SAUTI za Busara, the EAST Africa’s largest music festival, has received a 128,200 US dollar boost (about 300m/-) from the Norwegian Embassy to support its next year’s operations in the event to be held from February 8 to 11 in Zanzibar.
Speaking with reporters at the signing ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Busara Promotions, Yusuf Mahmoud said the Norwegian Embassy has been a reliable supporter since 2009 and its assistance has contributed much in making the organisation the chief player in creating positive changes in promoting the music industry across the East Africa and the world.
“This festival contributes to development in Tanzania by bringing together people of different ages and background to celebrate Africa’s rich and unique musical traditions,” said Mahmoud.
He among other things pointed out the opportunities for artists and practitioners to meet and learn from each other’s experiences. The festival has also advanced professionalism in the Tanzania creative industries.
Explaining how Sauti za Busara has contributed to development, the CEO observed that during this time people from various places in the world travel to Zanzibar to participate and witness the event meaning more business opportunities leading an income boost.
He noted that the 2018 edition has lined up twenty groups from Tanzania and more from South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria and Kenya. The rest are Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Egypt, Sudan, The Gambia, Reunion, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland.
“On three stages over four days the festival promises 46 performances, 100 per cent live. Outreach events are also highly anticipated such as the ever-popular carnival parade, networking meetings for music performance among others,” noted the CEO.
He, however, called for further support from other sources pointing out that the festival is facing a crippling shortfall of about 150,000 US dollars. The Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Hanne-Marie Kaarstad extends recognition to Busara Promotions for promoting cultural diversity, cultural exchanges and respect the context of the society.
“They have managed well to place equal emphasis upon respect for local culture and tradition, and the integrity of artists by recognising that there are intrinsic tensions but also positive dynamics between these two sets of stakeholders,” said Ms Kaarstad.