Hello from Nils, our researcher extraordinaire!
My name is Nils. I am a student of African Studies based in Leiden, The Netherlands, currently carrying out fieldwork for my Master Thesis on the wonderful Muziki wa Dansi. Also, I’m the proud father of a ukulele named Lily. She’s always with me and in tune with my mood.
I have since long been an enthusiast of African music. As a kid, during a trip through Southern Africa with my family, I experienced a lot of singing and dancing. The music was literally all around, and the genuine joy that was expressed through it made a lasting impression on me. I’ve always been looking to expand my musical horizons – the all-stars of Afrobeat, West-African funk and Congolese soukous never fail to make me dance.
As soon as I stumbled upon Muziki wa Dansi about a year ago, I was hooked. The opportunity to go to Dar es Salaam and immerse myself into (the history of) its ever-vibrant music scene was impossible to miss. With my thesis, I aim to provide a much-needed critical/theoretical look at issues of censorship, cultural preservation, and the role of music in shaping the national discourse. Helping Rebecca, Benson and Erasmus preserve the gem-stuffed archives will no doubt be exciting and rewarding!
To me, though, dansi is more than just a research topic. Zilipendwa, ‘those that were loved’, are in fact still loved, and should be for a long time to come. Our Kickstarter campaign ends in less than three days. Every donation counts, every dollar sounds! Can we reach $15,000?
Asante sana for your support so far, guys!
Nils von der Assen
Here is a link to Nils's blog. He writes in Dutch, but is going to start writing weekly posts in English about the history of muziki wa dansi, the most famous bands, and more. We will also post those articles as updates to our backers. Check out this awesome first post about DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra: http://nilsvonderassen.blogspot.com/2012/02/those-were-days-i-ddc-mlimani-park.html