Wednesday, October 17, 2018
News Roundup

Tanzanian musician brings African culture to kids of Belleair

BELLEAIR

Ten small children surrounded three wooden drums wrapped in cow skin.

Each took turns trying to get the beat just right, while others watched and waited for their chance. Behind them stood a man wearing a tribal-patterned shirt and sneakers laced in the yellows and greens of the Tanzanian flag.

Tanzania native Msafiri Zawose was teaching at Belleair's Dimmitt Community Center. He's touring the United States to teach and perform traditional African music.

"So you don't do it four times?" asked 10-year-old Riley Moore.

"No, no. One, one, two, two ... " Zawose replied, pointing at which drum to hit.

"Ohh, I get it," Riley said.

The student became the teacher as Riley began helping the other children, tapping the drums to demonstrate the correct beat.

• • •

Zawose, a prominent Gogo musician in Tanzania, taught in Belle­air's summer camp for kids ages 6 to 12.

His father, Hukwe, was internationally known for East African instruments and dance moves. He released two albums. But most importantly, he taught his son everything he knew.

"My father had been here (in America) when he was alive," Zawose, 29, said with a Swahili accent. "I think it was for a week."

Zawose has had a longer exposure to America. He arrived May 2 and is spending the summer traveling around the nation.

He had previously traveled through Asia and Europe to teach and perform, but this is his first trip to the United States. So far he has been to New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Chicago and Washington, D.C. In September, he'll head to Sweden.

Zawose said he appreciates the experience.

"I think it's nice for me because I get to share," he said, "so then the music gets expanded."

The American opportunity arrived because of Hannah Nelson, a 23-year-old Tennesseean who fell in love with Zawose's music while volunteering in Tanzania in 2009. Last November, she asked him if he'd share his culture with America. He agreed.

Finding gigs was a challenge, but luckily a New York radio DJ, Rob Weisberg, received one of Nelson's many emails. A fan of Zawose's father, he recognized the last name. Weisberg interviewed Zawose for his show and offered dozens of contacts.

Belleair wasn't on the list, but it became a tour stop because of Ali Halverson. A 23-year-old from Belleair, Halverson is a camp counselor at Dimmitt Community Center. She knew Nelson from volunteering in Tanzania. When Nelson asked her for options on where Zawose should travel, Halverson didn't hesitate to pitch the center.

Halverson thinks Belleair's children should learn what's outside of their community's "bubble."

"It is a very important thing for kids to think, 'Yes, I am growing up in an incredible place,' but to understand how other people live, too," she said. "They love it."

• • •

The basketball gym smelled like feet. Against a wall was a line of small sandals and sneakers.

About 20 children formed lines to practice the African dance moves that Zawose had taught them. In four days they would be performing for their parents.

Dressed in a traditional African wrap called a kanga, each child pumped two fists in the air with every "Ay!"

Kate Hayslett, 6, was proud to wear the garment. "They wear this because those are their clothes," she said. "It feels like I'm in Africa."

The children walked and danced in a circle, similar to a conga line. "Ay! Ay! Ay!" they repeated.

Once they were done, Zawose further encouraged them.

"Yeah!" he cried, applauding with his drumsticks. "That was really nice."

Diedra Rodriguez can be reached at (727) 445-4154 or [email protected]

 
Comments
Michael’s most vulnerable evacuees make Pasco shelter their new home

Michael’s most vulnerable evacuees make Pasco shelter their new home

HUDSON — Linda Wood lay on a metal cot, closed her eyes and tried to get some sleep Monday night. Pictures of her Panama City apartment some 300 miles away kept flashing through her mind. The nearly blind 71-year-old envisioned her chocolate-c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Hereís a look.

Dr. BBQ opens to the public today. Hereís a look.

ST. PETERSBURGDr. BBQ needed a beer. Mission accomplished: A sip of Green Benchís Dr. BBQ Pale Lager dispatched, he was ready to start the tour. See that teal tufted couch against that wall? Itís like something from Girl & the Goat in Chicago. The wo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Report: Tampa drivers pay different insurance rates based on ZIP code

Report: Tampa drivers pay different insurance rates based on ZIP code

It can be tough to figure out why insurance companies charge some more than others for auto coverage. But a recent analysis by the Consumer Federation of America suggests that a driverís neighborhood could be a factor. The analysis, released Monday, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Pasco welcomes Hurricane Michael evacuees; how long will the Panhandle be without power?; long-awaited debut of Dr. BBQ is today

The Daystarter: Pasco welcomes Hurricane Michael evacuees; how long will the Panhandle be without power?; long-awaited debut of Dr. BBQ is today

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.ē Highs in the low 90s, though a tad cooler along the coast. No chance of rain, so expect a dry afternoon as well, according to the National Weather Service. The temperatures will start...
Updated: 2 hours ago
What I learned about food by eating a 27-course meal at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns

What I learned about food by eating a 27-course meal at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns

A recent trip to upstate New York provided the perfect excuse to try the renowned chef’s restaurant, and a once-in-a-lifetime meal.
Updated: 11 hours ago
Liberals are dreaming when it comes to holding on to Floridaís Supreme Court

Liberals are dreaming when it comes to holding on to Floridaís Supreme Court

This was a smackdown, no doubt about it.The state Supreme Court just rendered the judicial equivalent of a loud guffaw regarding Gov. Rick Scottís claim he is entitled to replace three retiring Supreme Court justices before he leaves office.And yet, ...
Published: 10/17/18
Mumís the word but Murmanís a player in departure of Glazer Childrenís Museum leader

Mumís the word but Murmanís a player in departure of Glazer Childrenís Museum leader

TAMPA ó Jennifer Stancil was looking forward to Halloween and the role she would play in a new downtown event celebrating the spooky holiday."WE ARE SO EXCITED to be a partner with the Riverwalk for Halloween," Stancil, president and chief executive ...
Published: 10/17/18
Emergency rooms and jails the focus as Hillsborough task force takes on opioid epidemic

Emergency rooms and jails the focus as Hillsborough task force takes on opioid epidemic

TAMPA ó The opioid addiction epidemic is expected to claim the lives of almost 300 people in Hillsborough County this year.Those who donít overdose face an increased risk of addiction to drugs like heroin and fentanyl.Now, the countyís Opioid Task Fo...
Published: 10/17/18
In race to represent Hernando residents in Tallahassee, it's prominent Republican incumbent versus optimistic Democratic newcomer

In race to represent Hernando residents in Tallahassee, it's prominent Republican incumbent versus optimistic Democratic newcomer

Much as it did two years ago, this year's race for the Florida House of Representatives' District 35 seat casts a titan of his party against an underdog political newcomer.Blaise Ingoglia, the Republican incumbent who also chairs Florida's GOP, has o...
Published: 10/17/18
Democrat Jennifer Webb and Republican Raymond Blacklidge pick up the pace as they battle for State House District 69 seat

Democrat Jennifer Webb and Republican Raymond Blacklidge pick up the pace as they battle for State House District 69 seat

Democrat Jennifer Webb and Republican Raymond Blacklidge are pulling in campaign donations from a wide swath of supporters as they try to capture the State House District 69 seat
Published: 10/17/18