR, Under The Same Sun UTSS, ABC News, Sepia Films, International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN to mention a few.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Jaguar admits the industry has changed



Jaguar, has had a chequered career, cutting a niche in the music industry before joining politics.

Jaguar started gaining recognition as a musician in 2004, when he released the song, Utaweza Kweli. He later joined producers Ogopa Deejays, where he recorded one of his most popular song ‘Kigeugeu’.

His other hits include ‘Kioo’, Kipepeo, and One Centimetre, among others. He says the Kenyan music scene has changed since his days as a musician.

“During our time, we used to get money but things have changed. Then, a radio presenter would just be that — a presenter, but these days presenters and deejays want to be stars, competing with musicians,” he says.

When he declared his interest in politics, he assured his fans that his music days were not yet over. And to prove a point, he recently released a song with rapper Prezzo titled ‘Timika’.

“Even though I am an MP now, I will always be an artiste, because I believe in the power of art. And our country is blessed with immense talent. I am a musician at heart because it is my passion and talent,” says Jaguar.

In fact, he says that he is one of the people pushing for a Bill in Parliament that, if passed, will see a higher percentage of Kenyan music and content aired on mainstream media.

“There is a Bill in Parliament, and I have been urging all artistes to sit down and agree on the issues they want challenged so that they can present them to us to take forward. But unity among artistes is also another thing,” he said

“We have youthful leaders in Parliament some of who have begun their careers in the entertainment industry and will push these issues because they understand them well,” he says.

But he says he is glad at the passion he sees in most of the upcoming artistes since the rules of the game have changed and this means musicians will have to work twice as hard to make it in the industry


Friday, May 11, 2018

Chris Brown faces assault lawsuit


Chris Brown has been accused of co-conspiring, aiding and abetting in a 2017 sexual assault that took place during a party at his house in a new lawsuit filed Wednesday by attorney Gloria Allred on behalf of her client, a woman who will be known as Jane Doe. During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Allred described the incidents leading up to the alleged assault but would not go into detail about the specific allegations, instead referring reporters to the lawsuit due to the sensitive nature of the claims. The famed women’s rights attorney with more than 40 years of professional experience did, however, offer a warning to television stations that she was unsure whether details such as those included in the suit could be aired on television. “This is one of the most horrific sexual assault cases that I have ever seen,” she said. “And our client, Jane Doe, has been severely traumatized by what she was forced to suffer.”

According to the lawsuit, a copy of which was reviewed by Billboard, Doe had attended a concert at 1 Oak in West Hollywood, where she was invited to attend an after party at a recording studio.

where Brown and rapper Young Lo -- whose real name is Lowell Grissom, Jr. -- were working. When she arrived there, her phone was allegedly taken from her because Brown did not want any phones in the studio.

Even when Doe wanted to leave, she claims her phone was not returned and she was then coerced into going to Brown’s house in order to retrieve her phone.

While at Brown’s house, the plaintiff claims alcohol and illicit drugs that she believed include cocaine, molly and marijuana were provided to guests. She also says Brown handed each female guest, including herself, a pill filled with white powder and instructed them to take it to have a “good time.” Doe did not take her pill and instead sought to isolate herself in hopes she would be left alone.


Friday, May 11, 2018

R. Kelly facing protests in US


Critics who accuse singer R. Kelly of sexual misconduct are threatening to stage a protest at his upcoming show in North Carolina if it isn’t canceled.

The threatened protest in Greensboro is the latest manifestation of the #MuteRKelly social media campaign that has sought to stop his music from being played.

Kelly’s management team issued a statement late Wednesday saying he was looking forward to the concert. Brandi Collins-Calhoun is director of reproductive and maternal health for the YWCA of Greensboro. In a letter to the Greensboro Coliseum, she said if the show isn’t canceled, she and other community leaders will be standing outside the arena in protest. “The Greensboro Coliseum choosing to host a repeat offender condones the continuous abuse and harm that he has done to African American women and girls, and encourages rape culture,” Collins-Calhoun wrote. “The coliseum has neglected to consider the Black women and girls that largely makes up the community that relies on them for community engagement and entertainment.”

She encouraged the coliseum to “do the right thing” by canceling the show and establishing “justice-centered policies and procedures” for planning any future events.

The letter was also signed by eight other organizations, including NARAL, North Carolina Black Women’s Roundtable and Professional Black Girl.

Coliseum spokesman Andrew Brown said Wednesday officials would have no comment on the letter.

Kelly was scheduled to be among the performers at a May 5 concert in Chicago, but was dropped as protests arose. He issued an apology on YouTube , saying he didn’t know why the show was canceled.

“I never heard of a show being canceled because of rumors, but I guess there’s a first time for everything,” he said on the video.

In the statement, his management team referred to those opposed to his scheduled performance as well as the people who want to see him.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Why artistes have preshow rituals


Dar es Salaam. Whether it’s a matter of superstition or an attempt to create a sense of normalcy when they are about to face huge crowds, famous musicians turn into creatures of habit while they’re on the road.

From carrying strange objects to smoking substances, every artiste big and small has a ritual that they perform before they get on stage.

Apart from their celebrity status musicians are just ordinary people who were blessed with a voice and with that sometimes come the fear of failure too.

Tanzania is blessed with some great musical talent that continue to serenade the world their melodies but even them too haven been spared of these pre show ritual.

Singer Malaika famous for her hit single ‘Rarua’ has been performing in many parts of Africa she too has a personal ritual that she performs each time she is invited for a performance.

“The pre show period is a time of self reflection that is every important for any performing artiste because every show is unique and nothing is business as usual therefore it requires proper preparations,” says Malaika.

According to her as part of her per show ritual she always she indulges into prayer early in the morning and where possible she takes a dip into the Jacuzzi but above all she calls her mother for the final word.

“Her words of encouragement empower me even when the going is tough in many ways and in the event that she doesn’t pick up it disappoints me so much,” says Malaika. Rapper AY has seen it all in Bongo Flava and has performed on some of the greatest stages in the East African region.

He admits that several artistes have different beliefs on what makes them comfortable before the show though he thinks there are some who go overboard with the rituals.

“Some indulge into over drinking whereas others go into substance abuse as they seek to boost their confidence ahead of the show,” he says.

But he does not exclude himself, he prays just before he sets off for the show because he believes it is only through prayer and trust in the Almighty that he can make it in an industry that is as competitive as Bongo Flava.

His trust in prayer is shared by Vanessa Mdee aka Vee Money who seeks to have a solitary moment a few minutes before the show, her prayer doesn’t involve the rest of the team.

“I think everything happens for a reason and that is why as a performer I have to appreciate these little things that come to us in life,” says Vanessa Mdee.

During Rihanna’s 777 Tour in 2012, the pop star included an assortment of liquor and junk food on her tour rider, such as one package of Oreos and a box of Golden Grahams cereal.

She likes to drink Grey Goose vodka with fruit juice before taking the stage. But before every show, Rihanna huddles all of her backup dancers and musicians into a circle, where they all lock hands in prayer and solidarity.

Just before show time, they put their hands in the middle of the circle and raise them to the ceiling, as they yell out a rallying cry.

“We always look forward to prayer with her because that’s when we know where she’s at and whether she needs that little bit extra that night,” said guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. “We don’t just do it as a ritual; it’s more like looking at each other and feeling each other out.”

Beyonce too has a secret ritual, to calm her nerves before taking the stage, Beyoncé engages in an extensive pre-show ritual that includes a stretch, a prayer, and an hour of alone time with her favourite playlist.

Others have more unusual superstitions: Painter Salvador Dali carried a piece of driftwood to ward off evil spirits, while Pablo Picasso held on to personal items -- from old clothes to hair trimmings -- in an effort to retain his essence.

New York-based illustrator Ellen Weinstein in her new book, “Recipes for Good Luck: The Superstitions, Rituals, and Practices of Extraordinary People,” explores the quirky good-luck rituals of some of the world’s most renowned creative personalities to show that they get nervous just anyone else.

Weinstein -- who has previously produced illustrations for newspaper publications and children’s books -- began researching celebrity superstitions after she was commissioned to illustrate an article on the concept of good-luck rituals.

Having noticed an overlap between her own quirky habits and those she was illustrating, she began exploring how some of the biggest creative personalities in history calm their nerves or encourage creativity.

“One can be extremely accomplished and maintain rituals to ensure their own success,” Weinstein said. “It shows how common these behaviors are and how unique each individual’s recipe for good luck is.”

Her research involved hunting through archived interviews and biographies of historical figures. For modern megastars, she scoured articles, video interviews and social media profiles. Eventually, as she states in the book, “iconic figures started to feel more relatable.”

Parts of this article were taken from CNN


Friday, May 4, 2018

Quit ‘playing wife’ if he hasn’t put a ring



I’ve been asking myself how far is ‘too far’ when it comes to exclusivity with your boyfriend, especially in matters regarding submissiveness while dating.

I have seen so many instances where a man dates this lady for five years and the two don’t end up together; either than man or the lady marries their next date after only 6 months. Is that even logical?

They say a man can date a woman who has 100 percent of what he wants for years but still end up marrying someone who only has 70 percent of the desired qualities six months later.

But is it all about them (men)?

Why does he waste your time and he already knows it’s not you he wants to spend the rest of his life with?

Why would you allow him to enjoy all the privileges not sure whether he’ll leave you high and dry?

How many women out there are walking around with broken hearts wondering why after dating a guy for such a long time, he ends up marrying someone else six months after they’ve broken up?


The answer is simple. He wasn’t ready! Yes, it really does seem to be that simple to them.

In short, they (men) just don’t care.

My question is, why do we women play ‘wife’ when he hasn’t put a ring on it?

Most women, if not all, dream of having a ring on their fingers, right?

