HHAP Episode 31: Wachata Crew on Graffiti & Hip Hop Culture in Tanzania

Wachata Crew is the biggest, and oldest graffiti crew in Tanzania. With more than a decade of experience, the members of Wachata Crew are established and respected members of the hip hop scene in Tanzania. The members of Wachata are Local Fanatics, Kala Singa, Medi, and Mejah.

We met up at their studios at Nafasi Art Space (nafasiartspace.org) in Dar es Salaam and talked about graffiti culture in Tanzania. We discussed the origins of Wachata Crew with WAPI (Words and Pictures) at the British Council in Dar es Salaam back in 2007. Wachata Crew sheds light on how many Tanzanians see graffiti culture in Tanzania and the connections between graffiti and hip-hop culture in Tanzania.

Graffiti culture differs all over the world, the members of Wachata Crew talk about the cost and qualities of spray paint cans in Tanzania, v. other places. The artists also discuss their connections with graffiti beyond Tanzania, and the participation of women in graffiti culture in Tanzania.

You can find Wachata Crew on Instagram @wachata07 and each member at @muabaka, @kalasinga24, @mejahmbuya, @localfanatics

HHAP Episode 8: Hip Hop in the Academy, in Conversation With Seth Markle

Dr. Seth Markle is an Associate Professor of History and International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Seth received his PhD in History from New York University. At Trinity College he teaches the courses Global Hip Hop Cultures and Introduction to Hip Hop. Much of his academic work has centered around Diaspora communities in Tanzania. His new book A Motorcycle on Hell Run: Tanzania, Black Power and the Uncertain Future of Pan-Africanism, 1964-1974 is scheduled to be released this year with Michigan State University Press.

His work in hip hop has been global. He has been very active in the hip hop scene in Tanzania, where is known as DJ Pemba. He has also traveled to several countries and worked with hip hop communities from Costa Rica to Russia. He is currently the faculty advisor for the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival, which happens every year on the campus of Trinity College and features artists, activists, and scholars from all over the world.

In this conversation we discuss the festival, it’s background and mission, as well as how people can get involved. We also discuss his work in Tanzania, his research, and being a hip hop academic.