Zim Arts Festival lines up 200 artists

HARARE - The inaugural Zimbabwe Arts Festival (Zarts), which will kick off on December 8, says it will feature more than 200 artists over two days.

Zarts is a multidisciplinary two-day event, which will feature only Zimbabwean artists, at Alexandra Sports Club in Harare.

The festival’s founder Rumbi Mudenge — daughter of the late ex-Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge — is determined to organise a “top-class event” despite the uncertainty that has engulfed the country since the Zimbabwe Defence Forces put former president Robert Mugabe under house arrest last week.

“We will have over 200 artistes from around Zimbabwe. We are working hard to come up with a uniquely Zimbabwean festival,” said Mudenge.

The festival will feature most of the top artistes who include music stars Jah Prayzah, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, Ammara Brown, Winky D and Suluman Chimbetu.

Jah Prayzah

The multi-disciplinary two-day event, which will take place on December 8 and 9, will also include performances by Ex Q, Trevor Dongo, Dboi &Spaarx, Xtra Large, Dadza D, Mbira Dzenharira and Tocky Vibes.

In keeping with the Zarts’ multi-disciplinary nature, Mudenge told the Daily News that the event will cater for diverse arts forms.

“It is a platform to honour Zimbabwean talent; to honour artistes from all genres. Created with the spirit of love, the Zimbabwe Arts Festival will honour several forms of art including fine art, film, sculpting, graphics, dance, fashion, martial arts to name a few,” the Zarts founder said.

The festival has also partnered with prominent local fashion designer Joyce Chimanye of Zuvva clothing line.

“We will have 10 Zimbabwean designers showcasing their work on the first day and another 10 on Saturday. All artistes performing at the festival will be dressed by local designers.

‘Zarts, which is sponsored by my company Bumris Entertainment and another entity ‘that will be identified after the festival,’ is coming onto the scene under a difficult economic environment which has hit hard similar events,” she said.

A good example is the annual Miombo Magic Music Festival which has decided to take a break next year due to the worsening economic situation.

The Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) did not take place last year due to the same reason.