They actually believe that long-term relationships are typically the pathway to marriage and beyond.

So why should you get caught up doing a lot more in a relationship than you should, yet he is not your husband?

Maybe I shouldn’t declare that marriage is the best or only option, because if you look around the divorce rates are as many as couples getting married to the wrong people and for wrong reasons.


As if that is not enough, there is this stigma about the unmarried.

At every opportunity, friends and families stress you with constant questions. “Utaolewa Lini?What’s wrong with you? Si utafute tu mtu yoyote utuletee ama pata mtoto tu tutalea.”

I must admit I’m deeply familiar with those lines, but stigma or no stigma, just so we are clear, until he puts the ring on your finger, you are not – I repeat – not his wife.

You go everywhere together, hold hands, kiss in public; he introduces you to his friends as ‘my wife’. All that is nonsense, until he puts a ring on your finger. Don’t fall for it.

It’s actually sad that most men demand that you cook for them, clean up their their houses, wash dishes and on top of that give them sex to prove that you are a good wife material.

You are only dating him, that doesn’t give him the right to demand wife duties from you.

Dating and marriage are totally different things. Even if he is engaged to you, that doesn’t give him the right to demand wife duties from you.


We actually seem to have a new cool name for an ‘in-house-mistress’ to a ‘wife’. Don’t fall for that crap! Tell him to take you to his family and organize a marriage

You may be a big fan of the movie ‘Sex and the City’, if not, then I don’t think that’s my problem and you can choose to ignore.

But if you were then I bet you remember this phrase, “Men are like cabs, they can drive around for years picking up women and not be available and when they’re available, their light goes on. They wake up one day and they decide they’re ready to settle down, have babies, whatever and they turn their light on the next woman they pick up, boom, that’s the one they’ll marry.”

You see, to them it’s just about the lights being on.

Maybe that’s just how men are and we should accept them for the logical, procedural mammals they are but that said, protect yourself from emotional and sexual abuse.

Stop giving this man what he doesn’t deserve. If he is not willing to honour you by putting that ring on your finger, then he is not worthy to receive wife benefits from you.

If and when you become his wife, then he will get treated like a husband



Friday, May 4, 2018

VIDEO: Model on the quest to hit international stage

By Mpoki Thomson @TheCitizen

Mary Peter Claverys, 23, is a renowned Tanzanian model and beauty queen. She’s the current Miss Mwanza and 1st runner-up Miss Tanzania 2018. Mary has been modeling for the past three years. She talks to The Beat about her career as a model.

How did you get into modeling?

I started when I was in high school. I loved modeling so I would do fashion shows and other school events. When I got more freedom after I started university education, I did a few photoshoots and was looking forward to getting signed by a modeling agency. I eventually got signed and that’s when I officially became a model and started doing shoots and commercial modeling. But this all traces back to my high school days, I knew back then that I wanted to become a model.

What gave you that drive to get into modeling?

One of my biggest interests is beauty. So I wanted to pursue a career in modeling as I grew older. It is this interest that drove me into this industry.

What is your greatest strength as a model?

Being able to take constructive criticism; as a model, there are certain things that you are required to do that people might not necessarily like. Things like doing swimwear shoots, my parents are at times questioned by people on why they allow their daughter to do such shoots. As a model I take the negative comments but I’m not fazed by them because I know what I’m doing in the industry. People haven’t really gone out of their way to understand the industry so they criticise without taking time to investigate.

Modeling has its challenges, how do you deal with uncomfortable situations?

I try to see if there’s a positive outcome that can come out of a difficult situation, if not then I just ignore it. I don’t want to think that I can’t do something because of a difficult or uncomfortable situation.

Tell us one thing we wouldn’t know about you by simply looking at your portfolio\work.

Someone cannot easily tell by just looking at my work at I’m very focused on what I want. When someone looks at my photos they simply say; ‘oh she’s just a model, she likes fame and taking pictures’. They ought to know that I’m very focused on what I’m doing, I don’t do modeling because I have nothing else to do, but I see something in this industry.

Who is your role model in the industry?

One of my biggest role models is Flaviana Matata. She’s taken our modeling industry abroad; it has reached far because of her. Also, she employs other local models under her brand, whenever she does shoots for her beauty products she uses local models instead of opting for international ones. By this, she’s encouraging women employment and also encouraging the young generation to work harder.

What would you consider to be your biggest achievement in your line of work?

My biggest achievement is being where I am today. I’m not where I was yesterday or a year ago.

How are you able to juggle between modeling and studying, being a 3rd year student at the university?

I’ve given school first priority and only do modeling during my free time. In case I have a very important modeling gig I inform my university about it and make my schedule a bit more flexible. I’ve made it this far by prioritizing my studies above everything else.

Have you had any basic training in modeling?

Yes, I’m under an agency so we usually go for some training on modeling. We go to camps that last a couple of days where we are trained on different modeling techniques, we also do training on how to pose during a fashion shoot and are also taught other important aspects of the industry.

Tell us about your worst moment in the modeling and beauty industry

My worst moment in the beauty industry was at my first Miss Tanzania competition. On the final beauty pageant contest the designer didn’t make the dress that I wanted. But because the contest was in my home town my brother got me another dress which I had already done a photo shoot with and even wore it at a previous pageant. I was really disappointed because it’s a competition that everyone prepares for and everyone looked good in their dress. Still I wore my confidence and prevailed through the situation.

What are some of your future prospects within the industry?

Make some applications to foreign agencies, I want to hit the international scene, but you can’t do that if you’re stuck in one place. So right now I’ve been getting both positive and negative feedback from my applications and I’m still going to try to get signed by a foreign agency so that I can get global exposure.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Les Wanyika, jewels that never came back home


The Beat. Dar es Salaam. It is one of these weekends and as the norm is most people flock the bars with a live band playing copy of old songs popularly known as Zilipendwa.

The frenzy is further heightened when the all time favourite Sina Makosa, Wanyika’s mega hit, Afro, Pamela and Nimaru are widely played in the bars and clubs across the region.

Little known to many of their current crop of fan-base they were part of Tanzanian musicians who made a mark after crossing the border in the 1970s in search for greener pastures in Kenya.

In 1971, two brothers from Tanga, Wilson and George Kinyonga formed a band which they would later call Simba Wanyika, (Lions of the Savannah).

Due to unsteady economic conditions the 1970s which strained the music industry, most of the artistes of that time including Mbaraka Mwinshehe migrated to Kenya.

The Simba Wanyika group, which was initially known as Arusha Jazz, was formed in Arusha as an offshoot of the legendary Jamhuri Jazz band.

Fans will remember some of the popular songs by Jamhuri Jazz band like ‘Shingo la Upanga’ and ‘Nafikiria Kurudi Shamba’ and Wasiwasi Ondoa.

Under Arusha Jazz, the Kinyonga brothers (George, Wilson and William) recorded songs like ‘Mama Suzie’, ‘Mary Mtoto’ and ‘Tutengane Salama’.

Journey into Kenya

When the group moved to Kenya in 1974, through Mombasa where they teamed up with Omari Shaaban, Tom Malanga and, later Rashid Juma and redid most of those songs.

Sadly, despite being Tanzanians, today their songs are classified under Kenyan music, where they performed and did most of their recordings.

Before long, Omari Shaaban left Simba Wanyika. The group, which was by then led by Wilson, first pitched camp in Mombasa at the then popular Sports View Hotel.

In 1975, the group moved to Nairobi, where they first played at Marathon Club, then later Tree Shade Hotel in Parklands.

However, all was not the well between Omari and the Kinyonga brothers, who parted company in 1977.

Alongside with Tom Malanga, saxophonist Rashid Juma, guitarist Phoney Mkwanyule, trumpeter Usijali Zua , Stanley Mtambo and others, he formed Orchestra Les Wanyika in November 1978.

Speaking to Kenya’s Daily Nation in an earlier interview, Malanga the Rabbai-born Kenyan in the band, recalled the days.

“Nairobi was the melting pot with many new bands and we were determined to prove to be the best,” he said.

Others who later joined Les Wanyika Band include guitarist John Ngereza, from Orchestra Bwambe Bwambe, the deep-voiced Issa Juma , Joseph Just, Mohammed Tika Abdallah and Victor Boniface.

Professor Omari Shaaban who died in 1998, was a household name at the time and was well known for being soft-spoken and was one of the most smartly dressed musicians.

Many of them will be familiar with one of the hit songs he composed, Pamela. What they might not know is that the band leader was, in fact, singing about his wife.

Professor Omar Shaaban’s legacy

During the commemoration of Shaban’s death last year his widow, Pamela Omari, confirmed to the Daily Nation, that the song Paulina was composed in her honour.

“I first met Omari in 1974 while I was still in school,” Pamela recalled.

Pamela today remains attracted to the man and his music as she was so many years ago, she is committed to preserving Professor Omar Shaaban’s legacy.

One version of the hit song Pamela was released by Orchestra Simba Wanyika and the other, later, by Les Wanyika, which Omar Shaban had established after parting ways with the Kinyonga brothers.

Pamela remembers the events of the time as if they just happened a few weeks ago. Pamela No1, she says, was released while she was still in school.

“I feel honoured taking care of the two children, Emily and Marcus, whom I had with Prof Omar,” she says. Emily lives in Germany while Marcus is in Kenya.

Omar is also remembered for the all-time hit song, Sina Makosa, whose cover versions have been done by several other famous musicians.

The rivalry between Omar and the Kinyonga brothers was immortalized in two songs, Sikujua kama Utabadilika and Sina Makosa.

Though there are several claims on who exactly composed the iconic Sina Makosa, Pamela says it was Professor Omar’s composition after he fell out with and parted company with Wilson and George Peter Kinyonga to form Les Wanyika in November 1978. Sina Makosa became an instant hit that won gold record.

