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The title of this collection of poetry, Kale ya Washairi wa Pemba: Kamange na Sarahani is translated as, ‘The Past of Pemba Poets: Kamange and Sarahani’. Pemba, for those who may need reminding is the smaller of the two islands known as Zanzibar, the other being Unguja. The poets whose works make up the collection lived between the last half of the 19th and early 20th century in Pemba, but their poetry was known and much appreciated throughout the Swahili world of the time, meaning the coastal towns of East Africa, in particular, Mombasa, Lamu, Zanzibar and other settlements. The two famous and rival poets, Kamange and Sarahani, were influenced, as all artists inevitably are, by their environment and culture, among the most important of its manifestations being religion and language. Both of them were Muslims, and were therefore influenced by Islamic literature and Arabic language. But they were also influenced by the multiplicity of Swahili sub-cultures and dialects – which were not in fact called Swahili but Kim vita, Kiamu, Kipemba, Kimrima and Kivumba respectively (for the Swahili spoken in Mombasa, Lamu, Pemba, Vanga and Wasini off the Southern Kenya coast) and several others.