Remember Dr. Hukwe Zawose

CD-Cover
Dr. Hukwe Zawose

BBC: "World music pioneer Zawose dies"

Music legend Dr Hukwe Zawose, a Tanzanian singer who recorded with rock star Peter Gabriel, has died aged 65.

Dr Zawose died at his home in Tanzania on 30 December 2003. He had been a staple of Gabriel's Womad world music festivals. He had a five-octave singing voice and travelled around the world. often with his nephew Charles Zawose. As well as his performing career, Dr Zawose also taught music at Tanzania's celebrated College of Performing Arts in his home town of Bagamoyo. His albums included the 1995 LP Chibite, and Assembly, which was released in 2002, through Gabriel's Real World Records label. One of his final collaborations was Animal, a track with Peter Gabriel, which the pair had performed together on tour.

"I was devastated to hear of Hukwe's death. He was an extraordinary musician, singer and composer and made some of the most beautiful music we have ever put out on Real World Records," Gabriel said.


Dr. Hukwe Zawose Dies at 65

Dr. Hukwe Zawose
Dr. Hukwe Zawose

Wednesday, January 07 2004 @ 08:23 PM EST

Contributed by: ARomero

World Music Central
London, England - Real World Records announced today the death of Dr Hukwe Zawose on Tuesday 30 December 2003 at his home in Bagamoyo, Tanzania at the age of 65.

Born in Doduma, a rural area of Tanzania, Dr Zawose was a legend in his own land, a clan leader and community mentor who had single-handedly breathed new life into the ancient traditional music of the Wagogo people. He first appeared in Great Britain in the early-eighties with the Master Musicians of Tanzania. His extraordinary 5-octave vocal range - switching between a high, feminine sound and a form of throat-singing and his exquisite playing of the buzzing ilimba thumb piano or the sensuous one-stringed izeze fiddle mesmerized audiences. The first of many appearances at WOMAD began at Mersea Island, UK in 1985.

Basing himself in the old Tanzanian town of Bagamoyo, where he devoted his time to founding and then teaching at the unique College of Performing Arts and presiding over a huge extended family, Dr Zawose travelled to the four corners of the globe, engaging his audiences in his taut and extraordinary web of singing and dancing talent, often travelling with his brilliant nephew Charles Zawose. In 2002 Hukwe and Charles accompanied Peter Gabriel as support act during his Growing Up Tour.

Dr Zawose recorded a number of albums during his life, including the traditional Chibite recorded in 1995 at the Real World 'Recording Week' and Spear To the Heart on the WOMAD Select label - both featuring emotional polyphonic vocal pyrotechnics with Charles. Most recently Dr Zawose teamed up with the highly respected producer/guitarist Michael Brook to concoct a rendezvous of traditional and modern sounds, ancient spirit meets digital technology. The result was Assembly (released on Real World Records in May 2002). This was Michael Brook's reaction to the news of his death: "Hukwe's voice and music always made me feel a sense of light, slightly giddy happiness. In person, his effect was similar, which makes his passing all the sadder. I'll miss his remarkable talent and humour, and feel honored to have known and worked with him."

One of his final collaborations was with Peter Gabriel on the track 'Animal Nation' which they also performed together on tour: "I was devastated to hear of Hukwe's death. He was an extraordinary musician, singer and composer and made most of the most beautiful music we have ever put out on Real World Records."


Afropop worldwide: "Passings: Hukwe Zawose and Ngoni Makombe (2004)"

Copyright: Peter Harke
Hukwe Zawose

At the close of 2003 and the opening of 2004, we lost two great musicians of what are commonly and misleadingly known as African "thumb pianos." Hukwe Zawose of Tanzania was much more than a master of the deeply beautiful ilimba. He was a multi-instrumentalist, an innovator in the realm of traditional music, and a recording artist extraordinaire with a catalog of recordings sure to survive long beyond his own 65 years. We have two offerings in memory of this great artist:

Hukwe Zawose is dead
DR. HUKWE ZAWOSE 1938-2003

It is with great sadness that we must announce the death of Dr Hukwe Zawose on Tuesday 30 December 2003 at his home in Bagamoyo, Tanzania at the age of 65. Born in Doduma, a rural area of Tanzania, Dr Zawose was a legend in his own land, a clan leader and community mentor who had single-handedly breathed new life into the ancient traditional music of the Wagogo people. He first appeared in Britain in the early-eighties with the Master Musicians of Tanzania. His extraordinary 5-octave vocal range - switching between a high, feminine sound and a form of throat-singing and his exquisite playing of the buzzing ilimba thumb piano or the sensuous one-stringed izeze fiddle mesmerized audiences.

