Hifa, US embassy team up

HARARE - This year’s Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) in partnership with the United States Embassy will create a stage along First Street which will present musical performances, a feature film as well as a variety of shows on health.

Named the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) stage, the platform will provide free shows from May 2 to 7 under the theme “Start Free, Stay Free, Aids Free”.

US Embassy public affairs officer David McGuire has hailed the continuation of the partnership which also enables members of the public to receive health information as well as access services from organs like Pepfar.

“We are excited to be part of this year’s edition of Hifa. We see the festival as an opportunity to learn more about Zimbabwean art and culture as well as sharing American art forms and our commitment to a healthy Zimbabwe,” said McGuire.

He added that this year Pepfar has committed $135 million to support the government’s national response to HIV/Aids by providing high-impact prevention, care, and treatment interventions.

Among the performances at the Pepfar First Street Stage will be the visiting acapella musical group, Street Corner Symphony.

The five member Nashville, Tennessee-based group was established in 2010 and has made their mark on the music world, recording albums and performing around the world, working with major artistes, including Ben Folds, Alison Krauss, and Take 6’s Claude McKnight.

The feature film to be showcased — Lucky Specials — brings together local and international and art forms to Harare.

The film was produced with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and Pepfar in partnership with Discovery Learning Alliance, Quizzical Pictures, Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and Management Sciences for Health (MSH), it premiered in Harare on March 9.

In this “edutainment” film, both plot twists and scientific video animations tell individuals what they need to know about TB disease, TB prevention and treatment. Audiences were enchanted by the music and story line, and armed with facts to replace myths and misinformation about TB.

The Pepfar First Street Stage will be the second time the US is partnering Hifa in infotainment.

The 2014, Pepfar First Street Stage was popular with young people. Pepfar partners provided HIV testing and counselling services; conducted blood collection and a donor recruitment and retention exercise; distributed condoms; taught young people how to prevent HIV infection as well as how to access antiretroviral therapy and other crucial information services.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.