Omar died 20 years after forming the Orchestra Les Wanyika band. George Peter died in December 1992, while Wilson Peter died three years later.

Though on the surface, the lyrics of the two songs were about family feuds, they were, indeed, actually about the differences between Omar and his former colleagues.

The Les Wanyika group, which pitched camp at the then popular Bombax Club off Ngong Road in Nairobi, is best remembered for compositions like Afro, Paulina, Dunia Kigeu geu, Kwanza Jiulize, Ufukara si Kilema, and Sioni wala sisikii, among others. Like most other groups, Les Wanyika was hit by a defection when Issa Juma left to form Super Wanyika alongside other musicians.

In 1983, Omari took the band on a tour to Uganda on return they released ‘Safari Sio Kifo’, which talked of some of the tribulations they faced in Uganda.

Later in 1988, Omari briefly teamed up with the Everest Kings band, then led by Abdul Muyonga, to record the popular song Kujenga ni kazi Ngumu Kubomoa ni Rahisi.

As Muyonga put it, “Omari was a humble colleague who was dedicated to his work on stage.”He later rejoined Orchestra Les Wanyika till his death February 1998. According to Pamela his body was found abandoned in Kisumu after he had gone missing for almost two weeks.

“It was a painful loss, but I have ever since endured and taken up the courage and determination of keeping his family alive,” she says.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Irene and Dogo Janja aiming for a collabo

Irene Uwoya and Dogo Janja

Irene Uwoya and Dogo Janja 

Is this love? It’s such a powerful thing! Or is it money that has all the power?

As some have muted probably it is both especially where Bongo Flava artistes are involved and never rule anything out.

Word from the grapevine has it that rapper Dogo Janja and actress Irene Uwoya are working on musical project as husband and wife.

Sources close to the couple say the news of their pending collaboration was confirmed by Dogo Janja’s mentor Madee under the MMB label.

“When the idea was floated to him he didn’t hesitate because he see it as a good move for the singer but was rather coy on releasing further details,” says a source.

The source added: He doesn’t want to let out anything as for now but he promises that when the time is right he will eventually do so.

Dogo Janja and Irene shocked showbiz last October when they secretly got married in Dar es Salaam without any of their close relatives in town.


Friday, May 4, 2018

Rose Muhando calms her fans

Rose Muhando in undated photo

Rose Muhando in undated photo 

Nairobi. Gospel singer Rose Muhando has come out to explain a photo that went rounds on the social media scene that got her fans worried.

Speaking to a local outlet, Muhando stated that the photo was indeed taken in Kenya after she visited the country two weeks ago.

Muhando disclosed that she was recovering after being involved in a road accident three months ago.

She explained that the spots on her legs and bandaged hand were as a result of the injuries she sustained in the accident.

“That image was taken two weeks ago, when I was in Kenya. The cuts in my legs, which I sustained in a road accident three months ago, are healing. The process has left me with dark spots on the affected parts of the body, including my back. I am currently doing fine, even as I continue with treatment,” said Muhando.

The photo of the songbird circulated widely after Stephen Kasolo Kitole, a singer, posted it.

It immediately drew reactions online as her concerned fans raised questions over her wellbeing.

“Mama Rose Muhando has faced a lot in life but my happiness is that she has never given up!!! She’s a mother to me and I respect her so much . Rose Has changed many people’s lives through her Music starting with me.” Posted Kitole.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Early call from Sauti za Busara


By Paul Owere @TheCitizen

The 2019 edition of the Sauti za Busara is some 10 months away and organisers have already announced the call for artistes for the prestigious annual festival.

Billed as the best East African festival, the extravaganza this year attracted over 10,000 revellers from across the world making the month of February a high tourist season on the Spice Isles.

Speaking to the Beat, festival manager Journey Ramadhani said it was important to start the process early in order to avoid the usual hitches which include late applications.

“The closing date for applications is July 31, 2018. For the first time artistes representing music from the Arab world and the Indian Ocean are also welcome to apply. There after a selection committee will meet in August to finalise the line-up, after which all applicants will be notified of their status before September,” says Journey.

According to him only artistes who play music with identity and play live instruments are encouraged to apply for a slot.

“We normally open up a submission period from April –July in order to give more artistes the opportunity to apply because some of the artists like to organise their music tours very early in advance,” said Journey.

This he says gives artistes enough time to artists to apply as opposed to the idea of applying few days to the deadline.

“But as you might as well understand we operate under very tight budgets so the call for artist is also call for donors and sponsor to get ready to support the coming festival,” adds Journey.

For the 15 years that the festival has been around with all the positive reviews there have been some disappointments too on the side of local artistes who don’t see the need to apply in time.

“It beats my understand and I guess that of anyone else that the number of applications that we get abroad beat the number of applications that we get from our local artistes by several folds yet it is a festival that takes place in their own backyard,” says Journey.

Last year alone the festival attracted over 600 applications as the artistes compete for the 46 available slots to perform at the four-day festival that takes place at the Old Fort in Stone Town, Zanzibar.

“This shows just how much artistes value Sauti za Busara as a platform through which they can share their creative works with the rest of the world.”

Several artistes including Kenya’s Makadem admit that the festival with time become a career launch pad for many local artistes towards the international platform as they aspire to take their music to the global stage.

Though there is still plenty of room for improvement, the 2018 edition of the Sauti za Busara festival line up in Zanzibar was dubbed by organisers as one of their best drawing over 10, 000 in attendances.

The festival’s budget which stands at some $300,000 by international standards makes Sauti za Busara one of the low budget festivals across the world yet among the seven best on the African continent. Busara’s frequent request for support therefore isn’t a farfetched one; the Ivory Coast government injects more than $2,000,000 into the Masa Festival with governments of Morocco, South Africa extending similar financial support to local festivals.

Its prominence has February become a high tourist season on the Spice Islands with conservative figures estimating that the festival has injected over $70 million into the Zanzibar economy since its inception some 15 years ago.

“The cultural tourism that Sauti za Busara supports attracts visitors motivated by more than just the sun, safari and the beaches of Zanzibar,” festival director Yusuf Mahmoud once told The Beat.

As opposed to the simplicity that most Western tourists look for, during the festival they experience Tanzanians who are technologically savvy, rather than incapacity they see Tanzanians as agents who organize and make things happen including running a complicated festival on time.

It therefore remains an interesting prospect to see whether local artistes will respond to this call in time to rival the ever growing number foreign artistes who see this as a golden opportunity to reach out to the World.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Why youth yawn for Big brother Africa


By Paul Owere @TheCitizen

Dar es Salaam. This week rumour broke out that after a Four-year hiatus, continental reality TV show Big Brother Africa was set to return on the screens in 2018 much to the excitement of the youth.

According to the source organisers have been working behind the scenes to get the show back on air and auditions are scheduled to take place mid next year. The source also indicated that the show was likely to start around July in Johannesburg involving several Sub Saharan countries.

The show initially involved 12 countries within Africa (Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe) with two countries (Ethiopia and Mozambique) being added in season 4 and two other countries (Liberia and Sierra Leone) were added in season 7 while Rwanda was added in season 9. In the past editions each country provided at least one contestant living in an isolated house while trying to avoid being evicted by viewers and ultimately winning huge amounts of cash prize at the end of the show.

The last winner Idris Sultan took home some $300,000 in 2014 after he outwitted other contestants to win the edition. Speaking to The Beat the head of communications at MultiChoice Tanzania Johnson Mshana said it was not true and he was not aware of any such arrangements .

“Multichoice is currently running a parallel contest called the Big Brother Nigeria and that is what we are concentrated on at the moment,” said Mshana.

In 2016 in a communiqué, M-Net indicated that they were busy working on other regional Big Brother productions, with Big Brother Angola being their first production before embarking on the BBA Naija.

“At the moment, the team is busy re-evaluating the strategic direction of Big Brother Africa. Be assured that when it returns, it will be bigger and better,” read the statement from M-Net.

In 2014, BBA Hotshots which was the 9th edition of the reality show was postponed by a month after a fire swept through the Sasani Studios complex in Johannesburg, the seat of the Big Brother Africa house.

But the question that many will be asking is why young men and women find it compelling to participate in reality TV such as Big Brother Africa.

Reality shows are a huge platform for ordinary people from all walks of life to test their worth against other competitors and to show the world what they are capable of.

They also get the opportunity to be groomed and trained by celebrity judges who are established professionals and heavyweights in the field.

Winning any of these shows as either Big Brother’s Uti or Idris will tell you may mean ticket to riches, fame and stardom. No wonder several thousand youngsters aspire to be get on the show and win.

The $100,000 prize money for the winner of the first Big Brother Africa was a major incentive for the 12 housemates to participate, but like housemates worldwide, there was the added benefit of a taste of 15 minutes of fame.

Once a housemate leaves the house, be it after two weeks or 100 days, they seemed to follow the same fame-led career paths.

Television appearances, a chart single, a radio presenter spot here and there, a charity project, and then they disappear into the land of ‘former’ reality TV stars.

These shows changed lives, and indeed it created a generation of overnight celebrities who would soon command a massive following on the different social media platforms.

The lime light yield connections for lifetime as some have gone on to find partners whom they ended up getting married to such as Mwisho Mwapamba and Namibia’s Meryl or Tanzania’s Elizabeth Gupta and Nigeria’s Kelvin Pam.

The last to taste this success was Idris Sultan who has since become a hit in Tanzanian entertainment circles and brand ambassador to some of the big brands locally and beyond.

When television production company Endemol brought reality TV show Big Brother to Africa in 2003, it became the first time Africans from 12 different countries were placed under the magnified lens of reality TV.

It was an instant hit, for it was the first time Pan-Africanism was put to test and they showed that what the politicians had failed to do in decades could be done quite easily.

