Bongo Flava Music

Bongo flava music is the nick name given to Tanzanian music. Bongo is the plural from Swahili word ubongo, meaning brain and is common nick name used to refer to Dar El Salam in Tanzania, where the genre originates. This style of music combines American Hip hop with traditional Tanzanian styles such as taarab and dansi.


Bongo flava was developed in the 1990s and forms a unique style of music with lyrics usually in Swahili or English. In the early days of this genre, Tanzanian artists would rap in Swahili over an American Hip hop style beat. They used this as a platform to educate listeners about social issues they need to eliminate e.g. drugs, robber, prostitution and to challenge authorities about social issues. for example, the track Kaka Suma by Nash Mc is banned by the Tanzanian Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA).

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Some bongo music artists to check out:

Diamond Platnumz – Nana

Alikiba – Mwana

T.I.D – Kiuno

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