Recording at Victoria Park
After a late night at the concert, we got up early and drove to Victoria Park to record Umoja Wa Kusini, lead by Francis Daudi Njawa (Chichi). Victoria Park is similar to a park we used in Kampala. It contains many village huts built in many styles. Umoja Wa Kusini is about 13 years old and is a very experienced dance troupe of the Mdomdu style.
They are originally from the village of Msanga and the Wanyamwezi. All the dancers where a necklace called Simbi, made of cowry shells and a ‘skirt’ around the waist called a Kibwaya. Their smaller drums are Dali Dali and larger drums are Mapipa. They also use the marimba. They played 9 songs, 5 regular performances and four ‘magic moments’:
- Mkwaju Ngoma: actually four songs in one. About a child going back to his village after a while and being accepted.
- Rushwa: about harvests, but also uses a metaphor of a broken chicken leg to say that even if love is broken, it will mend, the ‘girlfriend will come back.’
- Rushwa Magic Moment 1: just vocals
- Magic Moment 2: percussion
- Malalanga: this is about being quiet because a performance is starting
- Magic Moment 3: Francis singing ‘Alelewani’ solo.
- Alelewani with full group
- Mikocheni Makongwe Malowe
- Magic Moment 4: Daudi Fernando Joseph plays the drums in style of Mzee Morris
We then interviewed Daudi about Mzee Morris:
“I met Mzee Morris when I was younger and saw him play. I loved his style from the first moment I heard it. I also listened to him on the Tanzania Broadcast Corporation, because his drums was used hourly to announce the news. I spent three months trying to learn the drum riff he used. I could never understand how a blind drummer could remember where all 10-12 drums were. Amazing.”