Intwasa festival success 'a miracle'

BULAWAYO - The 14th edition of Intwasa Arts Festival came to an end on Saturday evening ending a week of an entertainment-filled fete.

With limited resources in a tough economic environment, the organisers of the event could only describe the success of the festival which kicked off on Tuesday here as a miracle.

Having downsized its operations in the past three years with many calling for the director and his team to pave way for new blood, it was highly-anticipated that the festival would not live up to expectations.

But that was not the case as a number of lined-up events lived up to their billing.

Not even the cancellation of three shows on the programme particularly the clash of imbube legends Black Umfolosi and their female counterparts Nobuntu could dampen the mood.

“Under difficult conditions we pulled yet another miracle. We had 25 events and only cancelled three due to various reasons,” festival director Raisedon Baya told the Daily News.

“The programming was tight and thanks to our many partners. Shows were frank and thought provoking and audiences were equally good. More importantly it was smooth.

“Thank you to our partners for adding value and keeping festival alive,” Baya said.

Two plays Blood Tongue — The Musical and Liberation were theatre highlights as they attracted fairly huge crowds. Not to be left out was the Gukurahundi play 1983 The Dark Years.

However, it was Zenzele Ndebele’s documentary titled Gukurahundi 36 years later which was the most talked about as it attracted a very huge turn out as expected.

But that was before the all-night gig Umcimbi Wabantu which was headlined by South African music legends Soul Brothers.

The gig was meant to celebrate, local commercial radio station Skyz Metro FM anniversary.

According to Baya, the gig which was well attended capping an eventful week “changed the texture of the festival.”

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