Kidude Bi 1910 - 2013 (103)

When I sing, I become 14 years old.


Bi Kidude (1910-2013) (real name Fatima binti Baraka, (Arabic: فاطمة بنت بركة) was a Tanzanian musician born in Zanzibar.

Born in the village of Mfagimaringo in Zanzibar, Bi Kidude was the daughter of a coconut seller and from an early age she showed a rebellious character and a desire to break established norms and stereotypes. At the age of 10 she left the school where they were learning the Koran and when at the age of 13, she was forced to get married, she managed to escape and from the marriage and from hew village and travveld barefoot the whole Tanazania. She started singing taraab, and while it was mandatory to sing with an arrow, she appeared with her face uncovered in front of the audience, which was completely revolutionary for the time.

In addition to being a famous singer, she was a drummer, excelled in the art of designing henna for young brides and gained a reputation as a therapist, especially against asthma, with people queuing up for a drug she had devised.

She was a leading performer of the ancient dance ritual, performed exclusively for teenagers, and which uses traditional rhythms to teach women how to please their husbands; also, she was fighting against sexual abuse and oppression. She was known for her generosity as well; she used to returne from tours with large sums of money and in a short time she spent it all on the needy who ran to ask for her help. In the summer of 2004, Bi Kindude toured Europe with the famous Taarab Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar. People found it hard to believe that a nearly 100 years old woman was drinking, smoking, flirting, dancing like a shining star.

In the middle of this tour, the whole of Zanzibar was in shock and upset when a rumor spread like wildfire that she had died. She issued a statement: "I'm fine, I have no problem. "I sing with all my heart and I continue to make people happy." She lived for several more years, until the 17th of April 2013.