Busara Press English Message

From: "Busara Press English" <pressnewsletter@PROTECTED>
Subject: Busara Press English Message
Date: February 15th 2022


Sauti za Busara reaches climax as government pledges support

For Immediate release

February 14, 2022

Zanzibar. The 19th edition of the globally-acclaimed Sauti za Busarafestival came to a thrilling climax on Sunday night after three days of powerful performances that breathed life into the Old Fort and the Stone Town neighbourhood.

The 2022 edition was held under the theme: Amplifying Women’s Voices. In his opening remarks, festival director Yusuf Mahmoud noted in the hands of the right people, microphones are “our weapon to fight injustice, to build peace and unity across borders.”

He also stressed “Sauti za Busarais not only entertainment for tourists; this event is also an important platform to promote human rights, freedom of expression and respect for cultural diversity.”

Over three nights,twenty groups thrilled audiences that had travelled from across the world to catch a glimpse of Africa’s musical Diversity and talent.

For many of the performers and revellers in attendance, this was their first outing in almost two years due to the global pandemic which had brought international travel and economies to a standstill.

The artistes were mainly drawn from the Eastern and Southern Africa regions, given the complicated travel restrictions that certain parts of the world still face due to the pandemic.

The rich line-up of artistes featuredSiti & The Band, Sholo Mwamba, Vitali Maembe, Ben Pol, Zan Ubuntu, Wamwiduka Band, Nadi Ikhwan Safaa, Upendo Manase and Bahati Female Band representing Tanzania and Suzan Kerunen from Uganda.

Artists from Southern Africa includedSampaThe Great from Zambia, Msaki, Sjava and Nomfusifrom South Africa, Evans Pfumela Mapfumo and SylentNqo from Zimbabwe, Fanie Fayar from Congo Brazzaville, Sampa The Great from Zambia and Aleksand Saya from Reunion.

Speaking after her performance on Sunday, South Africa’s Msaki said it was her first time to be at the festival, even though she had applied many times to participate.

She noted Sauti za Busara was not only talking about gender imbalance in the music industry, but also taking positive action behind the scenes, to ensure women are included in stage and technical crews.

 “I enjoyed the two nights that I performed here, it was thrilling to be out here with appreciative audiences after two difficult years when many countries were under lockdowns,” she said.

Tanzania’s RnB singer Ben Pol who was also performing for the first time said “I have met many people here and made friends from many countries across the world who identify with my music.”

Grace Mayala from Dar es Salaam who was attending for the first time said she was convinced by friends who have been attending the festival for several years.“I knew none of the artists on the lineuppreviously, but the music was hilarious especially the performance by Sholo Mwamba who made everyone dance,” she said.

However, two days after the festival director had said they were unable to announce the dates for next year’s event due to lack of funding commitments, Tanzania’s Minister of Youth, Culture, Arts and Sports Mohammed Mchengerwa pledged to support the festival.

“We shall do all that is possible to make sure this festival takes place again next year,” he said.

Over the years, the festival has hosted fringe activities alongside the main event. Local and visiting music professionals turned out in large numbers to participate in the daily Movers&Shakersmeet-and-greet sessions, where again the main focus was to amplify women’s voices.

Other fringe events includingthe Carnival Parade, Swahili Encountersmusic collaborations and additional two stages sadly had to be cancelled due to shortage of funding.

The 19thSauti za Busara 2022 was powered by the Norwegian Embassy, the European Union, CRDB Bank, Zanlink, Emerson Zanzibar and others.

Note to Editor:

Hi-res photos from Sauti za Busara 2022 are available for download at https://www.flickr.com/photos/sautizabusara2022/


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