Musical Compilations Along the Route - Tanzania to South Africa
August 14, 2012 GMT
Musical Compilation - Tanzania

Most of the music that I heard in the streets and the bars and cafes of Tanzania, I was told, is Congolese in origin.
And some Kenyan as well.

So I'll try to stick to Tanzanian stuff here.

Well, I didn't go to Zanzibar - so here's what I missed:

(Although the skyscraper scenes are Nairobi. For contrast I suppose.....)

Some Tanzanian jazz - the Jamhuri Jazz Band.

After entering Tanzania, I took the long dirt road to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika.
You can get a train there as well. The Central Line, but not as I know it, (the one where I grew up).

Music from Rose Muhando and Konono No 1.

And now we're in the very pleasant port and lakeside town of Kigoma. I might not have visited Zanzibar but I'm very glad indeed to have spent time here. It's one of dozens of highlights of the whole trip!

Eastwards from Kigoma, I spent a while in Singida (where I met the spitting image of the 'A' Team's Mr. T).
Here's a celebration under way in an outlying village.

Next was the capital, Dodoma.
Like Kenya, there's a significant Christian influence in Tanzania. This is an Anglican choir performing outside the Dodoma Hotel.

Then it was south to Iringa town where I stayed a short while in the mountains beyond.
This is from a village in the local area.

And now, Tanzanian 'Music Dancers'. Mainly Congolese influence I think.

Tanzanian popular music is called 'Bongo'.
Here, leading Tanzanian artist 'Diamond' performs 'Mbagala'.

The last place I stayed before crossing into Malawi was the little town of Tukuyu. One of those places where you get torn between wanting to linger day after day, and wanting to head off to the next country. Because on a journey without a timetable, each morning, it doesn't matter much which you do.
I've since found this youtube, and I wish I'd found Bongo Camping when I was there. (Although I found a hilltop hotel right in town with magnificent views over the surrounding tea plantations).
For anyone learning the language, there are Swahili and English lyrics in the notes.

Finally, here's a medley of individual traditional instruments.
Master Musician Joseph Mbaryo from the Muyangu Music Ensemble demonstrates the zeze (gourd fiddle), ilimba (thumb piano) and isumbi (zither).

Posted by Ken Thomas at 08:09 PM GMT
September 06, 2013 GMT
Musical Compilation - Malawi

Well, it's been a long time since the previous look at music along the way. That was Tanzania.
So here's a selection of Youtubes from Malawi.

In actual fact, Malawi is popular with western tourists, specially gap-year students. They fill a lot of the hostels. So a lot of the music to be heard while travelling is from the 'western world'.

A selection of images here to begin, and two Malawian musicians, Denis Yolamba followed by Benson Phiri.

My first stop in Malawi was at the Matunkha orphanage in Rumphi, in the hills above the northern end of Lake Nyasa (aka Lake Malawi).
Here's a video of their 'Donkey Day' with a selection of music and, later in the video, local dancing.
(Cannot embed this video - just click on the link)

Next, The Roots Band

A lot of Malawi lies along the western shore of Lake Nyasa. I stayed at Nkhata Bay to the north then rode down the lakeside to Senga Bay. On the way I passed through Nkhotakota, the main town of Nkhotakota District.
Well, I had no accident or upset so didn't need to pop into the hospital. But it might have been worth it, because of this:

But, The Nkhotakota Hospital Band is singing about family planning, not A&E.

Winner of the 'Music Crossroads Southern Africa Festival, 2007', Body Mind & Soul, playing Achemwene.

It would have been great to have bumped into someone like this on the street. I was in Malawi in July 2010, must have just missed Desmond Blakey.....
The internet will have to suffice.

Hospitals must be very musical in Malawi, perhaps I should have popped into one.
This video features a clinic in Chilinde, a suburb of Lilongwe, the capital.

A change in style here, The 2 Mascatius with Wico Justice and Big Ben.

Another change. All the instruments here are made from scrap. By children orphaned by AIDS.

And to finish, another band playing instruments of recycled stuff, on the street in Blantyre.
The Refuse Stealing Band.

Next stop - Mozambique

Posted by Ken Thomas at 12:57 PM GMT

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