Monday, 15 December 2014


How long does it take to notice a unique artist?
Good question.
Saidi Kanda promotes his new album Ambush at Rich Mix , East London in November 2014. On his left is singer Fab Moses, whose participation in Kanda's performances is significant.
Pic by F Macha

Our lives are not as unkind as a 1960s T shirt used to say, i.e. cruel world. But the music industry is a tough trek. We have to like and believe in what we do. Just like Musician Saidi Kanda, 
who has been around for as long as I can remember. 
I recall visiting the late musician Remmy Ongala (above) at one of the clubs he performed regularly in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. It was 1983. Then prodigy percussionist  Saidi Kanda was only 21 and already playing with the legend. I was burning and eager to write about Ongala who I felt was not getting due credit for his amazing music and input into international culture. My efforts to pen articles in my then column with the weekly Sunday News, belched something else. Journalism was not enough. I felt I had to write a book about Remmy Ongala's life. I started right away...

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Saturday, 13 December 2014


Mr Hans of Safari Hub with Willem Kurpers of Kili Villa

Tourists and visitors to Tanzania have been assured that the ongoing Ebola crisis should not affect their choice of East Africa's most beautiful, natural destination.

Speaking exclusively to this blogger in London yesterday, Director of
UK Based Safari Hub, Mr. Navraj Hans, said although the number of tourists flying to the continent has dwindled by 50 percent in the last six months, Tanzania remains unaffected.

Asked to elaborate Mr.  Hans, who’s Safari Hub, has offices in Africa, Asia and Europe, explained that bookings to Tanzania continue to flourish and they include high profile clientele. One of them is Kili Villa who contacted Safari Hub with intention to attract visitors to experience one the best golf courses in Africa at Maji ya Chai, Arusha.
“Because of the beauty of nature and the hospitable character of Tanzania, Kili Villa are keen to develop golf in the country and have asked us to help in bringing more visitors.”

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014


Some  key points- Wed October 15th, 2014.

-         Main speakers knew their  subject matter, very well.Hard  facts revealed...
-           UK and Tanzanian government figures  in attendance
-          28 Too Many and Lynne Featherstone –Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development at DFID- strongly believe FGM will end if we all play a small part
-          Men’s involvement will ensure faster results, as men tends to be heads of families in the affected regions
-          Education in rural areas key to ending ignorance around the benefits and values of FGM
-          Those listening and attending also gave strong positive , critical views
-          We cannot let a girl be cut every ten seconds any more
-    It will be tricky to handle the FGM cutters. This is their livelihood. Community coherence is key
-          In Nigeria sales of girl’s clitoris as lucky charms due to FGM made us all gasp
-          Young dead FGM victims in Tanzania thrown into the bushes to be eaten by wild animals
-          Hon Jeremy Lefroy MP for Stafford, kicked off the evening with Swahili words “Mabibi na Mabwana...”
-           Despite thousands of years of the evil foot binding for women in China, campaigns at the beginning of 20th Century,  intense and determined ended the abhorring practice very quickly.
FGM should follow suit, so said Dr Anne- Marie of 28 Too Many...
    •  Feet of a Chinese woman in the old days, before the common evil was abolished. Pic by Jo Farrell

Humanity has developed fast. Yet backward, primitive, inhuman, evil acts continue unabated. Some of these shameful acts are ill treatment of women. 
Violence against women include : honour killings, dowry deaths, human trafficking, sexual slavery, genocide rape (especially in war zones) and FGM. For more graphic materials about FGM check this blog HERE....

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Saturday, 11 October 2014


Audience at The Russet Hackney, London...listen to the poems of Farida Momtaz...

...So many ills across our planet. Some of us don't even want to watch TV and the news anymore.  But reality never hides. We have to face  facts. Life. Unnecessary wars. Diseases. Female Genital Mutilation. Fact. FGM is no longer a concern for women and girls only. It affects all of us. Boys. Gentlemen. Old and young. Every one. Every little smirk, smack and sneer helps. IT can be done; play your partMwalimu Nyerere, used to say.
 Experts have divided FGM into four types. PLEASE click ...HERE...and learn more.

This year's fundraising was May 30th (The Russet), October 2nd (Central Hall Westminster) and Oct 4th (The Russet).  Fundraisers need  money to build a safe house for girls escaping FGM in Mugumu, Mara region Tanzania. The place will also provide runaway girls with training in various skills and education.
If you want to know more and help please click HERE...
According to 28-TOO-MANY...14.6 % of Tanzanian women and girls aged between 15 to 49 have had FGM.
Apart from the age going down to two years, the custom is still done in secret. There are deaths( many deaths, secret deaths, sinister deaths) Mrs Rhobi Samwelly told me last week. Mrs Samwelly is project coordinator. She knows. Bodies chucked into  bushes. Far worse than Ebola victims.
For more on the conversation please read here .
 Now experience  the recent  London events....

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Monday, 7 July 2014


I love drumming. I love Sounds of  rhythms, whether playing as a Solo in a hall with people of all ages, seen below in Liverpool , 1992.

Or at Nottinghill London Carnival, August 2012, below (pic by Urban Pulse Creative Media)
Or teaching and running workshops like here for Global Fusion Music and Arts event , May 2014 (pic by Claire Cole)

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014


On Friday 30th evening local London musicians are expected to entertain a fundraising dinner event  to help find money to build a safe house for female genital mutilation runaways in Tanzania. The event will have a raffle  by active Tanzanian charity worker, Malkia Kassu who won the Miss Commonwealth Africa 2013.

Speaking exclusively to this blog, Communications Manager for the Tanzania Development Trust Fund, Janet Chapman said the event is part of a plan to help raise 65, 000 pounds for teenage  girls who refuse FGM in Mugumu, Mara region, Tanzania by the Anglican Diocese. The house will be open to people of all faiths.

“Tanzania Development Trust Fund works closely with other NGOs in both Tanzania and beyond.   There will be another concert on October 2nd, 2014 at Westminster Central Hall, to which everyone is most welcome,” Ms Chapman said.



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Wednesday, 22 January 2014


Hackney based Capoeira Master, Simon Atkinson " Mestre Fantasma" has started free Capoeira Classes for Youths, aged 11 to 18 years. This is a positive project which will give purpose and help shape lives of this significant age group.

Mestre Fantasma who runs the East London Capoeira School....
(pic by Anna Luks)

What are the benefits
of Capoeira?

✤Movements practiced in Capoeira employ whole body with its full
range of motion
✤Training Capoeira builds a strong, supple, and most importantly
healthy body
✤In its essence, Capoeira is an effective and cunning system of self-defence.

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Monday, 6 January 2014


Following the "gloom and doom"  mood  splashed around by September 11 attack in New York, 2001, music remained as always the healing wand. Chatting and jamming with fellow musician, friend and producer Gabriel Prokofiev, we decided to record one of my old happy tunes : Kilimanjaro. It was composed in Brazil , 1989 when I was asked what are the main hallmarks of Tanzania ...

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