BY SHARON SIBINDI
UMKHATHI Theatre Works founder Matesu Dube said there was need for children’s content in an effort to introduce them to theatre at an early age.
Dube made the remarks at a virtual Bulawayo Children’s Festival (Bulawayo ChildFest) he hosted on Saturday in line with the global COVID-19 restrictions.
The festival was headlined by both local and international acts, among them a five-year-old boy, Inaki Blanco Saenz from Mexico, who presented The Adventures of the Penguin.
“We observed that there is need for children content, especially for those in the diaspora. They need to be connected to their roots through watching local productions that carry native stories that they have never known,” he said. “We just wish the pandemic comes to an end so that we can hold a real festival for the benefit of our local children whose parents can’t afford internet data,” he said.
Dube said they were still getting more views on Facebook having gone past 900, which he said was three times a local theatre could hold.
Dube said the festival went according to plan as it reached the target audience (children) despite funding challenges, adding that they were also looking for partners to take the festival to the next level next year.
“For the festival, we got support from local and international artists,” he said.
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“Live-streaming has its own advantages such as reaching a wider audience. I hope our target audience watched the Bulawayo ChildFest with their parents and enjoyed it.”
Among the local acts at the festival that was hosted by Nokuzola Ncube aka Zola were 12-year-old Zoelife Trevor Mawak aka KidPoet, Umkhathi Theatre Works with a play titled Zaza and Zozo, Langelitsha Arts performed a play title We Are Equals, Gift Chakuvinga presented a storytelling act titled Chikwangure, Shammah Banda did a poem about the African artist.
On the international scene, Georgiana Keable from Norway presented The Farmer and the Potato and Marimba Manglar from Ecuador, who presented a musical dance show.
The festival attracted viewers from Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, United Kingdom, Ecuador, United States of America, Germany and Mexico.
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