Burundi’s Minister in charge of Culture Ezéchiel Nibigira early this week suspended the Buja Sans Tabou festival following a violation of the country’s sacred drums at the festival.
Buja Sans Tabou festival organized since February 7 was hurriedly stopped after drummers from Amagaba cultural club played the drum without wearing their usual traditional outfit of the Burundian drummer.
These artists wore costumes: jacket, shirt, tie and shoes. It was in the afternoon of February 8, 2022. Their images caused a stir on social media sparking divergent reactions in WhatsApp groups and on Twitter.
“We must punish them seriously. Another user asks the Amagaba club to ask for forgiveness instead. For him, this club cannot do such a thing knowing that it is contrary to Burundian tradition,” reads one of the comments.
“It is incomprehensible that members of a cultural club play the drum in costume while even the President puts on traditional dress before beating the drum. “In any case, they will not be able to have explanations,” adds another.
“It is ignorance and desacralization of the Burundian drum. “says a university professor knowledgeable on Burundian culture.
In a letter addressed to the representative of Buja Sans Tabou, the Minister of Culture said Tuesday, “The drummers have allowed themselves to show off in street clothes.”
The festival, the minister, said is suspended within the framework of the protection, preservation and safeguarding of Burundi’s cultural heritage.
Buja Sans Tabou apologized to the public, but also to the authorities responsible for culture. “The costumes offended certain sensitivities,” recognizes the Buja Sans Tabou team.
It said,“This celebratory scene of the opening of the curtains of the 5th edition of the theater festival “Buja Sans Tabou” was only to illustrate this great contrast of one culture fusing with another, because, this 5th edition is above all a search for oneself, both artistic and personal”.