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Hifa ends but leaves indelible mark

Itai Mushekwe

THE just-ended Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) has left an indelible mark on the country’s arts and entertainment scene as evid

enced by the army of enthusiasts who attended the six-day fiesta.

The scintillating event was well-organised resulting in a week of electrifying shows, that gave Harare a first-world life, thus casting the economic woes of many a fan away, albeit for only 144 hours.

Under the catchy theme Hand in hand, the festival indeed managed to bring together artists of various genres such as music, poetry, theatre, dance and visual arts, thus forming a spirit of synergy and synchronisation which will prove difficult to dismantle.

On the musical front, celebrated musicians such as Benin-born R’n’B jazz supremo, Angelique Kidjo and combative reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly, gave a good account of themselves.

Both artists have a rare quality of lyrical intelligence and stage appeal which left revellers musical thirst quenched.

Theatre had its fair share with the likes of Ugandan-American Ntare Mwine’s play Biro capturing the imagination of many hearts and souls.

Bulawayo–based local theatre outfits, Amakhosi Township Theatre, Bambelela Arts Ensemble and Qhube productions amalgamation proved beyond reasonable doubt that they are the best theatre group in the country by presenting an insightful political satire, Tomorrow’s people, a hard-hitting play about contempory Zimbabwe.

As for dance, visual arts and poetry, one needed to be present to witness artistic excellence at its best. Operatic highlights and “The Magic Flute” exposed Zimbabweans to the best of European culture.

Hifa has without question become the premier arts and culture extravaganza in Zimbabwe, whose annual showcase transforms the country’s entertainment terrain.

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