Freshlyground returns to Zim

HARARE - South Africa Afro-fusion music group Freshlyground is returning to the Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) six years after their last performance at Zimbabwe’s biggest arts fiesta.

Freshlyground were last in Zimbabwe in 2009 when they performed at the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) ceremony.

Despite being one of Zimbabwe’s and Hifa’s most popular groups, Freshlyground has not made it back to Harare reportedly over a 2010 song and comedy skit titled Chicken to Change which ridiculed President Robert Mugabe.

Hifa’s head of media and community liaison Tafadzwa Simba yesterday poured cold water on reports that the popular South African group was officially barred from coming to Zimbabwe as a result of the controversial skit in which they collaborated with  South African cartoonist Zapiro.

“There is no record of a ban of the band and Hifa works according to official records only,” Simba told the Daily News yesterday.

“Due to Hifa’s size and inherent ethos of respect for official processes, it follows all procedures to the letter and therefore works with official communication only.

Hifa’s liaison with relevant authorities and processing of paperwork is guided accordingly every year to ensure all preparatory processes are professionally and officially followed.” The Hifa head of media and community liaison added that Freshlyground’s return to Zimbabwe has been officially sanctioned. “Hifa has open, candid and professional relationships with all line departments with which it interacts and these working relationships have carried on well based on open, official communication lines.

“This is as it should be and it is set to continue,” he said.

Freshlyground’s May 4 concert — the last performance on the Telecel Main Stage — is certainly the highlight of this year’s Hifa.

The South African group, which features Zimbabwean Simon Attwell  who plays the flute, mbira, saxophone and harmonica, rose to fame through hits like Doo be Doo, I’d Like, Fire is Low and Potbelly.

Freshlyground’s collaboration with Colombian pop artiste Shakira on the 2010 World Cup song Waka Waka (It’s Time for Africa) made them instant celebrities throughout the African continent.

The South African group, formed in Cape Town 14 years ago, has won numerous awards including four South African Music Awards,  four Metro FM Awards and an MTV Europe Music Award for “Best African Act” — a first for any South African musician.

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.