A musician, poet and producer from Tanzania. Also known as Ras Nas
Nasibu Mwanukuzi aka Ras Nas is singer-songwriter, poet, guitarist, percussionist and producer from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Nasibu has experimented with painting and carving. He started playing music at the age of ten and sang for a while in a church choir at St.Peter's Cathedral in Dodoma, Tanzania, in 1968. Growing up in the 60's and 70's Nasibu listened to a lot of Tanzanian music by master guitarists like Wema Abdallah, the mighty Mbaraka Mwinshehe and his Likembe Mahoka style, Segere Matata, as well as Michael Enok of Dar Jazz, from Dar-es-salaam.
Other influences is from the Congolese maestros like Luambo Luanzo Makiadi and his immortal T.P OK Jazz, Dr. Nico of African Fiesta Sukisa and countless other African musicians who have helped to mold African music and inspired another generation of musicians. More impulses came from Caribbean music of the late 60's which was popular in East Africa. Also influenced by the early reggae greats, the likes of Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, and Linton Kwesi Johnson, to name but a few. All this has helped to shape Ras Nas' musical style.
Nasibu started writing African poetry at the age of 17 and experimented with various forms of African chanting and African drumming. He is also a painter who ran short of paint at one point. Studied Law at the University of Dar es salaam where he graduated with an L.L.B degree in 1984. After graduation he worked for a while as a journalist for Daily News as well as a correspondent for Africa Magazine (under Peter Enahoro) covering mainly cultural issues.
While at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Nasibu co-founded a powerful poetry and drama group "SAYARI" in Dar-es-salaam in 1980. Other SAYARI members were Freddy Macha, Chiku Ali (who joined after Anna Lukindo) and George Chioko. The group combined African music, poetry, miming, dance and drama and toured extensively in Scandinavia. In 1985 Nasibu moved to Oslo, Norway to study Mass Communications at the University of Oslo, UIO. He has since lived in Norway.
In 1985 he initiated "UMOJA CULTURE", a group in Oslo that blended traditional African music and dance. He also co-founded "ARTISTS FOR LIBERATION", a forerunner to Nordic Black Theater. In 1989 he published his first collection of African poetry, "Double Focus", (Kongoi Productions). Together with Reginald T.Oliver (Papa Lion) and James Toney Jr. he formed NASIBU and the DUAL VISION, a trio that performed Rhythmic Poetry coated with vibrant African chanting, harmonies and drumming. The trio changed name to "THE COLD FIRE" bringing in a Zimbabwean bassist, Clive Brown, and produced a music cassette during a tour in Germany.
In 1990 Nasibu went solo and formed his own band under his artist name, RAS NAS. The band had a debut concert in July 1991, at a party to mark the 99th anniversary of His Imperial Majesty Haile Sellasie I. The party was organized by the Rastafari Cultural Foundation in Oslo. The year after, Ras Nas performed for Nelson Mandela, celebrating his release from Robben Island prison. This happened in Oslo, during Mr. Mandela's first visit to Norway.
In 1997 he produced Ras Nas debut CD "Cut You Loose," (Kongoi Productions), working together with Charles Mena from Nicaragua, Chuck Frazier, a musician from Texas and Ishamel de Leon from Trinidad.
Ras Nas tracks can be also be found in other music compilations, the most notable being "RAW 2000" by Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide.
Ras Nas' second album, "Dar-es-Salaam", has received rave reviews. One of the biggest Norwegian dailies, Dagsavisen, gave the album a 5 star review, a record in Norway in many ways! The album was released in July 2008 by Kongoi Productions (KonPro).
Nasibu's latest album, "Double Focus", contains music and poetry. The poems are taken from Nasibu's anthology of poems by the same name published by Kongoi Productions in 1989. The CD is released under KonPro label.