Carola Kinasha

Carola Kinasha
© Maisha Music Tanzania
Principal country concerned : Column : Music, Fine arts

Carola Kinasha was born into a family of eight children, in Longido village, close to the Kenyan border. Carola's father played the accordion, her brothers played the piano, organ and guitar, and her mother still sings in the village choir. Village life in Longido didn't mean isolation from outside musical influences. While away at school or travelling, Carola's older siblings would bring home music from other worlds. Her late brother Esto brought home country music, gospel and calypso; Abedi brought soul and classical, Oculi brought Tanzanian and Congolese music while her sister Juddy brought home South African music. At the same time, Carola would attend every traditional ceremony within walking distance of her home, where she could hear Maasai warriors and girls singing and dancing.
It is little wonder that Carola is now recognized as one of the pioneers of traditional fusion music in Tanzania. "We need to be innovative and devise means to come up with our own Tanzanian musical identity", says Carola. "We cannot rely on aping while we have a treasure of traditional sounds that can be a source of a strong Tanzanian musical identity.
Carola's band "Shada" began in the late 80s with the aim of creating an authentic Tanzanian sound. Kinasha also sang in 1987 for several well-known Tanzanian musician Watafiti under the name of a cooperation project Umoja been recorded on the disc. Maono, meaning visions or revelation in Swahili is their second album. The music crosses cultural boundaries, from Tanzania to the Congo, a unique blend of the traditional with the present, proudly Tanzanian and forever Maasai.

Throughout her rich and varied career as international performer, she has guided and mentored young talents and acted as an inspiration, role model and educator on stage. She now brings over 25 years of experience as a singer, songwriter and human rights activist to the position as Project Manager in Music Mayday 

An accomplished performer in her own right, Carola is also an activist fighting for the basic rights of musicians in her country. She graduated from the University of Dar es Salaam with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations, implementing her activism through music since 1988. She has worked extensively on campaigns to bring music education back into the schools of Tanzania. In 2002 Carola was recognised by the MA Africa Awards in South Africa. Her music crosses cultural boundaries, from Tanzania to the Congo, a unique blend of the traditional with the present.


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  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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