A group of us went to hear some bands at the Alliance Francaise last night. I had forgotten that not only are there no lines when queuing on the road, there are no lines between performer and spectator either. Members of the audience literally took the mic to rap in Swahili, harmonize with the band, or just dance with the performers on stage - with varying degrees of success.
It was difficult to tell who was part of the act and who was just looking for some attention. One group of teenage boys seemed to have just decided to take over the stage to rap, along with a middle aged Indian man (complete with a fanny pack slung over his shoulders) playing harmonica. Unfortunately, they had no talent to back up their bravado - and their middle-aged band member on the harmonica didn't help. Luckily, they didn't stay long.
There was a fabulous band from Arusha (in the north of Tanzania) that followed them, thankfully. They got much of the crowd dancing. Interestingly, though we were at the Alliance Francaise, the performers seemed to be mostly from Tanzania, along with a few Americans - including the main act Mama C and the MC. No french was spoken there though, other than a shout out to the AF for hosting the event.
The audience was mostly Tanzanian, with many ex-pats of various ages and nationalities in the mix. A good crowd, and a great time.