Lillian Gaitho’s weekend thoughts

This weekend it is all about music for Lillian and as she is also talking about KigaliUp, there is a bit of a special I am adding to her selection and it is of course about Kigali.Read on to find out all about Lillian’s selection and who will perform in Kigali on the 20th of June at the Stade Amahoro.

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Top 7 Music Festivals in East Africa

One of the most popular music festivals on the continent, Morocco’s Mawazine Festival opened its echoing gates over the past weekend for an earth-breaking lineup of artists throughout this week. Fans were treated to an exhilarating performance by Jennifer Lopez’s opening act on Saturday night, and continue to relish in the soulful rhythms of big movers such as Avicii, Pharell Williams and P Square. Closer home, or rather in Kenya, every music lover will be heading to the Koroga Festival this weekend for a healing musical dose as well as rejuvenating outdoor fun. Here are a few more festivals that you can mark your calendar for, as you enjoy the region’s vast touristic offers.

Sauti Za Busara

As DJ Yusuf, the founder describes it, Sauti za Busara Festival is an African music festival which prioritizes and highlights East Africa. The title which translates to “sound of wisdom” also goes further to intone that it’s not merely a form of entertainment or tourist attraction (although it scores high on both lists!) but also, a learning channel for its massive audience and followers. This event premiered in 2004, and has grown enormously, gaining an enviable position on World’s Top 25 Festivals (Song lines Magazine). The fiesta takes place every February in Stone Town – Zanzibar, bringing together talent from across the region, the continent as well as a diverse fan base from across the globe.

Sawa Sawa Festival

Now prepping up for its 9th edition, Sawa Sawa festival strives to promote (music/arts), participate and achieve positive impact on the society through the annual festival. Part of the activities marking the programme include workshops, exchanges between local and international musicians/artists as well as seminars. The event is a brainchild of Sarakasi Trust, an organization that builds, develops and promotes performing arts and entertainment in East Africa. The two-day festival usually takes place in December every year, and has continued to attract higher numbers especially because of its family-friendly concept.

Bayimba International Festival of Arts

If Busara happened too early for you and Sawa Sawa seems to take a century in coming, then you have Bayimba this September! The festival is a three-day unparalleled festival of music, performed arts, film and visual arts blazing the capital city of Uganda – Kampala with reverberating rhythms and sounds. This year’s edition marks eight calendars since inception and will take place on 18th – 20th September, bringing together celebrated artists from across the region.

Kigali Up

Fairly new in comparison to the rest of East Africa’s Music Festivals, but KigaliUp is causing quite a stir in the region. The festival, now in its fourth year boasts of local and international live performances, a family zone and a diversified art and craft market. This year’s event will take place between 25th – 26TH July

B-Global Indigenous Hip Hop Festival

Another September event, B-Global celebrates hip hop in Uganda by bringing together both upcoming and accomplished artists to hundreds of a youthful fan base. The event, now marking its eleventh year is also celebrated for promoting patriotism as well as embracing virtues that endorse positive living and self-liberation through talents and skills among the youth.

Rift Valley Festival

Techno, house, Jungle, Reggae, Afropop and more, all on the shores of one the most picturesque shores in the Great Rift Valley! Rift Valley festival is a colorful and energetic three day event that has been taking place at fisherman’s camp, one of the most popular camps on the shores of Lake Naivasha. The festival also has the unique factor of bringing together diversified talent especially in the craft and heritage industry, thus presenting great opportunities for souvenir shopping. Its worth of note that RVF is guided by cores woven around a community based concept that promotes welfare and growth. The organization’s ethics revolve around environmental awareness, hygiene and HIV, with different projects marking the respective initiatives.

Lake Of Stars Festival

Since Will Jameson discovered the favorite Malawian drink, Chibuku Shake Shake, its popularity blew off like the proverbial beanstalk. Spreading its roots and pentacles to the furthest corners of the globe (never mind it’s round) Jameson’s invention, the Lake of Stars Festival has since grown to a globally recognized musical celebration taking place on the serene shores of Lake Malawi. The project, born from the desire to expose Malawi as a tourist destination as well as an economical boost has not disappointed from either angles. The 2014 edition is reported to have generated about $1.7 million into Malawi’s economy, with more than eighty seven businesses said to benefit directly from the festival. The festival focuses on growth through seminars and workshops as well as an abundantly refreshing convention of both local and international musicians.

The list could go on and on; from the epic Safaricom Jazz festival, to Ethiopia’s music festival, and Kenya’s, and Uganda’s picnic styled Blanket & Wines, the list is endless. Feel free to add and mention as many as you think could be our own Glastonbury in the making!

Now back to the Kigali event on the 20th of June at the national Amahoro stadium in Kigali and getting there by RwandAir with their multiple daily connections from across the region is the proverbial cup of tea – Rwanda’s tea is ranked among the best int he world – a walk in the park – which in Kigali, Africa’s safest city is a must do as well as a can do – or a short ride through the East African skies into the Land of a Thousand Hills.

Notice to all music lovers:

Belgium’s international musical superstar Stromae will be performing at a concert in Kigali Rwanda on June 20th in Stade Amahoro.

All information on tickets can be found on the website of the local concert promoter www.isaano.org

Online tickets will be available as from June 15th. A press conference with Stromae will be held in Kigali on June 18th.

It will undoubtedly be an amazing spectacle!

Contact RwandAir for fares and bookings to Kigali!

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