Busara through the years 2007


You win some; you lose some – as the expression goes. In the past year Busara has experienced several set-backs and made several leaps forwards. Shortly after the last festival we reluctantly said farewell to Kwame, he’s been fundamental in making Sauti as you know it today, but it was time to write new chapters in his life’s story. In a small organisation losing a key member of staff can be quite a blow. Soon we recruited festival crew member Stellah to the permanent staff team. Later in the year we also recruited Mjusi another willing, friendly face. It wasn’t long before they were taking on responsibilities and sharing the load.

Another major set-back was losing our busaramusic.com domain name for THREE weeks. It’s funny to think we only registered it two years ago – but losing it was disastrous. Thankfully, it’s back with us now and lessons have been learnt. We helped 19 members of Maulidi ya Homu process passports and get to their gig in Paris, and we accompanied Bi Kidude to a cracking gig in Maputo for the Dockanema Film Festival. In May, Busara was on the jury for the Zanzibar “open mic” competition and then we sponsored the two winners – Wandima Tradition (Ngoma) and Huzaman (pictured) – to go to the B- Connected Festival in Dar, showcasing some of the best in young and upcoming musical talents.

Still with our promotions “hat” on, we sponsored studio time for Black Roots Cultural Group to record a couple of songs – a taster for their forthcoming full-length CD. Then we chipped in to help Zenji flava star Berry Black launch his new album, a big hit with the youth of Zanzibar.

The Bi Kidude documentary has continued to do well, attracting invitations for the film, and occasionally for the great lady herself, to attend film festivals around the world. Here in Zanzibar, the film has had a few airings: for the four day festival of Eid al Fitr we set up an outdoor cinema next to the main fairground (see picture). It was very popular. We did something similar again for Eid al Hajj in Forodhani Gardens.

We also had fun! A lot of creative energy went into preparing a “coffee-table” book celebrating the fi rst fi ve years of Busara Promotions and a compilation CD+DVD of favourite artists of the Sauti za Busara festivals. Both are on sale in Zanzibar at festival time, and hopefully for years to come.

And then… it was January already, and time for another music festival. Hakuna kulala – kabissaaaaa!!!