Busara through the years 2008

“So what do you do the rest of the year?” Actually, the music festival alone occupies our modest staff team for most of the year; what with selecting best mix of artists, raising publicity and raising funds. But, on top of this, we do still manage to get out occasionally.

Sponsoring others
In July we sent our Festival Press officer, Saphia, to participate in Arts Journalism Training workshops in Johannesburg (South Africa) and Mbabane (Swaziland). We also supported a local performer (Mo H), by donating recording-studio fees as a prize in the Zanzibar WAPI Competition, and on other occasions, we sponsored show fees for local performing artists in support of various local shows.

In the past year, Busara attended “Babel Med” in Marseille, “World Music Expo” (WOMEX) in Sevilla, “Music as an agent of change” conference in Copenhagen, and the “World Cultural Economic Forum” in New Orleans. It was there that Busara Chairman Simai Mohamed gave a presentation on “Best Practices: Cultural Tourism” and had the honour of giving a Busara postcard to Kevin Little.

The film about Bi Kidude, “As Old As My Tongue”, has picked up “Best International Documentary” award in at least three film festivals, and has had numerous screenings around the world, including the European Film Festival in Dar es Salaam. The film has just become available in Tanzania on DVD, so if you have always wanted your own copy, the wait is finally over. The “Zanzibar Festival Classics” CD+DVD was released about a year ago. Sales have been steady, but slow, and we are hoping the production costs will soon be covered so the Tanzanian artists will start benefiting. Another labour of love has been the Busara Book – telling the story of our first five years. It finally hit the coffee tables in March, after a frustrating delay, and has brought smiles of delight to many faces.

As in previous years, we went along to “fly the flag” and publicise Busara at various festivals and events including B- Connected, Dar (May), ZIFF (Jul), WOMAD UK (Jul), Bagamoyo Festival (Oct), and Makutano, Dar (Nov). Following the 2008 festival,we were delighted to get a good-looking 10-minute report on MNet’s Studio 53 (broadcast across Africa). Yusuf’s also pleased that the 8 min video clip of Sauti za Busara 2008 posted on YouTube in April, had clocked-up 3,150 views by the end of Dec. And then… it was February already, and time for another music festival.