Category Archives: Tanzania

Zuhura Seng’enge

Zuhura Seng’enge is a fresh graduate from the University of Dar es salaam currently volunteering with Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA). She has been very inspired by literature (especially poetry) since her childhood. She wrote her first poem in primary school at age 12, and since then, poetry has always been her way of expressing herself and inspiring others . As a poet Zuhura has participated in events such as; The Woman Scream International Poetry Festival (2014 and 2015), The Swahili Carnival (2014) and the first Dar Poetry Festival (2015). Her dream is to inspire young people to use Art as a tool for change and development in their lives.

Caroline Anande Uliwa

Caroline Anande Uliwa aka Carol Anande is a 29-year-old artist residing in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

She has been a feature journalist since 2008 writing for newspapers in the country and region to include -The Express, Flare Magazine, Daily News, The Citizen, Bang Magazine & The East African. She now runs a blog on arts & culture as well spaces called MKEKA –

Susie Berya

Susie Berya is a Tanzanian living in Dar es Salaam. She is a creative writer, and a feminist with a passion for all forms of art. She’s a 24 years old currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in Economics of Development and working on her first anthology. She writes contemporary poetry usually influenced by her daily experiences and social issues.

Sandra A. Mushi

Sandra A. Mushi is an interior architecture designer with a very strong passion for writing. She is the author of The Rhythmn Of My Rhyme, published by Andika Afrika, Tanzania in 2008, is a collection of soulful poems – a journey of self discovery – women in love; women out of love; abused children; abused women; content women, women who have found themselves (emotionally, mentally and sexually) and women who just want to be.

Sandra’s second book, Stains On My Khanga, published by Hadithi Media, SA in 2014, is a collection of short stories and poems and it is centered around justice for women and the challenges women face, the choices women sometimes have to make.

Some of Sandra’s works have also been published on Africa Knowledge Project, also known as AKP, and JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies [JENDA]. AKP is an initiative by Africa Resource Center, Inc., dedicated exclusively to academic research on Africa and its Diaspora. AKP focuses on critical Africa-centered, evidence-based knowledge and research from a diverse range of disciplines. While Jenda is an award-winning peer-reviewed journal which focuses on social, political, economic, and cultural concepts and categories that shape the lives of women in different African societies.

Sandra’s short story Lunch has been featured in Street Level, A collection Of Drawings and Creative Writing Inspired by Dar es Salaam published by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania in 2011. Sandra’s poems Chai and Through Change from the collection Stains On My Khanga, have been featured in Street Level 2, A collection Of Drawings and Creative Writing Inspired by Dar es Salaam published by We Don’t Reed Publishers, Tanzania in 2011.

Sandra’s poem Reflections from Stains On My Khanga has been featured in a poetry anthology, Reflections: An Anthology of New Work by African Women Poets – Contemporary African Women’s Poetry published in 2013 by Lynne Reinner Publishers, USA. This anthology of never-before-published poems showcases a new generation of African women poets, some familiar, some just beginning their literary careers. Their rich voices belie popular stereotypes, reflecting the diversity and dynamism of their environment. As they range across topics encompassing family and personal relationships, politics, war, and the ravages of famine and disease, they show the breadth of African women’s experiences and of their thinking about issues both on the continent and globally.

In 2013 FEMRITE, Uganda Women Writers Association, invited Sandra to participate in the 5th Regional Residency for African women writers. Sandra’s manuscripts were rated very highly by the evaluators. This year, the countries participating include; Malawi, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Sandra was nominated for the fall 2011 residency at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Iowa, USA.

In October 2010, Sandra was invited to the international Hay Festival, a literary and art festivals, which was held in Nairobi under Storymoja. She was there as a Tanzanian writer and poet. Sandra was also invited to participate as an external observer in what EASUN and the PSO (a network of 50 NGOs in the Netherlands) planned as a dialogue event between Northern and Southern NGOs. This dialogue which took place between November 8-12, 2009 in Moshi has been dubbed the Moshi Dialogue. Sandra’s observation of the dialogue was put in poetic form and enacted after each daily session.

