Snippets from the Past
by James Mgaya
Saturday evenings became alive with local dances at several places. During
my boyhood, in the early forties, there used to be two dancing groups, formed by workers from the Harbours
Authority and the Railways Authority, that went by the name of Pwani and
Loco, respectively. The two separate groups would meet at their usual dancing arena, which was then near the then Liwali’s
Baraza at street No. 9, where is now a CCM branch office. There they used to exhibit their dancing
and singing in competition against each other; as they respectively exalted their kind of work while slighting the other’s.
for European music, the most popular then was a brass band formed by trumpeters of the Wasambaa
tribe, who had been brought together by one Makata Shekue. They had a
club at street no. 13 near the African sports Club. Other musicians of fame included an elderly Goan
saxophonist called Fereira. There were also others who quite mastered the guitar; those included
Sururu, late Francis Hariri and late Henry Mdimu
among others. In later years there emerged other bands of fame such as the Atomic Jazz Band and the jamhuri
Jazz Band. In Taarab music, Tanga had at one time been on the map with
bands like Black Star and the Lucky Star, which had produced singers of fame like Shakira.