The 19th edition of Sauti za Busara festival is only five weeks away as fans across the world look forward to converge at a unique setting as African music rocks the walls of Stone Town from Friday, February 11 to February 13.
As always, the festival shines a spotlight on live music from across Africa, including young and upcoming talents laying a special emphasis on female performers from Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Congo and Zambia.
Among this year’s headline artistes is Sampa The Great, whose unique blend of African hiphop is a journey to self-discovery, a climb to enlightenment as fuelled by her experiences living in Australia, and physical, spiritual and cultural inspirations from her ancestral home in Zambia.
Sampa The Great has performed at many of the world’s most iconic festivals, winning a wave of adoring fans with her energetic shows.
“We don’t select artistes simply because they are women,” says Yusuf Mahmoud, the festival director.
“All artists at Sauti za Busara perform quality music with originality, innovation and energy, as will be loud and clear when Sampa The Great (Zambia), Siti & The Band (Zanzibar), Msaki and Nomfusi (South Africa), Suzan Kerunen (Uganda), Fanie Fayar (Congo) and Upendo Manase (Tanzania) perform next month under the banner ‘Paza Sauti: Amplifying Women’s Voices,” says Mr Mahmoud.
Other artistes highlights at this coming edition include Sjava (South Africa), Sholo Mwamba and Wamwiduka Band (Tanzania), Maallem Abdelkebir Merchane (Morocco), Dendri Stambeli Movement (Tunisia), Sylent Nqo and Evans 'Pfumela' Mapfumo (Zimbabwe), Zan Ubuntu and Nadi Ikhwan Safaa (Zanzibar) and many others.
For almost two decades, Sauti za Busara festival has been the pivot for a regional music ecosystem that expands horizons whilst offering platforms for employment, trade, artistic expression, collaboration, networking, training and skills development, fostering social cohesion, unity and solidarity across borders.
President Hussein Mwinyi of Zanzibar recently commended the festival for bringing many benefits to the islands.
Addressing potential sponsors, he said: “I congratulate the Sauti za Busara team for their great commitment and achievements to keep the festival alive, and special thanks to all the donors and sponsors who make it possible. I also congratulate and thank the many musicians who have made this a globally renowned event that attracts more and more visitors each year.”
Special prices are offered for all Tanzanians attending the event, at Sh6,000 daily or Sh16,000 for an all-festival 3-day pass.