IT was a nine-day of respect and honour to the arts and cultures of the East African Community member countries, where Kiswahili was celebrated in addition to a cultural festival.
Following this great honour, Tanzanian Ambassador to Burundi Jilly Maleko urged Tanzanians to promote Kiswahili worldwide in various concerts.
The Ambassador made the remarks during the climax of the East African Community of Arts and Culture (JAMAFEST) 2022 where the East African nations witnessed Mrisho Mpoto and Mzee Yusufu’s unique performance in Kiswahili.
The remarkable performance of the two artists lit up the event, reflecting the magnitude of celebrated Kiswahili Language.
Following the excellent work to promote Kiswahili during the festival, Ambassador Jilly Maleko encouraged Tanzanians to embrace the national language.
She stressed that Kiswahili is similar to a commodity and helps open doors for numerous opportunities; hence artists should proudly use it wherever they go to ensure it grows in each part of the world.
“Kiswahili is a commodity; let’s promote it intensely in all exhibitions and concerts.
For example, here in Burundi, we have a Memorandum of Understanding to teach Kiswahili and Burundi to teach French in Tanzania,” said Ambassador Maleko.
Tanzania was a force to reckon with in brightening the fifth festival in arts in Burundian capital, Bujumbura.
Speaking about the festival, the Coordinator of JAMAFEST in Tanzania, who is also the Assistant Director of the Arts Development Department, Leah Kihimbi, said the Tanzanian artists proudly represented the nation in traditional dance and performance.
“Tanzania has done well by bringing traditional taarab music artists from Zanzibar, including Abdul Misambano and Mzee Yusufu, who raised joy and cheers from the participants and citizens of Burundi who participated in the festival,” said Kihimbi.
Also, Kihimbi said that the traditional taarab artists in the country have successfully flown the national flag through the taarab music national group from Zanzibar.
He also said the artists performed in various parts, including traditional music, Singeli music, traditional dances, Mwanyahina primary school students from Meatu district in Simiyu region, Crafts of sculpture, painting, barbers and entrepreneurs.
On his side, the Secretary General of the Ministry of East African Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture Burundi Severin Mbarubukeye said he was pleased with the participation of member countries of the East African Community members at the fifth Festival.
He also added that it helps to strengthen unity and solidarity in the member countries to be one place at the same time to exchange and learn the experience of the member countries on cultural issues.