In 2008, Sandra participated in the Book Slam in Zanzibar, which happened during the Sauti za Busara festival and involved writers from all over the world. In 2006 Sandra was invited by Kwani to the first ever East African Writers Summit in Lukenya, Kenya.

Sandra has also written for several magazines, news papers and corporate newsletter.

Said Suleiman Ali

Said Suleiman Ali is phenomenal poet based in Zanzibar, he is the founder and director of the prominent CHAKUWAZA (CHAMA CHA KUENDELEZA WASHAIRI ZANZIBAR) a Swahili poetry organization.

llhem Issaoui

Ilhem Issaoui (1992/12/30) is a Tunisian translator and writer of poems and short stories. Her writings have appeared in many online and in print magazines in India, USA, Canada, and the Middle East. She is deeply fond of English literature, languages and translation. Among magazines that have published some of her works are: Salisonline, Mind Magazine, danse macabre online, mad swirl, three-line poetry (prolific press), jaffatelaqlam, turk’s head…

She is also the author of a collection of poems: Fragments of a Wounded Soul (amazon publishing)

“Ilhem Issaoui is our mirror, gateway and companion… into the bright and wounded places.” Rich Norman, Editor in chief: Mind magazine

Richard Mbuthia

Richard Mbuthia is an English and Literature teacher in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Poetry is his second love: the rhythm, verse and verve of poetry are ingredients of a great love story. The twenty six letters of the alphabet amaze him with their ability to be used as instruments of change – their volatility, pointedness, efficiency and aptness cannot be gainsaid.

His ambition is that one day he will be a poet of high repute; a poet churning out metres and metres of verse; a poet on the drawing board of many a winning verse; a poet charting the way for revolutionary pieces; a poet telling the African story as it is and as it ought to be.


Princely is a poet based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

Ngasuma Kanyeka

Ngasuma Kanyeka is a poet based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

Langa Sarakikya

Langa Sarakikya is a 38 year old single working mother of two children. For her, words are jewels to be respected and valued, their power never to be underestimated. Each word represents a magnificent jewel that when strung together in a particular pattern with other jewels, creates a unique stunning necklace to be worn and displayed with humility and emotion.

Langa has bipolar disorder, a mental illness that can take a person from extreme highs to extreme lows. Much of what she writes is inspired by extreme moods that allow her creativity to manifest in ways that are grounded in Truth. Her own Truth.

Langa has been writing short stories, poems, and keeping a journal since she was a young child but has never been published. She writes to fulfill her own urge to get words down on paper and in so doing expresses herself and achieves a level of satisfaction that nothing else can deliver.

Gonsalves Mpili

Gonsalves Mpili started writing poems at the age of 16 during his secondary education. He is now a graduate from the Institute of Finance Management, and still continues to write. He is the organiser of Woman Scream, a worldwide movement to fight violence against women through art and poetry.

Haji Gora Haji

Haji Gora Haji is a poet, a writer and a minstrel whose art remained largely unknown to a wider Swahili public until the publication of his brief anthology Kimbunga (The Hurricane) in 1994. For forty years he has been active in a broad spectrum of Swalili literature. He is a word artist in the true Swahili tradition.

Demere Kitunga

Demere Kitunga is a feminist activist and advocate for literacy. She engages with literature and knowledge generation in various forms and through it mentor young people to become free thinkers and creative communicators.

She is the head of E&D Readership and Development Agency popularly known as Soma (synonym for read and learn in Kiswahili), a not for profit outfit which runs Soma Book Café, a literary hub for leisure, culture and learning.