Though there have been critics against the show given the approach that it took with contestants drinking, nudity and sex, today Africa is not the same thanks to the exposure that BBA brought on TV screens.

Some have blamed the show for giving the contestants false hope of stardom saying after days of living lavishly, the contestants soon find themselves back to square one with some resorting to substance abuse.

But on average most of the contestants who have left the house have leveraged on their participation and their lives have never been the same.

It is no wonder that young men today can’t help but long for the show’s return.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Drama that followed Agnes in death

Agnes Gerald aka Masogange  in undated picture

Agnes Gerald aka Masogange  in undated picture 

By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Socialite Agnes Gerald Waya aka Masogange 28, was finally laid to rest on Monday at her ancestral home in Utengule Village, Mbalizi , Mbeya Region where thousands of mourners turned up.

Her death came some two weeks after court had found her guilty of drug abuse and ordered her to pay a fine or go to jail, she paid the fine.

Ten years of life in the limelight had earned a great deal of friends and enemies too in equal measure as the name Masogange stuck with her to the very last breath and indeed to her final resting place.

The background sound of ‘Masogange’ a single by Belle9 playing as the casket arrived at her father’s home indeed brought back nostalgic memories of the early days of socialite.

As opposed to the narrative, ‘Masogange’ was not her first project she had played a similar role in a video by MwanaFA and AY titled ‘Nangoja Ageuke’ but it was the former that thrust her into the limelight.

In the years long before Social media became uncontrollably rampant she had dared to cross the boundaries, as she enjoyed the glamour that was by then reserved for beauty queens in Tanzania.

She lived her life like no other, breaking all the rules in the book, these traits were to win her friends and detractors who even as news of her death reverberated across East Africa, they posted mean comments on social media.

The glowing tributes from the mourners were heart wrecking as fellow celebrities poured at the Leaders’ Club in Dar es Salaam to pay their final respects, a scene that was reminiscent of Steven Kanumba’s funeral in 2012.

Her farewell was befitting of a celebrity that she was in the entertainment circles especially in Dar es Salaam and indeed later in Mbeya.

Video vixen

It is a fact that Agnes was introduced to the limelight through her role in Belle9’s video ‘Masogange’ and as such she was constantly referred to as a video queen on many of the commentaries before and even after her death.

Little known to her fans who were hooked to her naughty videos that she posted on her pages was that she didn’t last in the game and by conservative estimates she did not do more than 15 videos.

She was not a career video queen; in fact, she had long gone into other businesses which included acting.

Five years after she was arrested in South Africa with consignment of methadone, Agnes’ lifestyle had changed and according to her close confidants she had even stopped posting pictures on her Instagram account.

There were even rumours that she had changed her ways and she was rarely seen in night clubs in the city.

Those wild nights were all in the past especially as she faced legal battle in the courts of law for drug abuse with some suggesting that she mended her ways with her maker.

Former flame’s antics

Drama is part of showbiz and this particular occasion was not spared of such antics even in the face of insurmountable grief.

Rammy Galis one of the later day actors in today’s Bongo movies who on many occasions was pictured with the socialite in cozy moment was quite a sight.

Rammy fainted but something was wrong, many perceived that his fainting was simulated as he continued to tightly hold all his possessions in one place even as he was carried to a car where emergency first aid was administered.

He became the talk of town as social media went abuzz with the picture becoming one of the most shared as rain pounded the streets of Dar es Salaam.

Whether he was acting or not, it is still not understandable why he had chosen to be part of this drama but as we all know everything happens for a reason.

Daughter off the limelight

As the showbiz family mourned Agnes’ sudden demise one thing that struck the general public was the fact that she had an 11-year-old daughter.

This was Agnes’ little secret that was tightly kept and was only known to close family members and friends.

In a world that is full where people expose all that they have, never at any one time did she post pictures of her daughter on the social media and it came as a shock that she actually had a child of that age.

Let’s bury the hatchet

Masogange’s death diverted public attention from some of the things that had happened that week, from AliKiba’s mega wedding in Mombasa to the Police probe against Diamond and Nandy for their role in the dirty videos.

For the two decades that Bongo Flava has been around squabbles among artistes has been part of the nascent genre, sometimes reaching disturbing proportions.

The beef between two of the most successful crooners in the industry Diamond and AliKiba is something that we have been accustomed to with each side yielding a fortress of fans who are sometimes threaten to become violent.

Though the two singers have on many occasions claimed that there was nothing wrong but it was quite visible as they traded some thinly veiled slurs in their composition and on the social media. AliKiba had just got married whereas Diamond was busy clearing his name with authorities for the raunchy video he had posted on his page.

The two finally met at Agnes Gerald’s sending off at Leaders’ Club, a somber mood filled the grounds and the audience didn’t know what to expect, the two artistes were allocated a place to seat in one of the tents.

Diamond reached out and gave AliKiba a handshake that momentarily made mourners forget why they were there as they cheered. It had been a long way coming,

Diamond through his twitter handle sent Kiba a congratulatory message on the day he wedded in Mombasa.

It remains interesting to know what will come out of this handshake that caught the industry quite unawares.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Chameleon risks jail term for assault


Kampala. Ugandan musician Jose Chameleon’s is facing possible jail term for allegedly assaulting a journalist in Kampala.

The Valu Valu singer has been accused by Bukeede writer and presenter Josephat Sseguya of assault.

The incident reportedly happened during a (introduction) dowry ceremony of musician Catherine Kusasira.

According to sources an assault report implicating Chameleon has been lodged by Sseguya with the police.

“He beat me up claiming I’m the one responsible of his low rankings in music,” the journalist explained.

“These are kicks of a dying horse. Chamelone was looking for ways of making news and indeed he made it, but on the contrary it should be music doing the talking for him,” he added.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Kofi denied visa in Kenya


Nairobi. Koffi Olomide’s planned performance in Kakamega town has been called off.

The Immigration Department is understood to have repulsed efforts to lift off a visa ban slapped on the 61-year-old Congolese singer two years ago.

“His promoters tried everything but the Kenyan people are not ready to offer him a visa. Maybe in another year’s time things will be possible,” a source explained.

The Selfie hit maker was set to bag an estimated Sh25 million for the performance at Bukhungu stadium.

His itinerary, confirmed by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, also included gracing and entertaining guests at the Devolution Conference which was supposed to end yesterday.

Olomide had announced via his social media pages last week that he will be visiting Kenya for the first time in two years, following his dramatic deportation in 2016.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Leo Mkanyia to feature at Doadoa

Leo Leo Mkanyia

Leo Leo Mkanyia 

The organisers of the Doadoa performing arts market have revealed the line-up of artists for this year’s edition from 9 to 12 May at the Uganda Museum in Kampala.

African artists who will showcase at the event, which is now in its seventh edition, include Ugandan musicians Shifah Musisi, Izaya the Composer, Afrigo Band, Gloria Achillah, Eli Neema and Sheebah Karungi as well as Shamsi Music (Kenya), Afro Simba Band (Kenya), Mumala Maloba (Kenya), Siti and the Band (Tanzania), Mapanya Band (Tanzania), Yves Kami (Burundi) and DJ Eric Soul (Rwanda).

The arts market will also feature daily industry panel discussions and speed networking sessions with local, regional and international experts.

Tanzania’s Leo Mkanyia, who showcased at the fourth edition of DOADOA, will this year take part in a panel discussion on the role of managers and labels in the digital age. He told Music In Africa that many East African artists were yet to fully understand the role of managers and record labels. “It is important to have managers and festival bookers because as an artist you can neither multitask nor solely represent yourself as a brand,” Mkanyia said. “Musicians need someone who can speak for them and broker deals on their behalf. Potential sponsors sometimes prefer not to deal directly with the artist.”


Friday, April 27, 2018

What is the identity of these barmaids?


By Paul Owere

I have said this before and I think I can say it again, there is no place as good as that bar in your neighbourhood, for it is the only place where you gain your freedom as a ‘real man’.

At times like these when you can hardly tell the next move that women are going to pull on male folks because I highly suspect that some are actually behind the ‘Tezi dume’ campaign.

The stories that I have heard of how it is done is not very interesting especially when the one charged with the testing is a fellow man!!! God Forbid!

So there I was sitting idly waiting to watch a certain match on TV when I received this call from a long time friend called Rama. I had not seen him for almost two years and neither did I have his contact, for some reason the lad is not on any of the social media platforms.

There was rumor that he was rotting in some jail in a certain Asian country where he was serving a lengthy sentence.

After the usual exchanges we agreed to meet at Bonge’s Place to catch a drink or two for the sake of old times’ sake.

For some reason Rama could not tell where our rendezvous was, he seemed lost but I convinced him that he wouldn’t regret going there.

This was not mere empty talk , I had known Rama for several years he was a ‘total man’ who never let an opportunity of proving to the world that he was sent on this wretched earth for a purpose, pass him by.

The last time I checked he had kids in almost every country he had visited except Nigeria for reasons best know to him. This is why his home is quite a noisy place with lots of activity.

I knew there were certain things that he wouldn’t like at Bonge’s Place, but I was also sure that with the recent recruitment there was just no way how he was going to walk away from this place.

He loved sophistication given his journeys across the continent and beyond, he liked his drink served in a certain way but there was a certain part of him that had missed this sophistication.

We arrived at the Bar shortly before girls could start duty, there was Liz, then came Karen, Hellen too had just arrived and they were an instant hit with Rama.

These girls had something in common; they all had that yellowish skin and beauty that can melt even the oldest monk’s heart. From the way they introduced themselves it was obvious that they were exposed to urban life than we had imagine.

