Skip to content

I ran away from home between the ages of six and eight years old as a result of child abuse. I lived as a street child in different parts of Tanzania for over 10 years. In 2009 – 2013, I joined Makini, a Tanzanian non-profit organization that supports children and young people living on the streets. It was there that I first began to train and perform in traditional dance, modern dance, and theatre. This was the beginning of my artistic journey but my background and experiences continue to influence my work to this day.

Samwel Japhet is a Tanzanian dance artist, choreographer and social entrepreneur and uses dance as artistic expression for story-telling. He believes that art is an invitation to transcendence and critical reflection on the realities of our times, and his work reflects this belief by engaging with choreographic works that reflects on social issues and human experiences, inviting the audiences to reflect on realities of our times and imagine alternative futures. Samwelhas always been fascinated with human relationships and human relation to the world, his work engages in extending choreographic practices by combining dance and movement with visual storytelling, text, and music as tools to address the complexities and urgent questions of today.

2021 Seed Award Recipient from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development in the Netherlands. Co-managed UMOJA, a multi-disciplinary artistic residency exchange program between East African and European artists in Tanzania 2021-2022 supported by EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) through the initiative European Spaces of Culture. Graduated from the MUDA Africa Dance School in Tanzania.

In 2015, he co-founded a Tanzanian based non-profit dance company (Nantea Dance Company). The company provides multifaceted performances and community-based projects and hopes to contribute to promoting and developing the contemporary dance scene in Tanzania and inspire youths to become ambassadors of growth and social change. Nantea is committed to touring its choreographic works, which have been showcased in The Netherlands, Israel, Latvia, USA, Mozambique, Germany, Rwanda, Belgium, Uganda, Sweden, Kenya, UK and Tanzania.      

Samwel has intensively been touring and working internationally: in The Netherlands, South Korea, Israel, France, Ethiopia, Latvia, USA, Mozambique, Belgium, South Africa, Sweden, UK, Burkina Faso, Germany, Nigeria, Portugal, Rwanda, Russia, Senegal, Uganda, Burundi, DR Congo and Kenya.



As a Tanzanian dance artist, choreographer & social entrepreneur, I hope through my work, I can further contribute to the promotion and development of the dance and art scene in Tanzania, and inspiring youths to become ambassadors of development and social change. I hope to achieve this by continuing to initiate more projects and activities through the arts.

Through my performances, I want to continue engaging with the audience with urgent questions, societal issues, and reflections on progress. Through a multidisciplinary approach that combines dance, movement, visual storytelling, texts, and music, to challenge existing perspectives while giving room for new perspectives to emerge.

Moreover, a crucial aspect of my mission is to advocate for increased financial support from the Tanzanian government for the arts and cultural sector. I envision a future where the creative sector is recognized and invested as a valuable contributor to the nation’s cultural richness and societal development.

Beyond my artistic pursuits, my commitment extends to providing fellow youths with comprehensive information about diverse opportunities. Through these efforts, I aim to inspire the younger generation, enabling them to actively participate in development and social change. By creating possibilities for exploration and access to opportunities aligned with their aspirations, I hope to contribute to a more dynamic and engaged youth community in Tanzania.