The 1960s-80s is considered the ‘golden age’ of African music, and in East Africa, Tanzania was famed for having one of the most active and vibrant music scenes of them all. Not only was the music catchy, warm, and bright, it was a used consciously as a powerful tool for building national unity, pride, and pan-African solidarity after years of colonialism.
The genre of popular music played during that time was muziki wa dansi, sometimes called Swahili Jazz, Tanzanian Rumba, or today, zilipendwa, which means ‘the ones that were loved’.
Hundreds of recordings were made onto magnetic tape at the state-run radio station, which was called Radio Tanzania Dar-es-Salaam. But today, that archive is still largely un-digitized and inaccessible to the public.
The Tanzania Heritage Project is preserving and digitizing music from the Radio Tanzania era.