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Four One One

Bantu Fest, a platform for diaspora audiences to share music, tourism and art

Scenes from the 2016 Bantu Fest. PHOTOS BY BANTU FEST

Music and tourism have opened borders to people of different cultures to live together. As such, Karim Ssaava, a Ugandan musician and radio presenter living in Los Angeles, in United States of America, has organised a festival to bring everyone and anyone to celebrate life in context of culture, tourism and art.

He is famed for Engoma Yange (my drum), a song that featured as a score on the Disneyland hit, Queen of Katwe, build on the story of Ugandan chess player Phiona Mutesi.

A royal, Ssaava is a gifted drummer and dancer with a gift to craft catchy lyrics around issues of culture in an enjoyable manner. He fuses these abilities to entertain audiences in the diaspora.

The second edition of the Bantu Fest is slated for August 17th, and will run under the theme, ‘Uniting Cultures through Art’ in the main auditorium of Burbank Blvd in North Hollywood. A global audience will be able to share stories, performances paint, network and sell and exchange memorabilia.

The Uganda Travel Guide describes the Bantu as a group of people who speak related languages and have similar social characteristics. They hail from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, East and South Africa).

Ssaava says that there will not be a cover or entrance fee in order to attract people to come together share cultural stories and musical offerings that makes them unique from each other, as a people.

Part of this year’s presentations will be launch a song titled ‘Freedom Anthem’, a song Ssaava has recorded with artistes from different countries. Along with the song, the organiser will release two music videos; a lyrical one which will showcase the lyrics and another with creative content.

The song tackles global issues, including politics and injustices on the global arena. Last year’s edition attracted revelers from different countries. “We have reached out to tourism boards of different countries to showcase what their respective countries have to offer,” he explains.

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