The first of many appearances at WOMAD began at Mersea Island, UK in 1985. Basing himself in the old Tanzanian town of Bagamoyo, where he devoted his time to founding and then teaching at the unique College of Performing Arts and presiding over a huge extended family, Dr Zawose travelled to the four corners of the globe, engaging his audiences in his taut and extraordinary web of singing and dancing talent, often travelling with his brilliant nephew Charles Zawose.

In 2002 Hukwe and Charles accompanied Peter Gabriel as support act during his Growing Up Tour. Dr Zawose recorded a number of albums during his life, including the beautifully-exuberant, traditional Chibite recorded in 1995 at the Real World 'Recording Week' and Spear To the Heart on the WOMAD Select label - both featuring emotional polyphonic vocal pyrotechnics with Charles. Most recently Dr Zawose teamed up with the highly respected producer/guitarist Michael Brook to concoct a stunning rendezvous of traditional and modern sounds, ancient spirit meets digital technology. The result was Assembly (released on Real World Records in May 2002), an album of which the British music magazine fRoots wrote "Every now and then, but still rarely, an album comes along than can justifiably be described as a landmark. A masterpiece."

This was Michael Brook's reaction to the news of his death: "Hukwe's voice and music always made me feel a sense of light, slightly giddy happiness. In person, his effect was similar, which makes his passing all the sadder. I'll miss his remarkable talent and humour, and feel honoured to have known and worked with him."

One of his final collaborations was with Peter Gabriel on the track "Animal Nation" which they also performed together on tour: "I was devastated to hear of Hukwe's death. He was an extraordinary musician, singer and composer and made most of the most beautiful music we have ever put out on Real World Records".

Real World Records 7 January 2004


Hukwe Zawose

Born: 1940, Tanzania

Tanzanian multi-instrumentalist Hukwe Ubi Zawose was born at a time when his East African nation was lorded over by British colonizers, who claimed the so called Tanganyika territory after World War I. The British then established Tanzania, using the name in an attempt to forge a national identity from the territory's 120-plus different cultures. Tanzanians worked the fields all day, picking the few crops indigenous to the region. The British would then take the harvest and export it, passing on no wealth back to the local laborers.

Hukwe Zawose grew up as a cattle farmer during these difficult times. He was a member of the Wagogo people, and, like any other field-working people, the Wagogos sang while they worked. From an early age, Zawose's voice stood apart from the others in the fields. His was a loud, deeply passionate bellow with an incredible range that emanated from the middle of his throat. It was as if young Hukwe had listened to and empathized with every Tanzanian struggling to earn a living working on the plantations, and had distilled the collective experience of his people into one heart-rending sound. The sound coming from this young boy's mouth did not go unnoticed for long. Soon, he was walking from village to village, entertaining the working Tanzanians with his singing. Meanwhile, a grassroots uprising was fomenting in Tanzania, led by Julius Nyerere.

Throughout the 1950's, he spoke to his fellow Tanzanians and added to a burgeoning sense of nationhood in the country. Inspired by Nyerere's vision, Tanzania's separate ethnic groups did indeed start to become a unified whole. The Tanzanians were able to shake off their British oppressors, and in 1961, Nyerere became the first prime minister of the newly independent Tanzania. He got to work improving Tanzania's education and health care; grateful citizens lauded him as "the Father of the Nation." Throughout all this, Zawose had grown exponentially as a singer. He traveled farther and wider than before, leaving behind legends of his astonishing voice everywhere he went.

Zawose grew as a musician, too. He learned to play ilimba (giant thumb piano), izezs (traditional violins), filimbi (traditional flute), and nguga (ankle bells). He also began to write and perform his own compositions along with the traditional story-based and political celebration songs of his culture. Zawose was taking off as a musician, but it wasn't until Julius Nyerere invited him to his state residence in the Tanzanian capital of Dar-es-Salaam that he found himself in the stratosphere. He performed for the prime minister, and upon his return, he was received as a hero, a legend of almost mythical proportions. Fantastic stories were born: Zawose is an immortal, divine creature; Zawose's voice possesses magical healing powers. In response to these rumors, Zawose created a grand persona. When performing on stage, he and his band began to don elaborate masks and costumes.

