HomeLife & StyleIbumba Arts Festival launched in Bulawayo

Ibumba Arts Festival launched in Bulawayo

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The annual Ibumba Arts Festival was recently launched at Stanley Hall Makokoba in Bulawayo, amid a sombre atmosphere as artistes remembered their departed fellows.

The opening night’s theme was “Tribute” and artistes from different groups took turns to deliver performances that befitted the occasion.

The launch kicked off with a candle- lighting session where artistes volunteered to light each of the 13 candles on stage and said the name of a departed artist they were dedicating the tribute to.

The country has lost a number of talented musicians and actors in the past two years.

Umkhathi Theatre Works were first on stage and sang a piece dedicated to all the artistes that the country has lost so far.

A cappella music group Umdumo Wesizwe presented a song entitled Ibambeni, dedicated to their late director, Mqoqi Nkomo.

The late Nkomo’s friend, musician Janet Wood, came all the way from Britain to sing with the group another song dedicated to the musician entitled Sweet Music.

This year’s Ibumba Arts Festival is the 14th edition and the fourth since the festival attained international status.

Siyaya Arts director Simon Mambazo Phiri said they had failed to secure any international acts owing to lack of funds.

“We almost cancelled the festival this year. As you know, the bulk of the funding comes from us when we return from international tours. We failed to attend one festival in Britain as a result of the strike by Air Zimbabwe pilots at the time. That affected our schedule and access to funding,” he said.

“We are however grateful to the Culture Fund Trust of Zimbabwe and other corporates that provided us with funding at the last minute”.

Phiri said despite the absence of international acts, the festival organisers remained convinced the country has enough talent to entertain the audience.

“Zimbabwe is awash with artistic talent. We believe that we can still go ahead with the festival without importing any outside artistes.”

The hope, however, was that next year’s edition “would be bigger and better”.

It will be held under the theme: “Infecting the City” and will run for a week beginning on December 15.

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