Salif Keita returns to Hifa

HARARE - Malian music superstar Salif Keita will be the closing act of this year’s Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) which will run from April 28 to May 3 under the theme “Articulate”.

Keita, who was the star performer of the 2010 edition of Hifa, will collaborate with rising mbira star Hope Masike.

Keita’s return to Hifa was announced at a press conference yesterday by the international arts festival’s artistic director Manuel Bagorro who also revealed that internationally-respected Mokoomba would be this year’s opening act.

Bagorro expressed his delight to have managed to create a show that will merge Keita’s undoubted international class and Masike’s unique mbira-playing skills and vocal abilities.

“They have never worked together before; they will meet for the first time to collaborate when Salif lands in Zimbabwe,” said Bagorro.

“He (Keita) will come five days before his show. It will be a time of alchemy, witnessing chemistry between these two great artistes to establish a meaningful collaboration in preparation for a concert that I think will be hugely significant as the closing show.”

The Hifa artistic director added that both Masike and the Malian music star had warmed up to Hifa’s invitation.

“It was Hifa’s idea, but it was something that the two were very keen to do. It was a mutually shared desire to make something happen. He was last here about four or five years ago. I would have him here every six months if possible,” he said.

“We are excited about it and like many collaborations this is a huge desire between both artistes to meet and see what happens musically.”

Bagorro is optimistic that Keita and Masike would end up in a recording studio.

“Possibly, they will record but we have to wait and see how the collaboration works out, as well as willingness of both artistes. It is one of those things that is not completely predictable but when artistes respond well to each other artistically, something might come up,” said the Hifa founder.

Tafadzwa Simba, the recently appointed associate executive director of the festival, believes Masike has earned on merit her participation on the closing show.

“Hope has worked for this and she has been travelling around the world. She almost became a de facto citizen of Norway and Scandinavian countries with her shows. She took the initiative of doing collaborations beyond Hifa and has been reaching out,” said Simba.

Mokoomba has been a regular feature at Hifa and this year will be their first time to perform as the opening act of one of Africa’s leading international arts festivals.

The opening act will also feature Chitungwiza Harmony Singers and Tumbuka Dance Company.

Comments (1)

Yay! good news!

NK - 20 March 2015

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