Throughout the 1970's and 80's, Zawose and his band performed all over the country, supported by the government and the ubiquitous Radio Tanzania. In 1996, the first Zawose album available in the U.S. was released. Chibite (Real World), a mix of Zawose's own songs and traditional Tanzanian compositions, received considerable acclaim. By no means an easy listen, but possessing a kind of spiritual power, the songs were produced to preserve the earthy, raw quality of Zawose's live performances.

Hukwe Zawose may be perceived by some as an immortal being, but in fact, he lives a traditional Tanzanian life with his four wives and fifteen children, one of whom, Charles, is his constant companion on stage. Despite his officially sanctioned success, Zawose hasn't lost his political edge: earlier this year he was involved in an AIDS benefit album, Spirit of Africa (Real World). The track "Kuna Kunguni/The Bedbugs Bite," comes from Zawose's first venture into fusion music, a collaboration with Canadian guitarist and producer Michael Brook. If anything, the extraordinary power of Zawose's voice seems to increase with age. That voice still twists and ululates and induces tears in listeners; it is still tragic and hopeful all at once; it is still the voice of 120 Tanzanian tribes, uniting into one living, breathing whole.

Contributed by: Matt Ozga


Taa moja ya Sanaa imezimika Tanzania

Copyright: Peter Harke
Dr. Hukwe Zawose, winner of Zeze Award Tanzania 2002,

Na Antar Sangali, Bagamoyo

Hakuna tofauti kamwe na  kuzimika kwa taa moja muhimu katika gari lililoibeba sanaa na wasanii katika kiza kinenme cha sanaa  ya Tanzania ni
kule kutawafu kwa Dk. Hukwe Ubbi Zawose(71) msanii mahiri na hodari katika kuzipiga ala za kiasili, kupuliza filimbi na upigaji wa ngoma za makabila mbalimbali nchini aliyeitangaza Nchi hii ughaibuni katika nchi za mbali ni dhahiri wasanii na sanaa wamepata pengo litakalochukua miaka dahari ijayo kuzibika.

Majira ya saa 3.30 asubuhi tarehe 30 Desemba 2003 siku moja mbele kabla ya kuingia mwaka 2004  nikiwa najiandaa kuondoka nyumbani kwangu simu yangu iliita kwa kedi kisha nikaipokea aliyenipigia ni mtoto kati ya watoto wengi 18 wa marehemu Dk. Zawose aitwaye Charles Zawose akanijulisha kufa kwa baba yake kifo kilichotokea majira ya saa 2.30 asubuhi kutokana na maradhi ya mapafu na kuvimba kwa miguu.

Saa 5.30 juu ya alama niliwasili nyumbani kwa marehemu Dk.Hukwe Ubbi Zawose eneo la Bong'wa nje kidogo ya Mji wa Kale Bagamoyo na kukuta familia yake imekaa katika mkao wa kujikunyata wenye kutandwa na huzuni huku  ahli yake na nduguze wakilia kwa sauti za juu alimuradi ni uchungu mtupu unahisi umewakumba jamaa zake na watu wamjuao Marehemu Dk.Zawose na ile hazina ya usanii aliyokuwa amebebeshwa na Mungu. Niliinuka na kumsalimu Baba yake Mzazi Mzee Ubbi Zawose anayekwenda kwa mkongojo.

Mdogo wa marehemu aitwaye Luca Zawose ambaye pia ni msanii makini alinikabidhi kwa mwalimu mwenzake wa zamani marehemu Zawose katika Chuo cha Sanaa Bagamoyo Peter Amani Nyambasi ili niweze kufanya naye mahojiano kutokana na wasifu wa marehemu Zawose lakini kabla ya kuanza mazungumzo yetu Mwalimu Nyambasi ghafla anachukua kitambaa na kufuta machozi nami ikalazimika kuzubaa kwa muda ili nimfariji  mwalimu Nyambas asiendelee kulia.

