Bibi and I visited Zanzibar over Christmas 2008. We have both wanted to go for years so it was a dream to find ourselves there.

The soundtrack to this holiday movie is Bi Kidude, Zanzibar's answer to Cesaria Evoria in Cabo Verde. Her music captures the essence of Zanzibar - ancient melodies from Arabia, sung in Kiswahili. Zanzibar is conflicted by multiple layers of memory - the hundreds of thousands of slaves sold here are the ghosts that haunt the streets of Stone Town. The biggest slave-trader of them all - Tippu Tip - is still present thanks to his huge grey almost windowless house still standing facing the ocean (see the picture at the bottom right of this page).

Zanzibar: old, sad, elegant, still facing east and facing west, surrounded by the gorgeous blues of the Indian Ocean. There is no place quite like it.


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