Kioo cha Lugha

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Living the stanzas of Bongo Fleva: its light and dark sides

Spemba E. Spemba


This article explores the values (both negative and positive) of Bongo Fleva (especially Hip-hop) culture as revealed in the stanzas and through the lives of artists and audience. Apparently, what the artists sing is closely linked to their real lives and that they sing their wishes and behaviours which can affect the audience too. To attain the goal of this study I have listened to and analyzed different Bongo Fleva songs, held interviews with Bongo Fleva fans and traced written, video and biographical information of sampled Bongo Fleva artists for testimonial purposes. The findings reveal that Bongo Fleva music has positive and negative values on the audience and artists. The article recommends that, there is a need to restructure the operation of the censorship organ, namely Baraza la Sanaa Tanzania, or add more censorship organs to do away with undesired effects of the genre; the artists should be made aware of the fact that ‘Bongo Fleva Music Industry’ is of great value and should not be misused by incorporating transgressive lifestyle.

AJOL African Journals Online