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Freddy Macha

Freddy was born on the slopes of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. He's a prolific writer of prose, poetry, plays and songs as well as being a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and performer.
At the age of 13 Freddy started singing and acting on stage. To begin with he lived and worked as a journalist in Dar es Salaam in the 1970s and 1980s and had some books and plays published including 'Twenzetu Ulaya' (a collection of Swahili stories), a biography of renowned musician Remi Ongala and a collection of poems called 'Papers! Papers! Papers!'. Freddy won the BBC poetry prize in 1981 and the poems appear in the anthology 'Summer Fires' (Heinemann, 1983).
In 1984 Freddy had a very successful tour of Scandanavian countries including the Oslo International Theatre Festival with his Tanzanian group 'Sayari'. Then for a 4 year period from 1988 Freddy was lead vocalist with the reggae-afro-funk band Os Galas, based in Brazil. 
Freddy moved to Britain in 1996 and has undertaken numerous projects involving workshops, drama and music. Having travelled widely he speaks and performs in several different languages. From 1998 to 2001 in Stoke Newington and Brixton Freddy held a popular event at Bar Lorca called 'World Music Nights' at which musicians could meet and try out new materials. This was referred to as 'the local WOMAD' by The Hackney Gazette and was an important factor in Freddy being the Musicians' Union's World Music Representative for its Folk & Traditional section in 1999-2001. Currently Freddy can be found leading regular dance workshops and

performances in schools and at local London venues. He developed his own satirical cabaret called 'News No News' which he does sometimes alone and also with his Kitoto band. The Kitoto band is made up of 6 musicians from different African, Caribbean, European and South American countries.
In the UK Freddy has produced 2 recordings: an enormously varied 11-track album called Constipation (2000) and a single, Kilimanjaro. Constipation has music, prose and poetry and uses different languages, a feature which is one of Freddy's specialisms. For example there are a couple of beautiful ballads in Kiswahili and some tracks in English that communicate powerful points about society. Freddy is busy producing a new album for school children - if Constipation is anything to go by it's bound to be very exciting!

Check out Freddy's own web site for lots more details on his work, plus photos and much more:

Click on the CD cover to hear part of the track 'Mr Talk-Talk'.