Today I woke up and thought of how much I miss home, how much I miss weddings and the dancing.

Chakacha is a traditional music and dance style (a ngoma) of the Swahili people of coastal Kenya  and Tanzania, originally associated to weddings  and performed and watched by women. In the late 20th century, musical groups such as Mombasa RootsSafari Sound Band and Them Mushrooms have adapted this style to afropop music. Basically, the women are dressed in very light transparent clothing and have a belt around their waists for ease of movement. Tanzanian ladies, especially around the coastal areas are very good at this dance. It is also somewhat associated with Taarab, another type of music style adapted in the coast and mainly performed by women.

The hip-swaying dance movements of Chakacha are bear some resemblance with both Congolese soukous dances and Middle Eastern belly dances.


Taarab is a style of music performed all along the Swahili coast at weddings and on other celebratory occasions. It is arguably the most impmtant type of entertainment music played in this region, and it is certainly prevalent in Zanzibar, where it has come to be considered part of the very characterization of the island itself: this is the island of cloves, the island of slaves and “the island of tawab” (Seif Salim Saleh, lecture at the African Music Village Holland Park, London, July 18, 1985)

The style was brought to Zanzibar during the 1870s by the leisure-loving third Omani sultan, Sultan Barghash bin Said who impmted it from Egypt to be perfmmed in his palaces for the entertainment of his guests.By the 1920s taw ab had begun to move out of these exclusive contexts, becoming extremely popular among less affluent, often African sectors of the society, and among women. 1 his was largely a result of the impact of the African female taarab legend.

Siti binti Saad. She inspired the formation of small local, informal groups, which bega..Tl by playing Siti’s songs on makeshift instruments in a form of taarab performance called kidumbak (named after the two small dumbak2 drums central to the perfmmance) Women were also influenced by Siti to perfmm taarab and a netwmk of groups emerged from the late 1930s performing taarab ya wanawake (women’s taarab)
Thus, in Zanzibar three types of taarab can be identified: a) an ‘ideal’, modeled on Egyptian
forms of urban secular music, serving the more affluent, Arab-mientated sectors of the society.

I found this video by chance but my mum used to sing this song every time she cooked. 🙂 Blessed


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