African Music Encyclopedia


Hukwe Zawose


photo of Hukwe Zawose

Hukwe Zawose, born in Tanzania, taught himself to sing and play ilimba (giant thumb piano) while herding his father's cows. Soon he was regarded as a gifted musician and he began to walk from village to village entertaining people with his music.

"When I was a young man my voice was so sweet that people would often cry when I sang. In fact, sometimes I would hear myself and even I would cry, wondering what I had done to deserve such a precious gift."
Zawose also plays izezs (traditional violins), filimbi (traditional flute), and nguga (ankle bells).

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