Sauti za Busara, "Voice of Wisdom music festival"
Sauti za Busara means Sound of Wisdom, and is East Africa's premier music festival, showcasing the best the music the Swahili speaking world has to offer. Every February, Stone Town's Old Fort becomes a hive of activity, hosting Bongo flavour stars, Ngoma dancers, Drummers, Taarab and Hip hop at the friendliest music festival on the planet.
Zanzibar International Film Festival
The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) is one of East Africa's largest cultural events and usually takes place each year in July. ZIFF present an exciting and varied program of International films and videos, music, dance, drama and art exhibitions. In 2007, ZIFF celebrated 10 anniversary, the festival attracting larger and larger crowds search each year and gaining internationals prominence, giving a platform for artwork from across the Dhow Countries of Tanzania, India and Oman etc, giving a unique opportunity to preserve and promote understanding of culture from across the Dhow Countries.
Kizimkazi Cultural Music Festival
The Kizimkazi Cultural Music Festival takes place each year at the end of December. The festival aims to establish a "kambi ndani ya kambi" (a village within a village) which houses artists, performs, volunteers backpackers and other travellers while offering a multitude of activities including musical instrumentation instruction, batik painting, environmental exhibitions and eco-
The last week of sees the villages of Makunduchi celebrate Mwaka Kogwa, the Persian New Year. The festival is a riot of colour, filled with rituals and fun. Men are given the chance to mock fight each other with banana steams, to clear any past disputes for the New Year, women dress in their clothes and sing song about family, love and life. The highlight of the festival is the traditional burning of hut, said to signify the passing of the old year and the state of the new. This ritual is thought to ensure the safety of the village in case of fire during the year and to purge evil from the people and the land. After the fire and fighting, there's song, dance, drumming and feasting. Hospitability is extended to all people, as the locals believe that any villager without a guest will be the recipient of bad luck and the party goes on till dawn.
A weekend bonanza of fundraising for the Zanzibar Mental Hospital is capped off with grand finale, the world renowned Ngalawa Boat race, which sets off from Zanzibar Serena Inn Hotel. Thousands of spectators line the shore and watch the traditional Zanzibar small Ngalawa's race each other on the Indian Ocean.