THE two-day Chimanimani Arts festival is set to kick off its 14th edition on August 8 running under the theme Together, We can! in the Eastern Highlands showcasing music, theatre, dance, arts and craft.
Organisers of the event said this week the festival’s would set out to achieve among its core objectives; packaging Chimanimani as a tourist destination concurrently promoting and developing local and amateur performers through interaction and exchange with seasoned performers.
“This year we specifically want to showcase mbira playing and identify a Ndau sound that we will bring to mbira month. We have also included film which has not been done for a long time,” said festival director Chido Musasiwa.
This edition will see Sulumani Chimbetu, Ammara Brown, Alick Macheso, Sugar Sugar, Diana Samukange, Agatha Murudzwa, Blessing Shumba, superstar Oliver Mtukudzi and other artistes from Chimanimani taking to the stage.
“It is a free festival, no one pays for anything therefore the sponsorship and partnerships with corporate, for cash or kind are what make the festival a success,” Musasiwa said.
“What makes the festival unique is the location, the fact that it is free and the chief ceremony which do not happen at other festivals.”
Media, Information and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Supa Mandiwanzira, who is set to be the guest of honour at the festival, said: “We would like to see more events like this around the country not only in urban centres, but also in the rural areas.
“We need such festivals to celebrate our culture and it is a good way to create our own local content.”
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke, who was the guest of honour at the launch, said the Chimanimani Arts Festival will choose one act that would participate at the Harare International Carnival’s next edition.
Musasiwa said subject to them getting clearance from the Ministry of Education, they intend to have Njube High School to perform at the festival.
Last year’s edition recorded an attendance of 10 000 people who came through to enjoy all the festival had to offer.
Sadly there will be no foreign artistes at the festival this year, but Musasiwa reassured the festival goers that this year’s edition would be one not to miss.