A local community group will conduct an arts festival in Harare drawing several creative and related artists aimed at conscientising the rights of children and women and gender based violence, as well as promoting township tourism.
Mugariro Community Winter Arts Festival wants to revolutionise creative arts, which of late has been living in the shadow of musical arts, so that it can be transformed into a source of livelihood as part of complimenting Government efforts to ensure an upper middle income economy in line with National Development Strategy 1.
The arts jamboree is set to be held during the first six days of August this year in Highfield where creative artistes will illuminate the city’s oldest suburb, that used to be the political hotbed for Zimbabwe’ nationalists before independence in 1980.
The organisation is aiming at creating a platform of skills, experience sharing and fosters integration and advancement of creative arts industry.
In an interview with The Herald Arts, the festival coordinator, Washington Masenda, said the fiesta will be held in seven venues in Highfield that include Takashinga Cricket Club, Highfield Community Hall, Highfield Library and CJ Hall.
Masenda said his organisation had forged an alliance with some cooperating partners that will help in funding the festival.
He said some of the activities during the six-day festival include seminar for teachers for basic visual and performing arts, training of youths in creative arts, quiz and choir competition for schools, modelling competition for young children, Jikinya dance, plays, drama and public speeches.
The last day will see celebrities and role models interacting with participants, particularly school children who are expected to draw inspiration from the veterans.
“Our organisation seeks to bring to the table real issues as well as bring together target communities, policy makers, service providers and stakeholders with an interest in the well-being of women and children through action provoking platforms,” said Masenda.
“The festival will be closed by a special programme which brings together a number of role models and celebrities from across all fields from Zimbabwe and beyond the border. The festival seeks to promote township tourism and involvement of relevant Government departments will be crucial.”
Masenda said there will also be musical shows at Mushandirapamwe Hotel and Takashinga Cricket Club on the last day.
“The festival will be unique and will campaign against early child marriages,” he said. “For the opening ceremony, we are going to mobilise at least 1 000 girls between 10 and 17 years and this will be a march against early child marriages, with signal band and drum majorettes using Mangwende Drive in Highfield.
“The closing ceremony will cover a campaign on child protection, labour, sexual and other forms of abuse. And drum majorettes and signal band will be used to attract people to the event using Jabavu Drive to the final destination which is the family venue.”