Blue Amber Zanzibar to the rescue of Sauti za Busara Festival

Wednesday March 30 2022
Busara deal
By Paul Owere

Zanzibar.  One week after it looked like darkness had fallen at noon on the Sauti za Busara music festival, with parent organisation announcing its closure due to lack of funding, the festival’s future has now been secured for three years.
This comes after Pennyroyal Limited, the developers of Blue Amber Zanzibar and Busara Promotions on Tuesday, March 29, signed a three-year sponsorship deal that will see the festival’s continuity and sustainability.
The sponsorship, which is set to take care of the festival’s operational costs, is worth some $120,000 annually and will be issued on a quarterly basis.
Speaking at the signing ceremony Blue Amber’s CEO Grant Anderson said they received the news of the festival’s closure and decided to act almost immediately given its importance to the Isles.
“When we received the news that the festival was closing its doors due to the lack of funding, Blue Amber was proud to take the leading role in announcing the festival’s sponsorship as we enter the 20th year of this iconic cultural event that has established Zanzibar as the East African hub of musical entertainment” said CEO of Blue Amber Grant Anderson
He added: The festival has over the years produced valuable tourism investment and income for our citizens, through performing artists, employment of staging personnel, and valuable media publicity promoting Zanzibar. According to him, the festival now becomes a pillar of their corporate social responsibility mandate.
 “We would like to see the men and women continue benefiting from the annual event. We have also put in strategic plans to help the promoters of Sauti za Busara to make it self-sustainable and would like to assure the Zanzibaris, and global audiences, that the Sauti za Busara festival will grow in stature and reputation.”
Festival director Yusuf Mahmoud said after donor support from the Norwegian Embassy who covered most of our office running costs since 2009 expired in March 2022 they were on the hunt for new sponsors
“We spent most of the past year trying to find another funding partner, to no avail. Although we don’t give up easily, time was running out and we had almost lost hope of being able to continue,” he said. He added: “Finally at the last minute, like a miracle, Blue Amber Zanzibar offered to save Busara, and keep our organisation alive for three more years,” said Mahmoud.
And with the assurance of core funding, the festival has announced the dates for the 2023 festival which is set to take place from February 9 to 12. The founder of Blue Amber Zanzibar Saleh Said emphasised  that the news  of the festival’s closure was devastating
“As a Zanzibari I was devastated to hear that the Sauti za Busaramusic festival was unable to continue due to a lack of funds. It would be a travesty if the festival came to an end and impacted the livelihoods of our people and Zanzibar as a whole. We are pleased that our intervention in this sponsorship deal will bring stability to the festival plans,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Zanzibar’s Minister for Information, Culture and Sports the deputy Permanent Secretary Khamis Abdallah Said said their doors remain open for the organisers so that they can work out a model that will make the festival sustainable.