Hifa must target more communities

HARARE - Annual arts jamboree — the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) — has defied all odds to become the main attraction in the industry.

It has grown on the back of significant corporate and local support which is not rivalled by any other arts event in this country.

As such, Hifa, by now, should have made efforts to spread to the sprawling poor townships of the capital — to become the feeding trough of talented artistes whose lack of exposure is their biggest hurdle.

Hifa is celebrated because of the positives it brings and among these are workshops conducted by very reputable international artistes.

It is, therefore, important that Hifa spreads to townships to give such opportunities to artistes who hail from those neighbourhoods.

We have seen benefits of such initiatives elsewhere, especially in football where soccer clinics have benefitted local communities.

In the run up to the 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa, Fifa organised many soccer clinics in almost all the provinces as part of its campaign to empower less privileged football communities.

These included primary and secondary schools.

Global icons such as David Beckham ran clinics in Gugulethu, one of Cape Town’s poorest suburbs.

While Hifa has no such financial clout, it must strive to empower local communities in a small way, especially schools in the ghettos hence the cliché “catch them young”.

Hifa has overcome many serious challenges to become a significant economic player.

Last year over 1 110 artists participated in the internationally recognised festival. Of these 811 were locals.

According to statistics released by the festival’s management  team Hifa  sold 61 601 tickets in last year’s event while employing over 1200 general workers in addition to 175 students and 65 street youths.

We appreciate collaborations that Hifa has facilitated between local artistes and foreign performers but we believe there is scope for more. Through these collaborations local artistes will learn from their foreign counterparts and in the process improve their craft.

In last year’s edition, Zimbabwe’s premier arts festival hosted 204 performances, 16 of which were collaborations.

Hopefully this year’s event will witness more collaborations.

In our opinion most of the foreign artistes who take part in Hifa should either collaborate with local performers or be involved in some workshops designed to impart skills to upcoming talented Zimbabwean artistes.

This will ensure that Hifa creates an indelible legacy.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.