Mfalme Bio


Dardanus Mfalme, popularly known as Darda King or Dardan King, is a Tanzanian-American multi-talented writer, producer, composer, poet, musician, and multi-instrumentalist who is one of the best-selling artists and writers of Swahili music and Swahili poetry books worldwide.


Dardan is one of the most prominent representatives of Swahili music and literature outside of his native country, Tanzania, through his music and poetry books. Modern Swahili is his style of writing, in which he mixes proper Swahili with street Swahili, which makes his work outshine many other Swahili artists and writers.


Dardan grew up in the streets of Kinondoni District, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He started his music journey at age 12 at the Korean Culture Center, where he took his first piano lessons. There he performed as a pianist and accordionist and showcased his talents in many musical events with the Korean Culture Children and Youth Band.


At age 14, Dardan joined the Amkeni Choir out of Kinondoni Lutheran Church, where he started as a third voice (tenor) singer, then began his guitar lessons, played as a rhythm guitarist, and worked his way up to being a solo guitarist. Dardan recorded several albums with the Amkeni choir; he also performed in many churches and gospel crusades across Tanzania and East Africa. His notable moment with the Amkeni Choir is when he performed as a solo guitar player in front of tens of thousands of people at The Rev. Reinhard Bonnke’s The Big November Crusade, sharing the stage with musicians from The New Life Band and The Good News Band.


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At the age of 15, Dardan was able to transform my high school band, "TBC Band," which consisted of three members, by bringing in additional talent from Kinondoni Lutheran Church's Amkeni choir to record his first album ever, titled "Najiuliza."


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While he was in secondary school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the chairman of the Tanzania Christian Student Association (Ukwata) saw Dardan’s talent and potential when he performed as a solo guitarist with the Sayuni Choir from Kinondoni Lutheran Church during a student graduation ceremony and later on asked him to join Ukwata to become a choirmaster of the Azajangwa student choir.


During his time as choirmaster of the Azajangwa student choir, Dardan led the Azajangwa choir to win several contests, taking the title of "number 1 choir" in Dar es Salaam and the coastal region in 1995 and later that year finishing number 7 in the national level contest.

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When he was attending school in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Dardan formed a boys singing group called Wagalatia. The Wagalatia group performed on many student occasions across Kilimanjaro and Arusha, Tanzania. Dardan also joined The Sauti Nyikani Band out of Moshi, Kilimanjaro, as bass guitarist to perform at several Christian student graduations and conferences across Kilimanjaro and Arusha. While in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, he also played solo guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, and keyboard for the St. Margaret Anglican Church choir in the Majengo area of Moshi.


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After moving to the United States, Dardan started playing drums, solo guitar, and bass guitar for the First Assemblies of God African Service in Des Moines, Iowa. While attending college in Iowa, Dardan formed his own home studio and started drifting towards Swahili hip-hop music called Bongo Flava.


In 2001, Dardan decided to drop out of college and pursue full-time music and business in Texas, USA. In 2005, he recorded his first Bongo Flava album, titled Nimerudi," which included the hit song "Wabongo."


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Darda King's "Nimerudi 2005" album

Link to "Nimerudi 2005" album:    


In 2006, Dardan continued his meteoric rise with his second Bongo Flava album, titled "Nimekubalika 2006," which was his first album to penetrate the international market. In collaboration with Digipixel Studios in Houston, Texas, Dardan produced a music video of the hit song "YiHo!!!," which went viral and held top position in many East African TV station charts for a while.


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Darda King's "Nimekubalika 2006" album"

Link to "Nimekubalika 2006" album:    


Dardan's success continued with the September 2007 release of "Nimeshinda 2007," his spectacular third Bongo Flava album. The music video for the hit song "Mdundiko" did very well on several TV station charts. Mdundiko is still a favorite hit song of many despite being several years old.


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Darda King's "Nimeshinda 2007" album"

Link to "Nimeshinda 2007" album:    


In 2009, Dardan took a break from all music activities and concentrated on writing books. "Nimepumzika 2009," meaning I rest in 2009, is the first book he wrote, which introduced him magnificently into the world of poetry worldwide.


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Darda King's "Nimepumzika 2009" poetry book"

Link to "Nimepumzika 2009" book:    


Dardan returned to music in 2010 and released his fourth Bongo Flava album, titled "Nimekamilika 2010," which, according to the book he later wrote in 2014, was his last Bongo Flava album.


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Darda King's "Nimekamilika 2010" album

Link to "Nimekamilika 2010" album:    


Late in 2011, Dardan released the book "Nimebadilika 2011," meaning I have changed 2011. After this book, there have been significant changes in Dardan’s music and literature. The changes were confirmed in the book he released two years later, titled "Ninang’atuka 2014," in which he explained the reason for the changes and his decision to quit Bongo Flava music.


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Darda King's "Nimebadilika 2011" book

Link to "Nimebadilika 2011" book:    

Link to "Ninan'gatuka 2014" book:    


Taking a turn to where he originally started, in March 2019, Dardan was baptized as Dardanus Mfalme at Jones AME Church in Houston, Texas, by his pastor and spiritual leader, Rev. R. Green.


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After quitting Bongo Flava and being out of the music scene for nearly ten years, in 2023, Dardan returned to the music scene but shifted more into live music by forming his band "Mfalme Band", and changing his name from Darda King to Dardan King to differentiate his music then and now.


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Dardan King's "Mfalme Band"

Link to "Mfalme Band" page: