Buffalo Souljah ready for Hifa …slams xenophobia
Tafadzwa Zimoyo Entertainment Reporter
Zimbabwean born South Africa-based dancehall musician Buffalo Souljah has slammed the recent spate of xenophobic attacks that happened across the Limpopo saying it was inhumane. The “Staera Inonyengesa” singer said the attacks are detrimental to Africa’s development and should not be condoned.
“Well, I feel sorry for the brothers and sisters who fell victim to the xenophobic attacks, It is detrimental to Africa’s development and should not be condoned by anyone,” he said.
Buff as he is known in music circles is scheduled to perform at this year’s Harare International Festival of the Arts on April 30, ZOL Main Stage.
The dreadlocked chanter is part of a collaboration that also features the talents of Kaakie, a Ghanaian multi-award female chanter as well as our very own Guspy Warrior aka The Preacher’s Son. About his debut at HIFA, Buff was delighted to perform at HIFA given its diverse audience and magnitude. “I am excited to be performing here which is my first major corporate gig besides what I used to do in clubs.
No doubt it is going to be a massive show alongside Kaakie and Guspy,” he said.
Buff said he will be using a live band and each of the three performing artist will have their set and then a collaboration which he described as explosive.
“Being the artist I am I think there is going to be a lot of energy and action on and off the stage. Obviously, we will have different sets and a joint act which is incredible. It is going to be live and I am going to switch to other genres to reach out to different audiences,” he said.
Buff is a multi-award winning dancehall artist who won several Channel O Awards and Nigerian Soundcity Award. He needs no introduction to lovers of dancehall in Zimbabwe. He has numerous accolades as a producer and an artist, and for the first time, he will be sharing the stage at HIFA in a unique collaboration. It is a dancehall gathering not to be missed! The show starts at 10pm
HIFA OFFICIAL OPENING IN PICTURES
By Tawanda Mudimu
Star FM’s fresh breeze at hifa
Brenda Phiri Entertainment Reporter
Star Fm radio presenters Itayi “Iyati” Takaendesa and Tariro Mazvarirwofa made a grand entrance at the Harare International Festival of the Arts today.
They opened the festival on a high note, broadcasting their popular programme, The Breeze, at the radio station’s Hifa stand.
“We had a great time today from meeting people and doing interviews. What is most important to us is meeting the breezers- that is the name we give our fans,” said Takaendesa.
It was business as usual as the duo spoke to different people during their show.
They engaged artistes like Tariro Ne Gitare before interviewing one Soukaina.
Soukaina, a dance coordinator, expressed delight for being in the country for the first time.
Amongst the guests was also a representative from Innovate High Performance Centre who contributed towards their fitness program.
“All the usual Breeze line up will be broadcasted from here. We want our fans to come throughout the week and hang with us. They can interact and give shout outs as well,” added Takaendesa.
The award winning presenter promised gift vouchers to fans who will be part of the future programs at hifa.
The outside broadcasting is part of Star Fm’s goal of taking radio to the people in 2015
Japan’s Iyco sobs at HIFA
Brenda Phiri Entertainment Reporter
Japanese based singer Iyco could not help but sob after being overwhelmed from performing in Africa for the first time at Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa).
An afro fusion musician, the singer put up a sterling performance together with her band Kakafuraha at Hifa’s Coca Cola Green stage.
The show was amongst the festival’s first, dishing out the best of both worlds through their Afro Japanese music until midday.
Speaking on behalf of the six-member band, tour manager Kazuya Murota said:
“It is a dream, come true for Iyco to be here. She has liked African music from a young age. Because of that her music is influenced by African music. They feel African music has a good rhythm,” said Murota.
Iyoco who is the lead vocalist also composes songs for the band according to the tour manager.
Their band set an electric mood in their interactive show that the audience a taste of the rare Afro-Japanese music.
Only music can explain the fusion, but it was clear the group exhibited great talent.
While proudly embracing their Japanese roots through their lyrics, their beat had Africa written all over.
The band’s performance was zinged up by equally talented Japanese female deejay, Juri.
Dj Juri who is also a respected producer featured during their act and showcased her prowess on a traditional drums.
The band that will perform at the Lay’s Global Stage today will carry the party over to the Zimbabwe international trade fair in Bulawayo before converging at Victoria Fall’s Boma Restaurant.
Their shows are presented by the embassy of Japan.
HIFA: The Impact Music Conference
Tafadzwa Zimoyo Entertainment Reporter
Music plays a pivotal role in people’s lifestyle as it can change the world too.
The Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA) has included a music conference workshop which will find ways on how music and technology meet.
Dubbed, ‘Impact Music Conference’, is a platform to discuss, act, share, learn and understand that space where technology meets the music industry.
Scheduled to take place on Thursday at Hypercube in Belgravia at 1100hrs some participants have expressed their excitement of the inaugural conference. Participants include Walter Wanyanya, Emeline Wraith, Phiona Okumu, Emmanuel Mwanyongo, Tehn Diamond, Nic Burger, Alexis Botaya, Manifest, Teju Ajani, Virgine Burger and Yoel Kenan.
Malawian based journalist, aspiring entrepreneur Emmanuel Mwanyongo said was happy to be at HIFA.
Gearing up for HIFA music
Fred Zindi Music
This year’s Harare International Festival of the Arts, which is running under the theme ‘Articulate’, kicks off tomorrow and closes on Sunday.
Former Harare Mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda is the festival’s chairman while artistic director and founder Manuel Bagorro and his sister, Maria Wilson, the executive director, still call the shots.