“This is my friend Rama, He lives in South Africa, “I said. This introduction seemed to have tickled Karen and she wanted to know more and as usual it got Rama into the grove as well. Before I could take my second drink the two had exchanged their numbers and there seemed to be an instant chemistry that was beyond the usual hospitality that we are accustomed to at Bonge’s Place.

All was well until when the ‘Matron’ poked her nose into issues. She was really frustrated that the girls were concentrating on one table.

“Aisha why are you not attending to other customers?” she asked. To say the least I was confused and so was Rama, I didn’t know what to think.

How can Karen be Aisha at the same time?


Friday, April 20, 2018

What next for Nandy and Chibu?


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Controversy and showbiz are inseparable; as a matter of fact you just can’t tell which one feeds on the other.

In our local lingo, the so called scandals are commonly referred to as ‘kick’ to mean a publicity stunt that is meant to boost one’s image and in most cases it is negative.

From breakups to acquisition of mansions and cars that are never real, celebrities have crafted how get the attention of their adoring fans thanks to the social media.

Last week closed on a high with singer Nandy the self proclaimed African Princess’ naughty-nude-video with rapper Bilnas leaking.

The video almost brought down the internet as it became one of the most shared among the WhatsApp groups and instagram.

The source of the video clip remains a mystery as both parties deny any involvement in the spreading of the raunchy content into the public domain.

But even as their fans struggled to decipher the source both singers admit that they knowingly took the video sometime in 2016 but they did not in any way mean to make it public.

The two love birds were in a rather playful mood as they got cozy consuming what they only know, yet getting the public so concerned about their choice of publicity.

It was some stuff that was once made in the Big Brother Africa House or perhaps a clip that Hugh Hefner would have been happy to be associated with in his early days at Playboy.

They, however, say that it is a relationship that has long ended and that there was nothing between the two; they chose to blame thieves for their woes. She apologised in the most touching ways forcing some to empathise with her whereas there are those who slated her in equal proportions.

Some slated her for her choice of underwear, whereas there are those who thought the bae was crossing the moral borders.

It was one judgment after another with very stinging criticism mainly targeting the ‘Kivuruge’ singer as opposed to her playmate.

The ‘African Princess’ maintains that it was a flagrant violation of their privacy and that is why she had to seek clarification from Basata on how to deal with it. They too, found space in their hearts to forgive her.

But then as we were coming to terms Diamond Platinumz also posted another playful video on his wall with two separate women, whereas one of the women remains mysterious, the other is Hamisa Mobeto.

Though the date of the video’s recording is unknown, it is believed that it is a recent one where Hamisa is seen in a playful mood with Diamond asking for child support.

In the other video he is seen emotionally kissing some unknown woman, an act that lasted for several minutes. Unlike Nandy, who claims she doesn’t know who posted the video, Diamond aka Chibu posted the video on his personal wall an act that left his fan base torn apart with some vowing to boycott some of his products.

“@bellaire we won’t be buying your drinks ….until your ambassador learns to respect women and society in general,” one fan wrote.

But there were some who saw nothing wrong at all with the videos since all the parties involved had quite enough clothes on. The steamy video seemed to have incensed many as the minister whose docket handles arts quickly weighed in by asking the Police to take the two artistes for questioning pending further action.

Their accomplices Bilnas and Hamisa Mobeto too were grilled by the law enforcers to find out just how they had participated in the vice.

They were further summoned by the arts council who also grilled them for their actions and by press time word had it that the TCRA had also done likewise. Should the law find them guilty they could face jail terms or heavy fines.

What qualifies as nude?

By conservative standards which of course our society still is, these videos were in the violation of moral social codes of what you can and cannot show. Whatever is done behind the four walls should stay their.

However, from liberal perspective many could argue that there was nothing wrong with the images since all the parties involved had their clothes on. Arguing for or against has already become fodder to the social media with some saying that those who are against the videos are going beyond the video.

Some say it was an attempt towards pornography just like what Kim Kardashian did over a decade ago.

Eleven years after her sex tape with ex-boyfriend Ray J was released, the reality star says she understands the impact it had on her career. Would you be where you are had there not been a sex tape?” Oprah Winfrey asked Kardashian on Sunday’s Oprah’s Next Chapter.

“You know, I think that’s how I was definitely introduced to the world,” Kardashian, said of the sex tape, Today, Kim says she embraces the sex tape that jump-started her fame, as well as her 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries, as parts of her life.

To many celebrities this is a way of catching public attention, one that seems to have rubbed the authorities on the wrong side.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Bongo Flava bowing to pay for spin


By Paul Owere

Tipping for a service is a virtue that has long been upheld in the hospitality industry as a show of gratitude.

The temptation to ask or give this token or tip as you might choose to call it seems to be taking root among our DJs and artistes though the official policies at radio stations bar this.

But at the end of the day whatever you might want to call it, it is nothing less than Payola.

Two week s ago I met one young artiste who was a product of one of the numerous talent searches in the region and we somehow struck a conversation.

I was most interested on how far she had got after her stint at the talent search show where she was quite a hit with the television audience.

This is because I had not heard anything musical from her apart from appearances on the red carpet events.

“ It is not that I have done nothing after the contest, I have recorded a couple of songs but each time I take them to the radio stations the DJs who receive the CDs want me to oil their hands,” she says with a tinge of frustration.

As it turns out, it is a common practice not only in Tanzania but across East Africa for some DJs and presenters to exhort money from artistes.

These according to insiders, they are the king makers and you either play by their rules or you are doomed.

“It is a well protected clique and a circle that one can’t easily breakthrough, unless you subscribe to their whims,” says a source.

Whereas some artistes are comfortable with this arrangement, others do it because of lack of choice.

It is difficult to really get how this whole arrangement works in established stations, back in the days, many radio DJs would choose which songs they wanted to play, sharing their favourites with thousands of listeners.

In modern era of management, most radio stations base their music choices on centrally controlled playlists, which are lists of songs that are put together by programme directors and producers who use research to decide what music will bring in money.

DJs and on-air announcers usually have very little to do with what is played; they just promote the music and manage presentation.

Most hit by this unscrupulous conduct are the up and coming artistes as they try to challenge the established order.

“This industry is endowed with talented artistes but the truth is that these young people don’t have the cash to sooth the egos of these DJs,” says a veteran producer who preferred anonymity.

They just have to do it, as it has now become a norm, each time an artiste takes his new song to the DJ he or she knows that they have to pay in that notorious scheme commonly referred to as ‘You Pay We Spin’.

It is an evil that that the artistes have now accepted to live and it is well guarded secret as the amount depends on the occasion and requirements.

According to sources, the DJs usually connive with music schedulers who put the songs on a playlist, whereas the DJs on their part not only play the songs but also speak well of the artiste.

“This is why you wonder why certain very good songs never get on the playlist and nothing is ever said about the artistes despite doing a good job,” says a source at one radio station.

These revelations beat the logic as in normal terms it is the radio stations that that are supposed to pay for the content.

However, though it is something that threatens the credibility of the guys on the wheels of steel; there are some that don’t condone this practice. In an earlier interview with the beat, former EA radio DJ admitted to have heard of the practice but he says it was such a foreign thing at the station.

He says such desire for quick money degrades the profession and the dignity of the station given the fact that they are supposed to be the voice of the artistes.

“I have heard of this before but according to the story it is mainly the artistes who come up to the DJs asking for favours and this is mainly because the work is sometimes substandard,” he said.

“Pay-for-play,” is not a strange arrangement in the world of radio and music as long as it is open enough and the payments are disclosed in fact it is still around in many countries. In January 1998, Flip/Interscope Records paid a Portland, Oregon radio station $5,000 to play one Limp Bizkit song 50 times over a five-week period.

Through this promotion the band was able to generate enough interest to play a successful concert there.

Other stations showed interest in their music, and Limp Bizkit broke into the music business in a big way.

However, the argument against pay-for-play, even if the parties are upfront about it, is that it allows big labels to buy their artists’ way onto the charts and the limelight too.

It’s not common now, and with so many radio stations owned by conglomerates, there’s less opportunity for the local market deal making that was so prevalent in payola’s heyday.


Friday, April 20, 2018

AliKiba weds Kenyan fiance


By Mohamed Ahmed @TheCitizenTZ

Mombasa. Tanzanian artiste AliKiba on Thursday morning tied the knot at a colorful wedding which took place in Mombasa in an invite only ceremony.

Ali Saleh Kiba and his brother Abdu Kiba arrived at Ummul Kulthum Mosque in company of Kiba’s close friend Hassan Joho who is also the Governor of Mombasa County.

The musician was dressed in a black gown, a turban and a dagger – a custom for Swahili weddings.

After citing a few Quran verses, Sheikh Mohammed Kagera who presided over the ceremony held Kiba’s wrist in fulfilling his marriage to his fiancée, Amina Khalef.

Later on, Mr Kiba pronounced: “I, Ali Saleh has agreed to marry; Ms Amina Khalef for the dowry agreed between us and in case of divorce, let it be in good will.”

According to reliable close to both families the wedding was conducted early morning to avoid “gate crashers”.

After that Alikiba proceeded to the house of Governor Joho’s brother, Abubakar Joho, house in Kizingo for a meal after the wedding known as “Kombe la bwana harusi”.

The reception will held at Joho’s mansion in Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi.

Later on in the evening, the bride ‘walked down the aisle’ at Diamond Jubilee Hall in Kongowea in a women-only event as per Swahili traditions.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Show us how to sort these women out


By Paul Owere

Men have been shamed for as long as I know and it is from such heart wrenching experiences that we learn to rise and soar.

There are times when you wonder whether the problems on your heels are self made or it just part of the process.

So after so many storms the rains came and those women who were out to shame the male folks suddenly disappeared and as we have come to learn some didn’t have a purpose at all.

They are now all but history and I can tell you this was none other than some divine intervention.

