'Festival to honour Walter Muparutsa'

HARARE - The Youth Cultural Festival (Yocaf) will this year honour the late iconic playwright and actor, Walter Muparutsa (pictured).

Running under the theme I Will Act Now, the festival will be held from July 30 to August 1.

Also introduced this year are two more accolades which are the Professor R Zvobgo and Doug Hill awards.

Yocaf organisers say this year’s festival will take a different approach. “Owing to overwhelming response from the schools and the growth of the festival, we will this year be introducing Yocaf Provincial Preliminaries,” said Leeroy Gono, Yocaf artistic director.

Speaking on the theme, Yocaf board member Professor Herbert Chimhundu said: “The theme for this year can be interpreted on so many levels, ‘I’ is reflective of the self or society, ‘WILL’ shows commitment and confidence; ‘ACT’, is to do, a very clear agenda: Now, there is no need for procrastination. When young people speak with such resolve and confidence, it gives hope for the future.”

“As we celebrate our 5th edition, we challenge daughters, sons, mothers and fathers to act now. Good quality theatre will build more interest in theatre, more interest in theatre will in turn build more good quality theatre.” Gono said.

Yocaf provincial preliminaries will be initially held in five provinces namely, Harare, Masvingo, Manicaland, Midlands and Bulawayo.

The difference with this year’s festival is that schools have to qualify for the grand fete. From each qualifying stage, three top schools will get the opportunity to battle it out at the finals in Masvingo.

Preliminaries will be held in the months of March and April and all schools interested to be part of this exciting programme should register by February 6, 2015.

Last year, Pamushana High School drama club, from Masvingo, was offered a rare opportunity to showcase its talent at the 2014 edition of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) which is billed as one of the biggest arts festivals in Africa.

The high school drama group thrilled its fans with a superb performance which also increased Yocaf’s confidence.

The festival has forged partnerships and over the years has seen some of the schools performing at other festivals such as Intwasa and cultural exchange programmes with other countries in the region.

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