Kadodi is the music that comes from traditional drums called “Tsing’oma”. It’s played for Imbalu candidates and escorts (basinyisi) who dance along as they move from one village to another as demanded by the custom.

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The standard Kadodi drums are four – The Big Bass Drum (Kumbuka) played with hands, The Solo Drum that is played with a stick, The Rhythm Drum played with hands and The Smaller High Pitch Drum (Ingalalasa) played repeatedly while lifted it up. Also, the Shaker and Flute (Kumulele) add to the drums for completeness. Women are not allowed to play the drums. It’s also a taboo for them to sit on them.

The Kadodi drums are made out of strong cut-out steel tins covered on the flat sides with cow skins. Before the drums are played, they are dried in the sun or smoked with dry banana leaves (Kamasatsa) to ensure that they are warm enough to produce that quality sound that can be heard by anybody who is miles away. When they are very hot, water is applied to soften them to a desired level. On the sides of the drums are tighteners/tuners.

Kadodi drums are designed to produce a musical sound that incites imbalu candidates and escorts to dance as they move within communities. Heavy relentless gyration from head to shoulder to waist to toes is displayed by young ladies as they dance along the streets of Masaabaland. Boys and girls wrapped with “bibenga” (tie their waists with banana leaves) can create stages where they dance-paka-chini/mwaga to the inviting beat of kadodi.