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Tanzania Heritage Project +255 717 615 273 Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

“A country which lacks its own culture is no more than a collection of people without the spirit which makes them a nation." ! ! ! ! ! -Julius K. Nyerere, ! ! first president of Tanzania

Reviving the Radio Tanzania Archives
1. Project 2. Founder’s Story 3. History 4. Music 5. People 6. Core Values 7. Community 8. Press 9. Partners 10.Accomplishments 11. Goals 12. Get Involved 13. Credits

The Project
Radio Tanzania Dar-es-Salaam was Tanzania’s sole radio station and professional recording studio for the first twenty-five years of independence. The archives — which contain 100,000 hours of unique material including key historical milestones and vital African music — have never been digitized from their original reel-to-reel format. This grievous situation has left Tanzanians unable to hear the bulk of their country’s music, artists powerless to make a living from their work, and the priceless audio-musical history of the country in grave danger of being lost forever. The recordings, which chronicle the rise of the nation, have languished for decades, exposed to heat, humidity and natural decay. In most cases, the Radio Tanzania recordings are the only copies that exist — and until now, very few people have had access to them or even knowledge of their existence. To lose the archives to fire, flood, or simply the elements of time, would be a tragedy for scholars, musicians, historians, music-lovers, and ultimately Tanzania itself. The Tanzania Heritage Project’s initiative Reviving the Radio Tanzania Archives is working to digitize and preserve the collection before it is too late.

Founder’s Story
“After a reason, a happening; after a beginning, an action.” - Swahili Proverb

“Baada ya kisa, mkasa. Baada ya cha nzo, kitendo.”

Imagine all your favorite music from the past was locked in a dusty room, trapped on eroding tapes, and slowly fading from your memory. What would you give to be able to hear it again? What would you do to revive it? My name is Rebecca and I founded the Tanzania Heritage Project in order to! digitize the analog archive of Radio Tanzania Dar-es-Salaam and make the music available to the world. Why? For one, the music helped save my life. But the story starts long before that.

It is fair to say that the music got me through those long months of recovery. I learned everything I could about the history of the music I had grown to love, and developed a plan for digitization. I recruited my Tanzanian friend Benson Rukantabula to help.

In early 2012, I returned to Dar-es-Salaam and Benson and I spoke with musicians, archivists, ethnomusicologists, and Tanzanians from all walks of life about Radio Tanzania and what it would mean for the country to bring the archives back to life. The one thing we heard from everyone was: "We love this music. We don't want it to disappear, but In 2007, I traveled to Tanzania to volunteer at an what can we do?" orphanage. I can still vividly recall that one wonderful ride on a public dala-dala bus, squished between two large We believe that the digitization and promotion of the women, chickens at my feet, and music — unlike anything Radio Tanzania archive has the potential to revolutionize I'd ever heard before — blaring in the background. It was cultural preservation in the digital era, providing a love at first listen. sustainable and replicable model for revitalizing musical collections all around Africa and the world. By digitizing Two years later, I returned to Tanzania to pursue a Master’s the material, releasing it online, and creating an opendegree in international development and to work for a local source model for preservation, we will guarantee that the microfinance institution. I spent my days learning about cultural heritage of Tanzania lives on and inspires others to Tanzania's struggle for independence, practicing my Swahili preserve their endangered musical traditions. with local merchants, and exploring the city by motorbike. I couldn't have been happier. But before long, tragedy struck. So, how would you feel if you learned a trove of fantastic music you’ve never head before was in dangerously poor One night, I was hit by a car while riding my bike. condition? Would you pass up the chance to hear sounds Shattering all of the bones in my right leg, I barely made it that are truly original, that are just as danceable today as out alive, and then endured nearly a year of surgeries and they were thirty and forty years ago?!What would you do to physical therapy before I could walk again. help? But before I left Tanzania, a friend gave me several CDs of Together, we can save the music. Please join us in music from the Radio Tanzania era and told me about the reviving the Radio Tanzania archives. forgotten archives. " " "

-Rebecca Corey

If y! take care of some"ing, -Swahili Proverb it will la$.

Kitunze kidumu.

