As the music and dance most closely associated with Mauritius, Sega has evolved from its traditional, mostly-improvised roots to a modern-day version often fused with other genres like jazz and reggae. Originating centuries ago among the island’s African slave populations, it quickly spread throughout the Indian Ocean – to Reunion, Rodrigues, the Seychelles, Comoros and Mayotte – and used imaginative new instruments to bring the exhilarating rhythms to life, provoking an unquenchable urge to dance among its listeners.

Their voices marked hearts and minds. Their music is anchored in the Mauritian culture and their names are among the legends of the sega. This music they illustrate as pioneers. If their tubes will never die, Fanfan and Georgie Joe, they live their retirement far from the glances.
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Like Fanfan, music has always been part of the life of Georgie Chamtyoo, better known as Georgie Joe. Famous author and interpreter of Tel papa tel piti or Mo rakont mo la vi, he is also preparing to blow his 78 candles in a few weeks. Although not in bed, Georgie Joe, who suffers from a foot disability, finds it difficult to walk without his cane. So he stays there in his little house, which is above his daughter Christiana in Cité Sadally, Vacoas, listening to him singing, smoking cigarettes and drinking little grogs. the recordings of my passages on TV, radio or in concerts. I like listening to them. But I also like to listen to Cliff Richard or Elvis Presley.

The essence of the Sega beat comes from the combination of several core instruments, most notably the triangle, the maravane – a flat wooden rattle filled with small pebbles or dried nuts – and the ravane, a circular wooden drum frame covered with a taut piece of goat hide, often heated over a flame to tighten the membrane for a livelier sound and sometimes ringed with bells.

Lyrics are normally in Mauritian Creole, though sometimes in French, with a vocal melody usually sung in verse/chorus form. Around the middle of the last century, the addition of guitars, accordians, drums and trumpets reinvigorated the genre, and by the mid 1960s Sega had emerged from the confines of private gatherings to become openly popular throughout Mauritius.

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“Sega makes people happy … But it does not pay”