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Memories of Zanzibar

Sauti za Busara 2008

Music Festival, Zanzibar

7 - 10 February 2008

Looking forwards? Karibu tena.... 12-17 Feb 2009

Couldn't Do It Without You

It started with a minute’s silence to pay respects to the hundreds of people who have died or been displaced since December elections in neighbouring Kenya.

It finished with a heaving dancefloor and partying ‘til the small hours at one of the island’s most stunning white-powder beach locations.

CD advertIn between, there was a carnival street parade, Swahili poetry competition, Zanzibar Festival Classics CD + DVD launch party, art exhibitions and more than forty of Africa’s finest music groups performing live inside the ancient walls of the Old Fort in the Stone Town of Zanzibar.

77% of those who attended agreed that Sauti za Busara really is “the friendliest festival on the planet.” Most said this year’s edition was the best by far, praising the event for its excellent organisation, exciting and diverse artistic programme, great sound quality, and peaceful ambiance.

Audience at festival 2008More than four thousand people attended each day, including musicians, promoters and media professionals, travellers and tourists, Muslims and rastas and Zanzibari families. People of all ages came together in celebration and were united by the music.

Finally a big thank you to everyone who helped to make the festival such a pleasure. Thanks to Zantel, all festival donors and sponsors, to artists and audience, to trustees, permanent staff and essential crew. Thanks too - to our friends and well wishers around the world who have supported Sauti za Busara during the first five years.

Yusuf Mahmoud, Stone Town, 4 March 2008


Best Performers

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba was easily voted best of the best at this year’s Sauti za Busara festival. “Their show was rootsy, soulful, charismatic and full of energy. In short, a great inspiration for all who were blessed to be there.

Bassekou Kouyate

The top twelve performers for 2008 as voted by festival audience and crew were:


Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba (Mali), 


Taarab Orchestras (Zanzibar) including:



N’faly Kouyaté and Dunyakan (West Africa / Various)


Yunasi (Kenya)


Splendid Theatre (Tanzania)


Eric Wainaina & the Mapinduzi Band (Kenya)


Malouma (Mauritania)


Bantu & Afrobeat Academy (West Africa / Europe)


Maurice Kirya (Uganda)


Seckou Keita Quartet + (West Africa / Europe)


Bi Kidude (Zanzibar)


Celloman (Europe)



See photos from Sauti za Busara 2008 >>>

Bantu_&_Afrobeat_Academy_by_Birgit_Quade_IMG_2830 Jakamoyo_by_Masoud_Khamis_DSC02098a Nfaly_Kouyate_and_Dunyakan_by_Thomas_Dorn_IMG_3459
__Audience_by_Bob_Sankofa_Sauti_Day_2_001151A __Onstage_With_Yunasi_by_Birgit_Quade_Img_2966 ___Bi_Kidude_by_Bob_Sankofa_Sauti_2_157

and a video!
See an 8 min video report on the 2008 festival

See Weblog coverage at these places:

Non-stop music 4pm to 1am daily

Showcasing the wealth and diversity of music from the Swahili speaking region, plus a few artists from further afield.



Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba (Mali)Malouma (Mauritania)Maalesh (Comoros)Culture Musical Club (Zanzibar)Seckou Keita Quartet + (Senegal / UK)Bantu & Afrobeat Academy (Nigeria / Germany)Yunasi (Kenya)Bring the Noise (Pan Africa)N'Faly Kouyaté (Guinea)Ahmed el Salam (Algeria / France)Bi Kidude (Zanzibar)Afrodynamix (Pan Africa / Austria)Celloman (UK)National Taarab All Stars (Zanzibar)Seven Survivor (Tanzania)Eric Wainaina & the Mapinduzi Band (Kenya)Baladna Taarab (Zanzibar)Tamarind Band (Zanzibar)Nfithe (Mozambique)Sakaki Mango (Japan)Jahazi Modern Taarab (Tanzania)TMK Majita Original (Tanzania)Maurice Kirya (Uganda)Mwana FA (Tanzania)Nako2Nako Soldiers (Tanzania)Jaymoe (Tanzania)Splendid Theatre (Tanzania)Maulidi ya Homu ya Mtendeni (Zanzibar)DCMA meets Tibirinzi All Stars (Pemba /  Zanzibar)Z. Anto (Tanzania)Kassim (Tanzania)Madee (Tanzania)Mrisho Mpoto (Tanzania)Akhenaton Family (Zanzibar)Moto Combat (Tanzania)KIKI Taarab (Zanzibar)Black Roots (Zanzibar)Yange Yange Trio (Tanzania)DJ Yusuf (UK / Zanzibar)Jakamoyo (Tanzania)Kijiji Family The Big Nation (Zanzibar),  and your good selves.

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