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Thousands of hours of Afro-jazz and dance music on damaged reel-to-reels are in danger of being lost forever. Help us digitize them.
Thousands of hours of Afro-jazz and dance music on damaged reel-to-reels are in danger of being lost forever. Help us digitize them.
235 backers pledged $17,040 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Radio Tanzania in the News!

We've been getting some great press on blogs, magazines, and newspapers! Check them out below!

http://kibogoji.com/2012/01/07/help-to-digitize-radio-tanzania-music-archives/#comment-857

http://life-in-dar.com/2012/01/radio-tanzania-music-archives/

http://redandblack.com/2012/01/14/alumna-looks-to-save-tanzanian-music-recordings/

http://tellmeaboutafrica.tumblr.com/post/15506338258/radio-tanzania-a-heritage-project-needs-your-help

http://www.bombasticelement.org/2012/01/crowdfund-these-kickstarter-projects.html

Know of any other press we've missed? Are you a blogger yourself? Let us know and we'll feature you and share some more music! 

Thanks for everyone's hard work on this! We're going to start uploading more music to soundcloud soon. What kind of music would you like? (Jazz, Rhumba, Dance...)

Arrival in Dar es Salaam

Because of a mistake with my booking, I arrived in Tanzania a day later than I’d planned. After a cross-Atlantic flight to Frankfurt and a brief layover in Addis Ababba, I finally arrived back in the country I love. My second home. Tanzania.

The familiar smell and wave of heat, the lilting language I know without fully understanding, the bright blue letters welcoming, “Julius K. Nyerere International Airport,” all of this greeted me, and despite the long hours of travel, I was smiling, peaceful, content. But only for a moment. I know there is so much work to be done.

After we had paid our visa fees, I bade farewell to my flight companion, Russell, a North Irishman who works for a gas company in Congo and is here in Dar on business. I noted some small changes in the airport-- new fingerprint scanners by the visa windows and a large sign encouraging tourists to report bribery. Two young Tanzanians had already found my bags on the luggage carousel and they led me out of the main doors. And there they were--my friends, my brothers--Benson and Erasmus Rukantabula. 

In all of this planning and promoting of the Radio Tanzania archive project, I realize I haven't properly introduced Benson and Erasmus (but you may have seen them on our website: . I met these brothers at a barbeque sometime around November of 2009. I took to them immediately, Erasmus with his big, bright smile and Benson with his quiet intensity. Our meeting epitomized what I had grown to love about Tanzania: the people are so generous and genuine that deep friendships spring up over the course of an hour or two. We danced and laughed through that night, until some of us took off for the Busta Rhymes concert that was happening nearby (yes, that’s right. I went to a Busta Rhymes concert in Tanzania). 

I don’t think I saw Benson and Erasmus much after that for a few months. Things got very busy with school work at the Unviersity of Dar es Salaam where I was studying and the microfinance work I was doing with Kiva never lulled. But some weekends we would manage to escape to Kipepeo beach, just north of the city, and share cold Fantas as we dug our feet into the sand. 

In February, after I got in the motorcycle accident, Benson and Erasmus visited me in the hospital more than anyone else. Often, they waited for hours for dalla dallas to take them to the far-off corner of the city where I languished in a hospital bed. Their presence was more uplifting than I could ever let them know. When I felt guilty that they had come so far to visit, they chided me, saying, “we are your friends. This is what friends do.”

After I had left the hospital and moved into a small guest house with my father, Benson and Erasmus visited one last time. They brought with them small presents for me and my dad. My present was a DVD they had created with photos from my stay in Tanzania set to music. It brought me to tears.

Back in the United States, I kept in touch with Erasmus and Benson via email and Facebook. When I decided to digitize the Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam archives, they were the first people I told. “Please work with me on this,” I said.

I didn’t have to ask twice. Together we drafted a mission and vision statement, bylaws and a constitution for the organization we called The Tanzania Heritage Project. With cultural preservation as our goal, we set out to register as an offical NGO in Tanzania and work toward our first big project: the digitization of the Radio Tananzia archives. In those days, Benson or Erasmus would go to the archives once or twice a week, and oil the greasy wheels of bureaucracy with assurances of our good intentions. They were the ones who secured our permission to promote our project using clips from the archives, and to access those archives now. This project would not be happening without them. 

So, back to the present. After they picked me up, my friends took me to Tabata Segerea, the area of Dar where they live. They had rented me a room at a guesthouse within walking distance of their house. In the car ride over, we talked Radio Tanzania plans. Did I mention it was 2:15 in the morning when my plane landed? Benson wouldn’t hear my demands that I just be allowed to take a taxi. “You are our friend, you are our family. I will be there. Please send my greetings to your family!” Benson had to say this twice, as I didn’t manage to get word to him in time when I missed my first flight two days ago. So two nights in a row, he was at the airport in the middle of the night awaiting my arrival. Erasmus’ flight from Nairobi got in at midnight, but he too insisted on coming to the airport to greet me. Benson told me later that his mother also wanted to come, but they managed to convince her to stay at home. I will meet her in the morning.

