Nyota Ze Meremeta

Group Information

Nyota Za Meremeta’s name means ‘twinkling stars’.   They play in the Taarab style and are led by Professor Mohamed Ilyas, who played at the Serena Zanzibar Hotel for over twenty years and teaches at the Dhow Countries Music Academy.  For 50 years he’s taught music in Zanzibar and promotes other musicians.    Other members of this group include:   Ramadhan Muhidan (accordion), Ali Ibrahim Musa (Kanan or Qanun), Tatu Hamisi Amur (accordion), Asha Khemisi Amur (violin) and Malick Anas (fiddle).  Malick is 75 and has played with the Professor since 1961.   All songs were very Arab influenced by all the lyrics are Swahili.  They played five songs:

    1. Bashraf Ilyas:  An instrumental song written for the Professor’s father
    2. Na Munikome:  This means ‘leave me alone.’
    3. Mungwana:  This means gentle person.
    4. Dhana:  This means ‘thoughts’ or reflections
    5. Tulibembeleze Pendo:  This means nurture our love.