Maisha (Official Video)

The Zawose Queens

‘Maisha’ is a song whose lyrics tell of the daily fight for a better life, whose potent ancient-to-future sound finds the Queens on vocals, illimba and percussion, Wamwiduka on backing vocals and percussion and club-focused production including drums, synths and 808 Bass.

Cinematography: Denis Kayange & Michael Mbwambo
Location scouting, co-ordination & styling: Perpetua Waziri & Aziza Ongala
Editing & colour grading: Odhrán Mullan

Vocals, illimba: Pendo Zawose & Leah Zawose
Backing vocals: Wamwiduka Band
Programming, drums, 808 bass, Babatone, guitar, synths: Tom Excell
Programming: Oli Barton-Wood
Manyanga shaker: Peter Mashaka
Percussion: Pendo Zawose

Produced, recorded and mixed by Oli Barton-Wood & Tom Excell
Written by Zawose Queens, Tom Excell & Oli Barton-Wood
Published by Real World Works Ltd./Domino Publishing/Faber Alt Music Publishing

English translation from original Kiswahili and Kigogo languages

Maisha (Life)

Eee father, eeh Mother
Eee father, eeh Mother
I have sorrow, gwee

I am struggling
I am struggling
I am struggling
I am struggling

Hustling is hard
Work is hard
Life is also hard

I am struggling
I am struggling
I am struggling
I am struggling

We are looking for a better life
We are looking for money
Every day we struggle

Ahee hehee

This hunger
This hunger

Ayaa hehee
Ayaa hehee

Further reading

The Unfolding: Bristol Light Festival

Bristol Light Festival is returns from Friday 2nd - Sunday 11th February, 2024.

The Zawose Queens from Tanzanian musical dynasty announce debut album Maisha

The Zawose Queens, Pendo and Leah, are the daughter and grand-daughter of the late Dr. Hukwe Zawose.

Jocelyn Pook & Akram Khan on reimagining The Jungle Book

BAFTA & Olivier award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook releases Jungle Book reimagined on Real World X.

Track of the day: ‘AmmA’ by Bab L’ Bluz

'AmmA' draws on music from north-east Morocco and influences from Tunisia and Algeria.