Hifa ends on high note

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The Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) ended on a high note on Sunday night at the Harare Gardens.

The festival was a wonderful adventure running under the theme “The Engagement Party” which was complemented by a well-arranged week-long programme that gave a platform to many artists ranging from visual artists, poetry, theatre, music and dance. There was an unforgettable closing act in the form of collaboration between Chiwoniso Maraire and Moke from Netherlands.

Although it was their first time to pool their efforts, the musicians performed like they were a single band.

After Moke opened the show with its tunes, Chiwoniso went on stage as the group did an instrumental rendition to Chiwoniso’s Wandirasa.

It was an exciting moment as Chiwoniso did Shona versions of the group’s Dutch songs.

Many rated the collaboration as the best of the festival.

The festival kicked off on in style Tuesday last week with several visual artists exhibiting their works at the National Art Gallery as the opener for all activities.

This was followed by the Hifa 2011 opening act Treasure, a tale which openly exuded strong political messages,

“Hifa’s intention is about giving artists the platform to express themselves in a better way and despite the ruffled feathers this show might have raised, the idea is to give the audience an exciting show every year and to engage the artists,” said Tafadzwa Simba of the Hifa
communications department.

The musical side of Hifa has over the past years been one of the most entertaining aspects and a major attraction to audiences that attends the festival.

The jazz and contemporary music programme provided a platform for several artists to showcase their talent and this was complemented by exciting performances on the Main Stage from Tcheka the Cape verdean artist and by German-Nigerian warrior Nneka.

Our own local artists, Victor Kunonga and Chiwoniso Maraire, raised the country’s flag high in what was a well-thought-out collaboration.
As usual Winky D, popularly known as Bigman or Messi, we reggae, gave a star performance that filled up the main stage.

“This year’s edition of the festival has seen a lot of collaborations, more than in the history of the festival and the overall concept is to expose Zimbabwean artists and necessitate a fluent interchange of cultural skills and art,” said Simba.

Zimbabwe’s high-riding play, Rituals, a duet written by veteran playwright Stephen Chifunyise and directed by Daves Guzha also showcased during the course of the festival.

The theatre programme was well attended and the audience had a chance to also experience exciting plays such as Paperboy, Accidental Death of a Radical and Man Who Committed Thought courtesy of the Standard Theatre.

Despite the rains that fell during some days of the festival audiences were not deterred, they kept attending the festival in their numbers.

“This year Hifa was well attended and we will continuously give our audience the best festival,” said Simba.