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Reggae to take centrestage at Sauti za Busara

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Members of the Jagwa Music Band from Tanzania performing at the Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar. FILE PHOTO | ANTHONY NJOROGE

Members of the Jagwa Music Band from Tanzania performing at the Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar. FILE PHOTO | ANTHONY NJOROGE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Bamuturaki Musinguzi

Posted  Saturday, February 4   2017 at  12:15

In Summary

  • This year’s edition will be held in, as always, Stone Town, Zanzibar, from February 9-12.

The organisers of Sauti Za Busara, the annual music festival held in Zanzibar, will for the first time headline reggae music this year for fans of this genre.

This year’s edition will be held in, as always, Stone Town, Zanzibar, from February 9-12.

Three reggae bands will perform under the banner of #AfricaUnited, a clear message to artistes that it’s high time they exploited the power of reggae as a genre on the continent.

Among the 40 bands, reggae will be represented by musician and activist Rocky Dawuni of Ghana, Sami Dan and Zewd Band of Ethiopia and Bob Maghrib of Morocco.

The festival organisers received over 600 applications from artistes, and the fact that they selected three reggae artistes sends a message to young musicians and music managers to invest in reggae and expand their musical scope. 

“These three reggae artistes are undoubtedly among the best. We’re confident many Tanzanians love reggae not only for its rhythm but also for its message of hope for all those who struggle for justice and freedom,” festival director Yusuf Mahmoud said.

As a fusion band, Bob Maghrib, which was founded in 2011, melds Moroccan melodies with a reggae beat to create unique rhythms that honour African roots. 

Dawuni’s sound unites a pan-African range of generations and cultures, weaving in Swahili lyrics in songs such as Nairobi Nakupenda.

Sami arrived on the music scene with a background in engineering and a youthful passion for music. He formed Zewd Acoustic Band in 2014. Songs like Fikir Selam or “Love, Peace” moves fans with their smooth grooves and message of peace and love all. 

The 2017 edition will feature 400 artistes (in 40 groups) performing on three stages. The entire festival is live, proudly showcasing quality, originality and innovation, with priority given to young and emerging artistes and music with a cultural identity.

Sauti za Busara has been listed by CNN as one of seven top African music festivals.