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Swahili music and series/movies

Although there is the recent audio update in Swahili Duolingo, listening to native Swahili speakers (preferably in context) is key to understanding the language. Therefore I want to share the swahiliwood youtube channel (don't know if it has been mentioned before on the forum):

"Swahiliwood is an online video channel dedicated to Swahili programming. From documentary to drama and comedy to television, we bring you the highest quality Swahili entertainment by East Africa, for East Africa."

'Siri ya mtungi' is a two season serie with english subtitles, and there is a lot more content on the channel.

Music: i really like Mlimani Park Orchestra, once a very popular band in the 80s, founded in Dar es Salaam. Pretty clear audio on spotify where i can understand parts of the text, does anyone have the lyrics?

Other recommendations?

January 18, 2019



I got two swahili films for Christmas, you can find them on Amazon - Pili; In the shadow of the Sun. 'Supa Modo' is also great, but it still hasn't been out on DVD. I saw the film last month during the young audience film festival in my city and after the screening I had the opportunity to talk in swahili with mother of the young actress. It was very stressful but in the same time very exciting, now I can finally say I actually spoke in Swahili with the native speaker :)


I assume you are not looking for shows with slang. As a Kenyan, there is a parody show called the Real Housewives of Kawangware which cracks me up. It does have many "Kenyanisms" and quite a bit of slang but it is still predominantly in swahili. For music, the popular East African artists tend to be Tanzanian like Diamond, Ali Kiba, Rayvanny, etc. For Kenyans, Elani sing in Kiswahili Sanifu and the only Kenyan artists I can think of who do. Oh, Eric Wainaina also has some swahili songs that are more standard swahili without the slang. Kidum (Ugandan) is my favorite. Poetic swahili lyrics that are magical. He makes you miss the lover you never had. I recommend Mapenzi and Umenikosea. There are a random smattering of swahili movies on youtube.


thanks a lot !!


For music: I really like Sauti Sol, Nyashinski and Naiboi (all Kenyan). I used to listen to a lot of Bongo Flava but the Swahili is much harder to understand.

I sometimes watch the kids shows with Akili on youtube


Bongo flava they use too much slang and deep swahili, is kinda difficult for beginners, but you can try to listen to alikiba and rayvanny music, they use simple swahili


Thank you very much for the recommendation!

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