2017 Hifa opens tonight

HARARE - Music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi will headline tonight’s Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) 2017 opening showcase featuring Mahube with dance and gymnastic companies.

The showcase will take place at Harare Gardens in Harare. The opening concert dubbed “Let Our Song Be Sung” will official unlock a six-day arts and entertainment filled week that will be graced by local and international artistes.

Eighteen years after Mahube’s performance at the first ever Hifa, the group returns to Harare’s stage with a superb ensemble that includes Steve Dyer (SA), Bokani Dyer (Botswana/SA), Mbuso Khoza (SA), Xixel Langa (Mozambique), Mtukudzi, Sam Mataure, Josh Meck and Mangoma Moyo (Zim).

Hifa associate executive director Tafadzwa Simba yesterday told the Daily News that the preparations for the 17th edition of Hifa have gone well.

“We are grateful to all stakeholders who have played a part in making Hifa 2017 a reality. As can be imagined, it is not easy staging an international event in the midst of very challenging times economically.

“We are therefore most appreciative of all the efforts that have been made, particularly by the Zimbabwean corporate community,” said Simba.

He added that the public can expect six days of exceptional performances from local and visiting acts.

“As we speak, various shows’ final rehearsals are going on and the atmosphere of anticipation is growing in intensity. We look forward to a successful week with the support of audiences and artists alike.

“Our 2017 identity is all about energy and re-invention.  It is a celebration of the transformative power of individual and collective creative thinking.”

Hifa founder and artistic director Manuel Bagorro said this year’s edition focusses attention on the artistry and excellence that “we embrace as an organisation and that has the potential to change the way we engage with the world.

“Hifa 2017 is a positive disruption, a beautiful interruption of sameness, transforming the everyday with colour, sound and vitality.”

The design campaign for this year’s festival includes a hand adjusting or holding the Hifa logo; “refining the focus on a camera, changing the intensity of a theatrical light or turning up the volume, all things that connect with the arts, and also offer a metaphor for focusing in on challenges, shedding light on situations and amplifying our voices and ideas.”

Executive director Maria Wilson said: “Taking up Hifa 2017 has been a difficult decision but made because of an overwhelming belief in what the festival achieves.

“The economic environment is beyond harsh. Yet, without the support of these imaginative, committed and patriotic companies, there would be no Hifa 2017. The donor and embassy community truly care about what happens to the Zimbabwean people.

“Their meaningful cultural exchange and networking with artists and audiences assures Zimbabweans that their wellbeing is a concern of the international community.”

Hifa board chairperson Muchadeyi Masunda said: “An event of such magnitude as Hifa cannot happen without the support of the City of Harare and various government ministries as well as their respective departments and or agencies.

“Donors and embassy partners as well as key associates from the local business community have contributed towards making Hifa 2017 happen.

“In spite of the debilitating economic crisis which has bedevilled our country, local companies continue to believe in what Hifa achieves not only for Zimbabwe but also for the communities in which these companies operate.”

And there is something for every one’s taste.

A mix of styles and genres is what theatre lovers and festival goers will meet at Hifa 2017 as the programming addresses stories with an eye to both entertainment and social impact.

Productions from Kenya and Zimbabwe as well as from UK combine to create an unprecedented opportunity for Hifa audiences. Watch out for the Handlebards-acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This year’s Youth Zone is an Urban Jungle, a place where children of any age can explore their environment, their cultural heritage and its influence on others through music, art, theatre, singing and dance.

Interaction and exploration are the themes running through the daily workshops and competitions.

Storytellers and mbira players, dance classes using classical, zumba, hip-hop, and traditional styles mixed with music from around the world create a vibrant atmosphere for young people to move between different workshops and forms of expression.

The Youth Zone at Hifa 2017 is an interactive platform for fun, learning and creative expression.

The Global Quarter is a cohesive shopping experience of inclusively handmade Zimbabwean products. Products celebrate our Zimbabwean creative spirit and continue to demonstrate entrepreneurial drive.

In addition to all of the craft sellers, the Global Quarter also hosts many workshops, book launches, film screenings and a new virtually experience zone.

There will also be an Opera Gala featuring the UK’s biggest selling opera superstar tenor Noah Stewart, and acclaimed-American baritone Lester Lynch  performing with a cast of American opera stars and Zimspiration choir TiMO ODV, gifted South African singer/songwriter/producer Kareyce Fotso;  singer, guitarist and musical storyteller from Cameroon Habib Koite with Bamada; Malian music superstar Rocky Dawuni; Grammy nominated, international afro roots music star and humanitarian activist from Ghana, Brooks; Dutch music producer and DJ producing his own innovative style of rhythmic Electro House & hard melodic Progressive House, Banda Magda; Greek music star performing with her band Street corner Symphony; American a-capella super group from Nashville, Tennessee Amanda a la Banda from Italy; Thomas Motter featuring LeNora; Jaye from Germany; Joep Pelt collaboration from Netherlands.

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.