It’s all systems go for Chimanimani Arts Festival and revellers can expect a full menu of the various arts disciplines to be dished out to the full satisfaction of festival-goers.
This year’s festival promises to be quite an experience from Friday through to Sunday morning. Friday and Saturday will see artists from Mutare, the capital of Manicaland, headlining mid-morning sessions and late night pungwes.
All day Friday, the valleys of Chimanimani will reverberate to a mixture of well-blended sounds of choral music, Afro-jazz music, hip-hop and traditional mbira and marimba music as the people of Chimanimani are joined by others from beyond to celebrate the fruits of their hard work in the valleys and mountains of the Eastern Highlands.
The tranquil sunset will set the scene for the official festival opening ceremony which will be conducted by Ishe Ngorima accompanied by the elders.
The festival opening is itself quite a momentous and unique experience. Ishe Ngorima is hosting the festival in his area. He will welcome artists, visitors and the locals and commend the festival to the Almighty before declaring the festival officially open.
Ishe Ngorima’s keynote address will encourage revellers to observe all traditional norms of deportment. He especially encourages the festival to be held in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.
The local catchment area for the festival includes the areas under chiefs Gudyanga, Mutambara, Muusha and Chikukwa. After the dedication, the festival tempo picks up with drumming for peace.
The festival has been generously supported by Delta’s Lion Lager, the Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO) and OSISA among others. Special mention must be made of the Chikukwa and Ndiadzo traditional dance ensembles made up of elderly dancers.
This is over and above the likes of Jusa Mupositori, Senior Musareketa, Ngangu Band and Orchestra Mberiotose to mention just a few.
Various workshops in arts and crafts, theatre, poetry and spoken word for both children and adults will complete the developmental aspect of the festival.
Of great interest will be the workshop conducted by Thelma Bottrich of AAUWENA who has also sponsored some crafters from outside Chimanimani district. There will be a surprise offering by Tina Watyoka from Pamberi Trust’s Flame project, details of which the festival organisers are keeping very close to their chests.
All are welcome to Zimbabwe’s biggest free entry festival which promises to be the the best ever.