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Sauti za Busara music festival kicks off in Zanzibar

Saturday February 13 2021
sauti pic
By Paul Owere

Zanzibar. The 18th edition of the Sauti za Busara festival kicked off yesterday at Stone Town with groups from Tanzania and the rest of Africa running under the theme ‘Alive and Kicking’.

The globally acclaimed extravaganza which has been down sized will for two nights at the Old Fort feature breath taking performances from 14 groups (11 from Tanzania and 3 from the rest of Africa).

Selecting from some of the best Tanzanian and African groups and artistes, this year’s edition features groups that most will be performing at the iconic Ngome Kongwe for the first time.

According to the festival director Yusuf Mohammed there is plenty to look forward to at this year’s edition from the selected artistes who illuminate Tanzania’s diversity and the rest of Africa. “Over the years audiences have come to expect something unique and fresh from our selection team and that is why we believe this year’s line-up is up to the task, for it is truly African and it is as we have always said music with identity,” said the festival director.

He adds: The selection process has taken into considerations of some of the travel restrictions being imposed by different countries that are why we have the majority from Tanzania.

According to Mr Mahmoud, some of the selected artistes such as Msafiri Zawose and Vitali Maembe represent the very best of Tanzania’s cultural export to the world.

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“There have been some cancellations due to travel restrictions and lockdowns that some African countries have imposed to curb the spread of the pandemic,” he said.

Mr Mahmoud said festival is an economic boost to the islands with millions of dollars being injected into the economy with hundreds getting either directly or indirectly employed.

Speaking on the upcoming event, festival manager Journey Ramadhani said Sautiza za Busara promotes Zanzibar and Tanzania across the world, it also attracts international promoters, giving opportunities for our musicians to share their work with global audiences. “Since 2004 when the festival opened its doors, our focus has been to showcase music that is unique and with cultural identity. We have consistently demonstrated there is a market and demand for new, exciting and original sounds that are uniquely local,” he said.

The 2021 edition will serve as a platform from which Artists and audience around the world that will join hands to reflect on some of the critical environmental issues that affect the planet.

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