HIFA makes a welcome return!
By Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
HARARE – THE Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) makes a welcome return this May after a year of absence, organisers have said.
The six-day arts extravaganza was shelved last year due to donor-fatigue and liquidity crunch, prompting the organisers to put the showcase on hold.
Last year, the festival lost four corporate partners, including Telecel – a leading mobile network operator in Zimbabwe, and one of HIFA’s biggest sponsors.
“There are both ‘new’ and ‘old’ partners from the corporate world, embassies and development agencies this year and each one of them is linked to a specific and different aspect of the packed programme,” said Tafadzwa Simba, HIFA’s associate executive director, recently.
Turning to this year’s format, Simba emphasized the need for collaborations.
“Preparations are at an advanced stage. The quantity and quality of applications from within Zimbabwe and all over the world have been tremendous.
“The festival’s artistic section is currently finalising adjudication of those applications and announcement of acts that will be part of this year’s programme will be done in the next few weeks,” Simba said.
The showcase is scheduled for 2 to 7 May 2017 in and around the capital, Harare.
“Collaboration and work-shopping will again be a mainstay of the festival.
“There will also be a focus on presenting work in venues and styles that are fresh and innovative, as will be the case with the comprehensive dance programme, presented by Stanbic Bank,” he said.
Festival goers can expect international top acts from countries like the United States, China, Germany, India, Portugal, Botswana and South Africa.
Simba also hinted on collaboration by an acapella group from the US called Street Corner Symphony.
Combining the power of voice-only performance with the appeal of both classic and contemporary music, Street Corner Symphony is expected to provide vocalised instrumentation that will certainly mesmerise the audiences from across the globe.
HIFA, which is rated as one of the biggest festivals by CNN, has in the past hosted renowned performers among them Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, Mafikizolo, Malaika, Ismael Lo and Oliver Mtukudzi.