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Saida Karoli

Plays the BUDAP Drum

Native to Bukoba, Tanzania, Saida Karoli is the international voice of East African music and the BUDAP Drum.

After visiting the BUDAP workshop, personally playing the drum and understanding our mission, Saida is now one of the true ambassadors of the BUDAP drum and its sound and carries them with her on tour around the world.

About Saida Karoli

This drummer, singer, composer, dancer has become a well-known music figure all over East Africa.

As a child, Saida's culture did not permit girls to sing and play drums. She lived in the small village of Rwongwe in Bukoba Rural district. Her mother who was also a musical figure in the village encouraged Saida and taught her the essentials of music. Lacking support from her father, Saida went to school until grade 5 only. At the age of 20, following the death of her mother and continued criticism, Saida continued doing what she knows to do best - make music.

When one of FM Studios' departments involved in a talent search went looking for a talented Tanzanian to promote, it came across Saida Karoli in the town of Bukoba. After only three weeks of recording in FM Studios, the young village girl that nobody knew, suddenly exploded on the 2nd of September 2001 after the launching of her first album. Soon her music would conquer Uganda and Kenya with her irresistible tunes. Following the launch of her first album, one of Saida's songs titled Maria Salome stormed into the Radio One (a famous local station covering the whole of Tanzania) top ten, taking the 3rd position. The following week the song jumped straight into the top position and remained there for six consecutive weeks.

She sings predominantly in Kihaya - the language of the Haya tribe in Tanzania and sometimes in Kiswahili. However, even those who do not understand this language have been touched by her unique voice and the quality of her music.

You can find samples of some of Saida's music here