I’m so grateful for all of the support on Kickstarter, and to Nina Carter and Tyler Webb, who are running the campaign in my absence. I will send updates from Dar es Salaam as often as I can! Tomorrow, the work begins.

The Big Update: Free Music, Big News, and All Thanks to You!

It’s been far too long since our last update, so we’ve got a big one for you!

We’re SO close to reaching $5000! Thank you for of all of your support, particularly in the last couple of days.  As a way of saying thanks, we want to get some music in your hands as soon as possible.  We’re introducing an incentive program for our current donors to share their love of Radio Tanzania.

#1: If you share Radio Tanzania’s Kickstarter on Facebook or tweet us on twitter, we’ll send you an email with an exclusive track that won’t be released on our sampler CD. 

#2 Every time someone donates $100 or more, we’ll be releasing a new track for streaming on our Soundcloud account.  There’s currently 9 tracks available. Go check them out! http://soundcloud.com/user1962241

(please email us a screenshot or picture and we’ll reply with the song track:tanzaniaheritageproject@gmail.com)

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep updated on new tracks being released and up to date information from our team.

http://www.facebook.com/RadioTanzania

and

https://twitter.com/RadioTanzania

We’re working behind the scenes like crazy to make this happen, but we can’t do it without your support!  Rebecca is on a flight to Tanzania RIGHT NOW, so we’ll be hoping to have new footage and material for you soon!  Any special requests? Send them our way.

The Radio Tanzania Team

--> We’re your biggest fans

Merry Christmas from Radio Tanzania!

We hope you have all had a wonderful holiday. Now that Christmas is past, you can look forward to much more frequent updates from us! We have so much exciting news from the past couple of weeks. First of all, THANK YOU for helping us reach $2,238 in pledges and FIFTY backers! This is awesome!

Next, our team is growing as more people with amazing talents are hearing about the project and want to get involved. Welcome aboard, Tyler Webb! Tyler is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Music Business program and he's passionate about social entrepreneurship. He's been helping us develop our idea of a revenue-generating music workshop that will train Tanzanians in the digitization and conservation process. Proceeds from music sales will help support these training sessions and provide valuable employment opportunities to local Tanzanians!

Also, we're going to be offering some EXTRA rewards to backers who help spread the word with awesome Facebook posts, re-tweets, blog mentions, etc. I'm super excited to announce our first three winners: Alec Lovett, Phuong Nguyen, Ashley Epting, and Nina Carter. These three were selected from our backers for their creative posts encouraging others to pitch in. They will each be receiving an extra special reward: the Afro 70 Band cd from the Radio Tanzania archives. Thanks, guys! I'll be getting in touch soon to get your mailing addresses.

I'm sure more of you have helped spread the word in creative ways. If I missed your awesome post about Radio Tanzania, please let me know! Send us a screen shot at tanzaniaheritageproject@gmail.com. We'll be choosing new winners every week!

Last but not least, and perhaps the most exciting news of all: I've bought my plane tickets for Tanzania! I'll be in Dar es Salaam from January 9 - February 19, going to the archives, meeting with representatives from the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, interviewing musicians, and setting the groundwork for the digitization of the Radio Tanzania archives. I have the personal savings for this trip, and I can't think of a more meaningful way for me to give back to a culture that's meant so much to me. But the digitization of the archives and the "Best of Radio Tanzania" compilation CD simply cannot become a reality if we don't meet our Kickstarter fundraising goal. We have forty days left to get to $13,000. That's a long way to go but I believe wholeheartedly that we can do it. 

Krismasi njema (Merry Christmas in Kiswahili). And as always, thank you for your support!

Rebecca

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Happy Tanzanian Independence Day!

Hi everyone! Today is the 50th Anniversary of Tanzanian Independence, so I decided to take a minute to say thanks to all of our backers so far for caring about the endangered archives of Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam. 

I think it's especially important on this day to recognize what a beautiful and wonderful thing it is that Tanzania has remained a peaceful, stable country since independence, and I think that Radio Tanzania Dar-es-Salaam played a pretty big role in that. How? Well, Julius K. Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania, famously said, ""In Tanzania, it was more than one hundred tribal units which lost their freedom; it was one nation that regained it." He used Radio Tanzania as a tool for promoting unity and a sense of national pride through music.

So the music you are helping to preserve isn't just fun to listen and dance to--it's music that created peace, pride, and rebirth for a people who had been oppressed and exploited by colonialism for hundreds of years. 

A fun fact: TV didn't come to Tanzania til the mid-90's, so for many years, radio was the predominate form of entertainment. Radio Tanzania captures a nation's story from it's birth all the way through the recent decades. And if you ask me, that is certainly a story worth preserving and sharing with the world.

Thank you again and let's keep going!

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