Almost twelve years ago, the inaugural edition of the Sauti za Busara Festival was informally unveiled. The initial musicians' programme line-up was comprised of exclusively Tanzanian acts.

Over subsequent years, the festival grew gradually in stature, and scope to become East Africa's premier live 'world' music showcase.

At some point in its formative years, the event was been referred to as Swahili Music Festival, perhaps by virtue of integrating music from Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Uganda.

According to Yusuf Mohamed, who is also Busara Promotions Chief Executive Officer and festival director, the objective was to tap into a niche platform and offer exposure for otherwise unknown but existing local musical talent.

Loosely translated, Sauti za Busara is a Swahili expression which means 'sounds of wisdom'. Since its inception, the showcase which is held annually in Zanzibar, gradually edged onto the global spotlight, attracting bands and musicians from beyond its East African heritage.

Cross sections of international and indigenous acts have performed at the Forodhani gardens 'amphitheatre' in Stone Town.

But come next year, the showcase will not take place. A recent press release issued by the event organizers - Busara Promotions, announced the cancellation of the festival's 2016 edition.

"Due to a shortage of funding, Busara Promotions has reluctantly announced their decision to cancel the Sauti za Busara 2016 edition," reads the press statement. Notably, this is the first time in 13 years that the international music festival will not be held.

"The decision was not taken lightly. We set ourselves a target of raising $200,000 before July [2015], when we hoped to announce dates for Sauti za Busara 2016. This deadline was again extended to August 19 - but we were only able to raise $42,000" said Yusuf Mahmoud, adding, "selling tickets for the festival was never a problem, but these only cover 30% of the total event's costs."

But on a brighter note, the Sauti za Busara Board and management is engaged in consultations to ensure the musical showcase resumes in 2017. There are indications the festival's location could either be switched or possibly transform it into a sustainable biennial event.