He has been involved in music from a very young age and by the time he was twelve he had gained sufficient proficiency to tour with his father, the legendary Hukwe Zawose.
Singer and multi instrumentalist, Msafiri Zawose has never harbored a desire to do anything else to earn a living. Right from childhood he knew music was the one.
Born and raised in Tanzania, he grew up in his home town, Bagamoyo. He describes it as a coastal town blessed with nice fish, fruits and lovely people. The town has long been an established centre for culture and music. In fact his father taught traditional music and instrument making in the local art college there when Msafiri was younger.
It is understandable that his father had a great impact on him, given his stature as one of the county’s musical greats.
His grandfather, Ubi Zawose is another person that was pivotal to Msafiri’s development. Ubi was a multi instrumentalist in his own right. Msaafiri reveals Ubi was his room-mate. Many a time he would return to find his grandfather singing, playing and recounting stories about his life through music. One of the messages his grandfather imparted is something that Msafiri continues to live by as well as imparting it to others “play music, don’t play people – sharing is caring.
It wouldn’t be complete to highlight those who shaped who he has become without mentioning his mother, Erika Kalima Zawose. A hardworking farmer, she enjoined him to keep striving and applying himself. Never take anything for granted and never rest on your laurels.
Musically Msafiri is renowned for Gogo music, a style of music that originates from his ethnic group the Gogo or Wagogo in full. However, while Gogo music is central to him as an artist he actually plays around 20 different styles of music from Tanzania.