Yocaf 2017 dates set

HARARE - The popular annual Youth Cultural Arts Festival will this year be held from August 4 – 5, this year running under the theme ‘Lets See!’ The Festival which enters its 7th edition has seen a rapid growth over the past few years as it has now become one of the biggest Youth Festival in Zimbabwe.

Yocaf is a mainstay of development of arts in schools and communities hence its international recognition. Its partnership with the national broadcaster (ZBC) and the ultimate beaming of the festival event and the aftermath greatly increased the reach of the festival to millions of viewers. This exposure made an indelible stamp of YOCAF as a household name and as a much sought-after artistic platform.

Taking place in the ancient city of Masvingo, the Youth Cultural Arts Festival continues to grow from stride to stride. The festival continues to attract a lot of interest from locals, the region and internationally. Yocaf has provided an array of opportunities that have enabled the youth to build their competencies, and become engaged as partners in their own development as well as the development of their communities. A new generation of artists and arts enthusiasts is being created.

Speaking on the theme the director of the festival Leeroy Gono said, ‘If you limit your choices to what seems possible or reasonable all that is left is a compromise. Young people must be aware of their environment in order for them to make informed decisions, we are still stuck in the darkness of the unknown and yet when we are enlightened we will find something solid to stand on or learn how to fly.’

The Walter Muprutsa theatre award remains the biggest accolade up for grabs at Yocaf and the winning schools have previously performed at other festivals like HIFA and received regional and international invitations.

Gono dded, ‘The theatre sector in the industry in Zimbabwe for the past few years has seen a steady growth in the amount of productions being produced but this by far falls short of the potential that the industry has. There has been the emergence of young talented upcoming writers, actors and directors and their work has proved to very innovative, hence there is need for a platform to harness this effort. Creativity, like any other ability, must be noticed and nurtured to bloom. Our Festival plays a large role in recognizing and providing opportunities for creative talent to be expressed.’

The call for submissions is now open and will close on March 31, 2017.

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