Swahili festivan an opportunity for all

Saturday June 8 2019

Joan Mungereza, festival founder. PHOTO | FILE

Joan Mungereza, festival founder. PHOTO | FILE 

By Salome Gregory

When was the last time you attended a food festival? A festival that brings varieties of Swahili and African foods and drinks together? Probably, you have even never heard of such a festival.

But, finally the food festival is here – The Governors Swahili Festival themed keeping it 100% local. The two days festival will take place at the Governors Sports Lounge and Bar in Kinondoni. The festival aims at promoting local foods and drinks in the country as well as food products that preserve or speak out about Tanzanian traditions.

Speaking to The Beat, Joan Mungereza, the festival founder, says she came up with the idea after seeing a lot of music festivals going on and the aspect of promoting our foods being left out in the process. She then thought of starting a food festival.

“We have different festivals in the country mainly in music. And in different countries I have visited you find people promoting more of their products available in their respective countries. It challenged me to start a food festival in Tanzania,” says Mungereza.

She says it was never easy to implement the idea alone. She shared the idea to her business partner Dan Ngowi, Managing Director and Owner of Governors Sports Lounge and Bar.

They brainstormed on the idea and agreed to come up with the festival that targets business people above 18 years old. This includes Tanzanian businessmen & women, cooperates, normal customers, parents and foreigners. They prepared a poster to call for applications for people who would like to take part in the festival.


She says, for starters they created a poster which was circulated via social media and people started to apply for participation. The invite was extended to the people with businesses other than food.

According to the organiser, the festival will be coloured with different local dishes from rice, ugali, cassava, sweet potatoes, sea food, beef, vegetables, and local brews.

The festival will also have a Swahili twist, the Swahili cocktails twisted with different flavours. The list of Swahili twist includes toasumu, majuto, tetema special, kileleni flavour sangria, makinikia, utaratibu, mapenzi, governor’s special, mama Africa, dry beach corner, stress free, caprioska etc.

Rajab Mchatta, one of the participants who owns Big Solutions Productions (a video and steal picture production company) will showcase at the festival. He says, the food festival suits him though he does not deal with selling food products but since his job is events-oriented he believes he has a very big input due to food being vast and encompassing a lot of different things.

“I am very happy that festival organisers have allowed other business people to take part in the festival. I will have a very big screen at my table which will showcase my work as well as show different types of footage collected from weddings and other ceremonies. This will help to promote the work of other people I work with,” says Mchatta.

Adding to that he says at his table he will also showcase unique leather albums he currently uses to place pictures of his clients.

His participation goes to show just how welcoming the food festival is. It is also part of promoting the event to grow bigger since it has just started but promises to have a bright future ahead. The festival has plans to invite people from different countries to come and see the types of foods we have in Tanzania. And at the end of the day Tanzania will be able to share its rich food products.

Lucy Komu is an up and coming young businesswoman dealing with decor, gift hampers, make-up and African prints outfits. Her expectations on the festival is not only to make money but also focus on making new business connections, new clients, new friends and develop new business ideas.

Lucy believes the festival will open more doors for her as she will be able to meet different clients in two days whereas she couldn’t meet them at once if she was not to participate at the festival. She also believes on making permanent clients out of the festival.

Currently Lucy does a mobile business where she collects orders from social media. She believes the festival will bring such people who’ll be able to share their experience and see how they can move forward together in business growth.