The musicians

Toto Zébingwa

Singer, Composer

A childhood paced by dance

ToTo__3Since he was 2 years old, Toto has loved music. Toto is part of the category of self-taught artists who has talent in his blood. As a child, he enjoyed imitating Michael Jackson, who is one of his greatest influences Toto is a passionate musician who as well as being a highly talented dancer, has shown great skill in turning his gift to singing and song writing. Indeed it is his multi faceted talent that makes him such an impressive musical artist.

From a young age his family picked up on his gift and helped towards being a professional musician. Toto is still very close with his family sending them pictures and videos from wherever he is performing.

From a dream to success

ToTo_-_Kibangi“One day, I will be a musician”, those are the words of the 8-years-old Toto! And for Toto, words are the first step of actions. In 1998, a year after the death of his mother, Toto decided to go to Tanzania where one of his childhood friends had settled. The loss of his mother was hard for him to handle, and that was what pushed him to leave the Congo. At first he struggled, unable to find work for the first year. His determination and willingness were strong however, and he kept on rehearsing and being patient and it paid off. His perseverance and his talent brought him to Zimbabwean and Tanzanian scenes with the band Diamond Muzika. In 2007 a star was born. Toto Zébingwa won the award of the best song in the BBC Swahili Africa contest. It was a historical year for the contest as it was celebrating its 50 years of existence. After 6 months of competition and among 2000 artists in competition, it was Toto’s song “Sina Neno Linginé”, that BBC’s listeners voted for. The song that means “I have no other words to tell you except I love you” spoke directly to the audience who had warmly supported him. From this moment, Toto had great national, but also international recognition!

Success didn’t end there, indeed, as he was recently nominated for the 2010 Tanzania Music Award contest!

Toto’s name is now very famous in East Africa, as well as his band: Akudo Impact. They are making Swahili rumba very popular in Tanzania, and they are invited many times a week to perform in clubs or events.

After twelve years on the stage it has become a second home for him. He believes that the hard work, trials and tribulations that he went through at the start have helped him develop into a world class music star.

Toto and Music

ToTo_-_Kibangi_2Toto finds it hard to put into words how he feels. While he is performing he says the emotions are extraordinary.

Toto likes to play with music, and try everything. That’s how he can switch from zouk (as “Sino Neno Linginé”) to Kotoka. He likes to vary styles, as he says “Even if you like it, you can’t eat fish everyday otherwise you get fed up with it. For music it is the same thing”.

From Senegalese music to Congolese and South African music, his inspirations are varied too. He has been very influenced by artists such as Selif Keita, AngéliqueKidjo, Youssou Ndour and Miriam Makeba. Love, life, nature and Africa are also deep sources of inspiration to him.

What he thinks about Sanaa Sana

In October 2009 Toto met Yuster Nyakachara for the first time. Yuster had seen Toto perform and instantly wanted to collaborate with him. After seeing Sanaa Sana rehearsal Toto accepted the proposition. Toto now really enjoys working with all Sanaa Sana members as the team is very united and has the same aspirations and shares the same vision.Totoo ze Bingwa

With Toto on board the band now has the vision to export African music to the wider world. For him, the beginnings with the band are really promising and it gives him motivation and strength. From his experience, he knows that being patient and devoted is the key of success!

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Christian Mene

Lead Guitar

Christina was born on 1976 in Uvila, Congo. He started his music career playing with a small village group Esjce from 1997 to 1999. He then moved to Tanzania and joined the FM Academy band from 2000 to 2003. During 2003 to 2005 he played in the Akudo Soud Band. In 2006 until currently Christian is playing with the FM Academia.

Christian has been recording and playing with some world famous artists as the General Defao Band from Congo and the Oliver from Zimbabwe and he has also playing as a visiting artist in Dubai.

In 2003 he travelled to Mozambique and South Africa for music tour and joined 2 groups, the Diamond Sound and the Best of Africa playing Africa Fusion Music.

Christian is currently working as a guitarist with the FM Academia and the Sanaa Sana band

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Kabeya Gajarin

African drums

Born in 1981 in Congo. In 1995-1996 Kabeya created his own group known as the Latino Esthetic. THereon as the group separated he travelled to Congo Brazaville where he joined the Vatican Music Band for one year. In 1998 he joined the Baleko Mpasi Band with whom he travelled to perform in Guinea together with the Luck Dube Band, that time using name the 2000-Quortie Catin Band. He travelled with the group to Senegal for recordings using Yousof D'noor suty grant. The band continued to travel to Cameroon, Central Africa and Gabon.

In 2001 he went back to Congo and joined the BCBJ Wenge Musical Band for six months. In 2003 he played as solo artist  and joined the Quartie Cain with Koffi Olomide in 2005. In 2006 Kabeya joined the Akudo Impact Band in Tanzania and further on 2012 travelled to Dubai for four months tour and he is currently paying with Sanaa Sana.

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Kibyakibya Mwenebanta

Born in 1981 at Kinshasa Congo he started his music carer in 2001. He travelled to Tanzania and joined the Estatical Musical Band in Zanzibar from 2002-2003. The Akudo Impact Band was interested of his work which led to sign a contract for one year in 2004. On 2005 Kibyabya moved on to perform with he Cacao Band in Bukoba, Tanzania. Thereon he travelled to Kenya, MOmbasa, where he joined the big start music band with world known artist Defao for one year. Subsequently in 2006 he came back to Tanzania and joined the Diamond International Band where he is currently performing along Sanaa Sana band.

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Dekanto Ndombasi Mukoko

Bassist in Sanaa Sana.

Starting the musical career in Congo

Dekanto was born in 2/9/1985 in Kinshasa, Congo. He attended primary school in 1993 - 1998. In 1999 he joined the school of music in Kinshasa for a one year short course. After the course in 2000 he joined the group knows as Gode. The group was founded by the famous Congolese bass player, Lofombo. Dekanto played bass in the group.

In 2004 Dekanto went to work in Burkina Faso with one of the big soloists in Congo. After that he returned to Congo and was working in Brazzaville with the big band known as Extra Musica, with whom he had a chance to record one album. In 2005 he joined Delta Force Band. The leader of the band was Bileku Mpasi, who was a friend of the famous Pepe Kalle.

Dekanto and Tanzania

In 2007 Dekanto came to Tanzania and joined Akudo Impact Band, the most well known band in Tanzania. They had a chance to record one album in 2007, and that album is still doing well in the music market in Tanzania.

Dekanto is still working with Akudo Impact but he has also started recording his own projects.

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Haidari Said

African drums

Born in 1983 in Tanzania he started to study traditional music in the organization called the Mkukuta. In 2011 he joined the Mwazo Culture Group, a band playing traditional music. Currently Haidary is working the the Dar Creators Group being a combination of three groups from Dar es Salaam. He has been playing with the Sanaa Sana Band since 2012.

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Hato: the boss

Percussionist

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Additional information