With 10 female and 13 male artists, Kariakoo Sanaa developed out of the Zanzibar National Ballet in 1979. Due to cultural exchange programmes between Zanzibar and Guinea Conakry, the latter sent tutors to help establish the group. Performing a variety of traditional ngoma from around Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania, Kariakoo Sanaa is also the mother ensemble of most groups of
traditional music styles in Zanzibar.
Apart from performing ngoma, they produce different Swahili plays for stage, radio and tv . Most artists in the group have extensive knowledge of different ngoma styles, including obscure ones like the all women ndege and bomu. They are proud to feature Mzee Kheri, Zanzibar's leading ngoma drummer, and Asha Khatib, group leader and veteran dancer and many more excellent artists.
Instruments used during their sets include zumari (a wind instrument played by circular breathing), marimba, drums, shakers and ankle bells (njuga).