BY SINDISO DUBE
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is today expected to officially open the second edition of the Bulawayo Arts Festival and attend the high-level cultural governance conference at the Large City Hall before embarking on an urban heritage corridor tour around the city.
The annual festival roared to life on Tuesday together with the Bulawayo Day celebrations, with various arts activities taking place on different platforms, virtual and physical. The festival will run until Saturday.
Some of the festival’s shows will be beamed on Bulawayo Arts Festival TV (YouTube channel).
Meanwhile, multi-award-winning rapper Asaph says he wants to use his Bulawayo Arts Festival performance to honour the legacy of late hip-hop star Cal_Vin who died last year in a suspected hit and run incident near his residence in Luveve 5 high-density suburb, Bulawayo.
Although Cal_Vin and Asaph were musical rivals, they shared the stage at some festivals and even worked together in the studio.
Asaph, who is one of the leading acts at this year’s edition of the Bulawayo Arts Festival, will perform on the last day of the fiesta alongside Ngoma iNgoma.
“I feel like I have to really keep his memory alive and put on the best performance I can. That would be the best way to honour his (Cal_Vin) legacy,” he said.
The Like So hitmaker said the festival was an expression of Bulawayo pride.
“I feel excited to be part of the festival. Anything to shine a light on our city makes me proud and happy. To me this festival is an expression of Bulawayo pride, especially coming right after June 1 Bulawayo Day. It’s time for us to be celebrated by ourselves for being us, for being Bulawayo,” he said.
“I am promising nothing, but fireworks on Saturday. It has been a while since I performed in Bulawayo and I can’t wait to be on stage again and to celebrate with my fellow citizens.”
Today’s programme will include Dry Bones comedy show to be beamed online, performances from Mwenje Mathole, Ntswai Ntswai Arts, MJ Sings and Murphy Cubic, Novuyo Seagirl, Spanchjie Omnyama and theatre productions from Chilli Media drama, The Dream by Gift Sirinji and Silent Scream by Ellaine Ncube.
This year’s festival will see performances from Madlela Sikhobokhobo, Qeqeshiwe, Mzoe7, Novuyo Seagirl, Holy Ten, Poptain, Mwenje Mathole, Mimmie Tarukwana, Asaph, Doc Vickela, Mandla Da Comedian, Fusion 5 Mangwiro, Hwabaraty and Snowy, among others.