It Ends When I Get There has received the National Award for the Best Book Edited in 2016 – Art Section, Ministry of Culture.

It Ends When I Get There is the title of the book which inaugurates the Swanu Books publishing project. It is a testimonial compilation of 20 years of the musical experiences of ethnomusicologist Polo Vallejo in Nzali, an enclave located in the heart of Tanzania where the Wagogo live. A collection of field logbook entries in symbiosis with the black & white photos of Carmen Ballve; images in situ which reflect the daily life and the aesthetic dimension of the Gogo universe.


Music: "Makumbi song, rite of passage" Wagogo, Tanzania

September 23rd, 1995, arrive…

In Tanzania for the first time. Finding myself alone and in unfamiliar surroundings is a very appealing feeling, but also unsettling. The hot air, vibrant colours, the intense aromas and the sounds of a different language make me lose all sense of orientation. I’m fascinated by not understanding anything, and even though I feel free, I also feel a little dizzy… Arriving in Africa is always a rite of passage.

The magician

Yuma came over to the house today. As always, he arrived smiling, wearing a faded chequered blazer and matching trousers. He greeted everyone and calmly took his seat while asking us if we wanted to buy eggs. This surprised me since I thought he had come for some other reason. Mama Sadiki asked me if I fancied eggs for dinner and I said yes. After haggling a bit over the price, they reached an agreement. Yuma then slowly got up from his chair, carefully unbuttoned his jacket and, like a magician, took out - one by one and with extreme care - the six eggs that he had stored in his various inside pockets.

No music

I have the impression that not a day goes by without music in Nzali.