Bi Kidude is a Zanzibari Taarab singer. She’s said to be 105 years old, she began singing in the 1920s and now is considered the undisputed queen of Taarab and Unyago music.
At the same time she continually couses controversy, her behaviour challenging perceptions of the role of women in a Muslim society.
Her most controversial performances (Unyago ritual) include the educational tours that she takes where she prepares young women for their transition through puberty and shows the training a young girl might receive before marriage, or the calls to independence of spirit that she continues to express freely.
Bi Kidude speaks her mind and lives by her own rules. To see a hundred-something year old Muslim woman drink, smoke, dance and drum is a unique experience.
She also challenges our perception of age as she changes from a wrinkled granny into a vital shining star. Her warmth, strength and humour shines through.