Just tell me how it just starts raining relentlessly without any signs of stopping in the process bringing human movement to a grinding halt.

But if our ancestors so loved us this time that they brought the rains to save us from the very women we once adored then I think it is time for them to show us how to deal with a certain type of women!!!!

And I will tell you why, not every woman is evil but there a certain specific type that have made our lives a misery.

Please don’t get me wrong; not all women are evil, some are actually heaven-sent.

As every man out there will confess just like many did in the last week or so at ‘Bonge’s Place’, we all have such women in our lives.

Don’t let some of those sweet faces fool you, some women can be mischievous and their ways affect us emotionally, physically, socially, spiritually and above all financially.

It has never occurred to me that there comes a time when man becomes so hopeless and all he needs is a prayer, a call to his long gone forefathers to shine a ray of hope in his life.

The women that our ancestors should help us deal with come in all shapes as Kaburu will tell you. Ancestors there are those who ask for transport to come for a date only to switch off their cell phone immediately after receiving the cash.

Dear Pretty Young Thing (PYT) that is theft, you are stealing from a man who spent the whole day sweating to earn his coin and we need a signal on how to deal with youin a very uncompromising manner.

The other type are those on a mission to milk you dry just imagine you call Amina to what you assume is supposed to be a private date and guess what , she turns up with a whole clan as if she has come to vet you.

Dear PYT, you are wasting money that should have funded future dates and gauging by the look of things , those friends of yours seem to like what you have and we are already in a chatty mood. Your days are numbered .

Ancestors there is another type also, those that will make you buy things that they don’t really need or even go on an outing then feign all sorts of ailments including headache yet she knows that you are spending hard earned cash.

Ancestors as you are aware women are supposed to be decent; however, there are those who guzzle booze like fish in the middle of the sea. Just imagine this PYT downing five bottles of cedar in less than an hour!

We surely need your intervention just give a sign and we shall follow.



Friday, April 20, 2018

How Werrason show exposed industry failure


By Nasra Abdallah

Dar es Salaam. Congolese music has always been welcome news in most parts of East Africa despite the fact that many of today’s millennials prefer listening to Bongo Flava.

Shows by some of rumba’s stalwarts are such as Fally Ipupa, JB Mpiana, Koffi Olomide and Werrason are always a sold out affair.

Therefore the announcement that Congolese crooner Werrason was set to perform in Tanzania on a two date show was a breath of fresh air for it had been a long time since a show of that nature was held in Dar es Salaam.

Apart from Dar, he was also set to perform in Mwanza and the administrative capital Dodoma.

The first show was set for April 7, but that was not to be as the singer and his band failed to make it in time and even after he finally arrived by mid week still the show hadn’t taken place almost two weeks later.

Though the original problem was with the singer, for which he has apologized, whatever followed was an act of nature as the heavens opened leaving the city in a pool of water for almost three days of down pour.

Organisers say the airline which was supposed to carry his entourage without warning changed the flight schedule; they arrived on the same night the show was scheduled to take place.

When the day finally arrived the heavy down pour could hardly allow smooth flow of traffic in the city and by all means the promoters were bracing themselves for another drama.

Despite the beautiful set up at Escape One, the rains just couldn’t stop pounding as revellers were forced to seek for shelter as the resident DJ of the day played some of Werrason’s hits, something that kept the crowd going for a while.

At that point the revellers who had turned up hoped against hope that the rains would stop but by 1 am there was no sign that it would stop, they had to postpone the show to the next day to another venue.

This time they opted for an indoor arena at the King Solomon Hall in Kinondoni but this too backfired as the downpour continued leaving the hall flooded.

Not even the roads leading to the hall were accessible, right from the Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road the road was a pool of water causing some vehicles to come to a standstill.

Business in Dar es Salaam and its environs had come to a standstill with roads such as Morogoro Road and schools closed due to massive flooding and residents were advised to stay indoors for their own safety.

By all means constant postponements of a show of that magnitude will translate into costs for the hosts, revellers and even to the artiste himself.

Lugendo Mhina had twice travelled from Mbeya to attend this show and was left counting losses close to some Sh600,000.

“Apart from the tickets I had to take care of myself plus my travel from Mbeya and still the show won’t take place due to the heavy rains,” says Lugendo.

Lugendo was not alone there were others who had made trips from Tanga, Moshi and even Arusha just get a glimpse of the rumba idol.

Some had by Wednesday given up on the show ever taking place whereas some continued with their resolve to carry on waiting for the Congolese’s performance.

Organisers still believe that the show will go on as planned after the rains subside something that the TMA forecast suggested it might take the whole week.

Though this was more of a problem to the organisers but the postponements laid bare the weaknesses that the entertainment industry in Tanzania faces.

As it stands, apart from the other problems that the industry faces such as lack of functioning systems, the infrastructure is just none existent as a result forcing shows of that magnitude to be organised in open spaces.

Most of these areas such as Escape One were built for a very different purpose but due to lack of suitable infrastructure show organisers end up settling for such venues.

Venues such as the Diamond Jubilee Hall were not constructed for such purposes despite having the capacity to hold up to 3000 people.

There are insiders who claim that this is the main reason why some high profile shows can’t come to Tanzania and on addition to that given the City Council laws such performances cannot go beyond certain hours of the night.

It must have been a very disappointing experience for the fans, Werrason’s crew and the show’s organisers but these rains will probably act as a wakeup call for those who had not seen investment opportunities in this industry.

With the growing fortunes of the local genre, Bongo Flava which is home to some of Africa stars and other forms of arts may be it is time for such investments to grace the local scene.

The benefits that come with such investments be it private or government is huge, the football fraternity could be the greatest example in Tanzania today.

When the plan to build a multi-billion 60,000 capacity was first floated not many so the sense yet the benefits that local teams and national team have reaped are far from their wildest imagination.

The visit of the Celecao the Brazilian national team in 2010 and most recently Everton who all played on this venue are some of the gains that Football has reaped from this investment.

The music industry though still very informal it employs almost 50,000 youth both directly and indirectly, this is some substantial human capital that can be of value to potential investors.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Master Tanzania calls for entry

Master Africa USA and Winney Cassey during the

Master Africa USA and Winney Cassey during the launch in Dar es Salaam 

Dar es Salaam. Several weeks after Master Tanzania was launched in Dar es Salaam organisers have announced a call for entry for the contest.

According to organisers the contest which is set to take place later this year is open to young men who are aged between 18 and above.

“ The entry criteria is that one should meet the age requirements, the intending contestant should also be a Tanzanian citizen, not married and above all should not have children.”

Organisers say the contest which was modelled along the Miss Tanzania criteria seeks to empower young men through the field of aethetics.

The winner of the contest qualifies to contest at the Master Africa USA which is set to take place also later with opportunities of visiting several cities in the US.

The Tanzanian franchise is led by Winny Cassey who is also the founder of Miss Tanzania USA.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Every filmmaker should be unique


By Paul Owere

Hatibu Yusuf first debuted in the film industry some eight years ago taking on different roles behind the camera. He has been casted as First Assistant Director in different International Multi Award winning films such as Shoeshine by Amil Shivji, Mpango Mbaya a feature film by Karaban Karaban and Dar Noir a feature film by Hamadi Mwapachu. This year he takes a different route from what has become common in Bongo Movies industry. Today he speaks to The Beat’s Paul Owere.

What is this new film about?

Sukari is a film about the reality on what is happening in the lives of young people today in Africa. I am a strong believer in Pan – Africanism therefore, whatever happens in Tanzania I tend to look at it in a broader African perspective.

One of the challenges that Africa faces today as a continent is the high rate of youth unemployment, Poverty, Hunger as well as poor health services and people’s wellbeing. I have try to depict all those issues within a single and simple storyline with a clear subtext intending to trigger public discourse on development and Governance issues focusing on Sustainable development goals within our beautiful continent.

Do you think that the issues that you address are critical in Tanzania’s settings?

Absolutely, I think Tanzania has many programs that deal with poverty, Hunger as well as to improve health services and wellbeing.

It is expected that, Tanzania will also achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and as we are striving to achieve the goals in time.

That is why I think it is worth to remind ourselves on the challenges s so that we can have an ongoing discussion on the best way of dealing with Development and Governance issues in Tanzania.

You boldly take a departure from the usual Bongo Movies style, what has prompted the move?

First of all, I don’t believe that for film to be a Bongo Movie then it must follow a certain style. When it comes to films, directors tend to develop their styles which is unique and that is what can differentiate the art of film making from one director to another. This might surprise some who also do fall in love with a certain film making style from a certain director something which makes directors as super stars.

I went through lots of text and there is no rule about film making style so everyone is free to develop a style and put a film out there.

That is to say, if ever we happen to have that perception of a Bongo Movie style that would be the end of creativity from directors.

However, what might look like a departure from the usual Bongo movies is because usually these films based on content to do with love affairs, gossip, prostitution, witchcrafts.

Film has been used as a soft weapon to destroy minds of the people especially Africans, turning them involuntarily into capitalist market and pop-culture to say it all. Therefore for the past decades film has been used to push other people agenda and get us dancing to their tunes leaving us forgetting our main agendas that are necessary for the development of our people, our nations and our continent.

There is a certain consensus that Bongo movies are on the decline, what is your take on this?

If we ever thought that Bongo Movie was on top then we were detached from the reality, and that’s why previously I said that we do not have a film industry but rather a Sector. This is because what really happened is that we had individuals on top such as the late Kanumba, therefore, Bongo Movie has never been on top neither is it on the decline.

Do you think the current decline was anticipated?

First of all, the many who entered into the film making business had no clue on how the film business works or What it takes to produce and conduct a film business.

