Posted in Tanzania

30 days of Tanzanian hip hop: Day 15 Mangwair

30 days of Tanzanian hip hop: Day 15 – Mangwair in 2010. Mangwair was a talented artist who died after struggling with addiction. Some people blamed the music industry for the way they exploited him. Media houses like Clouds take young artists like Mangwair and make a lot of money off of them while the artists are left financially dependent. One of the main things hip hop artists in Tanzania face is the decision to become a Bongo Flava artist, which brings in more money but forces you to lose your creativity and ownership over your own music. Or to stay hip hop, and struggle to make money from your music. I interviewed Mangwair the day I took this picture and we discussed Bongo Flava v. hip hop and what he was. When I think about the interview today, after better understanding the industry in TZ, I understand why he couldn’t choose, and wanted to be both a hip hop artists and Bongo Flava artist.

Mangwair

*30 days of TZ hip hop is to show some of what I experienced the past year in Tanzania.

Author:

Assistant Professor in the African Studies Department at Howard University. Professor of the course Hip Hop and Popular Culture in Africa. Researcher and photographer of hip hop in Africa.

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