Youth Interactive Writer
Organisers for the Southern African Festival (SAFE) have said preparations are at advanced stage with participants having started rehearsals.
Already four countries, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and Namibia, have also confirmed their participation who as they will share the centre stage with Children Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo).
The festival will this year be held for three days from August 4-7 at Theatre in the Park, Harare Gardens and will also mark the third anniversary of the death of Stephen Chifunyise, founding member of CHIPAWO and mbassador of SAFE Festival who passed on August 5, 2019.
Chipawo manager Chipo Basopo said she was happy the festival is back after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic which affected public gatherngs.
Basopo said this year’s edition’s theme was inspired by the book written by Chipawo’s forefather, the late Stephen Chipfunyise.
“This year’s theme is ‘Takura”’ meaning we are all grown in English and is to celebrate the artistic works that the children and young people from Africa are producing and showcasing,” she said.
“The theme is derived from the book written by the late Stephen Chifunyise in protecting our intangible cultural heritage and the environment.
“This year edition will run from the 4th to the 7th of August 2022 at Theatre in Park, Harare Gardens, Harare, Zimbabwe with participants from Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and Namibia as well as CHIPAWO and local children and youth groups in Zimbabwe.”
She said the main aim for the festival is to create a creative space with different young minds honouring the works of the late Chifunyise in producing poems, drama plays, musicals, dance from his collection of “Takura and the Talking Branches.”
“The festival will be guided by these objectives, to create a platform for the future Southern African leaders to appreciate their own origins as well as the diversity of the dynamic world, to demonstrate the initiatives of the creative civil society in contributing to the building of the Southern African and in creating a viable and sustainable platform for inter-cultural dialogue. It also aims to provide children with an opportunity to share ideas artistically and to demonstrate the importance of culture in promoting African solidarity,
“The festival will be held over three days, with the first night being the opening night leading to the candle night on the second day and closing with a SAFE Family Fun Day.”
CHIPAWO launched its first edition of the festival with the theme “We made it” in Harare in 2019.
The first edition saw the attendance children from CHIPABO (Children Performing Arts Association of Botswana), CHIEZA (Children Exposure in Zambia) and CHINAMIBIA (Children of Namibia) and Malawi.
Due to the pandemic, the second edition was held online in 2020 with the theme “Making it together” as it showcased work that was produced during the lockdown and a flash back from CHIPAWO achieves.