Tafadzwa Zimoyo and Kundai Marunya
The third annual “India in the sunshine city” festival kicks off today with a performance from the 2010 India’s Got Talent winners, Chamber Choir, at the Sangani/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo in Bulawayo this evening.
AlThough the festival will officially be opened on Saturday at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society show grounds, organisers could not let the opportunity to showcase India’s rich culture to the people of Bulawayo and those attending the expo pass.
After Bulawayo, the festival will, however, be confined to different venues in Harare among them Ster-Kinekor cinemas, Reps Theatre and Organikks Restaurant.
Addressing the press at Organiks Restaurant, India’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Rungsung Masakui said the purpose of the festival is to build relations through culture.
“As a diplomatic mission, cultural exchange programmes form an integral part of India’s relationship with Zimbabwe.
“This of course includes the exchange of ideas, information, art, language and other aspects of culture between the two friendly countries and their peoples in order to foster mutual understanding.
“The purpose of cultural exchange is to develop an understanding of each other’s ideals and institutions in an effort to build broad support for economic and political goals.
“Objectives of India in the Sunshine are exactly to fulfil the above elements,” he said.
On the official opening, seasoned local artists including top choir Note 2 Note and mbira queen Hope Masike will share the stage with their Indian counterparts the Shillong Chamber Choir and Gilles Chuyen who will perform in dance.
The opening will be a free event running from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday.
Other events during the festival include a performance by Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company and theatre play “Elephant in the Room” both at Reps Theatre, Indian Film Festival at Ster Kinekor Cinemas, Sam Levy’s Village, and Indian Food Festival at Organikks Restaurant.
The main event, combining some of the aforementioned will however be at ZAS show grounds in what is dubbed the India-Zimbabwe day on September 16.
Additional events on the day will include free dance and yoga workshops and performances from different Indian and local artists including seasoned band Indian Ocean and Othnell “Mangoma” Moyo’s MAP.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation Prince Mupazviriwo said the festival is a welcome initiative.
“The festival is pregnant with exciting events, encouraging and promoting collaborations between our cultural troupes through workshops involving local arts and our communities,” he said.
Mupazviriwo also advocated for a similar festival hosting local artists in India.
Meanwhile, apart from their regular sponsors Zimgold, the festival also received a major boost as Pepsi came on board to join in as a major sponsor.