This year’s Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) is a symbolic event meant to bridge social differences that have widened among Zimbabwean citizens over the years, organisers have said.
By Kennedy Nyavaya
Regarded as the biggest arts festival in the country, the six-day event came to life yesterday, defying the socio-economic collapse, which has threatened to take the festival down with it.
Speaking at a Press briefing yesterday, Hifa executive, director Maria Wilson said locals, although faced with a gloomy reality, should embrace the healing role of arts by attending the shows.
“The festival is much of a statement about this country and its people, [so] let’s embrace each other,” she said.
“It’s time, as Zimbabweans, that we did this and we stopped this division between us and move forward.”
Wilson urged festival-goers to embrace the artists and their work.
“It is our job as the imbibers of their hearts to open our minds to challenge ourselves to start communicating with each other just to start realising that these barriers that seem to be between us are created falsely,” she said.
“This is something where we can literally just say enough, it’s time to be together, time to open our minds.”
Tafadzwa Simba, the executive associate, weighed in, highlighting that the spirit of the festival has been reverberating, inspite of its uninspiring build-up.
“It has been a wonderful miracle moment for us to get to this point, I think, now with everything setup, it is easier for everybody to believe so, do go, enjoy it and see it,” he said.