Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
Expanding their horizon from creating performance space for children, the sixth annual Let Them Festival has partnered Agora Zimbabwe to donate 250 pairs of adjustable spectacles to orphans and less fortunate children. The donation will be handed over to pre-screened children at the annual festival to be held at Harare Polytechnic on July 6 and 7.
Let Them Festival director Chido Musasiwa said they are currently screening children in different high density areas.
“We are currently conducting eye tests in high density areas with a new partner called Agora Zimbabwe that donated 250 adjustable glasses to our festival,” she said.
“This means that 250 kids will be issued with the spectacles and will have their final fitting at the festival”
They screened children at Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe over the weekend with the next screening taking place at Mufakose High 2 school tomorrow.
“We are also screening at two orphanages in Mabvuku,” said Musasiwa.
This year’s festival will run under the theme “Elevate” with 35 schools scheduled to participate in music, poetry and theatre.
“You may think you have reached your optimum but you can always ‘Elevate’ to a new level and set yourself a new benchmark,” explained Musasiwa.
“We want excellent performances from schools and individuals and we want our renowned artistes to present performances of the highest standards as they are mentors for the participants. We want delivery, presentations, interactions, partnerships to be elevated”
So far the festival has booked Ammara Brown, Tamy Moyo, Jah Signal and ZiDancehall Empire while they have engaged a group from Botswana to be part of their festivities.
“We are hoping to include participants (schools, upcoming and renowned artistes) next week. We were overwhelmed with entries and requests to perform so we are trying to select and finalise our programme,” said Musasiwa.
“We will also have a group coming from Botswana and we are at an advanced stage of finalising with the Association of Botswana Schools Performing Arts, this is something we have been longing for.”
As part of their regional expansion programme, Let Them Trust has also registered in South Africa
Let Them Festival is an annual event that hosts schools competing and participating in different arts genres. Last year Mufakose High 2 won the festival’s theatre competition.
“We are encouraging non-participating schools to attend so the kids interested in the arts learn from each other, network, and start forming lifelong partnerships especially if they are to continue in the arts,” said Musasiwa.
“Remember our themes are aimed at our participants learning from each other (peer to peer education) and also getting them to be thinking around certain topics where their issues are concerned.”