THE POWER OF BONGO
Written by faithmueni on September 17, 2021
Today music is diverse and sound has become universal faster than we thought it would across the world. In East Africa predominantly the most recognized and powerful sound is Bongo. This melodious beat that relies heavily on drums has become the driving force behind the Tanzanian music scene.
From the likes of Ali Kiba who brought hits like ‘Cinderella’ into the scene to Marlow who gave us the famous hit ‘bembeleza.’ Bongo has been widely accepted to the point that the greatest artist of our generation from Tanzania, ‘Diamond Platnumz’ who has effectively shown Africans and the world that Bongo music can rank high with other forms of music across the world.
Today the most viewed artist in Africa with more than a BILLION views on youtube is from Tanzania, I know you already guessed it right, “DIAMOND PLATNUMZ’ also known as ‘Simba’ which is swahili for Lion.
The big question here is, Why is it that Bongo music, a sound that doesn’t incorporate a universal language rather swahili is so popular?
My analogy of this new wave is that it always starts at home. If your fellow citizens, your fans from home support accept, relate and promote your music then you have a fight to win. It’s evident that the Tanzanians really enjoy their music and this alone has been enough for Tanzanian acts like ‘Harmonize’,’ Rayvanny’ and ‘Zuchu’ to blow up on to the scene thus cementing the dominance of Bongo music on East African airwaves.
It’s hard to underestimate a movement when it has become as big as Bongo music in East Africa. The sound in other East African countries is not as defined and direct as Bongo is in Tanzania. We see that other African countries are not known for one type of sound unlike Tanzania hence the recognition.
Will things change ? Will Bongo come to be overtaken by Gengetone? Will East Africa’s biggest artist ever come from a country that doesn’t do Bongo ? Who knows! This is a chance for other countries and artists to watch and learn on what bongo tune is doing right.
FOR NOW THE POWER AND CELEBRATION IS ON BONGO MUSIC!
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