HARARE International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) organisers yesterday said they were pleased with the high numbers of applications received before the December 31, deadline from local and international artists.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO/ PRECIOUS CHIDA
Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the Press conference held in Harare, the festival’s executive director, Maria Wilson, attributed the increase in applications to the fact that artists were now seeing value in the arts and culture fete.
She said the festival provided artists with a chance to get regional and international recognition.
“We have invited several festival directors from other countries for scouting purposes that will see them choosing some local artistes for their festivals. This will, therefore, provide opportunities for local artists to showcase their talents on international platforms exchanging notes with other international artists,” Wilson said.
This year’s edition of the festival that is set to run from May 2 to 7 under the theme Hifa 2017 Staging an Intervention will see music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi being part of the stellar line up of the artists, who will mark the official opening of the festival.
The official opening show that will be held under the theme Let Our Song Be Sung will feature Tuku, Amanda a la Banda from Italy and Grammy-nominated Afro roots star-cum humanitarian activist Rocky Dawuni from Ghana.
Wilson said Hifa 2017 will be a celebration of the transformative power of individuals and collective creative thinking.
“Hifa focuses attention on the artistry and excellence that we embrace as an organisation and that has the potential to change the way we engage with the world. Our 2017 identity is all about energy and re-invention,” she said.
Wilson said there will be a mix of style and genres for theatre-lovers and festival goers with productions from Kenya, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe combining to create “an unprecedented opportunity for Hifa audience.”
She said this year the youth zone will be an urban jungle, a place where children of any age can explore their environment, cultural heritage and its influence on others through music, art theatre and singing and dance.
Considered to be among the top festivals in Africa and the world, Hifa runs a six-day festival as its flagship and involves artists from Zimbabwe and around the globe in six main genres, namely theatre, dance, music, circus, applied art and design, fashion and spoken word.