They are assisted by Tafadzwa Simba who acts as the general manager with a host of many who play different roles in the well-spoken HIFA team.
Magical moments are expected during the opening ceremony of this year’s Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), which opens tomorrow to high-energy foot-stomping performances and brilliant fireworks.
The opening show which is led by Zimbabwe’s super-group, Mokoomba, in The Power of Many will also feature music, dance and visuals as well as some of Zimbabwe’s finest dancers. As usual it is directed by Asa Jogi.
I know for certain the performance by Mokoomba and the selected dancers on the opening night will leave the audience asking for more if last year’s opening night is anything to go by..
I agree with Banning Eyre of Afro Pop World, USA that Mokoomba is quite simply the most impressive band Zimbabwe has produced in recent years.
Surprisingly, its members do not hail from Harare, Mutare or Bulawayo, cities which traditionally have produced the finest artistes in Zimbabwe. Rather, these seven musicians come from the northern parts of Zimbabwe near the border with Zambia. Mokoomba, formed in 2001, trumpet the energy and dynamism of their region’s best known geographic feature, the august Victoria Falls.
I attended HIFA 14 in 2014. The captivating performance took the thousands of fans who had gathered for the ceremony down memory lane as the performers dished out songs from yesteryear greats such as Dolly Parton, Kenny Rodgers, UB40, Bob Marley, The Bhundu Boys, 2 Pac, Thomas Mapfumo and many more.
The show kicked off with the singing of the Zimbabwe National Anthem after which old school classics were played one after another non-stop.
The mood of the crowd about the spectacular show said it all with loud cheers which came through memories of the good old days that were brought by the old school songs performed in a style that demonstrated creativity.
The final act of the opening night of the show was full of fireworks, which drew loud cheers from the crowd.
And indeed when they left, the crowds were wondering what’s in store for them next after such a memorable show.
Last year’s show however, was hindered by the non-appearance of the group, Freshly Ground, from South Africa on the closing night.
This year’s edition of the premier arts showcase does not have much controversy as it reflects progress made by the organisers so far whose aim is to fulfil the expectations of their audiences..
Yes, as I said before, the month of April is always an exciting one. Despite the difficulties, HIFA brings a lot of cultural and artistic events. However, as usual this column, focuses on the exciting musical activities. This year hundreds of local artistes who are used to playing in small clubs are looking forward to performing at HIFA as it is the platform where their acts are viewed by thousands of people at once.
A host of international and regional musicians will also perform at HIFA this week but apart from Salif Keita who will team up with Hope Masike to close this year’s festival, there are not many popular international artistes lined up.
The Simon and Garfunkel story will use projection photos and film footage at HIFA tomorrow, Tuesday the 28th and Wednesday the 29th April. Simon and Garfunkel are famous for songs such as ‘Mrs Robinson’, ‘Cecilia’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ and ‘Homeward Bound’. How I wish the two musicians were here to perform live.
The rest of the week is filled with different genres of music: starting with An Afro-Japanese Music Happening, Taurai Pekiwe and the Legal Lions on Tuesday while Luisa Sobral, The Zimbabwe College of Music and Prince Edward School Bands perform on the Coca-Cola Green stage on Wednesday and later Jackson Wahengo on the same day. On Thursday there is a music conference hosted by Impact. On the ZOL main stage the Dancehall alliance featuring Buffalo Soldier, Kaakie from Ghana and Guspy Warrior appear.
The Zanzibar Taarab Kidumbak Ensemble, i-Tribe, Buhle and Sylent and later Bashupi & Pkay also appear on the Coca-Cola Green stage. The next day, Friday the 1st of May features Prince Edward School band again, Digitts, True Vibenation and Beatenberg.
Saturday brings Djembe Monks and Michael Moore and some free stage performances on First Street while Victor Kunonga and Ramin Khalatbari are the main attraction on the ZOL main stage.
Later, there is Perfect Friction on the same stage, followed by Vee Mukarati on the Coca-Cola Green.
Sunday sees the closing of HIFA where Tariro neGitare, Eve Kawadza and the Marondera Schools Orchestra, Makumbe High School Choir, Josh Meck Silas Miami & Raven feature throughout the day until Salif Keita & Hope Masike Close HIFA at 9p.m.
This should be exciting as the two artistes are capable of taking their audience through myriad states of emotion.
Salif Keita who returns to Harare for the second time comes back with his distinctive grainy voice which has mesmerised people the world over. He has been at the forefront of Malian music for several years. His musical styles range from Rock, Soul, Jazz-funk to West African Griot traditional music.
Hope Masike on the other hand is a celebrated Zimbabwean mbira player and singer. She has so far produced two albums which show a combination of inspiring enjoyable music. Simply put, Hope’s music is hard to ignore. Her unique style and inspirational chants have set a standard others may find desperately hard to follow. It will be good to see her close HIFA together with an international icon.
As expected, there will be fireworks displays at the end of the ceremony on the closing night. I am pleased to note that HIFA has become an institution, so have many local artistes who seem to appear at the event every year.
As Manuel Bagorro, the artistic director puts it, “How dull the world would be if we didn’t have some form of artistic life.
How would we share the things that cannot be communicated in any other way and have fun at the same time?
How would we rise above words to articulate the most poetic aspects of being human?
The arts can express who we are as individuals and as a vital nation. This is our opportunity to articulate who we want to be, so speak up”.
Be your own judge!
- Fred Zindi is a Professor at the University of Zimbabwe. He is also a musician and an author of several books on music. He can be contacted via e-mail on [email protected]