Economic crisis: Hifa takes a sabbatical

Victor Kunonga (R) and his bass guitarist perform during their show on the Zol Main Stage at Hifa.


Zimbabwe’s economic slowdown has forced organisers of the country’s arts premier event; the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) to shelve this year’s edition of the arts extravaganza.

This is the second time that the festival has been shelved, having been postponed before in 2016. In a statement, Hifa executive director Maria Wilson said as they will not be staging the festival, they would now focus attention on new projects, leading up to a major anniversary festival next year.

“Zimbabwe is dealing with many important issues, both social and economic. In this context, the festival cannot responsibly commit to presenting a viable event of the same quality and impact that Hifa is known for this year,” she said.

“The Festival will use this time to work on other projects, particularly in schools, to broaden and deepen the organisation’s contribution to arts and culture development. Showcasing the artistic outcomes of our planned new school programmes will be one facet of the next festival; April 28 to May 3 2020.”

Considered as the country’s largest arts gathering, Hifa is an annual six-day arts and culture event that showcases the best of local, regional and international arts and culture in a comprehensive programme of theatre, dance, music, fashion, street performances and the spoken word.

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