According to local legend, taarab was started by Sultan Seyyid Barghash bin Said (1870-1888); he liked luxury and the pleasures of life. It was this ruler who started Taarab in Zanzibar and later it spread all over East Africa. He imported a taarab ensemble from Egypt, to play in his Beit el-Ajab palace. Later on he decided to send to Egypt Mohamed Ibrahim to learn music and he also learned to play the Kanun. Upon his return he formed the Zanzibar Taarab Orchestra. In 1905, Zanzibar's second music society, Ikwhani Safaa Musical Club, was established and continues to thrive today.