ORGANISERS of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) say security for the festival goers remains high on the list of their concerns as the country’s premier arts showcase roars into life tomorrow.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Speaking to NewsDay, Hifa associate executive director Tafadzwa Simba said adequate security personnel had been deployed at the 16th edition of the festival.
“As much we have tight security with camera systems, members of the public should not become complacent, but they must look after their belongings, especially on their way home.
“There will be tight security. Hifa security personnel will work hand in hand with State security agents to ensure the safety of people coming to the festival,” Simba said.
He said people must not bring valuables to the sites.
The six-day long festival will run from tomorrow to May 3 under the theme Articulate, with Victoria Falls-based Afro-fusion group Mokoomba expected to serenade fans at the opening show.
The show, which is presented by the royal Norwegian Embassy in association with BancABC, will be one of the key highlights to look forward to as it customarily sets the tone for the fête each year since inception.
Mokoomba, who have conquered Europe with their wildly energetic shows fusing ethno-jazz, traditional Tonga rhythms, Sahara blues, hip-hop and salsa, will be joined by Ignatius Mabasa, New York City vocalist and accordionist Magda and opera stars, cellist.
Erich Oskar Huetter, Tumbuka, AfriKera dance ensemble, National Ballet, tap dancer Jessie Sawyers, the cast of Tangram, Zvishamiso Dance Company and many other local and visiting artistes.
Hundreds of artistes from different countries across the continent will join Zimbabwean performers in the capital for the six-day annual festival and workshop programme held at various venues in the capital showcasing the very best of local, regional and international arts and culture in a comprehensive festival programme of theatre, dance, music, fashion, street performances and spoken word.
Hifa has grown to be one of the most vibrant festivals on the continent with last year’s edition attracting 1 006 local artistes and 239 from outside the country performing at the event.