Somewhere up the hill you probably saw this coming. However, to put records straight, earlier today he made it official. He will be running for office to represent the people of Mikumi-Morogoro as their next Member of Parliament. He will run under Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo [CHADEMA] flagship. He will run to oust incumbent MP, Abdulsalaam Suleiman Ameir [CCM]
I have known Professor Jay [real name Joseph Haule] for years. We grew up together. I have therefore known all along that a shot at public office was never a matter of if but when. If all goes well for him, he will join artists who switched tables to become politicians. One good example is Joseph Mbilinyi [Mr. II] who is currently representing people of Mbeya at the Legislature. He will also be running again.
Joseph Haule has wit, directness and intelligence. Throughout his career as an artist, he has carried a common man’s message. He has carried their struggles with him through his music. He never changed his mind. It was natural for him to join the “opposition” sometimes last year. As an obsessively devoted individual, he just couldn’t join the same system he has literally being singing against for years.
Professor is a well-respected artist among his peers and across streets and hoods. He is daring and innovative and a toasty-warm human being. He is now taking that stance to Mikumi-his hometown. I personally wish him all the best.
Karibu Cultural Promotions Organization in collaboration with Legendary Music Entertainment and Promotions Company Limited are organizing the 2nd edition of the “Karibu Music Festival”, an annual Three (03) Days International cultural event aiming at African Culture Promotion to the world, as well as introducing other countries’ culture to Africa, and building up friendship/collaboration opportunities among all participants.
In the aspects of music, dance, paintings, theater, crafts, and many others, all artists who can share our passion and goal together, you are welcomed to participate in this event to present your great talents and promote yourself!
The festival involves International artists from Africa, Europe, America, and Asia who will perform at the main stage and conduct their unique Workshop classes. This will be 100% LIVE performance among 3 days!! It will also feature Musicians selling and showcasing their CDs (Albums), craftsmen and artisans selling unique products, cultural food and drink vendors, Also a Cinema and graffiti venues for more art adventures. The big Live performance stage with the high quality sound system from Legendary Music will be set nearby the College of Arts and Culture Bagamoyo-TASUBA, from 6th(Fri) to 8th (Sun) of November 2015.
Let us share the wonderful moment on the stage!!!
APPLICATIONS ONLINE www.karibumusic.org
AY is without a doubt one of the smartest “kids on the block” as far as music in Tanzania is concerned. Of course he is not a “kid” but a grown up man who knows how to set the stage and have people dancing to the tune. You can read all about his journey to where he is in this article that I also used to revisit and re-release one of the best stuff from him.
After releasing a collaborative song Touch Me with one of global superstars, Kingston, towards the end of last year [You can watch the video here], AY is now putting his best jump suit and asking you to get ready for yet another race. His latest single will be released on 2nd February. That means, the fire is already burning and you are asked to be ready. Mark that day…2nd February. That is my mother’s birthday by the way if I can also make the date personal…can I? Did I tell you the name of the new single? It’s Zigo!
I am not sure how relevant he remains, but we can all agree [or even disagree] that Mrisho Mpoto is hell of an artist. He also took spoken word artistry to the next level when he wrote a famous letter to his “Uncle”-Mjomba which was translated [at least in the streets] to be a jab to political leaders for doing less over less in a country full of resources.
We know that his stance has since then changed. He has publicly supported the ruling party with a recent publicly available call for support of Edward Lowassa who is widely expected to vie presidential candidacy via ruling party CCM.
All said and done, everyone is free to air their political opinions. What you don’t want [especially if you are an artist] is to be remembered for your political affiliations than your works of art. That would hurt anyone with common sense pillars attached to his/her forehead.
When we want to breath, Mrisho Mpoto is here once again to prove his authority to poems and spoken word. The title Njoo Uchukue [Come Take It]. This is what he does best. Listen
Kwa miaka nenda rudi, wasanii wa kitanzania walikuwa na kilio kinachofanana. Ungekaa pembeni bila kuwaona, ungedhani kutokana na mwangwi wa kilio chao, anayelia ni mmoja. Hapana. Wote walikuwa [na pengine bado wanaendelea kulia] kutokana na kunyonywa “jasho lao”.
