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Mat peacefest on cards

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In a bid to discourage political violence among the youth, the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) is set to hold a festival featuring various arts groups that has been named the Peace Festival at Nkulumane Hall on Saturday.

The arts festival will be held under the theme: “Youth Building Lasting Peace in Zimbabwe”.

NYDT programmes officer Bhekumusa Moyo said the festival was meant to encourage peace among the youth.

Moyo said the festival could not have come at a better time considering the uncertainty over impending elections in the country.

“Whenever there is talk of elections, the youth seem to play a critical role in violence that is perpetrated during that period. Violence has characterised elections in the country over the past years and we want to discourage youths from being used as political pawns in election violence,” said Moyo.

He said the festival would target young people who are the key to the future of the country.

The festival will showcase music, poetry, dance and theatre among other activities.

Groups such as Victory/Siyanqoba, a theatre outfit that is well-known for political plays and an a cappella music group, Umdumo Wesizwe, will be part of the line-up.

Amakhosi Theatre actor Herbert Phiri will stage a one-hander entitled The Graveyard while poets like Sithandazile Dube, Siphosethu Mpofu and Nothando Nsimba will provide some words of wisdom to the audience.

The show is expected to attract many youths from Bulawayo.

“The plays that will be showcased will focus mostly on what happened in the past, the violence that was witnessed and provide possible solutions to violence. We want the youth to be peace builders and focus on reconciliation,” said Moyo.

The festival is also expected to be taken to Gwanda in Matabeleland South and Lupane in Matabeleland North in the near future.

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