Special Schools Festival returns

HARARE - Children living with disabilities from all over Zimbabwe will showcase their artistic talents at the third edition of the Special Schools Festival to be held at the Band Shell in Harare Gardens tomorrow.

Special schools from Bulawayo, Kadoma, Masvingo, Murewa and Harare will perform and interact with their colleagues from Chipawo, SOS Children’s Village and three schools from the High-Glen District.

The Special Schools Arts Festival, which this year will be held under the theme “Breaking barriers — towards inclusive practices”, is a platform that was established to allow children with disabilities to showcase their skills and talents in the various art genres.

“Our theme reflects our focus which is in line with internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities that are centred on a disability-inclusive development agenda for the period beyond 2015,” said festival founder and director Trust Mtekwa.

He said that the festival provides children living with disabilities an opportunity to explore and unlock their creative potential and capabilities in order to contribute to the national development matrix in various roles as the drivers, agents and beneficiaries of the economy.

This year’s Special Schools Arts Festival, that will feature hilarious comedy character David “Sabhuku Vharazipi” Mubaiwa as master of ceremonies, has a diverse programme that will allow young artists to showcase their skills in music, poetry, traditional dance, drawing, crafts, batik, tie and dye, pottery and modelling.

Adult artists with disabilities from Bulawayo, Kwekwe and Harare will also showcase their skills in the gazebos and on the performance stage.

Mtekwa said visual, physical, learning and intellectual impairments should not limit individuals’ contribution to society as success is not only measured by academic excellence, but also through extra curriculum activities that include sports, arts and business.

The 2014 edition of the Special Schools Arts Festival was made possible by support from the Partnership for Arts and Culture Development, a programme of the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust which is co-funded by the European Union and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

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