When Zanzibari Swahilis Celebrating Their Swahilism

Do not get it wrong! When speaking here about our Swahilism, I do not intend to use those connotations you might have heard, that twist the otherwise good nature of our people into irony and satire.

Those who speak of ‘Waswahili’ as uncivilised people who can neither keep their words nor do proper things and ‘Uswahili’ as primitive way of thinking and or of living, have no chance in my understanding of Zanzibari Swahilis and Swahilism.

For us in Zanzibar, Swahilism is a true definition of our life remix, which covers just each and everything about us – from the language itself, to the attire, to food, to the architecture, to our music and ‘ngoma’ – just mention anything. This mixture, which one great historian calls it a ‘biriyani’, it is what Swahilism is and, of course, what a real Zanzibar is.

Zanzibar is, therefore, a land of Swahili and Swahilism.


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