Kimsingi “jasho” wanalolilia limekuwa ni soko na usambazaji. Kipaji unacho na watu wanakubali kazi zako. Tatizo utaifikishaje kazi yako kwa mashabiki zako? Ni wazi kwamba unahitaji msaada wa kimasoko na usambazaji. Kusema utaweza kufanya kila kitu peke yako ni kujidanganya.Nani? Yupo wapi na utampa kazi zako kwa thamani gani? Kilio chao kilianzia hapo. Wengine wakaamua kuachana na muziki [wengine muziki umewaacha wao] kutokana na ukosefu wa soko la uhakika na kuona kadhaa ya kupanga foleni ukisubiri “hela yako”.
Mabadiliko ya masoko ya kazi za wasanii duniani kutoka kwenye mifumo ya ki-analojia kwenda kwenye dijitali na pia kutoka katika mifumo ya vitu kama CD mpaka kwenda kwenye matumizi ya simu na vikabrasha vingine vya mikononi, kulimaanisha kwamba soko la wasanii wa kitanzania [na Afrika kwa upana wake] lilikuwa linazidi kufifia. Hakuna tena shabiki anayetaka kubeba furushi la CD. Inakuwaje?
Hapo ndipo baadhi ya vijana wakaona fursa kuthibitisha kwamba penye tatizo ndipo pa kukimbilia.Fursa ni kama dhahabu au almasi.Huwezi kuiokota kando ya bahari ikiwa imetupwa ufukweni na mawimbi ya bahari. Wazo la fursa likazaa Mkito.Com mahali ambapo wasanii sasa wanapumua na huku changamoto pekee ni kuwashawishi mashabiki kupakua kazi zao kutoka Mkito.Com. Kila mara shabiki anapofanya hivyo, msanii ananufaika na kupata nguvu zaidi ya kuingia tena studio kunogesha mambo. It’s a win win situation.
Sune Mushendwa [pichani juu] ni mwanzilishi-mwenza wa Mkito.Com. Kujua mengi zaidi nilimtafuta na kupiga naye story kidogo. Ameelezea mengi. Nakukaribisha usome mahojiano yangu naye ili ujue yote ambayo umekuwa ukitaka kuyajua kuhusu Mkito.Com .Twende pamoja;
BC: Sune karibu sana ndani ya BongoCelebrity. Hii ni mara yako ya kwanza hapa na bila shaka wasomaji wangependa kupata japo kwa kifupi tu historia yako. Ulizaliwa wapi,ukakulia wapi na kusomea wapi na mambo kama hayo?
SM: Asante sana kwa kunikaribisha. Mimi nimekulia Arusha na ndipo niliposoma pia. Baada ya sekondari nilienda kusoma chuo kikuu nchini Finland ambako mama yangu ndipo anapotokea.
BC: Wajasiriamali wengi ambao nimewahi kufanya nao mahojiano huniambia kwamba waliamua kufanya wanachokifanya baada ya kukosa au kubughudhiwa na kitu fulani.Huwa kuna kisa au mkasa nyuma ya pazia. Kwa upande wa Mkito kuna kisa au mkasa wowote? Ilikuwaje mpaka ukasema Aha…Mkito ikaanza? Na hili jina lilikuja namna gani?
SM: Baada ya kutoka masomoni nilianzisha studio ya muziki Arusha.Lakini tatizo kubwa lililoonekana moja kwa moja ni kwamba wasanii pamoja na studio zinapata tabu sana katika kusambaza na kuuza kazi zao. Niliona tunahitajika njia ya kuweza kusambaza muziki kirahisi na pia kuingiza kipato kwa msanii. Baada ya research na maandalizi ya zaidi ya miaka 4 ndipo Mkito.com ilipozaliwa tarehe 30 April 2014.