She shares her poems individually and in relevant platforms including: Tanzanian and African feminist collective; Fanani Flava, Kisima cha Mashairi (an online poetry collective); and Waka Poetry Consortium. Her published poems include but are not limited to: a translation into Kiswahili of A new Initiation Song by Elizabeth Khaxas first published in Sister Namibia; and a few in Diwani ya Kisima Juzuu la I a Swahili anthology I co-edited with Kahabi Isangula published online (available on Amazon).

Issa Amiri Kilimo

Issa Amiri Kilimo was born on the 12th December 1988, in the Tanga region of Tanzania.

He only went school until 3rd year in ‘O’ levels, he couldn’t go further due to life hardships. It was during this time he decided join different art groups that were anchored in Traditional Dance (Ngoma), Theatre, and Poetry.

Through these groups, he has been fortunate to participate in various workshops and ‘Swahili Slam Poetry’ competitions.

He has been featured in films, and various radio adverts.

Maalim Omari Bakari Kichapwi

Maalim Omari Bakari Kichapwi’s artistic alias is Wimbi Kuu, which means ‘the big wave’. He was born in 1945, at Uteta Rufiki in Kibambo village, in the region of Pwani in Tanzania.

He has loved poetry since he was a teenager. He used to relish reading poems from other Swahili poets.

He’s been writing in 1963.

Adidi S. Rugemalira

Adidi S. Rugemalira’s artistic alias is ‘Best Mwami’ which translates ‘from the elder who is patient, and wise’. He was born in the region of Kagera, the district of Misenye, in 1962 in Tanzania.

He started composing poems in 1984 and he has published many of his poems in various media outlets within and outside the country. He’s also been part of various poetry contests. In 1985 he was the country winner of a poetry contest, sponsored by the ruling party CCM. They had requested poetry entries in celebrating their 18 years. He won a national contest sponsored by the newspaper ‘Uhuru’ in 1991.

To date he has composed over 800 poems.

Justine Kakoko

Justine Kakoko, known to many as Brother GSP, is a passionate poet and Pan-Africanist living in Southern part of Tanzania. This 23 year old is a student at the University of Dodoma pursuing Bachelor of Arts and Public Administration.

He was inspired to start writing poetry by likes of Amiri Baraka, Last Poets, Mutabaruka, Alicia Walker, Saul Williams, his Comrade George Kyomushula and other many more.

Although, he does not get many opportunities to perform his work due to the lack of poetry events in his town he is determined to continue writing.


Vladmir Peter is a poet based in Dar es Salaaam Tanzania.

Keziah Elaine Ayikoru

Keziah is a poet, singer fashion designer and graduate architect.

She has performed her poetry at different poetry platform: La Poetista, Open Mic, Lyricist Lounge, Nafasi Chap Chap Festival, Noisy Pen Recitals and Jeans and Tshirt in Tanzania and Poetry In Session in Uganda.

She is an organising member of La Poetista, a group dedicated to encouraging and growing poetry in Tanzania.

She also founded Noisy Pens [2010 – 2013] which was a forum for sharing and improving poetry through meetings and recitals.

She is the founder of ‘kea apparel’ and East African clothing brand that was started in January 2015.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2013 from Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam and currently works at Architectural Pioneering Consultants Limited in the same city. In addition, she has worked with Anza, an East African architectural magazine as sub editor from 2012 to date.

Sweetbert Mbogo Nkuba

Sweetbert Mbogo Nkuba is a Lawyer and Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, a poet and a back stage politician. As a practicing lawyer, I work as a partner at SWEET & CONRAD, LLP. ADVOCATES AND CORPORATE LAWYERS.

His desire to become a poet was inspired by the fastest growing hip hop culture in East Africa in 1990s, the developed trend of writing and reciting rhyming verses made me fall in love with writing verses.

His books THE VOICES FROM THE SHADOW and the TRUTH are due for publication in March, 2016. He has a collection of thousands of poems reflecting different socio-economic values.


