The music of Tanzania includes traditional African music, string-based taarab, and a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava. Famous taarab singers include Abbasi Mzee, Culture Musical Club, Shakila of Black Star Musical Group. Internationally known traditional artists include Bi Kidude, Hukwe Zawose, Diamond Platnumz, Ally Kiba and Tatu Nane. Tanzania also has its own distinct African rumba music, termed muziki wa dansi("dance music"); important artists include Simba Wanyika, Remmy Ongala, and Orchestra Makassy. Freddie Mercury, of the band Queen, was born in Tanzania.
Tanzania's literary culture is primarily oral. Major oral literary forms include folktales, poems, riddles, proverbs, and songs. The greatest part of Tanzania's recorded oral literature is in Swahili, even though each of the country's languages has its own oral tradition. The country's oral literature has been declining because of the breakdown of the multigenerational social structure, making transmission of oral literature more difficult, and because increasing modernisation has been accompanied by the devaluation of oral literature.
Tanzania's written literary tradition is relatively undeveloped. Tanzania does not have a lifelong reading culture, and books are often expensive and hard to come by. Most Tanzanian literature is in Swahili or English. Major figures in Tanzanian written literature include Shaaban Robert (considered the father of Swahili literature), Muhammed Saley Farsy, Faraji Katalambulla, Adam Shafi Adam, Muhammed Said Abdalla, Said Ahmed Mohammed Khamis, Mohamed Suleiman Mohamed, Euphrase Kezilahabi, Gabriel Ruhumbika, Ebrahim Hussein, May Materru Balisidya, Abdulrazak Gurnah, and Penina O. Mlama.
Painting and sculpture
Historically, there have been only limited opportunities for formal European art training in Tanzania, and many aspiring Tanzanian artists have left the country to pursue their vocation. One of the most famous African artists – George Lilanga – was born in Tanzania.
Two Tanzanian art styles have achieved international recognition. The Tingatinga school of painting, founded by Edward Said Tingatinga, consists of brightly coloured enamel paintings on canvas, generally depicting people, animals, or daily life. After Tingatinga's death in 1972, other artists adopted and developed his style, with the genre now being the most important tourist-oriented style in East Africa. Makonde is both a tribe in Tanzania and Mozambique and a sculptural style. It is known for the high Ujamaas (Trees of Life) made of the hard and dark ebony tree.
One of Tanzania's, and other parts of eastern Africa's, most common dishes is Ugali. It is usually composed of corn and is similar in consistency to a stiff paste or porridge, giving it its second name of corn meal porridge. Mixtures of cassava and millet flours are locally used for ugali. Rice and cooked green bananas are also important staples. Beef, goat meat, beans, yoghurt, and a wide range of fish and green leafy vegetables all add nutrients to the dishes.
Football is very popular throughout the country. The most popular professional football clubs in Dar es Salaam are the Young Africans F.C. and Simba S.C. The Tanzania Football Federation is the governing body for football in the country.
Other popular sports include netball, boxing, volleyball, athletics, and rugby.
Tanzania competes in the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the All-Africa Games, the Africa Cup of Nations, the CAF Champions League, the African Women's Championship in football, the CAF Confederation Cup, and the African Championships in Athletics. Among the popular sportsmen from Tanzania are Hasheem Thabeet, Mbwana Samatta and Filbert Bayi.