One of the biggest events on the Zimbabwean entertainment calender was launched in Harare this week. It’s the International Festival of the Arts, and the theme for the event (HIFA) is "It's Show Time."
Voice of America Zimbabwe Service's Derek Moyo reports that Manuel Bagorro -- the founder and artistic director -- said this year's showcase aims to prove that Zimbabweans are still creative thinkers despite ongoing hardship and climbing inflation: "Zimbabwean audiences need a lift. So, I wanted it to be big and I wanted it to be bright and so it had that showtime feeling about it. But I also felt very strongly that this was a time to show what is significant about Zimbabwe, a time to show that we are struggling against circumstances but remaining creative and there are many creative thinkers in the country that deserve recognition and that is what this festival is all about.”
Despite a low turn-out in the festival arena during the first day, theater and music fans crowded into Harare Gardens on Tuesday night to enjoy the opening concert. It featured a fusion of songs and dances by various local and international artists.
Most of the songs contained messages of hope. Chiwoniso's mbira rendition of Bob Marley's Redemption song was greatly appreciated by the audience.
This year's traditional opening ceremony started around 10 pm. Many braved chilly temperatures to enjoy the performance conducted by Mawungira Enharira and Zata Zemba.
The festival, which ended Sunday was jam-packed with a variety of arts and culture events including poetry, music, craft stalls and workshops for both the young and old.
If you’d like more information on the Festival, visit their website at www.hifa.co.zw