There was no music in pre-colonial Tanzania. There was Ngoma (drums): a harvest ngoma, another to raise the evil spirits. No matter the ceremony, whatever the cause, Ngoma set the beat, involving people in tradition and message. To this day, Ngoma is all about involvement, about joining rather than watching. Spectator and performer become one, and the beat rolls on.
Musiki as a spectacle was born of cultural exchanges with the outside world. Musiki brought a new musical dimension to Tanzania- music solely for entertainment, music that people came to hear. From there it grew into what it is today: thriving industry in a cosmopolitan nation.
So where do these two concepts, Musiki and Ngoma, meet in a modern Tanzania?
A panorama of Tanzanian music history and industry, Mwamba Ngoma looks at the role of communication in social change within the context of a project that harnesses the entertainment value of music to serve social purpose.