Zim celebrates Independence in style

It has become a tradition that musical gatherings are held in the country in commemoration of public holidays of great national significance. This year’s edition, which will be screened live on Zimbabwe Television features the best line-up on the land. Alick Macheso, Nicholas Zakaria, Tongai Moyo, Hosiah Chipanga, Cephas Mashakada, Mechanic Manyeruke, Cde Chinx and Fungisai Mashavave are some of the musicians to perform. It would be a mixture of sungura, jazz, gospel and urban grooves ‘ the popular genres in Zimbabwe that cut across religious and age divides. Millions of Zimbabweans are expected to be glued to their television sets throughout the night while thousands have been invited to the live event. On Tuesday, provincial and district celebrations will be held countrywide and a numerous entertainment rogrammes have been lined up across the country. Celebrities in Aids campaign International art and fashion celebrities will gather at the Sun International Hotel in Sun City, South Africa in June for a unique extravaganza in support of the war against HIV/AIDS The festival is expected to run from June 8 to 11 and would raise funds for the Sun International AIDS initiative activities. According to information from the hotel chain, the event is the first of its kind in Africa and is expected to “create a platform that merges and fosters collaborations with artists from different areas.” Sun International officials say that the festival is expected to appeal to different audiences embracing all cultures and creating an awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic not just in South Africa but the entire continent. It will combine the talents of both international and South African designers and musical entertainment genres, a statement from the hotel chain sent to Business Week indicated. The four-day festival will bring together the worlds best artists, fashion designers, supermodels and musicians. Among the international designers to feature in the event will be Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Christian Lacroix, Valentino as well as local South African designers Gavin Rajah, Stoned Cherrie and Craig Port. Miss South Africa ‘ Thuli Sithole, who is the patron of the Tapologo Aids Hospice and is one of the hosts of this extraordinary event, would represent African beauty. Dubbed POSI+IVE, the festival is a Sun International initiative in aid of the Tapologo AIDS Hospice. Tapologo is the Hotel’s AIDS initiative designed as a pioneering model for combating AIDS in Africa. The centre is located in Rustenburg in South Africa’s North West Province. The initiative combines a strong community network and traditional values of personal care and compassion with the latest approaches in medical solutions. Since it was conceived, 12 years ago, Tapologo has been widely recognized for its work. Its founder, Bishop Kevin Dowling, was recently heralded by Time magazine as one of 37 heroes “changing the world for the better.” The project supports 10 AIDS clinics in nearby target areas such as mines and informal settlements and it cares for those suffering from AIDS in addition to running an active outreach programme for preventative education while offering support to families affected by HIV/AIDS. Master Dee to release single United Kingdom-based Botswana reggae musician Keabetswe “Master Dee” Sesinyi will soon release a single from his latest album “The Truth”. The musician said the decision to releaser the song “Prayer for Rain” as a single had been prompted by the overwhelming reception it has received from his fans. The single is likely to be an instant hit judging from the initial response it was met with. Master Dee is well known in Botswana reggae circles but plans to release the single in the UK where he believes the market is more lucrative and professional than the ‘still developing’ African industry. Through his stay in the UK, the musician has gained exposure and experience which has helped him mature musically. He noted that as impressive as it was that Botswana was starting to take music seriously, it was still lagging behind in terms of professionalism. The musician is however not signed to any record company and has said that he was still negotiating with agents who negotiate deals on the musicians’ behalf. Master Dee says he intends to equip himself with the necessary skills so that he can benefit his country in the music industry upon his return. Even though he is not certain of when he will return home he said his plan was to come back and share his experience with upcoming and established local musicians. He is currently studying for a BA in Audio Technology and Music Business at Kingston University released his sixth album “The Truth” in December last year. The 10-track album comprises songs like “Chigwele” meant to be an HIV enlightening song, “Life”, “I gave you my voice” a song which shows appreciation to God for giving him the singing talent, “Reggae Jam” and “Be Strong”. Exhibition attracts hundreds Hundreds of art enthusiasts thronged the Botswana National Museum’s Main Gallery last week to witness the opening of the 21st edition of the annual art exhibition, “Artists in Botswana”. San artists from Ghanzi-based Kuru Development Trust, who had 20 pieces on display, dominated the exhibition. Through utilisation of various media such as oil, acrylic, on canvas, lino, and marble powder the artists came up with excellent paintings which were ranked among the best of the show. Over 50 artists exhibited at this year’s edition with the principal curator at the national museum, Phillip Segola also entering a few paintings. Exhibitors from India and Europe who are based in Botswana also submitted their works for display. Notable absentees at this year’s exhibition were the worldwide famous artists from Oodi Weavers. This year’s exhibition saw artists submitting works in various fields of art such as painting, drawing, prints, and sculpture. Painting received most entries, and the most popular media was oil on canvas. There were few entries in print, with the only entrants, Gaabadzo Masole, and Phineas Ntabu, winning easily in that category. Drawing also did receive satisfactory response from the artists with Mmol oki Sejo’s pencil drawing and Onkemetse Lesemela’s charcoal drawing winning top prizes in that category. There were also few entries in sculpture where just eight artists submitted their works. Of the eight, the majority were non-citizens Sanjib Nath, R.M Rychner, Shepherd Ndudzo, Dalia Peters and Isaac Damson. Ndudzo and Damson won top prizes in their category, with Jux Kunene coming third. In the most competitive category of painting, Velias Ndaba’s piece, entitled, “Woman at work”, using acrylic on canvas, stole the show as it was awarded top marks by the judges. Kagiso Gaobatwe’s, Oil on board, which consisted of colourful traditional dance, rich with local history ‘ was voted second. In the picture, young women dance at night in front of the fire, as musicians play drums and clap hands in a circle. Although it failed to make it to the top three, Mothusi Tau’s painting of, “Gone are the days” proved popular with the patrons. The painting of a rural Tswana setting, depict ing a donkey cart, traditional huts, and cattle pulling a plough won the hearts of many. While the San art is usually a hit with international art collectors, it was interesting to hear the views of the locals about their art. For Karabo Moenyane, one of the exhibitors, it was mind boggling why this type of art is considered the best.

April 2006
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