Frida Amani, or Queen Fifi, is a Tanzanian hip-hop artist based in Dar es Salaam, who is shaking up Tanzania with her impactful lyrics and putting her own sound on Bongo rap. Bonga flava “started as a Tanzanian take on American hip-hop and R&B…artists began to draw from traditional Tanzanian musical styles (like dansi and taarab) as well as from afrobeat, reggae, and dancehall styles.” Frida Amani was born in Arusha, Tanzania, and in 2015, she participated in Bongo Star Search, which is a talent show competition similar to America’s Got Talent, and won 3rd place. She took some time off from music and pursued broadcast journalism, and became a radio personality and TV presenter. Her comeback to the hip-hop scene was with her 2018 single, Jibebe, which means “carry it” in Swahili, and it allowed her to gain recognition as an artist in Tanzania. Frida Amani has only released singles since with Pull Up in 2019; Mi Na We, Yeye, Anakudanganya, and BAD in 2020; DONE, Madam President, and Imoo in 2021; and Fala Mimi, I Got You, Duyuwana, and Kisiki Hai in 2022. As a new and upcoming artist in a male-dominated genre, Frida Amani manages to have her own unique sound and speak on relevant social and political topics. In her song Fala Mimi (Sarafu Ya Mapenzi), she speaks on domestic violence and tells women, “that love is not war. If he beats you and persecutes you, leave..” Though she has yet to put out an EP or release a debut album, I have no doubt that her music will reach the masses and touch the hearts of all who listen.
A personal favorite of mine is Madam President (Fun Fact: This song is Frida’s highest viewed music video on Youtube) which is not just a hip-hop song with melodic beats, but it speaks a message. This song pays homage to Samia Suluhu Hassan who is the first female president in Tanzania and the third female head of state of an East African Community country (Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda). Her chorus hits the listener right away, as she raps, “Kwenye rap game mi ni madam president, Head of the government, Naongea na residents, Hey I feel like Mama Samia.” (ENG Translation: In the “rap game” I am “madam president”, Head of the government, I speak to the residents, Hey I feel like Mama Samia.) The song continues to speak on women’s empowerment, and more importantly, the fact that “More and more, women are paving the way for young girls to become leaders in their own communities.”
Check Out Frida’s latest Posts Here:
Listen to Fala Mimi Here:
Bongo Flava: The Rhythm of Tanzania – Thomson Safaris
Frida Amani: ‘Madam President’ of Bongo rap – The East African