Getting giddy with Gwanda Fest

GWANDA residents, particularly gospel followers, are in for a treat this week.

One of their sons, Justice Maphosa, who has created a reputation for hosting classy events, is yet again promising a memorable gospel festival “which will be a notch higher than the previous edition”.

Maphosa, director of BigTime Strategic Group, reckons the annual Gwanda Gospel Festival will be second to none as international standards will characterise the three-day programme. The festival will run from September 1 to 3 and will be held at Pelandaba Stadium.

The second edition was pulsating, invigorating and appeared to be the zenith of festival organisation. What other surprise does the BigTime Strategic Group director have under his sleeve?

The South Africa-based business magnate has successfully redefined the local showbiz industry in the few months that his company has been actively involved. Talk of world class pageants, first in the form of Miss Tourism Zimbabwe and later Miss World Zimbabwe, the near flawless second edition of the Gwanda Gospel Festival and a number of elegant Zimbabwe National Army charity events.

BigTime Strategic Group’s golden touch has guaranteed a wow factor every time. And Maphosa is promising more of “wow” this year.

“We are not apologetic about standards. We always push to outdo our previous set standards in all instances and that is always going to be the case. And it should not only be us doing this. We are just setting the bar and others should come on board and do better things so that the showbiz industry grows and matches international standards,” he said.

The company’s group corporate affairs director, Alson Darikayi, said the festival would bring both divine fulfilment and joy.

“Justice Maphosa has made sure that this year’s edition of the festival will be spiritually uplifting and at the same time entertaining for the Gwanda residents and others from outside the town. The programme and preparations alone speak volumes,” said Darikayi. Multitudes of Jahunda Township residents were left satiated by the festival last year. Everything from the stage, decor, performances and general organisation of the event was spot on. Pelandaba Stadium got a facelift.

In addition, there was a two-piece VIP marquee that was air-conditioned and had flat screen televisions in all four corners of each segment. Four high-end industrial generators supported the national grid power allocation to the venue.

Also, there was a massive fireworks display on the first day of the festival and during the official opening. The fireworks display lasted for close to an hour on both occasions.

Even visiting gospel queen Rebecca Malope, whose exposure is unquestionable, was captivated. Besides being a worship festival, the event brought leisure delight to the hosting community.  It is not everyday that Gwanda residents get to witness first-grade entertainment, such elegances are usually reserved for major cities like Bulawayo and Harare.

“It’s going to be better than last year. We will deliver the best with regards to the sermons, live performances, sound, lighting and fireworks for this event, which will be graced by a number of top dignitaries among them Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, who will be the guest of honour,” adds Darikayi.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has provided administrative support to guarantee the smooth flow of preparations.

“Basically, we are playing the same role we had in the previous edition of gospel festival, that is clearing of foreign artistes and equipment that will be used at the function among other supportive roles,” said ZTA head of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda. This year’s festival will run under the theme “God is speaking, are we listening? Feel it, it’s here”.

Dr Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi will headline the event supported by ZimPraise, Minister Amos Mahendere, Takesure Zama, ZCC Mbungo Stars, Knowledge Nkiwane, Tholakile Dhlamini, Judith Moyo among other surprise local artistes. Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Lusanda Spiritual Group, Bethusile Mcinga and Solly Mahlangu from South Africa will complete the line-up of performers.

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