BY SHARON SIBINDI
BULAWAYO mayor Solomon Mguni has described artists and creatives as engines that bring about development to the city and its people.
Mguni made the remarks in a statement after the launch of the Bulawayo Arts Festival (BAF) report 2021 by council and its technical partner, Nhimbe Trust.
The report carries details of the culture-packed five-day virtual activities of the festival which took place in the city from June 1 to 5.
“The festival (BAF) would not have been a success without the city’s technical partner, Nhimbe Trust, and the team astutely led by Saimon Mambazo Phiri (BAF director),” Mguni said.
Phiri said BAF 2021 was a celebration of the rebirth of the arts.
“With the arts sector not fully functional, we brought a hybrid edition of the festival.
“Our desire was to stimulate and revive the arts, as a means of restoring hope and aspirations,” he said.
“We felt immensely honoured and proud to be one of the stakeholders at the forefront of bringing the arts community back to life through active programming.”
Nhimbe Trust executive director Josh Nyapimbi said: “The economic downturn and continued COVID-19 pandemic has not deterred the collaborative efforts of artists, cultural professionals, non-profit, governmental and intergovernmental partners and supporters to ensure the success of the 2021 BAF edition.”
He said the elevation of the festival to a national annual calendar event was a milestone in post-independent Zimbabwe and a reassurance of government’s aspiration to promote cultural and creative sectors.
The festival attracted 348 performing artists who presented 134 acts that were viewed by global audiences in 53 countries.
The festival also marked the sixth anniversary of the partnership between Nhimbe Trust and the City of Bulawayo after the former engaged the latter in 2014 on the prospects of developing a partnership to facilitate the formulation of a cultural policy and corresponding strategic plan for the city.
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