Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Busara Promotions was set up as a cultural NGO in Zanzibar in 2003. Its main event each year is the Sauti za Busara music festival. It is a popular festival bringing people together in celebration of music from East Africa, Africa and the diaspora.

On 9th November 2012, Busara Promotions held a press conference in Zanzibar on the issue of Africa’s legendary song bird Fatma Baraka popularly known as Bi Kidude. The Press Conference was planned to hand over a financial report with the balance of Bi Kidude’s monies to a bona fide next of kin.

The press conference was opened by a statement by representatives from Busara Promotions, responding to speculative allegations made by a family member of Bi Kidude who was accusing the organisation for ‘misusing’ Bi Kidude. Unfortunately the same family member declined to attend the Press Conference and even refused permission for Bi Kidude herself to be present.

The press conference was attended by 30 journalists, representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Bi Kidude’s other family members and well-wishers. For reasons unknown, stories followed in local media announcing Busara Promotions was ‘discarding’ and ‘parting ways’ with Bi Kidude.

Busara Promotions has continued to assist Bi Kidude since before 2005. Seven years ago, Busara Promotions campaigned for Bi Kidude to be recognised with the WOMEX (World Music Expo) Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the world of traditional music. The WOMEX Award came with a cash prize of 5,000 Euros. Since then, as requested by WOMEX, Busara Promotions helped manage her fund by organising a new roof and floor for Bi Kidude’s house in Raha Leo, together with plastering, plumbing, renovations and furnishings. Bi Kidude herself has collected a weekly allowance of not less than 50,000/- TSh each week over seven years. On several occasions, Busara Promotions also helped Bi Kidude generate more income with fairly paid local and international performances.

During this period, Busara Promotions helped raise more than USD 23,000 (36 million TSh) for Bi Kidude in artists fees, of which the balance in her account now remaining is USD 2,281 (3,604,000/- TSh). The organisation has receipts and records for all Bi Kidude’s financial transactions during these seven years.

Busara Promotions wish it to be known they will never “part ways” or “discard” our beloved Bibi! As commented by Director Yusuf Mahmoud,“Whilst we regret that certain individuals believe otherwise, we wish to re-iterate and re-affirm that we only seek to act in the best interests of musicians from Africa, including Bi Kidude and other Zanzibari and Tanzanian artists. Busara Promotions will continue to support Bi Kidude forever.”

Busara Promotions is keen to hand over Bi Kidude’s money to a bona fide next of kin as soon as possible and hope this can be done with witnesses including a lawyer, representatives from Zanzibar Government and professionals from the local media.