Nyambasi alipouinua uso wake uliozingwa na majonzi alisema anamfahamu sana Dk. Zawose akasema hakuwa msanii wa barabarani ilimradi kijiita msanii anadai hakuwa hivyo bali anazidi kusema Dk. Zawose kama usanii ni pete yeye alikuwa chanda ni kwamba sanaa ilimlowea aliibeba na ikabebeka katika damu na maisha yake mpaka aliporejea katika udongo ulioumbiwa nao.Ni vigumu kumuona tena Dk. Hukwe Zawose.

Copyright: Peter Harke
Dr. Hukwe Zawose and Francis Bebey (Kamerun, died 2002) Their only common concert in Ahlen (Germany) 2002, organized by Bagamoyo Friendship Society and VHS Ahlen

Dk. Hukwe Zawose alizaliwa mwaka 1932 katika kijiji Cha Bwigili Wilaya ya Dodoma Vijijin iMkoani Dodoma na Mzee Ubbi Zawose aliyemuoa marehemu Mahawi Machichini na baadaye akajisomea na kutimu katika mazingira ya darasa la nne lakini baadaye akajiendeleza katika Elimu ya Watu Wazima akiwa hapa Bagamoyo na kumudu vema dhana ya kuandika na kusoma.

Msanii huyu mahiri alianza kuzama  kwenye dimbi la kina alichofikia cha sanaa katika mwaka 1966 hadi 1974 wakati alipokuwa msanii katika kikundi cha Taifa(National Dancing Company) kilichokuwa chini ya Wizara ya Utamaduni na Vijana katika Kurugenzi ya Sanaa na Lugha hadi kilipovunjwa na kuanzishwa Chuo Cha Sanaa Bagamoyo.

Mwaka 1980 Zawose alihamia Bagamoyo na mwaka 1981 kilpofunguliwa rasmi Chuo Cha Sanaa Bagamoyo na kuanza kutoa masomo aliajiriwa kama mwalimu hadi mwaak 1994 alipostaafu na kufanya shughuliaa chenye wasanii wengi wanawe na wajukuze kinachojulikana kwa jina la Chibete Group.

Dk.Zawose ni miongoni mwa wasanii wachache Nchini walioitangaza Tanzania atika medani ya sanaa u zake binafsi hatimaye kufanikiwa kuanzisha kikundi chake cha sanghaibuni katika mataifa ya mbalimbali kwenye matamasha ya kimataifa na kutunukiwa zawadi na tuzo mbalimbali za kimataifa kutokana na uhodari wake wa kucharaza nyuzi za aina ya mazeze upulizaji wa kistadi wa filimbi uimbaji wenye ladha na sauti ya hisia awapo juu ya kiriri cha usanii na ucheza iwake wenye mguso.

Mwaka 1995 mambo yalizidi kumnyookea Dk.Zawose alibahatika kutunukiwa udaktari wa falsafa katika chuo cha Cirbels Academy Helsink Nchini Finland kutokana na kufuzu upigaji wa ala za kiasili uimbaji na upigaji wa ngom. Finland ilimuona ikamtathmini na kubaini hakuwa msanii wa kawaida bali ni hazina na rasilimali iliyostahili kuenziwa na kuthaminiwa..Seikaliya Tanzania mwaka 1996 mwishoni ilimfanyia dhifa kabambe na kuthibitisha udaktari wake kwa kumuandalia hafla huko Mkoani Arusha akiwepo Makamu wa Rais marehemu Dk Omar Ali Juma.

Jina la Dk. Zawose lilizidi kupasua anga na kuvuma kama tufani hewani gahfla bin vuu lilijiingiza katika rekodi nono ulimwenguni ya kitabu cha  Guiness Award mnamo mwaka huo huo 1996 na kuandaliwa sherehe adhimu na serikali kupitia Wizara ya Elimu na Utamaduni na aliyekuwa Waziri wa Elimu na Michezo Profes Philemon Sarungi iliyofanyika katika Hotel ya Sheraton kabla ya Mfuko wa Utamaduni wa Taifa (Tanzania Cultural Trust Fund) kumtunukia tuzo iliyoitwa zeze.

