VARIOUS artists last weekend lambasted government’s ill-conceived Operation Murambatsvina through music, poetry, dance and drama at The Peace Festi
val of Arts.
The festival kicked off three weeks ago at Oliver Mtukudzi’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, moved to Kuwadzana the following week and last Saturday was in Highfield where various groups performed at the Zimbabwe Hall.
Lifati Harimedi, director of The Dance Trust of Zimbabwe, which organised the festival said: “The aim of the festival was to bring some of the country’s biggest artists to grass root level, enabling the society to mix and mingle with artists at their doorsteps.”
Poetry and musical outfit, The Police State, recited a poem entitled Zimbabwean Life — Realistic.
“This beauty is under threat. I passed a marketplace somewhere in this ghetto.Vendors were selling their merchandise on the streets. Then suddenly there was great panic. Children, men and women running to save their dear goods from the police. It is the clean-up taking its toll” part of the recital reads.
“You should see how suddenly people pick up their metal trays, how fast they run carrying their goods.
It is really dangerous to be in the streets that are being ‘cleaned-up’ but we have to continue existing in the streets for that is where we get our bread and butter.”
The group portrayed the situation in Zimbabwe and how it has become normal for the masses to play hide and seek with the police because they have no other option for earning a living.
After every stanza there was a musical interlude of the song Ndopatigere Pano (This is where we live). The song, by the late Jordan Chataika, brings out the plight of people who are living in destitution in their motherland.
Songbird Chiwoniso Maraire performed three songs, the most popular being Ivainesu Mwari Baba (God be with us). Other Artists included Sam Mtukudzi, Amavhitikazi dance group and Chirikure Chirikure of the Detembira fame who recited his poem Destruction of the Soul.
The festival ends next week at Stodart Netball Complex in Mbare.