THE Youth Cultural Arts Festival (Yocaf) has appointed Tariro Mushonga as the festival’s manager in a move aimed at further strengthening the activities and awareness of the festival.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Mushonga is a holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree from Solusi University and has extensive experience, having worked with some of the biggest festivals around the world in different capacities.
Yocaf founder and artistic director, Leeroy Gono, confirmed the latest developments.
“I am pleased with the appointment of Mushonga as our festival manager. He has worked with us since 2012, as the festival’s technical director and the most important thing about him is his passion and tireless efforts of seeing the development of arts in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Mushonga joins us at an exciting time of growth and restructuring, his position will have overall input across all aspects of festival activity, from key stakeholders and public funders to the development of new strategies for audience engagement and content models.”
Mushonga said he is honoured to be given the responsibility by the festival’s board of directors.
“Having worked at and attended numerous festivals, I am aware this is no easy task and I am honoured the Yocaf board of directors entrusted me with this vision to run this festival,” he said.
“The most important thing that I will bring to this role is passion, very strong passion for theatre, music, poetry and dance and how the youth can harness these art forms to change the world around them.”
Mushonga said his wish is to make the festival a regional breeding ground for future entertainers.
“My vision for this festival is to not only provide the stepping stone for young people who want to be on the stage, but to also be the training ground for future lighting and production designers, stage managers and all behind the scenes personnel,” he said.
“When we ignite these skills at an early age and create mentorship programmes, with international design schools and designers, we are assured all future professional productions are of the highest international standards.”
The chairperson of the Yocaf board of directors, Frederick Kasese applauded Mushonga’s appointment.
“It is a welcome development, as Mushonga has exhibited an enormous passion for the arts. However, programmes like Yocaf must not be left to individuals alone, these are programmes that demand national resources. There is need for the government to get involved extensively is such initiatives,” he said.
“This is actually a government obligation, culture is in our constitution and, therefore, the obligation is upon government to ensure that cultural activities like those being furthered by Yocaf are supported.”
Yocaf festival is a mainstay of development of arts in schools and communities and it has contributed to the growth of the arts industry in Zimbabwe. It has become a beacon for young people’s creative expression and one of the
most consistent and sought-out artistic platform.