BC: Mpaka sasa Mkito imefanikiwa kuwa na wasanii wangapi? Nini masharti ya msanii kujiunga au kuweka kazi zake katika Mkito?
SM: Kuna wasanii takriban 600 waliojiunga mpaka sasa na wanaongezeka kila siku. Masharti ya kujiunga ni marahisi, uwe umerekodi wimbo anghalau mmoja wenye ubora. Baada ya hapo msanii anaweza kujitengenezea akaunti yake kupitia tovuti www.mkito.com na kupakia[upload] nyimbo zake mwenyewe. Msanii baada ya hapo anaweza kufuatilia mauzo yake mwenyewe kupitia akaunti yake aliyoitengeneza.
BC: Bado nikiwa katika swali au maswali ya wasanii. Msanii akishaingia katika mkataba au makubaliano na ninyi, bado anakuwa na haki na uhuru wa kuendelea kusambaza kazi zake katika platforms zingine kama vile iTunes,Spotify,Google Play nk?
Prezzo is Kenyan. However, he has so much love for Tanzania in such a way that in a number of times he is confused [by music fans] to be the kid from Jakaya’s home. It works well for him. An artist shouldn’t have boundaries.
It’s no surprise; therefore, he is launching his latest single on a Tanzanian based digital music selling platform, Mkito. To him, Tanzania is home. He once almost found love in the land of peace and harmony before the dramatic scandals fueled by misuses of social media.
Enough stories. Here is his latest single Bila Mundai [I have no clue what Mundai means]. Listen,download and tell your friend to get it as well.
For a little while, Diamond Platinumz is what we’ll be talking about. Over the weekend, in Johannesburg-South Africa he broke the record for becoming the first East African artists to win 3 Channel O Music Awards in one night. He deserves it. He is presently running the show with hit songs and the kind of music that makes people feel good. They are the kind of songs that helps him enjoy the maximum shares of the African music market at the moment.
But as much as we talk about Diamond, we shouldn’t forget the folks that help him learn and appreciate the art of learning how to survive and succeed. I am talking about his management; as seen in the photo above. I have been lucky enough to deal with all of them while coordinating one of his international tours. Diamond is managed by multiple personalities. He has closed doors advisers that I am aware of but wouldn’t want to name them here.
It therefore didn’t surprise to hear him thanking his management over and over again during his award receiving speeches and even in his social media accounts. These fellas work hard behind him. They sometimes pushes the buttons too hard but as long as they get the work done, they deserve acknowledgement and praises. There is no way Diamond would have done what he has managed to do so far without having a team behind.
From left it is Salam, Babu Tale and Mkubwa Fella who announced recently that he is joining political party politics under CCM wing. Therefore, as you congratulate Diamond, don’t forget these fellas who works just as hard to push forward not only Diamond’s music but rather generation X’s music to the global stage.
If you have never jammed to Mr.Blue’s Pesa, I am sorry to inform you that you missed the fun of hip-hop and you are encouraged to do it asap. It’s one of dopest songs from Mr.Blue an artist who adopted the name Blue after his hit single Blue in which he proclaimed his love for color “blue”.
I remember about a year and half ago when “Pesa” became one of the testing songs at MwanaLizombe Records [Professor Jay’s studio]. As speakers, microphones were put to the test, Pesa [and couple classics from Motown to Death Row] came handy. I loved and still love the song. Producer Dunga [who assisted a lot in putting things together at MwanaLizombe] also enjoyed the heavy beat of Pesa.
I am therefore happy to see that I can finally watch the video for this song that without a doubt brought Mr.Blue back to the hip hop level he deserves to be seating on. Watch
Queen B is about to “break the internet” for real. Well…kinda off. This is how; her latest song titled Ring Off is said to have leaked online and thousands of fans are already jamming to it. According to multiple sources including Hollywood Life, the song became available in couple of platforms before SME worked hard into pulling it off.
Have you heard it? Goodluck with Google and you may be able to..
