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Country Tanzania Genres roots traditional pop fusion /saidaKaroli255 Festival Sauti za Busara 2005, 2018 Recordings
Chambua Kama Karanga, 2001; Mapenzi Kizunguzungu, 2003; Harusi, 2004; Mimi Nakupenda, 2005; Nelly, 2008; The Best of Saida Karoli, 2017
Saida Karoli is one of Africa's greatest singers and only the sky is her limit.
Saida sings predominantly in Kihaya and Kiswahili. However, even those who do not understand her lyrics are touched by her unique voice and the quality of her music. Saida’s main sources of inspiration are social values, the rural cultures of Tanzania and the condition of human society.
She was born in 1976 in Bukoba Region, north-western Tanzania. As a singer, composer, dancer and drummer, she exploded onto East Africa’s music scene in 2001 with the song Marie Salome (aka Chambua Kama Karanga) which stands as one of Tanzania’s most loved songs until today.
Saida Karoli has performed for huge audiences across Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Uganda and Kenya. Her musical talent, steeped in tradition, has captivated diverse audiences and her powerful singing has touched deeply in the hearts of people of all ages and cultural backgrounds.
As a child, Saida lived in the small village of Rwongwe in Bukoba. Local traditions did not permit girls to sing or play drums but her mother, who was also a musical figure in the village, encouraged her and taught her the essentials of music. Due to lack of support from a drunken father, Saida only managed to attend school up to grade 5. At the age of 20, following her mother’s death and continued criticisms from people around her, Saida continued doing what she knows best – making wonderful music. Her humility, patience, humour and vibrant personality helped her to persevere.
Whilst recording four successful albums during 2001 to 2005 Saida toured extensively in the region and her music career was set to hit worldwide. Sadly, however, she continued to live in poverty whilst others ate the fruits of her success.
In 2017, Saida Karoli publicly thanked Diamond Platinumz, for covering and reviving her song Maria Salome. She said Diamond did justice by re-editing and releasing the song, and by paying royalties to Saida which helped to reignite her career in music.