Akiwa na kikundi chake cha Chibete Group Dk. Zawose ameweza kupata mialiko mingi nje ya nchi kushiriki na kuonyesha uwezo wake katika sanaa kwa kusafiri katika baadhi ya Nchi kama vile Msumbiji, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Misri, India, uingereza na Urusi. Nyingine ni Amerika, Canada, Ufarans, Japan, Scotchland, Uswid,  Uholanzi , Newzaland, Uchina, Norway, Uswid, Finland na Nchi nyingi kadhaa na kuitikisa dunia katika usanii Licha ya kujihusiha sana na kazi zake za usaniikama uti wa mgongo katika maisha yake Marehemu Dk.Zawwose alikuwa mkulima na mfugaji na siku zote aliishi kama alama ya sanaa kutokana na mavazi yake ya kitamaduni ni mtu aliyependelea sana kuzungumza lugha ya nyumbani kwao ya Kigogo na hata nyumbani kwake kilizungumzwa mno kigogo kuliko lugha yeyote alipenda sana kukuza vipawa vya wasanii waliokubali na kuzingatia ushauri wake.

Dk.Zawose alifunga ndoa na wanawake watano Erika Zawose, Mwajuma Zawose, Emmy Zawose, Mariam Zawose na Joyce Zawose amewez kupata nao watoto 18 na kubahatika kupata wajukuu 16 na sudusi ya wanawe amewajengea nyumba za kuishi. Msanii huyu atabaki kuwa kama gumzo na kumbukumbu ya wasanii na sanaa katika Tanzania. Lakini ni wazi wasanii wa Tanzania na hasa wale waliobahatika kufunfdishwa aula kumuona akiwa jukwaani wakati wa uhai wake watakubali jina la Zawose ni kubwa katika fani.

Afya Dk. Zawose ilianza kuzorota polepole kutokana na kusumbuliwa mno na maradhi ya  mapafu na kuvimba kwa miguu yake iliyoweza kufunga safari ndefu kuikanyagia duniani na kutibwirika kwenye majukwaa mbalimbali yaliyomzidisshia chati na heshima katika sanaa.Mji wa Bagamoyo nathubutu kusema umekumbwa na msiba umati wa watu toka sehemu mbalimbali unazidi kukmiminika ili kuweza kumsindikiza kesho Dk. HUKWE UBBI ZAWOSE.

Mwisho


Music of Dr. Hukwe Zawose

Solo-CDs:

  • "Zawose & Brook"
    Real World Records, 2001
  • "Dr. Hukwe Zawose & Charles Zawose
    Mkuki wa roho / A Spear of the soul"
    WOMAD, Real World Records, 2000
  • Dr. Hukwe & Charles Zawose
    "Chibite"
    Caroline, 1996
  • "Hukwe Ubi Zawose"
    JVC, 1996
  • "Mateso"
    Triple Earth Music, 1996

Sampler:

  • "Spirit of Africa, Various artists"
    (Production in favour of  Freddy Mercury Foundation)
    Real World Records, 2001
  • "Real World Sampler 'Various artists'"
    Real World Records, 1996
  • "The Music of Kenya and Tanzania"
    World Music Network, 1996
  • "It's a triple earth"
    Triple Earth Music, 1995
  • "Music of Tanzania"
    1993
  • "Tanzanie, Songs of Wagogo and Kuria"
    Maison des Cultures du Monde, 1992
  • "In the blood" 1990
  • "One World One Voice"
    Virgin Records, 1990
  • "Tanzania Yetu"
    Triple Earth Music, 1985

Cassette:

  • "Mwanzo wa Makonde / Mythos vom Ursprung der Makonde"
    Dr. Wolfgang Koenig, Germany, 1993


Participation in WOMAD-Worldmusicfestivals:

  • WOMAD EXPO 2000 Hannover, 2000
  • WOMAD Rivermead 2000
  • WOMAD Rivermead 1998
  • WOMAD at Sura za Afrika 1996
  • WOMAD Rivermead 1996
  • WOMAD Gran Canaria 1996
  • WOMAD Global Spirit 1996


CD Cover
CD Cover

More informations about Hukwe Zawose (incl. music and interviews): WOMAD 

Hukwe Zawose was our great friend and member of honour of Bagamoyo Friendship Society / Germany www.bagamoyo.com

Copyright: Peter Harke
Concert in Germany: Hukwe Zawose