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Busara Newsletter - Dec 2015

Read the newsletter: Swahili

In East Africa the music stars are shining!

Busara favourite Msafiri Zawose (Tanzania) having just returned from shows in Kenya and Uganda is now touring Germany, with 26 shows confirmed. Msafiri follows his legendary father Hukwe Zawose's footsteps, and will continue to represent East African roots music at MASA (Market for African Performing Arts) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast next March and USA Center Stage Tour during July - December 2016.

Msafiri Zawose at SzB2015 Peter Bennett

Congratulations to our very own qanun maestro Rajab Suleiman (Zanzibar) who will also be touring USA as part of Center Stage Tour during fall 2016.

Rajab Suleiman (Zanzibar) photo by Link Reuben

Shout outs to Sarabi, who positively rocked Roskilde Festival (Denmark) and WOMEX (World Music Expo) last month in Budapest. Sarabi say their message is simple: "social justice and love for all".

Sarabi (Kenya) at Sauti za Busara 2015 photo by Peter Bennett

Alikiba showered praises on Diamond Platnumz earlier this month for winning three AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards) in Lagos, Nigeria. The two Bongo music bigwigs have for a long time not seen eye to eye, and supremacy battles have often strained their relationship. Congratulations to Jose Chameleone , Sauti Sol, Ommy Dimpoz and Vanessa Mdee from East Africa, who also scooped awards.

Alikiba interview photo by Link Reuben

Diamond Platinum

Songs for Peace Awards photo by Masoud Khamis

As temperatures rose around the national elections last month in Tanzania, 'respect' to all the radio presenters across the country who were playing Sauti za Busara's Songs for Peace winners around the clock. #TogetherAsOne, #AmaniNdioMpangoMzima!

Meanwhile recent regional tours by Leo Mkanyia & Swahili Blues (Tanzania) and Makadem (Kenya) were also using music to build bridges of peace and solidarity across Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Pamoja tunasababisha!

Hamza Omar & Harrisday Mallango, leading members of Sauti za Busara technical team recently returned from Øya Festival in Oslo, where they enjoyed further hands-on training with Sjur Brinck-Johnsen on how to prepare, set up, store, maintain and repair lighting equipment.

Sjur Brinck Johnsen Hamza Omar and Harrisday Mallango Oslo

I Shot Bi Kidude: Filmmaker Andy Jones was joined by Mim Suleiman and Mohamed Issa Matona for Q & As at UK screenings earlier this month in London, Leeds, Glasgow and Durham. Check out the film teaser here:


Bagamoyo, Nov 2015: Saying he was happy to be in Tanzania to promote music and African culture, Papa Wemba did not disappoint at the Karibu Music Festival which also featured Sarabi,Isha Mashauzi,Juma Nature,Jhikoman,Jagwa Music,Msafiri Zawose,Cocodo African Music and more.

I shot Bi Kidude film director Andy Jones at Sauti za Busara 2015 photo by Link Reuben

Sauti za Busara festival update

Due to shortage of funds, some months ago we announced Sauti za Busara 2016 is cancelled. Whilst artists, audiences and the global media responded with shock and dismay, many sympathised with the festival's priority to be more sustainable by developing long-term partnerships with government, donors and sponsors. To anyone who shares our vision to keep Sauti za Busara alive, generate employment, whilst shining the spotlight on East Africa's music and culture, please contact us.

What did you say about the cancellation of Sauti za Busara 2016?

"This is heartbreaking. We hope sincerely that it's just a hiccup. This is a very huge platform for showcasing us as artists. Especially here on our homeland" (Damian Soul, Tanzania)

"It is such a great shame but I hope it shakes things up. Sometimes people don't know the value of something until it's gone" (Rita Ray, BBC)

"Sauti za Busara has been at the forefront of bringing international attention to East African music. It is a shame the apathy and indifference East African governments have towards the creative industry, that is fast growing to be the leading employer for East African youth" (Steve Kivutia, Ketebul Music)

"Busara Festivals are vital to us musicians as well as music lovers. We have learnt a lot from meeting different musicians. It's really a pity we shall miss all these important activities next year. I hope and pray that Sauti za Busara will resume in 2017" (Maryam Hamdani, Zanzibar)

Media Coverage

Sarabi ghetto boys hitting high notes

by Salome Gregory, The Citizen, Nov 23, 2015
The first time I watched a Sarabi band performance was at the 12 th edition of the Sauti za Busara festival early this year at Ngome Kongwe, Zanzibar. The audience that evening was worked up as the Afro fusion band gave them a feel of their heart warming hits in a performance that .. read more

African leaders need to prioritize arts and culture

by; Nov 11, 2015
Journey Ramadhan, projects manager at Busara Promotions, wonders why African governments do not seem to prioritize arts and culture, despite the contribution of these industries to economic growth... read more

Music In Africa at African Creative Economy Conference

by; Nov 9, 2015
Yusuf Mahmoud discussed the recent decision not to host Sauti za Busara festival in 2016, highlighting the significant contribution of festivals to the local economy and the need for support of such festivals through public private partnerships... read more

Sauti za Busara Is Worth Saving. Here's Why

by Kampire Bahana October 5, 2015
Our society undervalues the creative arts. This is an unfortunate fact. In the developing world, artisan activity is the 2nd largest employer, generating $34 billion a year. Yet it still remains woefully underfunded in East Africa ... read more

Where to for the cancelled Sauti za Busara festival?

by Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi, Mail & Guardian, 1st Sept 2015
The festival's director has vowed that this lively celebration of East African music will be back bigger and stronger in 2017... read more

Music Chart: Top CDs of 2015

Considering gifts for friends and loved ones? Show your love is special with the greatest music in the world. See Busara's recommended Top CDs of 2015 here .

Number 1 is 'Ba Power' by Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba . The album is full of energy and excitement; a testament to the power of music for peace. "I think African music and culture deserve to be spread to the broadest audience possible. That is what I want to accomplish with Ba Power" (Bassekou Kouyaté)

Job Vacancy: Fundraising Manager

Busara Promotions is seeking to recruit a high calibre, results oriented, experienced and highly skilled professional for the position of Fundraising Manager, for a two-year contract with possibility of renewal.

This position will ensure financial sustainability for the organisation by securing funding and technical resources for Sauti za Busara festivals, building long-term partnerships with local and international donors and sponsors, and advising on growing self-generated revenues.

The candidate should possess a minimum of three (3) years’ relevant international working experience and a developed interest in African arts and culture. If your career aspirations match this exciting opportunity, please apply on or before Fri 4th Dec 2015. See link for full job description and more information.

Thanks to Donors & Sponsors

As always, we give thanks and appreciation to sponsors and partners, for continuing to support our mission to promote African music, build local skills and networking in the cultural sector.


Contact us

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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