Behind the Archives

“Art is up to ham m shap er e it.” -

a m irror held lity with , b u t a whic Bert h t holt o Brec ht rea


Benson Rukantabula, co-founder of the Tanzania Heritage Project, with Bruno Nanguka, Chief Librarian of the RTD Archives

Bruno’s desk stacked high with reels

TANZANIA In 1961, the colony of Tanganyika gained independence from Britain. Three years later, Tanganikya merged with the island nation Zanzibar to become the United Republic of Tanzania. " Situated on the east coast of Africa, and neighbored by Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique, Tanzania is best known as the home of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, a stunning coastline, and the Maasai warrior tribe. The Great Rift Valley extends through Tanzania, making the region one of the oldest known inhabited areas on Earth, “The Cradle of Humanity.” # But there is much more to Tanzania than beautiful national parks, abundant wildlife, rich human history, and the sparkling Indian Ocean. The country also has a fascinating political past and vibrant, little-known musical traditions.

JULIUS NYERERE " W h e n Ta n z a n i a g a i n e d independence, the country had endured hundreds of years of oppression and exploitation under Arab traders and Portuguese, German, and British colonialism. " Julius K. Nyerere led the peaceful struggle for independence, eventually becoming the country’s first president. Called Baba wa Taifa — “Father of the Nation” — and Mwalimu — “Teacher” — Nyerere is well-known for having pioneered Ujamaa, or “African Socialism.” " Nyerere once famously said, “In Tanzania, it was more than one hundred tribal units which lost their freedom; it was one nation that regained it.” # Nyerere focused on cultural revitalization as a way for the people to recover from the psychological and political wounds of colonialism. He established Radio Tanzania Dar-es-Salaam to be the primary voice of the new, free people.

RADIO TANZANIA DAR-ES-SALAAM " As the country’s sole radio station and only professional recording studio for the first 25 years of independence, Radio Tanzania was both a key instrument of the state and a public s e r v i c e, u s e d a s a t o o l fo r promoting unity and national pride through music. Radio headquarters became a lively hub of culture, frequented by Tanzanian music legends like King Kiki, Remmy Ongala, and DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra. Other recordings at the studio included Arabic taarab musicians, traditional ngoma drummers, and popular muziki wa dansi jazz bands. On the political front, Radio Tanzania supported independence struggles against white-minority rule and colonialism in Africa by relaying broadcasts from various revolutionary groups. The radio was also used to rally popular support around the Tanzanian campaign to oust the dictator Idi Amin Dada in Uganda.

"Of all the crimes of colonialism there is none worse than the attempt to make us believe that we had no indigenous culture of our own, or that what we did have was worthless or something of which we should be ashamed, instead of being a source of pride." -Julius K. Nyerere

The Music
“The nation's music became famous for mixing traditional rhythms and harmonies with electric guitars...”

TAARAB "Having joy with music." !"# Taarab is a form of Arabic sung poetry associated with the East African coast. It is often performed at weddings and other social gatherings, and songs usually contain a lesson or moral. The style features instruments from Africa (percussion), Europe (guitar), the Middle East (oud and quanun), and East Asia (taishokoto), and is sung in Swahili with Islamic melodies. Scholars have noted that Taarab plays an important role in the social fabric of Swahili life, providing an opportunity for people to gather, socialize, and resolve disputes. The Radio Tanania archives contain recordings of some of the most well-known taarab musicians such as Bi Kidude and Siti Bindi Saad. MUZIKI WA DANSI Tucheze dansi! (Let's dance!) Perhaps the most popular genre of Tanzanian music is muziki wa dansi, sometimes called Swahili Jazz or Zilipendwa. Derivative of beni ngoma — an East African musical tradition of competitive dance performance — muziki wa dansi rose to prominence in the 1930s, and eventually became the most dominant musical force in postindependence Tanzania. The muziki wa dansi sound was influenced by afrorumba, imported from West Africa to Cuba and then

