Saida Karoli set to feature in 2018 Sauti za Busara festival

24Jan 2018
Devota Mwachang'a
The Guardian
Saida Karoli set to feature in 2018 Sauti za Busara festival

SAUTI za Busara, a celebration of Africa’s diversity, will bring the international rebirth of Tanzania songstress, Saida Karoli, on stage by next month, whereby thousands of music fans from across the globe converge at Stone Town’s Old Fort in Zanzibar to experience a unique taste of African music.

Saida Karoli

The theme for Sauti za Busara 2018 is aptly entitled #UnitedinMusic#SzB2018, as Africans gather with visitors from across the globe to celebrate the wealth and diversity of African music, with priority for young and emerging artistes and music with cultural identity.Festival director, Yusuf Mahmoud, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday Saida, who returned to the music scene last year with a bang after several years away from the limelight, will be among young and old, emerging and established musicians from near and far in sharing one aim.“Sauti za Busara festival attracts international promoters, providing the perfect platform for East African musician to share their music worldwide, on three stages over four nights, the festival will host 460 musicians for 46 world-class performances 100% live.” he said.According to him, the arrangements are in place for the highly acclaimed festival scheduled for Februay 8-11, with the list which looks so simple yet rich in many aspects, features iconic sounds from Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland, including 15 groups geared up to show the world the diversity of home-grown music.“This is a space where all kinds of arts professionals meet, from festival directors to music producers, managers and distributors, they all come to Zanzibar in February to check the pulse of the East African music scene”, Mahmoud said.Saida said: “I am very happy and thankful to the organizers of the event, 2005 was my very first time to perform at Sauti za Busara, so this year again apart from entertaining I will get opportunity to grab skills from other participants as well as learning how to play musical instruments and other music related issues.”The festival’s organizers still depend on donor funds with embassies such as the Norwegian and the Swiss being among top donors supporting training and capacity-building initiatives.Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania, Florence Tinguely Mattli, called upon for financial support from non-government organization, the government and individuals, for one of Africa’s most-respected festivals.

“Norway has seen the Sauti za Busara’s strong potential of creating positive changes of the organization’s work for the culture sector, not only for Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland, but also for East Africa in general,” Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Hanne Marie Kaarstad, said.

Sauti za Busara is a festival that has grown enormously in its 15 years of operation, the event attracts media and music professionals from across Africa, Europe and beyond, thereby providing a unique platform for East African musicians to share their music with the world.

Each year a number of artists who grace the Sauti za Busara stage are invited to tour and perform at festivals in different parts of the world. Artistes more likely to be invited are those who are unique, expressive and playing music with identity.

Msafiri Zawose, Jagwa Music, Leo Mkanyia, Tausi Women’s Taarab and Maulidi ya Homu ya Mtendeni turn out to be examples of Tanzanian groups who were already invited to tour internationally after being spotted at the festival.

Other artistes set to perform at the 15th edition include Zakes Bantwini (South Africa), Kasai Allstars (Democratic Republic of Congo), Somi (Uganda/USA), Ribab Fusion (Morrocco), Kidum & Bodaboda Band (Burundi/Kenya), Mlimani Park Orchestra (Tanzania), Grace Matata (Tanzania) and Zawose.