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Hifa roars into life

by Problem Masau Arts Correspondent
29 Apr 2013 at 04:56hrs | Views
The annual Harare International Festival of the Arts opens tomorrow with organisers saying everything was now in place.

What a mixed bag at this year's annual event!

Fans will be treated to master class performances in genres such as music, theatre and film, among others.

For the old school fanatics Bulawayo Kwela Kings will send patrons down memory lane with its unmistakable penny whistle sound which was dominant when township jazz ruled the roost in the 1960s and 1970s.

The youthful crowd that usually throng Hifa are in for a treat as they have major representation at this year's edition.

Controversial but talented artiste Rockford Josphats or simply Roki will lead the pack of talented urban groovers who are billed to perform at the annual event.

Roki, who burst into limelight at the turn of the millennium, has evolved over the years and is now a complete artiste known for exhibiting well-choreographed acts during his performance.

On the dancehall scene, Sniper Storm continues to be rewarded for his creativity as he has been slotted to perform at this year's event. The dancehall chanter is riding high with hit songs "Wainira MuSoja", and "Love YeMusoja".

Probably the peak of all the musical shows on display will be between Jah Prayzah and Suluman Chimbetu's performances.

The two artistes are riding high with their latest albums. Sulu's album, "Syllabus", has already bagged a Nama award and his "Batai Munhu" dance has gone viral.

The offspring of two legendary musicians ' Selmor Mtukudzi, daughter of superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, and Nkulee Dube, daughter of the late reggae icon Lucky Dube ' with the undoubted talents they have inherited from two of Africa's greatest performers, are set to illuminate the six-day event.

Their unique sounds, one of afro-jazz and the other reggae, carry one thing in common - their African heritage.

Selmor will open the show with her unique voice combined with mhande dance moves, hosho and mbira.

Nkulee, having just returned from her sold-out world tour, will complete the show with her own songs, before both the two close the show with a tribute to their fathers.

This will be one show not to miss, not just to enjoy the music, but also to join in the tribute to two great legends via their own children.

The theatre programme is a bumper harvest of 24 theatre productions from Ireland, Indonesia, South Africa, United States of America, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The first of these plays is Shimmer Chinodya's adaptation of his internationally acclaimed novel, "Harvest of Thorns", which features some of Zimbabwe's prominent and award-winning theatre artistes 'Michael Kudakwashe, Winnie Moyo, Albert Nyathi, Charles Matare, Chipo Bizure, Maylene Chenjerai, Caroline Mashingaidze, Nothando Nobengula, Bob Mutumbi and Vusa Dzimwasha.

The play is directed by the author and produced by Albert Nyathi with music composed by Hope Masike.

This is not the only theatre production in the festival to be staged at the 7 Arts Theatre and organisers expect a big rush for the tickets of the show which is being promoted as Zimbabwe's first full-scale original musical.

Another play to watch out for is Chrispen Bere's "The Missing Crown". The play, which is directed by the author in collaboration with Jimmy Mukurumbandi, is cited as "a dramatic fusion of song, music, dance, rituals and physical theatre crafted to draw the audience into a mythical world and keep them there".

Another Zimbabwean play opening on the first day is Savannah Trust's production of "Half Empty Half Full" that features a cast of prominent actors, Teddy Mangawa and Tafadzwa Hanandah. The play, which was directed by acclaimed South African theatre director Mcedisi Shabangu, had a successful run at Musho Festival in Durban recently.

The Design Quarter at the Harare International Festival of Arts 2013 will be abuzz with design inspiration as handicraft artisans showcase their outstanding products ' Proudly African!

The Mustard Seed Africa Rural to Ramp Handicraft Showcase is a platform developed to encourage innovation, creativity, product design and marketing through collaborative efforts between handicraft producers and designers.

It provides a platform to push handicraft artisans beyond boundaries while preserving indigenous knowledge and enables the audience to experience the artistic expression of products which are African by inspiration and contemporary in design.

Mustard Seed Africa has been developing this concept over the years with the main objective of showcasing the best of handicraft and textile design in Africa while stimulating product development to enable the creative development of new product lines.

It will certainly be six days of fun, dance, music and drama as Zimbabwe joins the international world in celebrating diversity in the arts.

Source - herald