brought back to East Africa by way of the Congo. Bands combined the rumba base with traditional polyrhythmic sounds, featuring two or three wandering guitars, indigenous drumming, and complex vocal harmonizing. Many bands featured horn sections inspired by the brass band tradition of German colonial days. During the height of its popularity, from the 1960s to the mid-1980s, the! dansi scene saw 25 to 30 professional bands rocking the city’s stages every night of the!week in a circuit of open-air dance halls. The live entertainment drew thousands! of fans across Dar-es-Salaam. Each band had its own distinct style of music and performance, as well as a particular way in which their audience danced to their songs. The dancing style associated with a band was called its mtindo. " All the dansi bands were sponsored by a diverse range of state-run and private organisations. The musicians worked for these organisations as employees, and in turn, the employers would invest in instruments and arrange spaces for the band to practice and perform. For example, Uhamiaji Jazz was run by the immigration department, Magereza Jazz by the prisons, Mzinga Troupe by the army, Vijana Jazz by the youth wing of the ruling socialist party, and NUTA Jazz band by the Tanzanian workers’ union. Today, dansi is still very much alive. Many of the old!artists continue to perform, thrilling audiences all over Dar who dance!to the bands’ relentlessly catchy guitar riffs for hours on end — often long enough to see the sun rise.

‘Zilipendwa’, as the old music is affectionately known, means “The Ones That Were Loved” in Kiswahili.


THE LIBRARIAN Bruno Nanguka, known simply as “The Librarian,” joined Radio Tanzania in 1974 when he was just eighteen. He has since worked his way up to the Head of Library Services. His knowledge of the archives, and the treasures they hold, is the most intimate in the country. Though there is no written catalog of the holdings, Bruno claims to know where every tape is on the shelves by memory. “My colleagues — some are dead, some retired. I’m alone now,” says Bruno. Bruno has been slowly trying to digitize the archives himself, but with just one man and one digitization station, it’s a slow process. To copy all estimated 100,000 hours, it would take him around 15 years — working nonstop. Nevertheless, Bruno says that digitizing the archives is vital to the future of the nation, and he hopes that others will also recognize their value before it is too late.

Broadcasting Corporation

Rebecca and Bruno in Bruno’s office at the Tanzan


OUR CO-FOUNDER Benson Rukantabula, a young Tanzanian who helped found the project, hopes that by making this music available, the country can both preserve its heritage and inspire young Tanzanian artists through the musical storytelling of their past. The popular Bongo Flava music that blares from local nightclubs hardly reflects Tanzania’s rich musical history, he says. “The messages are all messed up. If we digitize the archives, they can know where they lost their way,” Rukantabula says. “Reel-to-reel won’t last forever,” Benson adds. “We need to show the world this music, to share our culture and preserve our history for the future generations.”

THE KING OF RUMBA King Kiki, or “Kitambaa Cheupe," — so-called for his habit of wiping the sweat from his brow with a white handkerchief when he performs — was born in the Congo but has called Dar-esSalaam home since the mid-1970s. He is one of the legends of the Radio Tanzania era, and still plays to sold-out crowds around Dar-es-Salaam four or five nights a week. The Congolese rumba style of music that he helped make famous in Tanzania features Cuban-inspired riffs and rhythms that combine magnificently with African drumbeats and high-pitched guitar melodies. Kiki recorded regularly at Radio Tanzania throughout the 70s and 80s; in fact, the Radio Tanzania studios were the only place to record in Tanzania for more than twenty years. He guesses that the recordings he did there would be enough to release five or six full CDs of his songs, at least. “I’m happy to see young people who care about this music,” he says. “I almost thought we would all be forgotten.”

THE CRUSADER Besides being one of Tanzania’s best guitarists, John Kitime has also become the de facto spokesperson for the artistic community, speaking out against copyright infringement and fighting for musicians’ rights. On nights that he is not performing with the Kilimanjaro Band, he supports other musicians and writes about their shows on his blog. “Life as a musician in Tanzania is very difficult,” says John. “It is extremely hard to make a living this way — we only do it because we love to play. But piracy is a big problem, and people do not respect the copyright law of the country. If the music at Radio Tanzania is digitized, it should benefit the musicians who recorded there first and foremost.” Digitizing the Radio Tanzania archives will not only preserve a national treasure, it will help musicians like John finally be able to make a living doing what they love.