Therefore majority got into the business like someone starting a tomato business, they were not keen on issues such as copyright as a result they ended up making no money. On the other hand distributors were making high profit without mentioning the piracy experienced that entire long. We have also been experiencing poor story lines, poor production, poor acting/ casting things which at a certain point put Bongo movie in a situation where they can’t blame audience.

It is very clear that, with no clear distribution terms, no good stories and story lines, poor production with no clear intent of improving then the decline was very anticipated.

Do films like Sukari pay the bills?

Movies are made for the heart while films are made for the Minds. I think now it’s high time that filmmakers considered making film for development.

Recently I came across three film festivals focusing on film for development such as the one in France called “Film your issue”.

On my side every Movie/film with International Standards within the context of well established distribution platforms/ channels it can pay bills. However I wish to call upon different institutions that run different project on Development and Governance issues to consider films as tools and I am sure it is possible to experience major impact through the films than any other format.

If we decide to support the film for development path it will grow faster and takes us far as an initiative.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Bigger and better Miss Tanzania under Basilla Mwanukuzi


By Julieth Kulangwa

Dar es Salaam. When Basilla Mwanukuzi was crowned Miss Tanzania in 1998, it never occured to her that she would one day end up succeeding the national director of Miss World Tanzania.

It was too big a dream for her for she just couldn’t imagine being at the helm of the very organisation that brought her to the limelight some 20 years ago.

This was after she had won the Miss Kinondoni contest and went on to win the fourth edition of Miss Tanzania.

To many young women at that time it was more of a wishful thinking for that win also gave her the ticket to represent Tanzania at the Miss World which was held in Seychells later that year.

Since then she has become renowned for outstanding charity work, and through the organisation that she founded two years ago with the aim of empowering lives through different projects such as helping needy women.

Now with her The Look Company Ltd she will is set to host Miss Tanzania pageant after taking over from Hashim Lundenga.

After official launch of New Miss Tanzania last weekend, Basilla spoke to The Beat where she shared some insights on her expectations.

What was in your mind when you decided to take over Miss Tanzania pageant?

Actually it never came across my mind that one day I would become the national director of this prestigious contest.

Miss Tanzania was always a giant pageant for a anyone to think of. So I was shocked at first when Uncle Hashim broke the news to me that he wants to hands it over to me.

It was a tough decision to make but again it was an honor for me in many ways.

What is your goal?

My aim is bring back the status and admiration of the pageant that once made us all proud. Back then it was an honor to participate and be crowned as Miss Tanzania. But over the pageant lost its credibility and I think that’s what I’m obliged to bring back.

What makes you think you can bring about changes?

It’s no secret that during our days Miss Tanzania was a prestigeous event that every Tanzanian wanted to be associated with. It was a pageant that every girl had a dream to participating in.

It gave us fame and respect. But as it stands it has lost its sheen to the extent that it is no longer a dream for many young women. I’m experienced and have witnessed the journey of 20 years. So my experience and exposure will help it gain its status.

You are now at the helm and naturally people expect a lot from this new management, what can you promise?

We have a lot in store for this pageant but the most important agenda is to revolutionize it. Our motto is “Urembo na Kazi kwa maendeleo ya Jamii “ meaning “Beauty and Work for community development. Fans, parents, stakeholders and all well wishers were at some point disappointed with previous set up, so we are going to take control of that. No more disappointments.

There already some challenges in partnership and sponsorship of an event of this magnitude. People expect a lot from this new management but it’s impossible to achieve great success without external help from the government, partners and companies.

What is going to be different from the former Miss Tanzania?

There have been ups and down and we don’t want those mistakes to happen again. I’m a victim of that too. I remember winning Miss Kinondoni and the organisers never gave me my winner’s prize.

I was promised to travel to London and after I was crowned Miss Kinondoni they just gave me a dummy check and I never travelled.

It was a case that ended up in the courts of law after my mother tried to fight on my behalf to get the prize.

Over the years this has been repeatedly done and damaged the image and intentions of the contest.

Prize was an endless story with many winners who did everything to win title. We are not going to tolerate that because we value the sweat of competing in pageants like this.

There were also an issue of misconduct among contenstants how are you going to deal with that?

We are going to be very strict with them. As our motto says that the pageant is for community development and not to gain fame and misuse it. The whole process is set to under serious scrutiny.

Does it mean you are going to take the girls who participated in the grassroots last year befor it was cancelled?

Well, honestly, that wasn’t part of our contest but we shall work on it and see how we can take them on board in this year’s contest.

Is there going to be any changes in contest?

We are not going to have grassroot contest anymore. It was a good initiative because it was source of employment and entertaintment but the survey shows that’s where the problem started. You know its hard to control a lot of people that’s why we have decided to eliminate that part. We will only have two stages before finale which are regional and zonal.

There are very competent girls who have what it takes to participate, they tend to shy away because the contest takes too long .

We are expected it to kick off across multiple regions in Tanzania, grouping them into zones like (Central Zone,Northern Zone ,Eastern Zone , Lake Zone ,Southern Highlands and Dar es salaam which has five special regions ie Temeke, Ilala, Ubungo, Kinondoni and Kigamboni). It will also feature contestants from higher learning institutions.

More about the event

Miss Tanzania 2018 was officially Launched April 7 this year and graced by The Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Dr Harrison Mwakyembe adn celebrities like Ailinda Sawe, Noel Ndale , Khadija Mwanamboka, Mustapha Hassanali, Martin Kadinda, Fiderine Iranga and Ally Remtulah .

Now it’s now up for the agents across Tanzania to proceed with early stages of the pageant


Friday, April 13, 2018

City men caught with pants down!!!


By Paul Owere

The other day I read somewhere that every orchestra must have a conductor to be a complete unit and it made me wonder why professionals would be dependent on someone else’s skills.

He does not play a solo, not even an instrument, but I was reminded that he shapes the performance of those who do. He sets the tempo and harnesses the energy of the group.

This is what makes me think this city needs a fresh scandal maybe on a weekly basis to keep us going especially in our little units.

This week something rather bizarre happened at the Regional Commissioner’s office when hundreds of women turned up claiming they had been abandoned by their spouses, leaving them with children to take care of. It all seemed like some comedy because the numbers were just abnormal and probably a tale of a social crisis that lies in our hands.

The women who turned up had all sorts of tales, some very heart breaking indeed, others were comical in their quest for justice and there were those who were just lost!

Just imagine a fully grown woman of child bearing age turning up the gathering claiming that she had been neglected by her famous father!

But just when I thought it was some feminine fetish the men too started turning up with almost similar claims, they were however not as dramatic as their counterparts. I think we shall need some divine intervention to settle this crisis!

For a moment it was such a distant connection because there was no one that I know of that was threatened by this initiative. But that was just for a moment.

This proved to be a very testing moment for a few brothers out there, women can be indeed mischievous, and you just can’t tell who will turn up and with what story in this wretched world of ours.

On this evening, something seemed very wrong with our gossip conductor at Bonge’s place, he looked forlorn, helpless, like Superman in the face of Kryptonite.

Kaburu on this night was a troubled man, he could not watch the news as he buried his head in his hands and his beer had hardly been touched.

He seemed to have lost his way, his clarity of thought. This was not the worst times in his life as a certified womanizer – he once had four women turn up claiming they were all pregnant and wanted financial support – but it has removed his cloak of invincibility.

I had to intervene.

“Kiongozi what is it that is bothering you? How come you look so worried without any company around you?” I asked.

Bro wewe acha tu, you remember that girl Asha who came here saying she was pregnant two years ago? She has gone to there, I don’t know what benefit she is going to get,” said Kaburu who looked quite upset.

At first I didn’t understand what he meant by saying ‘she has gone there’ but then it crystallised that the girl had taken her case to the RC.

According to Kaburu he had been giving Asha 100k, she wants more yet the law stipulates that she should be given some 20k or there about.

Just as he was about to order for me a drink, another woman emerged from a bajaj with a two-year-old boy in tow. I had to leave the table and let Kaburu sort out his mess!


Friday, April 6, 2018

What next for Bongo Movies after the SZIFF awards?


Dar es Salaam. The Sinema Zetu International Film Festival (SZIFF) finally took place over the weekend bringing curtains down on a season that saw tens of local productions screened both on TV and certain selected locations around the City. With hundreds in attendance at the Mlimani City Hall and millions glued to their TV screens this was the moment they had all waited for and it had finally come, a moment of reckon!

For an industry that boasts to be the second in Africa in terms of numbers such a night was a befitting reward to those who work hard to tell our stories with very minimum resources at their disposal.

It had been a long time since the city’s socialites and glitterati had converged for an occasion of this magnitude and the illustrious guest list befittingly had the former President Jakaya Kikwete in their midst.

And as usual he was a hit with the audience and the filmmakers especially whom he has on many occasions confessed as an admirer of their works.

How this guest list was compiled was rather a work of a genius too, with many of the A-list celebrities making it and here paths crossed as they mingled freely at the climax of the event that has been running since last year.

Apart from the cash prizes that were given to the winners, organisers are yet to say how much it did cost them but it must have cost a fortune to assemble such an event.

Dress sense

This was a grand stage for Bongo filmmakers, a rare spectacle indeed especially after the last attempt three years ago to come up with an awards night ended rather miserably.

These awards not only present us with the occasion to know how the industry has fared in the past but also an opportunity catch up with the stars we have not seen in such a long time .

The red carpet was rather breathtaking, as opposed to the past where skimpiness ruled the show; most of the guests were modest in their haute couture choices.

An Angelina Jolie high slit here, a nude effect there, a paisley getup, an open back, plus even shoulder dresses all made it to the red carpet.

And there we were with the usual suspect Faiza Ally all dressed up in a flowing gown cutting a very different picture of what she put on at the Miss Tanzania finals in 2014.

Wema, too, pulled on one daring gown which by the usual guess was designed by one of her right hand men for this was bound to be the night when she gets it right.

