Zanzibar. After four consecutive nights of energetic live performances at the iconic Ngome Kongwe, curtains have rolled down on the 17th edition of the Sauti za Busara music festival.
Featuring an array of performances from artistes who came from different parts of the African continent the festival breathed life into the usually quiet neighbourhood of Stone Town.
The audience, too, was as diversified as the artists line up, they had travelled from as far as Australia, Norway, Greece, France, Germany, Russia, USA, Japan and other parts of the world.
The massive arrivals for the festival once again confirmed that it has turned what was once a low tourist season into an intense season of booming business.
Speaking on the side-lines, Busara Promotions board chairman Simai Mohammed said there was every reason for business people in Zanzibar and Tanzania in general to embrace the festival.
“There is every reason why businesses should associate with the Busara Brand because it advertises Tanzania to the rest of the world,” said Mr Simai.
He added: There is evidence that millions of dollars are pumped into the local economy by the visitors that come here during February, so why not take that opportunity.
In his closing remarks the festival director Yusuf Mahmoud said this year’s festival showed the world a different face of Africa that often goes unheard.
“Audiences from across East Africa and many corners of the world united in joy to celebrate an eclectic and vibrant programme of live music from the African Continent and diaspora,” said Yusuf Mahmoud.
According to Mr Mahmoud, Sauti za Busara has proved yet again there exists a huge market for more diverse musical expressions from across the Continent.
“Here in East Africa, people love music from the region, but on the rare occasions they have access to quality music from north, south and west of the Continent, it's clear they can love it equally. Just as we don't have to be Italian to eat pasta, nor do we have to be Malian or Senegalese to enjoy the many different musical styles of these countries,” he said.
He further added that even with enormous challenges, they still managed to organise another successful festival with fantastic energy, great sound from start to finish and completely on time!
This year’s festival ran under the theme Raise your Voice, Say No to Sexual Harassment, with several East African acts putting up a great show that wowed the audience.
“Examples include TaraJazz and Siti& the Band, from Zanzibar, or Evon and Apio Moro, from Uganda. For me, these were some of the performance highlights, up there with the uniqueness and energy levels of visiting bands from Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Reunion and South Africa,” concluded the director.
The 2021 edition of the Sauti za Busara will be held on between February 11 and 14.