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Sauti za Busara Newsletter

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Sauti za Busara 2016 is cancelled
Due to shortage of funds, Busara Promotions reluctantly announces Sauti za Busara 2016 is cancelled.

Yusuf Mahmoud, CEO of Busara Promotions, said today “This decision was not taken lightly. We set ourselves the target to raise US$200,000 before July, when we hoped to announce dates for Sauti za Busara 2016. After meetings with various stakeholders, we extended the fundraising deadline to Aug 20. The amount of support we were finally able to raise was well short, so we were unable to continue preparations. The pressure was on further, as we were receiving enquiries from all over the world from people needing to know the dates, to make arrangements for their own flights and hotel bookings. Selling tickets for Sauti za Busara was never a problem, but these only cover 30% of festival costs”.

Yusuf continued, “Since 2004, we had no financial support from the government in Zanzibar, the United Republic of Tanzania or the East African Community. Despite tireless efforts, support from donors, embassies and commercial sponsors has reached an all-time low. Busara Promotions is an NGO; the festival is non-profit. Friends of Busara suggested we try crowd-funding. However, to be more sustainable, before the 2017 edition our priority is to develop long-term partnerships with donors and sponsors who share our vision. If anyone reading this is interested to help keep Sauti za Busara alive, generating employment locally, whilst shining the spotlight on our rich musical traditions and promoting cultural tourism for Zanzibar and Tanzania, please contact Busara Promotions.”

Annually in February over the past twelve years, Busara attracted thousands of visitors from all corners of the world to Zanzibar, at a time which used to be low season. Even conservative estimates suggest since 2004 Sauti za Busara generated USD 70 million in revenues for the island. Meanwhile, BBC World Service hailed Sauti za Busara as one of “Africa's best and most respected music events”. It is also included in CNN's “7 African music festivals you really have to see” and tops Afro-Tourism's list of “Best Music Festivals”.

Yusuf Mahmoud said finally “Sometimes it’s necessary to take one step back, before continuing to move forwards. Busara Board and management shall be working hard over the coming months, to ensure the festival resumes stronger than ever from 2017. Possibly this will mean moving location, or making it a biennial event. Certainly our priorities will be to keep the event accessible for the local population, whilst seeking to build longer-term partnerships, with the public and private sectors”.

Whilst the festival takes a break, Busara Promotions continues with its regular activities to promote African music, strengthen local know-how and build livelihood in the regional music sector. Throughout the year, Busara ensures East African artists are invited to other international events and facilitates skills-building for local artists and festival crews, through exchanges and training in arts management, marketing, media and technical skills. This work, as generously supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam, is unaffected by the decision to cancel Sauti za Busara 2016.

More info:  |

With thanks to Royal Norwegian Embassy, Dar es Salaam

We acknowledge and thank the following, who DID agree to sponsor Sauti za Busara 2016: Zanlink, Inaya Zanzibar, Memories of Zanzibar, Kendwa Rocks, Emerson Spice, Emerson on Hurumzi, Unguja Lodge, Archipelago, Stone Town Café, Colors of Zanzibar, Blue Banana, Mercury’s and Coral Rock Hotel. Asanteni sana! Please stay with Sauti za Busara for 2017 and beyond.

Vacancy: Fundraising Manager

Busara Promotions seeks to recruit a committed, professional full-time fundraiser to further develop financial sustainability for the NGO and Sauti za Busara:

  • To secure funding and technical resources for Sauti za Busara festivals 2017-2021,
  • To build long-term partnerships with local and international donors,
  • To negotiate sponsorships with local and international commercial sponsors,
  • To advise and assist in growing self generated revenues.

The successful applicant will be based in Zanzibar. S/he will be computer literate, fluent in oral and written English, with Swahili proficiency also preferred. Salary negotiable, based on experience. Please send CV and letter of motivation if you are interested, to reach before midnight on Sept 6th.

"Sauti za Busara strengthens civil society through bringing different artists and audiences together whilst defending human rights, freedom of expression and respect for diversity. Meanwhile, through the global media we show positive images of Zanzibar and Africa, as a continent that is vibrant and rich in its many cultures and expressions". Yusuf Mahmoud, CEO

“Why do more businesses not support, when all flights to Zanzibar around festival time are full, hotels and restaurants are full, shops around Stone Town are all busy with customers? If banks, airlines, hotels and phone companies were to contribute even a tiny percentage of their incomes generated around the festival, or if the government could contribute just $1 for each tourist arriving to the island, the budget for Sauti za Busara would be sorted!”
Julia Bishop, Busara board member

“We wish to see government leaders invest in and other major events that promote Zanzibar globally, employ and build skills for Tanzanians and could continue bringing in cultural tourism revenues for years to come”
Ally Saleh, Busara board member

Salif Keita in Zanzibar

Now for the good news: the legendary Salif Keita, Golden Voiceof Mali, is scheduled to perform at the Old Fort in Stone Town, Zanzibar this Friday. Thanks and congratulations to Jahazi Jazz and Literary Festival for making it happen!

With thanks to Association Franco-Zanzibarite (AFZ) for assistance in translation

Contact Us

Busara Promotions logo

Busara Promotions
P O Box 3635
Stone Town
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Find us off the airport road, Maisara
Tel: +255 24 223 2423
or +255 773 822 294

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