Sima is a 25 year old Tanzanian Artist and Entrprenuer with an enthusiasm for writing. Hip Hop Music is his first love, but has been influenced by all types of music from punk rock to RnB, Soul, Afro Jazz and Zilipendwa. He is also the founder of an ametuer events and decor company called MADEURBAN, that promotes creative artists’ work and provides event solutions for corporate and private individuals. He has a passion for visual art and is currently taking a course in Media and Film production at Tasuba, Bagamoyo.

Jasper H. Sabuni

Jasper H. Sabuni is a 23 year old with a deep love for his country and continent.

He is a poet based in Tanzania. His love for poetry is mostly attributed to his need to be a voice for the people.

His poetry style is rather contemporary and mostly influenced by Hip Hop genre (and Reggae at times). His work is mostly about politics, justice, human rights and youth and women.

He is a believer and scholar of PAN AFRICANISM

Diana Kamara

Born and raised in Dar es Salaam, Diana is a poet and painter. Her earlier work was heavily influenced by Evarist Chikawe, her first art teacher.

Through her first and second degrees of Fine Art from the University of Dar es Salaam her work is enlightened by African textiles.

Diana’s work revolves around her own reflections of personal and public politics of gender, class and identity which twist and bite us all the time.

Until 2014, she was just a painter. Her recent residences have opened doors to work with new media such as installation and video art.

Mama C

Charlotte Hill O’Neal aka Mama C is an internationally known visual artist, musician and poet with more than two decades of experience. She was born in Kansas City, KS in 1951 and has lived in Africa with her husband Pete O’Neal since 1970. She is the mother of two children, Malcolm and AnnWood “Stormy”. She is co-director of the United African Alliance Community Center UAACC located outside of Arusha, Tanzania.
Mama C was greatly influenced in her early years by the jazz, blues and gospel that Kansas City is famous for and integrates elements of that experience in both her music and the rhythm of her poetry along with the African beats and hip hop vibe of her spirit. She explores the reality of her life as a Diaspora born African who has lived most of her years in Tanzania in many of her poems, one of the most famous being I Almost Lost Myself.

“As a member of the Black Panther Party I was taught the importance of building international solidarity among all people while honoring my Ancestral roots. That philosophy has never changed and many of my poems and songs reflect this burning desire and mission to spread peace, love and unity through my art”, Mama C reflects. “The spontaneous release of love that comes from poetry and music and art, in general… that thing that binds us all together and builds solidarity and understanding among all people no matter where they are from or what language they speak, is like magic!”

Her song writing and performing talents have been showcased on stage, television and radio in many cities in Africa and in America during the annual UAACC Heal the Community Tour. She launched her book of poetry, Warrior Woman of Peace in 2008 and plans to launch her second book of poetry titled Life Slices – a Taste of My Heaven, in 2013. Mama C debuted several of her newest poems during the Poetry Africa Tour 2010 to Cape Town – South Africa, Harare – Zimbabwe and Blantyre – Malawi and the 14th Annual Poetry Africa Festival in Durban, all sponsored by the Creative Arts Center at University of KwaZulu Natal.

Mama C is co-director along with George Kyomushula, of the newly established Arusha Poetry Club in Arusha, Tanzania which serves as a platform for East African poets and artists around the planet.
She recently completed her 4th music/spoken word album produced at Peace Power Productions studio at UAACC and she has directed and appeared in several music videos featuring East African artists, YouTube channel: mamacharlotteuaacc

Mama C and Pete O’Neal are the subjects of two award winning documentaries about their lives and activism including American Exile narrated by Hollywood actress Alfre Woodard and the PBS documentary, A Panther in Africa by Aaron Matthews and she is one of the featured artists along with M1 of Deadprez in a newly released documentary on art and activism by Michael Wanguhu titled Ni Wakati,,

Mama C has learned to play the Obokano, an ancient African eight string lyre that originates in the Gusii community in western Kenya. Even though the instrument was considered taboo for women to play, one of the recognized masters of obokano, Dennis “Grandmaster Masese” Mosiere, felt that things should change and taught Mama C. She is the first woman to play professionally and finds that, “mixing obokano with poetry and song brings me so much pleasure and adds to the scope of my creativity!”

