*This was us preparing to check out the festival grounds before they started planning it. That is our guide Kombo.

Sauti za Busara brings people together to celebrate African music under African skies.#UnitedinMusic: 400 artists,46 shows, three stages: Old Fort & Forodhani Gardens.- http://www.busaramusic.org/

My Experience

I have this thing for African festivals. There is always an unexpected act or show. You never know what to expect. I decided to pop in the Sauti za Busara Festival in Zanzibar. The funny thing is that when Tess (my friend) and I planned the trip, we had no idea that our Airbnb would be situated a small distance away from the Festival grounds. The festival was a 3-day event and we popped in every day. However, the last day was the most anticipated because it would be the grand concert.

This was the amphitheater where some of the performances would happen.

This was the main field where vendors took advantage to sell their goods to tourists and locals.

We had to take the obligatory banner photos.

Sights and Sounds

On the day before the launch, we happened to go to Stone Town completely oblivious of what was happening and we found half the town, if not everyone, gathered there. There were activities in every corner and we hopped from place to place. There were dancers who showed off their skills. There were modern, contemporary and traditional dancers. There were also traditional healers complete with their regalia and face masks. I managed to steal some shots while being shoved from side to side. This was such a remarkable view. I loved the work that had gone into this festival and how involved everyone was.

The crowd gathered for the launch of the festival.

These were the traditional healers.

Dancers dancing to Kazi Kazi- a known Tanzanian pop song


The Concert

On the last day, we dressed up for the concert. We got front row spots but thes peakers were too loud but we moved a bit back to protect our ear drums. We danced so hard we were sweating like crazy. The highlight was watching our very own Sarabi perform. This is a great band from Kenya. We also discovered bands from all over Africa. Another band that I loved was Bob Maghrib from Morocco and another band from Reunion Island (can’t remember the name). Bob Maghrib electrified the crowd because they sang great reggae hits from Bob Marley with an African twist. The music sounded so good with all the African Instruments. We made so many friends and the crowd was full of people from all ages. I still have a vivid picture of an old woman dancing like she was 18. See the pictures to get a feel of how much fun we had.

This was how it looked like when people started trickling in the concert grounds.

Bob Maghrib. A band from Morocco. Here they were singing Turn your lights down low by Bob Marley. Everyone was screaming around us.

Sarabi from Kenya

One is never enough. We were sober the whole show but we danced like all the drunk people around us.

Sarabi from Kenya