Busara Through The Year


Khaira ArbyKhaira Arby, exiled from Mali, performing at SzB013

Busara through the Year Sauti za Busara is proud to be recognized as one of Africa’s leading music festivals. But how much do you know about Busara Promotions, the NGO behind the festival? We work hard behind the scenes throughout the entire year on projects that strengthen arts infrastructure and contribute to the professionalization of the East African music industry. Read on for highlights of some of our favorite activities and projects in 2013:

Creating Access and Visibility for African Music
The 10th edition of Sauti za Busara marked a decade of passion and hard-work by Team Busara to create a festival that is welcoming to people from all walks of life

and recognized by many as one of the top music festivals in Africa. The 2013 festival featured the “Best of the Best” (audience favorites from previous editions), including artists such as Culture Musical Club (ZNZ), Lumumba Theatre (TZ), and Sousou and Maher Cissoko (Senegal/ Sweden). Other highlights included Cheikh Lo (Senegal) and Owiny Sigoma Band (Kenya/UK).

The festival also featured a focus on Freedom of Expression by featuring censored artists like Comrade Fatso (Zimbabwe), Nawal (Comoros), and Khaira Arby (Mali) in the line-up and with a special seminar on Censorship and Music during the Movers & Shakers sessions, workshops on family planning through a partnership with the United National Population Fund, and festival recycling and sustainability efforts for the first time with support from the NGO Sustainable East Africa (SEA).

Khaira ArbyMchikicho performing at the first Sauti Zetu show in Nungwi, Zanzibar

In September 2013, Busara proudly launched the inaugural Sauti Zetu (Our Voices) regional mini-festival in Nungwi (North Region, Unguja). The featured groups – Pungwa, Dumu, Kidumbaki, and Mchikicho – delighted audiences with a wide range of traditional Zanzibar musical styles. Busara Promotions hopes to expand the Sauti Zetu series next year, with more events in other regions of Zanzibar and Pemba.

In December, Busara Promotions hosted its first ever musical event in Dar-es-Salaam, the Sauti za Busara ‘Dar Special’. Featuring Msafiri Zawose (SzB ‘13), Seven Survivor (SzB ‘08, ‘12 and ‘14), and Hoko Roro (SzB ‘14), the show gave audiences on the

Msafiri Zawose & Sauti Band performing at the Sauti za Busara ‘Dar Special’

mainland a taste of the vibe of Sauti za Busara 2014, and celebrated the launch of Msafiri’s latest album, Mbotela (now available on iTunes).

Later in December, Busara supported Jagwa Music to perform at the first edition of the Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival in Lebanon. It was the group’s first time to perform in the Middle East and a valuable opportunity to bring Tanzanian music to a new audience.

Developing Skills and Opportunities
During Sauti za Busara 2013, we hosted crew trainings and exchanges from our sister festivals in East Africa, Sawa Sawa (Kenya) and Bayimba (Uganda). Members of the Busara team also had the opportunity to attend trainings in Festival Marketing and Audio- Visual Promotions in Kampala during the Bayimba festival’s 6th edition in September. We also attended marketing and sound engineering courses in Dar es Salaam, and presented on “Branding & Marketing” at a Youth Entrepreneurship training in Zanzibar during Zanzibar’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov).

AMFN Trainees with Busara’s MD Rebecca during SzB 2013

Building Networks
Busara continues to strengthen collaborations with other festivals and partner organizations throughout Africa and beyond. In 2013, Busara participated in the Indian Ocean Music Market - IOMMA (La Reunion), the City of Stars conference (Malawi), the Music in Africa first Annual General Meeting (KE), the East Africa Arts Summit (KE) where we participated in an Arts Entrepreneurship & Capacity Building seminar, and the WOMEX music expo (Wales). Busara also continued to build partnerships with two Norwegian festivals, Forde Festival and the Oslo World Music Festival. Busara is also an active member in the African Music Festivals Network, Afrifestnet, East Africa Performing Arts Circuit, and the Indian Ocean Music Network.

Journey Ramadhan representing Busara at Oslo World Music Festival

In November, at the Oslo World Music Festival, Busara found Yusuf Mahmoud gave a talk at the Nobel Peace Center on “Music as a Weapon.” Busara’s Managing Director Rebecca Corey spoke at another seminar at the festival entitled “Music as a Global Language.”

Organisational Development
In September, Busara’s Board of Trustees, management, senior staff, and select stakeholders met for a strategic planning retreat at Blue Bay Resort in Kiwengwa, Zanzibar to formulate a strategic plan for the next five years. The retreat was an opportunity to refine Busara’s mission and vision and lay out a plan of action for the organization in the coming months and years. Busara is committed to expanding its calendar of live music events throughout the year,

continuing its support for and empowerment of local and regional musicians and music sector workers, and building networks in order to increase the accessibility and visibility of African music and the vibrancy of the African music industry as a whole.

This year Busara also bid farewell to two founding board members, Hilda Kiel and Emerson Skeens, who agreed to become members of the Busara Advisory Council. At the same time, Busara welcomed new board members Ally Saleh, Julia Bishop, and Verena Knippel.

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