A 58 years-old Dulla Mnanga comes from a family of artists. His talent to play different traditional instruments was honed by the influences of his two ethnic connections, the Ngindo and Ngoni, representing the tribes of his parents. Dulla can play different musical instruments including, guitar, bass, piano etc but his expertise lies in percussion.
To further nurture his home-grown talent, Dulla joined Bagamoyo College of Arts (TaSUBa) for a 3 month course in Music and Dance. He is also a founding member of Tatunane, one of the most popular Tanzanian fusion bands made up of former students of the Bagamoyo College of Arts in the early 1990’s. Dulla now lives in Denmark where he works as a professional musician and percussionist.
On 25th August 2018, Nafasi Art Space organized a percussion workshop in collaboration with the first edition of the Ongala Music festival, which took place in Kigamboni during 23rd – 25th August.
The subject of the workshop was EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS, whereby Dulla shared his experience and skills with local percussionists on how one can go beyond “Standard” set-ups. The instruments used for the workshop included:
1. Conga x3
2. Bongos x2
3. Timbale x2
4. Crash x2
5. Drum pad
10. Koklokke 2
11. Metal shaker
The training lasted from 11am until 2pm and was attended by 15 local musicians who had requested to participate. The session started with an introduction by the facilitator and was followed by self-introductions by all of the participants.
The next step was on how best to plan and execute the set up of the instruments depending on whether you are left or right handed. He also added the importance of tuning the instruments, especially the Congas, Timbales etc.
Dulla continued with a practical demonstration whereby he showed different ways of playing multiple instruments at once. In between his demonstrations and explanations, the participants asked many questions in order to understand the various techniques. One of the very interesting topics was about how one can sing and play multiple instruments at the same time.
At times participants were invited to try out some new techniques and the facilitator advised them how to practice them on a regular basis.
The participants reported that they greatly enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. They also expressed their eagerness to have more regular training platforms in order to improve the quality and growth of the Tanzanian music industry.
Kwame Mchauru, Nafasi Performing Arts Manager