Hifa clarifies Bagorro's return

HARARE - There is nothing peculiar about Manuel Bagorro bouncing back as the artistic director of Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) just a year after he quit, a spokesperson for the arts fiesta has said.

Bagorro, the founder of Hifa, was replaced by Gavin Peter after he quit the festival in 2012 to assume a similar post at Bay Chamber Concerts in the United States of America.

Tafadzwa Simba, Hifa’s Head of Media and Community Liaison, told the Daily News yesterday that Peter’s commitments in South Africa had necessitated the Hifa board to invite back Bagorro.

“Gavin Peter relocated to South Africa towards the end of last year and founder and member of the Hifa board of trustees, Manuel Bagorro, was tasked by the board to lead the artistic team for 2014,” said Simba.

The Hifa spokesperson insisted that Bagorro’s sudden return was not because Peter had failed to live up to expectations during last year’s edition.

“The artistic director always has a highly experienced and engaged team dedicated solely to programming matters. The artistic matters of Hifa are managed by a team of which the artistic director is the head.

“This artistic team is comprised of consultants in Zimbabwe who look after each genre of the festival. This is besides the two managers within the Hifa head office who work specifically on artistic matters,” he said.

Simba added that Peter would remain part of the Hifa team.

“Peter will contribute to Hifa as much of a consultative and supportive role as his present career and location will permit. There was no significant change as the Hifa team works according to the same team ethos that always aspires towards a high work ethic.”

Meanwhile, Old Mutual group chief executive officer Jonas Mushosho has promised to continue supporting Hifa as part of its continuous contribution towards the development of the arts and culture industry in Zimbabwe.

“Following our memorable and highly-successful partnership with Hifa last year, Old Mutual is once again proud to be associated with the continent’s premier arts festival in 2014,”said Mushosho.

“Old Mutual is deeply committed to the development of our arts and culture industry. This year we entered into a relationship with the National Arts Merit Awards that were held in Bulawayo just over a week ago. In addition, in 2013 we invested into a theatre, the Old Mutual Theatre Alliance Francaise, where artists can come and perform without incurring high charges for the venue.”

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