Friday, October 7, 2016

REST IN PEACE SALOME KIWAYA


This photo was taken in 1996 when Salome toured UK with  Shikamoo Jazz Band. From left Salome Kiwaya, Papa Wemba, and Bi Kidude Mungu. All these stars are now no more
With great sadness I have received the news about the sudden death of Salome Kiwaya, a great musician. Salome died today in a terrible accident that took place at Meriwa Dodoma. I first met Salome in 1987, when I was a musician with the Tancut Almasi Orchestra. We had put camp at Dodoma Hotel for three months. We were very close, and the band even began performing one of her compositions, Tuhina, a song that was then being sung by the twins Kasaloo Kyanga and Kyanga Songa, who have also passed away. One day I was shopping around Dodoma when I found some of her cassettes, I loved the music and promised her that I would try to get someone interested in the songs. I managed to get Ronnie Graham to listen to the songs. Ronnie is a great fan of African music, the author of Sterns Guide to African Music, and the architect of the the formation of Shikamoo Jazz Band. Ronnie listened to the songs and decided to include Salome in the tour that Shikamoo Jazz Band was to make in the UK. When Salome came back from that trip she bought instruments and launched Saki Stars Band, acronym for Salome Kiwaya Stars. Her husband is also a veteran artist. I have since then been very close to Salome. When I was the National Chairman of Tanzania Dance Music Association CHAMUDATA she was the regional Chairperson for Dodoma. She was elected at the biggest gathering of Tanzanian musicians which took place in June 1998 at Bagamoyo where 265 musicians gathered at this coastal town and had  a 4 day workshop on different levels of the music industry. Salome has also been the Central Zone agent for Miss Tanzania Pageant and managed to come up with a Miss Tanzania, Emily Adolph. And of recent she also participated in politics and was the Dodoma Regional CCM Women's wing. But she continued with music to her last day.Rest in Peace Salome. We will miss you
John Kitime

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