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Julian Costa Silva - Unheralded Mombasa Goan 'muso' Pioneer

SYDNEY Australia -- Julian Costa Silva who was born on October 6, 1892 in the south Goa village Betalbatim was an extraordinary Goan musician and pioneer, writes Cyprian Fernandes.

He was perhaps the first Goan to write songs in Swahili which were sung by Goans, especially children, backed by Goan musicians at concerts and any musical opportunities that presented.
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This was at a time when most people frowned upon engaging socially with Africans.

Mr Costa Silva insisted that his family treated all nationalities with respect.

The Swahili was not the classic coastal version but what most people called "kitchen Swahili."

He was utterly dedicated to teaching young Goans music, especially the playing of the Goan "national" instrument, the humble yet venerable violin.

He raised funds, penny by penny, to build a Goan club and a Goan school.

He was so busy with work and music he married rather late.

 

Julian and Mary Costa Silva in Mombasa1969 | Coastweek

SYDNEY Australia -- Julian and Mary Costa Silva in Mombasa 1969.
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However, the Mombasa Goan community ignored his pioneering efforts until 2001 when Franklyn Pereira, the Mombasa Institute President and chair of the Centenary committee, acknowledged the huge contribution made by Julian Costa Silva to the Mombasa Institute and the Goan community for several decades.
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FURTHER READING:

Julian Costa Silva The unheralded pioneer Goan 'muso' from Mombasa - Part One

Julian Costa Silva The unheralded pioneer Goan 'muso' from Mombasa - Part Two

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SEE ALSO:

Edmund Silveira is a brilliant pianist, bandleader, and composer

Cyprian Fernandes: Seraphino Antao Family album of Mombasa

           

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