A description of the music of Zanzibar would not be complete without mentioning Bi Kidude – now well into her 90s, and still one of the island's most famous singers. She used to perform with Siti bint Saad, has toured the world and has sold thousands of cassettes. When she is performing, she claims to feel like a 14-year-old, and for once, seeing is believing.
Her voice is raw and unfiltered, and her singing and drumming with a large drum strapped to her hips is an exhibition of sheer energy. With the agility of a teenager and the sly wisdom of a thoroughly experienced performer, her stage presence is absolute and intense. She is most famous for her performance of unyago ngoma
, which is played at all-female initiation rituals for brides to prepare them for their wedding night, featuring explicit lyrics as well as movements.