She is presently working with several artists to establish an indigenous music school and archive/museum at UAACC. They have already begun building instruments like the kiteníge from the Maasai community; umakhweyane from the Zulu community; obokano from the Gusii community; the marimba and the kalimba thumb piano that is played in nearly every country in sub Saharan Africa,Youtube channel: Wakunga zamani

Mama C: Urban Warrior in the African Bush is a new documentary about Mama C’s life as an artist activist by film maker, Dr. Joanne Hershfield who is a professor of Womens Studies and Department Head, at North Carolina State University Chapel Hill.
A trailer and more information about the film can be found at

Gloria D. Gonsalves

Gloria D. Gonsalves is a creative writer and founder of World Children’s Poetry Day (WoChiPoDa), an initiative aimed at instilling the love of poetry in young people. Her work has appeared in various literary magazines, platforms and journals. Occasionally, she writes opinion pieces for newspapers.

Her literary works aim at supporting humanitarian related projects and creativity in others, especially children, by having them participate through drawings or stories. Her aspiration is to see more writers give back as profiled at Read A Book, Make A Difference (RABMAD).

Gloria’s mission as a writer is in paving the way for those seeking creativity in writing without paying attention to societal expectations. You might find her in unexpected spaces because she sees it as her job to show aspiring writers that possibilities exist. She does not procrastinate or allow man-made excuses such as it is not African. Even if it is not, she will be the African in it.

She holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Sciences, a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Tourism Marketing and a Diploma (S.A.C Dip) in Professional Proofreading and Editing.

Gloria is from Tanzania, has lived in Ireland and currently resides in Germany.

You can find her online at

Esther Karin Mngodo

Known by her stage name Es Taa, Esther Karin Mngodo is a Tanzanian poet based in Dar Es Salaam. At the age of 10 she was encouraged by her mother to join the choir, which she did. As the youngest member at the time, Es Taa started off as a Saprano and later on as an Alto. She recently discovered her Tenor voice in a band that ahe has been part of since 2006. Not only is the 26 year old a poet and a musician, but a journalist, a storyteller, a playwright, a social worker, a song composer and a woman passionate about her faith in God.

In 2011 she co-wrote a Musical Move: The Time is Now that was staged at The National Museum Theatre in Dar Es Salaam. She recently performed her original poems at The Smart Partnership Dialogue Meeting held in Dar es Salaam that was attended by Commonwealth Heads of States and different dignitaries.

Using her own life experience, Es Taa’s passion is to unearth matters that people would rather not talk about openly, to bring healing through authentic lyrics that have been birthed through her own pain, mistakes and the quest of life’s purpose. She also seeks to use art as a tool of social change by addressing issues of human rights and social justice in a way that people can relate to.

Pippa Little

Pippa Little was born and raised in Tanzania. She is Scots but has lived mainly in England. A teacher, editor, higher education lecturer and literacy tutor, she has now begun writing full-time. Married with three sons, two in England and one in Mexico, and a labrador dog, she has a poetry collection titled Overwintering.

Peter Mboye

Peter is a 22 years old, living in the North-eastern part of the Tanzania in the city of Arusha. He started writing poetry when he was 16 years old while still a high school student. He initially mainly wrote for his friends and for his own benefit due to a lack of platforms in his hometown.

In 2012 he met George Kyomushula the founder of Arusha Poetry Club,who inspired him to participate in the club’s weekly sessions. This is where he has met a lot of great poets like Charlotte Hill O’neil. Till now he has participated in more than four international events and other six local events within the club. And performed local events at The University Of Dodoma,where he pursues a degree of Film and Theatre.