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Posts tagged "zanzibar"

Africa’s first underwater hotel bedroom at Pemba Island’s Manta Resort in Zanzibar has finally been unveiled.

Read more about it here.

November: Highlighting Travel & Exploration in Africa

Worn mostly by women in the East Africa - mostly Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and Kenya, these large rectangular colourfully-designed cloths, called kangas, are a staple garment for many, mostly in the rural parts of these areas, but are also worn usually by older women in more urban areas.

Having their origins in the 19th century when Swahili-speaking women living along the cost, intrigued by the cotton shawls worn by the Portuguese who controlled the Zanzibar coastline, started buying them in bundles of six and stitched them together in two lengths of three and made them into dresses, kangas have developed into a highly important social aspect of life for many in this part of East Africa.

In the early 20th century, the most noted features of kangas were added when a trader in Mombasa named Kaderdina ‘Abdulla’ Hajee Essak started accenting his kanga cloths with proverbs. Nowadays, most kangas are embedded with a message - often in Swahili - of some sort ranging from political to personal.

Most recently, labels like the London-based British-Tanzanian fashion line Chichia London have begun incorporating kangas in their designs, creating western-inspired garments with a heavy East African touch.


October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

Ms Salama Adam Hassan, 24, said that fishing has saved many women in Kikungwi from abject poverty, “I completed my secondary school last year and since then I have been fishing and now building my own house. I do not want to wait until I get married. As I wait to get married, soon I will have my house.” Salama says she and her colleagues in the village are fulfilling their dream of managing their own affairs without necessarily relying on men including husbands, brothers and dads who in most cases have to care for multiple homes.

Women in Zanzibar are taking up the profession of fishing, usually reserved for men in the society, and using it as a means to gain financial independence and economic security, with one woman quoted in this article as saying, “It is no longer men’s work.”

About this change in social attitudes and progression of women’s empowerment in the region, Ms Bahati Issa Suleiman, is the secretary of the Kikungwi Village women group says that this initiative has helped women decrease their dependency on men - particularly their husbands, and that women now see this type of work as something they are capable of doing.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women


Artist Lounge: A Self-Taught Artist – Sher Nasser

A while back I came across the works of Sher Nasser, a Tanzanian artist born in Zanzibar. I fell in love with her creativity and style of drawing and painting, and the way that she portrayed of the African environments as wells as African people(s). Having been impressed with her work, I thought I would share her story with our readers. Sher is a busy artist and was unavailable for questioning but I was able to get her to give me a summary of who she is, how she started her art journey and her general thoughts on African art.

“I am an ordinary person, a senior, and a grandmother who enjoys painting and creating art. I did not study art in college, I am far from technically trained. Art just happened to come by some years ago when I was looking for something different to engage myself in aside from my usual full time employment, home care, and family life.

Drawing and painting started as something fun and fulfilling for me to do and with the development of technology along with internet access I have been able to gain exposure and exhibit my talent. I am a self-taught artist, so as to speak, who draws and paints whatever captures my attention. I am passionate about painting African people(s) and that may be because I was born here and have love for my continent and its people(s). I also feel that, as an African, our art is finally getting the exposure and gaining the popularity it truly deserves.”

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Women’s Hair Dressing in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Late 19th century.

*Happy belated Independence day to Tanzania! (April 29th, 1961)

In 1954, Julius Nyerere, a school teacher who was then one of only two Tanganyikans educated to university level, organized a political party—the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). On December 9, 1961, Tanganika became an autonomous Commonwealth realm, and Nyerere became Prime Minister, under a new constitution. On December 9, 1962, a republican constitution was implemented with Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere as Tanganyika’s first president.

Zanzibar received its independence from the United Kingdom on December 10, 1963, as a constitutional monarchy under the Sultan. On January 12, 1964, the African majority revolted against the sultan and a new government was formed with the ASP leader, Abeid Karume, as President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council.


*correction! not independence, but merger day with Zanzibar.



Bi Kidude (an 100 year old singer) & Culture Musical Club performing “Kijiti” live in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Bi Kidude & Culture Musical Club - Kijiti (Live Taarab) (by ngoma91)

925 plays
Bi Kidude,
Zanzibara 4: Bi Kidude - The Diva of Zanzibari Music


Bi Kidude - Alaminadura

Off to Sauti Za Busara!

RIP to legendary Tanzanian Taarab singer Fatma binti Baraka, popularly known as Bi Kidude, who passed away on April 17th, 2013, at her home on the island of Zanzibar. She is believed to have surpassed 100 years of age.

As a child, she was singled out for her fine voice and, in the 1920s, sang locally with popular cultural troupes, combining an understanding of music with an equally important initiation into traditional medicine.

At age 13, after a forced marriage she fled Zanzibar to mainland Tanzania. Bi Kidude toured mainland East Africa with a taarab ensemble, visiting the major coastal towns and inland as far west as Lake Victoria and Tanganyika.

She walked the length and the breadth of the country barefoot in the early 1930s fleeing another unhappy marriage. In the 1930s she ended up in Dar es Salaam where she sang with Egyptian Taarab group for many years. In the 1940s she returned to Zanzibar where she acquired a small mud hut to be her home.

She is known for her role in the Unyago movement which prepares young Swahili women for their transition through puberty. She is one of the experts of this ancient ritual, performed only to teenage girls, which uses traditional rhythms to teach women to pleasure their husbands, while lecturing against the dangers of sexual abuse and oppression.


925 plays
Bi Kidude,
Zanzibara 4: Bi Kidude - The Diva of Zanzibari Music


Bi Kidude - Alaminadura

Off to Sauti Za Busara!

(via manufactoriel)


Jonah: A Story of Legend, Friendship and Survival

Jonah is a short by Kibwe Tavares. It is set in Zanzibar and looks at the effects tourism can have on a country from an economic and environmental perspective. Mbwana and his best friend Juma are men with big dreams. Dreams that become a reality when they photograph “the world’s biggest jumping fish” leaping out of the sea.

Their tiny town soon blossoms into a tourist hot-spot as a result. But for Mbwana, the reality isn’t what he dreamed – when he meets the fish again, both of them forgotten, ruined and old, he decides only one of them can survive.

More here

(via cinemakenya)


Zanzibar sailing. 2013

Looks amazing!

(via africlecticmagazine)

“Jonah directed by Kibwe Tavares—one of the collective and director of Robots of Brixton—for which the trailer’s recently been released. Tavares describes the film as a “Live action/animation mash up, almost like a collage, the CGI is photo real but how we use it becomes increasing magical as we progress through the film.”

The film is set in Zanzibar and looks at the effects tourism can have on a country from an economic and environmental perspective. These themes are explored through the narrative of a friendship between two guys and “the world’s biggest jumping fish.” The trailer teases a little of the detailed and richly realised CGI, and you can see more of how intricate the visuals will be from the images below.”


via katebomz

Zanzibar, October 2011 


(via afroklectic)