Project Contributors


Dr. Ann Biersteker, Ph.D.; Associate Director, African Studies Center, Michigan State University; Contributor & Translator.  Dr. Biersteker is the author of many articles and several books on Swahili poetry. See the Bibliography for a list of her works. Email:

Thomas J. Hinnebusch, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and African Languages; Department of Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles; Project Director and Manager. Professor Hinnebusch has taught Swahili for nearly 40 years at UCLA and other schools and universities.  In addition to his interest in Swahili poetry he has published in the field of Swahili linguistics and has co-authored with Prof. Derek Nurse a definitive linguistic history of Swahili (See Bibliography).   Email:



Discovering Swahili Poetry