AGAINST all odds, the 2017 edition of the Harare International Festival of the Arts is going ahead from May 2 to May 7.
Organisers of the region’s premier international arts event will hold the official launch of the Hifa season next Wednesday in the capital, where the official theme will be announced.
Hifa associate executive director Tafadzwa Simba said, “We are extremely grateful to all stakeholders — be they the Government ministries and departments under whose purview we fall, the diplomatic and development agency partners we work with, as well as the fantastically social-responsibility conscious Zimbabwean corporate partners — who are again assisting in the presentation of an endeavour that Zimbabweans can be proud of.”
The festival organisers noted it was imperative the fête was held as it projected Zimbabwe’s international image positively.
Maria Wilson, Hifa’s executive director, said, “It has often been said that Hifa offers a picture of what the country is: united, creative, vibrant. It is a time of year when Zimbabweans from all walks of life come together and mingle as one. It is for this unifying role that we continue to hold the festival even under difficult circumstances.”
Simba added: “Hifa has inevitably interacted with and touch the lives of so many people, who are currently all over the world. As a means by which to contribute to putting on the festival, being a part of it in a way even though they are far off, various channels have been created to by and for friends of the festival to make donations online.”
While not wanting to take the punch away from the “big reveal” of the Hifa programme, organisers have indicated that despite the financial squeeze, a glittering, expressive and wide-ranging programme was in place.
From day one of the festival (May 2) audiences will be treated to the delights of the audio-visual mastery they have come to expect from regional, and international groups.
The opening show of the festival, always keenly anticipated, will again be a collage of the different genres that will be represented throughout the week.
This show, presented by BancABC, is reportedly anchored by a “regional musical super group” with significant collaborations with local musicians.
“We are really excited about this huge show,” expounded Wilson, “as it will be a significant artistic achievement not only under these tough circumstances but would be significant under any circumstances. It is a show that we feel can be sold out in any part of the world. Both the local and regional stars involved are of immense talent and stature and our only worry is the sufficiency of seating as this will definitely be a show people will queue up to buy up well ahead of time.”
The forthcoming festival will be the 17th edition of Hifa.
As usual, it will feature elements of music, fashion, comedy and spoken word, craft and design, theatre and dance.
Held annually in the centre of the capital for easy access, Hifa has been dubbed one of the top ten international festivals in the world.
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