Hildegard Kiel founded The Dhow Countries Music Academy Zanzibar (DCMA) in 2001; providing music lessons and instruments to anyone interested in studying traditional Zanzibar music styles, such as Taarab, Beni or Kidumbak.
Yusuf Mahmoud founded Busara Promotions in 2003, a non-profit NGO working throughout East Africa to promote local and international music, build skills and develop networks
DCMA focuses mainly on teaching traditional music of the Swahili Coast and the Indian Ocean Region. The Academy provides music lessons as well as instruments at minimal cost to about 100 students each semester interested in studying music related to their cultural background.
Special workshops, seminars, concerts, exchange programs and master classes take place throughout the year.
Busara Promotions’ main event is the Sauti za Busara music festival, held annually in Stone Town, Zanzibar during February.
DJ Yusuf has revitalised the local scene in Zanzibar, not only the traditional roots music of unyago kidumbak and taarab, but also the rap-based bongo flava, which is ever popular and now draws more on the traditional music culture of Tanzania and Zanzibar.
He has also accompanied Zanzibari and Tanzanian performers on tours in Europe, UK and the Caribbean.
Yusuf in London at the Awards ceremony (photo: Joanne Moston)
Yusuf brings the World Shaker Award back to Zanzibar (photo: Peter Bennett)
Yusuf and Hilda at the Barbican, London collecting their World Shaker award (photo: Joanne Moston)
Yusuf Mahmoud & Hildegard Kiel receiving the World Shaker Awards in London (photo: BBC Radio 3)
Yusuf Mahmoud & Hildegard Kiel showing off their World Shaker Awards in London (photo: BBC Radio 3)
Hildegard Kiel & Yusuf Mahmoud with presenters Kwame Kwei-Armah and Verity Sharp in London (photo: BBC Radio 3)