Ben Pol excited to be on Sauti za Busara line-up

Ben Pol excited to be on Sauti za Busara line-up

Benard Michael Paul Mnyang'anga alias 'Ben Pol' has for many years been regarded as the face of Tanzania’s RnB with songs that have left a mark on his millions of fans across East Africa and beyond.

In a career that spans almost over a decade now, he has churned out some breath- taking hit singles that include ‘Nikikupata’, ‘Number One Fan’, ‘Samboira’, ‘Maneno’, ‘Moyo Mashine’, ‘Pete’ ‘Jikubali’, ‘Wapo’, ‘Kidani’ and ‘Sikukuu’.

As an award-winning singer and songwriter and a gifted vocalist with a unique style of RnB, Ben Pol’s productions keep gracing the top of the radio charts.

However, even with such a rich resume he had never performed at the Sauti za Busara festival, which takes place annually at the iconic Ngome Kongwe in Stone town Zanzibar.

That is all set to change as the soft spoken crooner will be headlining the opening night of this year’s edition of the festival on Friday, February 11. Speaking to The Beat, ‘Moyo Mashine’ singer says he can’t wait to get on the Busara stage which over the years has witnessed performances from both established artistes and rising talents from across Africa.

“Just like any other artiste, I am very excited to be on the line -up for it means a lot to me and to the fans out there. This shows that Sauti za Busara which is an international platform continues to value and to promote local talent,” he says.

He joins a list of people who believe that Sauti za Busara is more than just festival given the events that happen before and during the three days of performances. According to him, what makes the festival unique is the diverse backgrounds of both the performers and the cosmopolitan audience that come to the festival.

“This festival for over the years has become a meeting place for people from across the world who come to enjoy African music under the African sky which makes it quite unique,” he says.

With a rich catalogue Ben Pol says he is working on a playlist that will not leave any one behind during the one hour or so that he will be on stage at the Old Fort.

“Festival goers should expect to be entertained because there will be something for everyone,” he says. His choice has not surprised any of those who have been at his shows, for his live performance skills combine top-notch vocal artistry with great stage presence has over the years made him one of the most highly sought-after.

Apart from the festival Ben Pol says that after a long layoff he is currently working on an album that could be released in the next couple of months. “It is a project that I have embarked on and very soon an announcement will be out which will include the finer details about the album,” he says.

Prisca Mushi a stage manager in Dar es Salaam, has been a long-time fan and it is for the same reason that she will be travelling to Zanzibar.

“I have been at Ben Pol’s shows before and I just can’t wait to see him again. We have many Bongo Flava artistes but not all of them are engaging in their live performance and that is why they keep on missing such opportunities,” she says.

She believes that the platform should be something that local artistes should exploit because it has catapulted many to greater heights.

“Many artistes after performing at this festival go on to get invitations at other international festivals across the world,” says Ms Mushi.

Her words are not far-fetched as some international media outlets such as the BBC and CNN have on many occasions ranked the festival among the top 10 on the continent.

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