THE SUCCESSOR Leo Mkanyia, a popular young musician, is one of the few stars of his generation whose music has clearly been influenced by the muziki wa dansi era. As the son of Henry Mkanyia, a former bassist for the famous DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra, Leo had the benefit of growing up with the lively and unique sounds of dansi as a part of daily life. Playing masterfully on both acoustic and electric guitar, he incorporates rhythms and riffs from the Gogo and Zaramu tribes that he learned from his father and grandmother. Unfortunately, most other young musicians have had little access to music from before the digital era, since the only copies that exist are either trapped on reels in the Radio Tanzania archives, or poorly-made copies of pirated versions that circulate the streets on cassette tapes. This generation has largely turned to the readilyavailable Western hip-hop and pop music for inspiration, but Leo’s large following is testament to the fact that many still yearn for music that honors the rich tradition of Tanzania’s past.


Core Values
We believe...
1) Music is a universal language
A Zimbabwaen proverb says, "if you can speak, you can sing. If you can stand, you can dance." Music transcends language, boundaries & cultural differences. There’s nothing more essential to humanity than art.

2) Art is dynamic and always evolving 
Culture is never static. It challenges us, provokes us, inspires us. Every new creation is in conversation with the past. To know where we are headed, we have to know where we have been.

3) Songs tell stories. Stories start conversations. Conversations lead to compassion
The first step toward a more peaceful planet is communicating with each other. We can all learn something from a different culture & we all have something to share from our own.

4) We need to preserve and promote endangered culture before it is lost
All around the world, priceless archives and rare collections are in grave danger of being lost or destroyed by time, climate, lack of resources, conflict, or neglect. We have to act before it's too late.

5) Culture should be restored & revitalized by using new & innovative technologies
Technology is improving at unprecedented speeds, making digitization more affordable and effective than ever. Our generation needs to take advantage of the technological revolution by caring for the heritage that has been left for us.

6) Just like music, cultural preservation should be collaborative, creative, & celebratory
Times have changed. Music doesn’t belong on dusty shelves or in lost libraries. It belongs to the people. New methods of preservation, digital storage, & music sharing come with new ways of working with custodians of culture: with respect and partnership.

7) Promoting endangered culture can have a social impact
Digitizing & making archival music available to consumers provides training, jobs & income for local people. Proper digitization combats piracy & benefits artists. The Bantu word "Ubuntu" means "I am because we are." Cultural preservation can improve lives & alleviate poverty.

8) We provide a platform to amplify the voices of the past, and of artists, communities, & cultures who want to keep their heritage alive
Our mission is to make the world a better place by saving endangered music & sharing it with the world.

The Community
Letter from a Supporter
13 January 2012

"All you cultu brea re-lo thin ving g, dr , mel umb lover odyeat-c s: W hat's hasi hum ng m more an e usic xper essen ience tial to you than the - sup art? port I im this plore -Nil proje a Uth ct.” ayak Kick uma starte r, r Ba cker

I have fond memories of Radio Tanzania Dar-Es-Salaam “It was all abou growing up.  I remember those old days when I was in t love, a ll about primary school, secondary school and even college. I unity, all abo remember hearing those old songs blasted on the 277 or ut comin g toge Mkulima Radios as I left school for lunch breaks -  ther a Mchana Mwema. I could hear songs like “Ni Kinda nd buildin g a ne langu ni Lenye  Rangi ya Chungwa," "Kifo," w nati on. When y "Unapenda Dezo Dezo," and "Asha" by Tabora Jazz and ou list en to many beautiful songs from various Tanzanian bands. I mu the sic now , you s even remember programs like “MaMa na Mwana”, “Club till have the sam Raha Leo Show,” and many more. e We can’t let all that good music and programs disappear. Let’s join hands to preserve and protect our history together. ! ! ! ! -Shabaan Fundi

feeling.”   -Benson Rukanta bula, co-fou nder of the Tanzania Heritage Project

“As a Tanzanian musician, I am very happy to hear of any project that would save the fantastic TBC library... Some of those tapes have been lying there for more than 50 years without having been touched; the storage there isn’t the best in the world. There should be an initial step of reviving these tapes to their original texture and quality before they could be copied, other wise the good intentions might end up in destroying forever these historic tapes.” ! ! -John Kitime, Kilimanjaro Band



