How to blog this delicately.

Brazzameni is a yoh-yoh, and sister du is the girl equivalent. Yaani ma-odinari, mabaabi [er…Barbie?] I cannot for the life of me say this in English, but I, apparently, I’m one. It’s the ‘rasta-feki’ dreads. But I’m doing this wrong.

See, after weeks of dead headphones, I remembered that my phone has a radio, so I spent my workday glued to the charger and browsing Tanzania radio. I have never been so tickled.

First there was the brazzameni song. It’s some girl and guy whining about how they are dating a…yuppie? The guy/girl in question likes to look good for the pals, so he brags about how his S/O is at his beck and call, jumping through hoops and all, or how the person in question is soooo into them…

Okay wait. Breathe slow, ladies never loose compooooosure [it’s the Chamdor. Goes badly with fresh milk]

Here’s the scenario in the song. A guy is with his pals. He tells them about this girl who adores him, and that he feels nothing for her, but she’s at his command. Then he washas a speakerphone, calls the girl, whispers sweet nothings and makes a date with her while the boys are snickering in the background. Very common here – I’ve seen the guys at my office do it. The girl has no idea of course, and thinks this guy likes her, till she shows up and sees his boys laughing at her.

Verse 2, another girl telling her pals how she just uses this guy as an organic ATM, then she puts her cell on speakerphone while her girls giggle as she twists the boy round her litty bitty finger. Sigh. The things we do for love.

[PS: I am only a sista du by virtue of the hair, and an odinari for growing up in LA (I distinctly remember idiot children crossing our fingers in a sideways W and yelling WESSAAAIIIIDDDD!!!) I do NOT pull the sista du stunts named in the song. Kthxbai]

And there’s Asha promisi, a song about a guy who made a date with a chick. She was treating, so he showed up, ordered and waited and … she didn’t show, so he had to chonga viazi [or rather piga deki – there are no viazis to chonga in Dar]. Eti ‘nilijaribu kupiga kiswahili, meneja hakutaka kujua, nikawakabidhi pete na peni, Asha promisi sitakusahau’ Classic!! I just love Bongo flava.

Then I finally heard the Beyonce boys song, and the ring thing – now to find the video. It’s is strange how these Neyo songs have such great tracks but such pointless lyrics!! Can I buy just the instrumentals to ‘mad’ and ‘miss independent’, without the fothogari words? I’m dead serious, they’re great for bellydance. And I like the sober pink song. And the dancing one, great song to dag to. I wonder if she knows how apt her name sounds to Kenyans. I haven’t seen her, but she is allegedly a blonde bombshell stage-named Lady Gaga. Rihanna’s rehab is nice too.

Then there is Auntie Kitchen Party. Let me explain. In Dar, weddings have four ceremonies. Each ceremony is a grand expensive affair, invited-guests-ony, and you get invited with a card that indicates the expected mchango. I.E. to attend, you have to contribute. The recommended minimum is 20K [which is about a K kenyan]

First comes the kitchen party, which is a girls only affair. The women-folk gather at a venue, dirty dance round poles and chairs, get very detailed and very specific tips on man-pleasing, and gift the bride with household goods. This is how a bride stocks her kitchen. The party is hosted [and costed] by the bride’s people, and the gifts range from microwaves and ricecookers to fully fledges gas burners. Since guys aren’t allowed, this is the one place where the usually buibui-clad women come ungowned, and believe me, they hide a LOT under there. The DJs are usually the only males present, and I have to say, at a kitchen party, it pays to be a musicboy.

Next comes the send-off party, which is a wedding reception-style party hosted by the bride’s family to aga her. More invites, more paying, more presents, usually a wedding dress and cake. No sermons though. Lots of [non-alcoholic] champagne and speeches.

Then there’s the wedding itself, at the DO’s, mosque or church, usually at 4.00 p.m. on a weekday, characterised by a loud brass band in an open pickup, and a traffic jam at Photopoint. NB: ALL weddings have this. And finally, the reception, hosted by the guys. The bride and her maids have separate outfits for each of the four ceremonies, and the beautifying cost 250 [thousand T] a piece. Hence the michango.

So. Auntie Kitchen party is an old lady on Tanzania radio, I forget which station, who dispenses kitchen-party-ic advise inbetween hits. The standard advice, incidentally, is something along the lines of:

Mnajua wanaume wanapenda kucheza mpira uwanjani, kwa hiyo ni juhudi yako kama mke kuhakikisha kwamba umeandaa uwanja. Kata vichaka vyote karibu na nyumbani kwako ili mumeo asiumwe na nyoka au kujikata kwenye miiba.

Ni muhimu kufanya upishi wako katika sehemu zilizoandaliwa kwa upishi. Na msisahau kuacha taa wazi, la sivyo mtaonaje midomo yenu?

There is also something about preparing ugali for breakfast then asking Mzee to have a nap while you clean his room in a leso which occassionally drops accidentally. All this said by a very old lady mind you, as she does the pinda mgongo dance, which I can only describe as scary. Refer to ‘mduara’ EATV. The DJ loved it though. I’m still in trauma!

PS: I am soooooo liking that Jason Mraz song!!

Ice cream calls. Dairyland vanilla-chocolate swirl. Heaven in a bowl. Anti-lactose stomachache will follow, but it’s SO worth it. Nanite

PPS: Kuzimia is TZ swa for kunoki, to fall for.

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106 thoughts on “Kumbe nilizimia brazzameeeeeenii! Kumbe nilizimia sista du

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