Another Malian star to headline Hifa

HARARE - For the second time in a row, a Malian music superstar will be the closing act at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa).

Internationally-acclaimed Habib Koité is set to put a lid on this year’s edition of Zimbabwe’s biggest festival following the footsteps of his compatriot Salif Keita who was given the honour of winding up the last Hifa 18 months ago.

Koité, named West Africa’s biggest pop star by Rolling Stone magazine, will feature in the closing concert on Sunday night alongside some of the artistes who will perform at the 2017 Hifa.

After delighting audiences all over the world and selling more than 250 000 album copies over the past decade, Koité will without doubt be the centre of attraction at this year’s Hifa which will kick off on May 2.

Another highlight of this year’s Hifa will be the return of Mahube — a collaboration which brought together southern African artistes in the 1990s.

The new-look Mahube, which will be part of Hifa’s opening show, will feature music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, mbira songbird Hope Masike, Mozambican songstress Xixel Langa as well as South Africans Siya Makuzeni and Mbuso Khoza.

South Africa-based musician and producer, Steve Dyer, who also directed the original Mahube when Hifa was launched in 1999, will superintend the 2017 Hifa opening show with the help of his son Bokani.

As has been the case at previous Hifa editions, there were not many notable music stars from the southern African region apart from the Dyers and South African guitarist Derek Gripper who has now become a fixture at the festival.

From a local artiste perspective, the biggest gig on this year’s programme will be the Tuku and Winky D collaboration on May 5.

The two Zimbabwean music stars, who collaborated on the hit Panorwadza Moyo, will feature some local musicians on their set.

Other local artistes on the 2017 Hifa line-up include rising star Bryan K, Afro-fusion star Victor Kunonga, jazz artistes Tinashe and Vee Mukarati, dub poet Albert Nyathi, folk singer Netsayi, Zim hip-hop star Mc Chita, the Zimbabwe College of Music Band, Prince Edward Jazz Band as well as the Harare International School Band.

Hifa, which is bouncing back after an 18-month hiatus, will also feature musicians from countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and Ghana.

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