And on a lighter note, this night missed one person dearly and that was Elizabeth Michael aka Lulu who was selected as the festival’s ambassador before she was jailed.

Hamisa and Diamond

Many of the celebrities got their home work right but I think Hamisa Mobeto was up to something rather sinister here, she made her point loud and clear.

Her choice of the best dressed male in the house was none other than Diamond Platinumz and when the two got on stage there was some form of chemistry that was inexplicable.

They hugged and held hands much to the applause of the audience which had former beauty queen Wema Sepetu in their midst.

It was spontaneous and it caught much of the audience unawares with some claiming the two are on their way back especially after Zari opted to go on a self imposed romantic sabbatical.

There is always a way how this Diamond triangle has worked to his favour, but I am not sure whether Zari had seen this coming especially after she had pulled a rare one on her adversaries four days earlier.

Though not much was divulged on that stage and Diamond instead opted to speak about his latest conquests which include the Wasafi TV, there is however a strong undercurrent that suggests otherwise.

And besides it seems he has made peace with Juliana Shonza despite the outbursts that became the talk of the town some two weeks ago, and just the mention of the name threw the audience into frenzy. Time will indeed tell what is going on between these two for it has never been straight forward affair.

Missed opportunities

The Sinema Zetu International Film Festival was quite a breath of fresh air in an ailing industry with some of the great brains behind it but it still leaves behind several questions, some that President Kikwete took on.

The former President has always had an issue or two with the way how the industry is run and he believes that those involved are yet to utilise the potential that cinema presents to the economy.

And just like President Kikwete, 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 array of issues from an identity crisis to the shoestring budgets.

Bongo movies as opposed to the Bongo Flava is an industry that requires redemption and it will take more than just an awards night to take it to big stage. As Dexter Davis an American Film producer pointed in an interview with The beat late last year, there is nothing like a film industry in Tanzania.

“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.

The informal nature of continues to irk many especially the Tanzanian industry that has the opportunity of exploiting the East African market, the audiovisual and cinema industry account for $5 billion of the continent’s GDP, employing an estimated 5 million people.

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

From Bongo movies to South Africa and beyond most of these markets are distribution channels for the American film industry which makes it difficult local arts to break through

The question that many will be asking is how the local production can use a platform like SZIFF to advance their case when they still fail to compete even at film festivals like Zanzibar International Film Festival.

The answers for quest for this greatness lie within rather than the perceived ones; Bongo Movies has always shot itself in the foot, hopefully they have learnt a lesson or two!


Friday, April 6, 2018

This movie demystified Winnie Mandela


London. Winnie Mandela is the focus of a documentary by British filmmaker Pascale Lamche, that was made available on Netflix in February 2018. Lamche won a Sundance directing award for the film.

For decades, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela lived in the shadow of her husband, Nelson. But now, nearly four years after his death, Winnie’s own story – as the controversial, uncompromising activist who has been largely adored at home yet reviled abroad – was finally being treated as documentary-worthy in its own right.

Winnie, by British filmmaker Pascale Lamche, focuses on the grassroots campaigner in her political heyday.

Featuring testimony from Nelson and Winnie’s daughter Zindzi as well as Winnie herself 81, it is one of a number of films emerging in African cinema that seeks to redress a long-held status quo – whether that’s about gender, race or politics.

For Lamche, who has made a number of films in and about South Africa, the prevailing narrative about the “rainbow nation” has long required that Nelson be the saint, and Winnie, the sinner.

“Patriarchy operates all over the world,” says Lamche, who won a Sundance directing award for her treatment of Winnie in the film.

“But what is really astounding in South Africa is that on both sides of the apartheid divide – with the white Afrikaner nationalists and the black nationalists – they agreed on what a woman should be, which is to be a wife and stay at home and toe the line. And of course Winnie never toed the line: she was volatile and uncontrollable, and that was punished.”

The film, which sold out two weeks prior to its premiere , was in demand because it is told with a “particular nuance” thanks to its female director, says Sheila Ruiz, head of programming and partnerships at the , which organises the 10-day event.

“Winnie is a really powerful film because we get to be ‘inside’ Winnie, we get to feel as she might have felt, so on an emotional level it is quite close to what she may have experienced,” says Ruiz.

“It really demystifies this negative image of Winnie Mandela as a troublemaker, as the antagonist of the saintly Nelson Mandela, and people want to hear her story.”

Long prone to cliches regarding gender, sexuality and social politics, African cinema is undergoing a seeming reboot in the way it treats those themes, says Ruiz, pointing to the increasing number of African female voices taking centre stage.

“I think it’s a historical balance redressing, where now more and more Africans are telling African stories, and more African women are telling African women’s stories. These are stories that need to be told, and up until a few years ago, they weren’t part of the mainstream.” One such film is Raja Amari’s Foreign Body, which begins with a capsized boat full of migrants in the Mediterranean, and goes on to explore racism, misogyny, jihadism and longing, as told through the different immigration experiences of three characters.

For Amari, a Tunisian writer and director who emigrated to France, the “migrant experience” – as debated in politics and the media – is incomprehensible as a subject en masse, as migrants are all individuals with different goals and ambitions.

‘I didn’t understand until much later that women were of lower rank in society’

“I wanted to follow the journey of a young girl who is immigrating illegally and address how to be in a different land, and address your issues in a different land,” says Amari.

“My characters come from the same background, from the same country, but they are also strangers to each other. They can confront or betray each other.

“I wanted to focus on how they deal with each other surrounded by this new context of the ‘fear of the other’, and the way that we can fear each other even when we are immigrants ourselves.”

Best known for Satin Rouge, her 2002 film about a Tunisian housewife who finds her feet as a late-night belly dancer, Amari says she has grown accustomed to sexism as she has promoted and screened her films – but believes that things are improving.

“As female filmmakers, it is more difficult to discuss sexuality, desire, and taboo subjects – the reactions are more vehement, as if we are not allowed to talk about the subject in this way,” she says.

“But with Foreign Body, which was screened in commercial theatres in Tunisia, I felt a difference in the way the audience dealt with the film and with the subject. Despite what we think after the revolution, there has been a change – and that change is that there is more freedom of speech.

“There is a new dynamic now, and while we may not see it in the media, there are many new voices willing to speak out and who need to be heard.”



Friday, April 6, 2018

Masogange found guilty of drug abuse


By Paul Owere

Dar es Salaam. Socialite and video vixen Agnes Gerald Waya, aka ‘Agnes Masogange’ was this week found guilty of drug abuse by a court in Dar es Salaam.

She was ordered to pay a fine of Sh1.5 million or serve a jail term of two years after the Principal Resident Magistrate, Wilbard Mashauri, proved beyond reasonable doubt that Agness Masogange was indeed using narcotic drugs. The actress, who features in various music videos of Bongo Flava artistes, was first charged at the Kisutu Magistrate Court in last year facing two charges of using heroin Diacety and Oxazepam. After months of legal exchanges, the court finally found her guilty of using the mentioned drugs. In the first offence she was ordered to pay a Sh1 million fine or serve a two-year jail sentence while in the second offence, she was to pay a fine of Sh500,000 or serve a 12 month jail term.

The terms were to go concurrently. In a related development he Kisutu Resident Magistrates’ has set April 23 as the date when it will decide whether former Miss Tanzania Wema Sepetu and co-accused have a case to answer or not.

This was among the cases that came up after the Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda’s launched a campaign to crack down drug abuse and trafficking in the country. 


Friday, April 6, 2018

Swae Lee Promises ‘Something Special’ Will Drop on Friday


Fans have been patiently waiting for Rae Sremmurd’s forthcoming album SremmLife 3 since it was first teased last year, and while the album hasn’t received an official release date, Swae Lee promised to deliver “something special” for his loyal devotees this Friday.

On Tuesday , Lee hopped on Instagram to update fans on the status of the long-awaited SremmLife 3, which will find the rappers getting back to their “original formula.”

“I will give you everything every form of my artistry just went through mixes production is sounding very full,” Lee wrote. “Triple disk play each song one by one each has its own story and behind the scene story it’s sticking to our original formula which is to get people on their feet SremmLife 3 dripping very soon!” Then, he slipped in a little announcement and teased that he has “special something for you on April 6th mark your calendars.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lee shared that his side of the three-disc project is “crazy melodic” and even features a song named after his ex-girlfriend titled “Little Marliesia.”

Lee also discussed his love for animals, especially his pet monkey Lil G, which he paid a cool $20,000 and a baby monkey named Naya. “I like wildlife. I wanna go in the jungle and see elephants and shit. I’m gonna go to the Amazon,” he said. “Anyone fucking with wildlife, poaching them, they need to be taken out. They corny for that. Shout out to PETA.”


Friday, April 6, 2018

Simmons demands trial by jury after denying allegations


Russell Simmons is demanding a trial by jury after fervently denying one of the rape allegations against him. He says the young woman’s accusation is just a way to get paid.

TMZ reports that the media mogul and Jennifer Jarosik had a consensual, occasionally sexual relationship for 10 years.

In legal docs obtained by the site, “Jarosik frequently sent him loving messages and unsolicited nude photos -- including just weeks after the alleged 2016 rape and long after another 2011 sexual assault he claims she’s publicly accused him of.”

Jarosik claims that Simmons “propositioned” her for sex two years ago, to which she refused. Simmons allegedly jumped on top of her on the bed, hit her in the head and then took advantage of her.

Elsewhere in the docs, the courts conclude that Jarosik has a “propensity to exaggerate” and also reportedly suffers from “untreated mental health issues.” Her lawyer Perry C. Wander says that she is “a loving mother and a good parent and her parenting abilities have no relevance in this matter.”

16 women in total have accused Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct. He maintains his innocence, stating that he would “never hurt anybody.”