Chimanimani Arts Festival kicks off in earnest on August 12 and will wind up on August 14 under the theme “It’s great for the Soul”.
Zimbabwe’s biggest free entry festival promises a diversity of artistic genres including music, arts and craft, theatre, dance, film, and poetry/storytelling.
This year’s edition has seen increased financial and material support from Lion Lager in addition to the traditional supporters and includes workshops on theatre, arts and craft as well as poetry/storytelling and a vibrant Youth Zone is on the cards.
Organisers yesterday confirmed preparations for the festival were at an advanced stage and some of the acts feature Junior Banton and Friends, Tina Watyoka, X Vybz and Chikwata 263 from Harare while several acts from Chimanimani and Mutare such as Ngangu Band, Senior Musareketa and Jusa Mupostori will be part of the exciting programme.
This year, the British Council has made it possible for the two highly acclaimed plays The Comeback by Sifiso Mabhena featuring Edith weUtonga and Colours of Dreams by award winning Christopher Mlalazi featuring Nama Award winner Eddy Mangawa and friends.
Proceedings will begin on Friday with a traditional opening ceremony performed by chiefs from Chimanimani hosted by Chief Ngorima.
Symbolically the chief welcomes all festival participants and dedicates the festival to the Creator.
On Saturday musical acts take centre stage, with genres ranging from choral, urban grooves, sungura, afro jazz, afro punk, reggae, hip hop and gospel.
There will also be film screenings throughout the festival.
Children will be catered for exclusively in the Youth Zone where a talent contest will take place as well as a workshop on poetry/storytelling.
Judging from past editions, attendance at the festival will peak at approximately 9 000 and this year attendees from as far afield as Masvingo are expected. Artists from Harare, Mutare, Chimanimani and surrounding areas are raring to go and have promised fireworks at this year’s event.