The 18th annual Zanzibar International Film Festival got off to a star-studded start with an evening of magical and memorable entertainment.  The evening played host to two South African icons, the legendary singer Dorothy Masuka and the beloved star of Sarafina, Leleti Khumalo.

Masuka had the crowd enraptured with her acapella performance that included a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his birthday, Mandela Day.

The day’s festivities started earlier with the official sponsor launch of the event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Conference Centre that was attended by the Second Vice President Seif Ali Iddi as well as by, Guest of Honour Said Ali Mbarouk and the Deputy MD of Zuku, Mandy Rogers.

The film Selma followed the opening ceremony that was full of entertainment with the likes of Tanzania’s own Damian Soul, as well as the spectacular Kepemchim Kirnnam group from India.

Sunday the 19th was no less packed with incredible events and performances.

The annual ZIFF Dhow race took place with hundreds of people turning up to cheer on these traditional boats and to celebrate the craftsmanship of the local boat-builders and sailors. Winners this year were WIOMSA, the Western Ocean Marine Science Association, followed closely by ZATI, Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors.

The evening programme sees the star of Sarafina, Leleti Khumalo take the stage to  introduce the film.  The music programme includes Dorothy Masukawho will  take the stage and mezmorise the crowd with repitoire built up over five decades of performing.