In 1992, the historical UDASA Hall at The University Of Dar-es-salaam, witnessed the beginning of the revolution. A young and skinny man approached the microphones with a quiet air of authority, and yet of rare warmth. He introduced himself as Nigga Jay. It was his first live performance on stage before a “live” audience.
Fortunately or unfortunately for him, his first live audience comprised of scholars. While they could be tolerant as Jesus, given a reason, hell could easily break loose. I bet you “Mr.Punch” was in attendance. It could easily turn to be a date with King Kong!
Even though scholars are known to be in the “know” for almost everything, that evening was different. Only Nigga Jay and his friend Killa B knew that hidden piece of the puzzle. Nigga Jay was making a debut. In the eyes of a curious and “let’s wait and see” audience, he carried himself with confidence of a healthy young man who has never been hurt. He had the confidence level of a lion although deep inside, he was nervous like a pre-teen fella who just woke up in the morning to find his bed sheets wet!
He was an upcoming artist with unbelievable talent. He was an underground artist with a vividly inventive mind. On that stage at UDASA, when the microphones were turned on, he proved to be the new wizard of “tongue twist” the style he had adopted from US based Rap/Hip Hop groups such as Run DMC and Public Enemy.
Few seconds after he started, there was no movement, not even the whisper of a sound. It was amazing. At such a young age, he was like a teacher you don’t often get to see. When you see him, it’s going down. When the show ended, scholars with curious minds, satisfied and overly excited approached him. He was their new “subject”. How in the world do you manage to do that? He was climbing the ladder directing to big-players club.
If everything started at the “Hill”, where academic achievements can earn you additional letters before your name [Dr.Prof etc], its no big surprise that years later he earned himself the stage name; Professor Jay. His title, however, came didn’t come from the “hill”. His came from his fans after seeing his vividly inventive mind and natural given talent as a lyrical genius.
Before he adapted “Professorship” title, he was, as I mentioned earlier, Nigga Jay. Then his fans [and himself] gave him “street baptism” with names such as Jay Wa Mitulinga, Mti Mkavu, Heavy Weight MC, Daddy, Mchawi Wa Rhymes, MC Shupavu, Mr.President, Jiizeh, Mr.Red Carpet, Tough Wallet, Jay Tunakuzimia, Sauti ya Hela…the list goes on and on.
All those names followed the name his parents [Mzee Leonard Steven Haule and Late Mama Rose Majanjara] gave him when he was born on 29th December 1975. They called him Joseph Leonard Haule. He was to be educated at Ukonga Primary School, Kigurunyembe Secondary School [Morogoro] and Lutengano High School [Mbeya].
At all levels of school, Professor Jay was a friend everyone wanted to have in their circles. He had [and still has] a striking exotic quality people were attracted to. He would make people laugh and smile. In fact, a lot of people thought he was going to be a stand-up comedian. He gives credits to his schooling years as places where he honed his writing and rapping skills. According to him, school gave him sheer organizational muscles especially on power of words. A typical success type.
After school, Professor Jay [still Nigga Jay] knew he wanted to be an artist [a musician]. Back to the city, utterly likable and utterly competent, he thought of starting the “movement” with a winning team. Drums sounds better in pairs.
Between late 1994 and early1995, with his easy style and collegial, he joined Hard Blasterz Crew [HBC] the hip-hop group based in East Upanga [a well to do neighborhood then]. It occurred that Professor joined HBC at the right time. Three of original members of HBC [Frank Korassa,Ngida and Tough Jam] had left the group for US for further studies [and life]. HBC was left with Big Willy and Terry [Fanani]. They needed someone to energize the group that was already known to be one of the best in East Africa. Nigga Jay was the right choice.
Even before joining HBC, Professor had written a lot of songs. HBC wanted to make an album. So his written materials came handy. But do they start writing new stuff or tap into what Professor Jay had it on paper? The logical answer was almost obvious. They could use some of his materials.
