Popular
Screenshot from Mapozi "Mr Blue" music video.

14 Bongo Flava Classics You Need In Your Life

Relive some classics from the "golden era" of Tanzania's Bongo Flava, which gained massive popularity across East Africa.

Today, Bongo Flava is the most popular style of music amongst the youth in Tanzania. It's also gained massive popularity in the rest of East Africa.


Since then, artists like Diamond Platnumz, Ali Kiba and Vanessa Mdee have since given Tanzanian music a wider international appeal, but East Africans may remember a "golden period" of urban music when Tanzania's Bongo Flava had taken over the airwaves.

From the radio and television, to the clubs, bars, minibuses and at every street corner, you couldn't escape this music. And why would you even want to?

The name "Bongo Flava" comes from "ubongo," the Swahili word for brains (which implies intelligence). Bongo is also a common nickname used to refer to Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania.

This unique style of Tanzanian hip-hop and R&B originated from the streets of Dar es Salaam. That's why its name translates to "the flavour from Dar es Salaam."

Let's take you back to the 2000s, where the likes of T.I.D, Matonya, Lady Jay Dee, Mr. Blue, Marlaw, Dully Sykes, Ray C, AY, and even a young Ali Kiba were revolutionizing the scene with every hit song they released. This era of bongo music blessed Swahili speakers with timeless music that we can jam to for many years to come.

Here's a list of some Bongo Flava classics that will take you back to a simpler time, and maybe even stir up some blissful memories.

T.I.D "Siamini"

Ray C "Umenikataa"

Jay Moe ft. Ngwair "Kimya Kimya"

Mwana FA ft. A Y "Habari Ndiyo Hiyo"

Mr Blue "Mapozi"

Berry Black & Berry White ft. Shirko "Na Wewe Tu"

Z.Anto "Binti Kiziwi"

Mr Nice "Kidali Po"

Ali Kiba "Nakshi Mrembo"

Marlaw "Bembeleza"

Lady Jay Dee "Siku Hazigandi"

Tmk Wanaume "Dar Mpaka Moro"

Bushoke ft. K-Lynn "Nalia Kwa Furaha"

Matonya ft. Lady Jay Dee "Anita"

Music
Image courtesy of artist.

Interview: Lady Du, Amapiano’s Sultry-Voiced Superstar, Is Smashing The Glass Ceiling

In conversation with amapiano star Lady Du about her rise, spirituality and considering herself a kwaito queen.

Lady Du is currently one of the hottest voices in amapiano. Born into a family of musicians, her father DJ Choc and uncle DJ Zan D are reputable deejays and producers. Lady Du, real name Dudu Ngwenya, first learned how to play at the tender age of nine. Since then and during her early adult life, she had been trying to get a successful break into the music industry. Though she made songs with renowned producers such as DJ Clock, DJ Mshega and DJ Maphorisa (back when he still did gqom) in 2013, 2014 and 2018 respectively, her breakthrough only came under a year ago through the track "Superstar", alongside revered amapiano deejay and producer Mr JazziQ.

Lady Du's musical journey speaks to her resilience, and her success can rightfully be attributed to her perseverance. On "Superstar", Lady Du sings about aspiring to superstardom, even going as far as mentioning some South African celebrities that she looks up to! Today, her name is listed among the very stars she once mentioned on the track. Since 2020, she has collaborated with heavyweights like Oskido, Cassper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, Focalistic, De Mthuda, Josiah De Disciple, Busta 929, DBN Gogo and many others. Her signature sultry voice, which sometimes resembles that of a baby, can also be heard on some of amapiano's biggest smash hits like "Umsebenzi Wethu", "Dakiwe", "Catalia", "Woza", "GUPTA" and more.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.