AGE IF PR P C O V Y O U W R E S S O J E C T. O RG/ OUL ER info D @ta US, P LEA LIKE nza niah SE E TO erit age MAI pro L: jec t.or g



RADIO TANZANIA in the news
Volume No. 1

“The narrative about Africa in the popular media is usually one of poverty, disease and helplessness. Radio Tanzania is about social enterprise, solutions and hope.” -Flagpole Magazine, 25 Jan 2012

"The archives are an audio-musical history of Tanzania’s struggle for independence and its birth as a modern African nation. The digitization of this collection will be a tremendous good as an act of cultural preservation, and will benefit musicians, scholars, and music lovers alike." -Filtre News, Jan 2012

"[...] None of the 100,000 hours worth of music and radio programming has ever been digitized, and the content of the deteriorating reels will be lost forever if no one takes action.    Fortunately, the cultural preservation group  The Tanzania Heritage Project  has a plan to archive and distribute these endangered cultural artifacts.” (2/3/2012)

 The Tanzania Heritage Project [...] is fighting to keep this music alive, raising money to digitize it and make it available to the public once again. “Every minute that these tapes sit in the heat and humidity of Dar es Salaam, the quality is being reduced,” says Rebecca Corey. “As the last of these musicians passes on,” she adds, “there will be no one to carry on these traditions if no one can hear the music.”(3/23/2012)

“To many, digging for records can be an exhilarating search for rare and unique music. Sitting in Tanzania is a massive unused “record mine” with thousands of East African recordings from the 60’s through the 80’s sitting packed away and untouched. Musical history is literally recorded and sitting in a storage building. Help Radio Tanzania set it free.” (Feb 2012)

“It would be amazing to see something snowball from this project,” Fu said. “Like Radio India or Radio China or Radio Brazil. Basically it would be ideal to create a model that can be replicated around the entire world for capturing local music.” (1/20/2012)

“Fifty years after Tanzania's independence, an innovative, crowd-funded project is working to preserve the nation's history and music [...] The radio, part of the state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, has more than 100,000 hours of unreleased tapes holding ethnographic recordings, afro-jazz dance music and political speeches used to fuel support for independence movements across Africa...” -Global Post, 16 February 2012

Kickstarter Campaign

Official NGO Registration

1) Full assessment of the Radio Tanzania Dar-es-Salaam archive. First, we will gain intellectual control of the collection, create a digital catalogue, plan the digitization workflow, and make long-term physical preservation recommendations. 2) Pilot digitization: 50 tapes, one digitization station. Next, we will train one technician trained, and digitize 25 hours of the best music. This will allow us to prove our model. 3) “Best of Radio Tanzania” CD remastered and released including liner notes, photographs, and historical background. Then, we will continue to raise awareness and support, working toward sustainability. 4) Scale digitization: 10 digital audio workstations, 15 employees, digitization and preservation of full collection (~19,000 tapes). After we have proven the model and raised funds, we will establish the long-term digitization system. At this point, we will be providing consistent training and employment to a local Tanzanian staff. 5) Long-term online storage of digitized material, web-platform to showcase the music. As the music is digitized, we will create access, sustainability, and a revenue stream online. Our web platform will enable users to engage with the material, bringing the music to life for old and new generations alike. 6) Open-source model of participatory preservation. Once we have successfully revived the Radio Tanzania archives, we will share our methods so that other projects can replicate our model for preservation in other locations.

Join us in Reviving the Radio Tanzania Archives!
To learn more, hear the music, donate, or get involved, please contact: Or visit: You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube: Thank you!

DESIGN & CONTENT: Rebecca Corey “THE MUSIC”: Nils Von der Assen, Stephen Witt, & Rebecca Corey “THE PROJECT” & “PEOPLE”: Jonathan Kalan, Rebecca Corey RADIO TANZANIA LOGO: Carlo Espiritu TANZANIA HERITAGE PROJECT LOGO: Heather McMichen PHOTOGRAPHY: Jonathan Kalan, Rebecca Corey, Xiao Liu, John

Kitime, Nitesh Gandhi, Helena Goldon