The idea of using Professor’s written materials, however, wasn’t easily accepted. The argument was, how could a newcomer become almost the “king” of verses? The strangeness was, therefore, somehow threatening. You have to know by that time, HBC was regarded as the best Hip-Hop group in Tanzania and beyond. That title and emblem stayed on for years and got even better when Professor came aboard.
They settled to include some of the songs he had written. These were likes of Mamsap, Eeh Mola, Kubwa Kuliko and Chemsha Bongo. The album was given the title, Funga Kazi. A young producer, Prof. Ludigo, who had just come back home from Philadelphia, was to take charge of their first album. He played a big role in convincing Big Willy and Fanani to use or include some verses that Professor Jay had written. Ludigo saw something unique in Nigga Jay. We know now, he was right
In the process, they managed to take out some of his original written verses in most other songs. However, they couldn’t alter Chemsha Bongo because it was one man’s tale of his rise and fall. It was, therefore, decided that Chemsha Bongo would make it in the album and Professor will get to do it almost as a solo career.
That decision to let allow Nigga Jay to record Chemsha Bongo was a game changer. The revolution started from there. It brought fame and money to HBC but also acted as a breakthrough bridge between the older generation that had regarded Rap/Hip-Hop songs and artists as part of hooliganism and gangsters of new generation.
Within few days after Chemsha Bongo went on air through radio stations, the perception of new generation music changed. Finally, there was a song from younger generation that could make sense. Families could listen together without anyone’s heart racing faster waiting for “bleep” moment or letting an elephant in the room. The times when parents and their kids looked at each warily like condemned criminals were coming to an end.
Professor Jay doesn’t remember very well when he started writing Chemsha Bongo. It could be 1997. However, he remembers very well where he was when writing the third verse. After daily hustles in the city, Prof was en-route home direction Kimara in a DalaDala. For him hard work and thinking was a 24/7 business. His thoughts were like gliding clouds, fading in and out of the heavens. When the announcement was made they had arrived in Kimara [the outskirts of Dar-es-salaam where his family lived at that time], Chemsha Bongo was now complete.
Jokingly he teases that at that time if he was to be robed, robbers would find no cash but lots of pieces of papers. If anything, they would have found tons of verses. They could turn from being robbers to become performing artists…. May be. During our chitchat for this review and re-release, Professor reminded me [and you] that those paper clips is what brought the revolution that today’s generation is enjoying [and sometimes taking it for granted]
Back to Funga Kazi album project, there was a problem. Even though Prof.Ludigo had come home with lots of beats, he didn’t have a recording studio. Lucky for them and him, Master J welcomed them at MJ Records without a slight or watchful hesitation or misty doubt.
The album Funga Kazi was officially introduced at Summer Jam Festival at Slipway in summer of 1998. The place was parked. There was no way the place could host all the fans who wanted to see HBC. When police tried to turn them away, they revolted. Police and security didn’t stand a chance. Fans pushed the fence in. Hell almost broke loose. Chaos. The love for Hard Blasterz Crew had sturdy genuiness.
As the new millennium was approaching, Chemsha Bongo had revolutionized the “new generation music” industry. Parents started allowing their kids with fewer rules to pursue their dreams of becoming performing artists. Other artists also saw the importance of writing lyrics/songs that made sense across generations. In 1995/1996 HBC won awards including The Best Hip-Hop Group in Tanzania.
With success of Chemsha Bongo and Funga Kazi, Nigga Jay decided to pursue a solo career which started in 2001 with his first solo career album, Machozi, Jasho na Damu. Today, he is regarded as a pioneering Hip-Hop artist who changed the game. Here is the song that started it all like a breeze from a new direction; Chemsha Bongo
Listen And Download Chemsha Bongo here.
Professor Jay will be launching two videos for his latest songs Kipi Sijasikia And Tatu Chafu this weekend. Below are the details. You can follow Professor Jay on Twitter @ProfessorJayTz And Instagram @professorjaytz. You can also visit his official website at www.profesajay.com