Intwasa curtains come down

BULAWAYO - The curtain came down on Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo last Saturday on a high note after five days of intense activity spread out in the city’s six venues.

Running under the theme Unforgettable while also celebrating its tenth anniversary, the festival lived up to its billing.

While the festival recorded a rare high turn-out during the show at Bulawayo Theatre, most other workshops recorded a poor following.

Intwasa organisers were thrice forced to turn away prospective audiences after the 300-seater Bulawayo Theatre had been filled to the hatches by fans.

Not to be left out was the comedy night and the spoken word which received maximum support from the audience.

In addition, the much-awaited and widely-publicised Bayethe Concert which had the likes of Sulumani Chimbetu, Albert Nyathi, Martin Sibanda and Amawala recorded a disappointing attendance as they failed to pay the cover charges.

In contrast, the Large City Hall Car Park better known as Chibuku Stage was the festival’s nerve centre where audiences accessed the festival’s hot spot free of charge.

Every evening, hundreds thronged the spot to treat themselves to the different beats from different musicians and various forms of entertainment.

Most people who spoke to the Daily News during the five-day event were convinced that the festival was indeed growing in terms of spectators.

Festival Director Raisedon Baya described the event as a huge success, despite limited financial resources.

“I am excited that there is growth in the number of audiences as well as the excitement amongst them in general.

The growth is convincing and very encouraging. It actually exceeded our expectations in terms of patronage,” Baya told the Daily News.

While Baya was upbeat about the overall showcase, he said there were still areas that needed attention.

“We still have projects that we need to look into like the workshops which are recording poor attendance. As it is, the audience here is not yet ready to pay for the workshops which are supposed to be equipping them with skills.

“It is a serious attitude that we need to work on as artistes. In any case, the small charge on these workshops is just for water and refreshments,” Baya said.

He said he was inspired by the interest from the corporate sector in the festival.

“This year alone, we got about four new partners who came in to help in the growth of the festival, such as Ingwebu, Afdis, Schweppes and Empretec.”

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