Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
PREPARATIONS for this year’s Intwasa Festival are at an advanced stage with the Street Carnival shaping up, Women Words and Wine, Plays and book launches on the cards.
This year’s Intwasa Arts Festival and the carnival which is being organised by the Intwasa team, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and the Ministry of Tourism will coincide with the World Tourism Day which is celebrated on the 27th of September the beginning of the festival ending on September 30. The same day will see the Bulawayo Street Carnival roaring to life.
On September 28 the much anticipated Women Words and Wine, a concert that entails a mixture of spoken word and music will have an all female cast of local, regional and international artistes at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. Zimbabwe’s very own Lady Tshawe will share the stage with Petronella Nyirenda from Zambia, Katleho Shoro (South Africa), and Indigo Williams (United Kingdom). Afro Queens will provide the music during the show.
Veteran novelist Ericah Gwetai will use Intwasa to launch her anthology, The Other Side at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo on September 29.
On the same day at the Bulawayo Theatre Ihloko will debut with performances by Umkhathi Theatre Works.
The following day, a Tendai Guzha directed dance drama the Poison will showcase at the Bulawayo Theatre.
During the festival there will be Spoken Word and Theatre Workshops and the popular PLAN/Intwasa High Schools Drama Competition Finals
Festival director Raisedon Baya who is fresh from the Harare International Carnival where he was part of the fete said they learnt a lot and were eager to implement their lessons.
“I think since the Intwasa Carnival will be the first the most important lesson we will try and implement is making the carnival an unforgettable experience. After that we will then try and build it into a bigger event and hopefully attract as many people as we saw in Harare,” said Baya.
Due to the lack of funding this year Baya said there are some shows such as the Spring Jazz Festival that might be scrapped if a sponsor does not come to the fore.
“No Spring Jazz this time. It’s one of the events that need good corporate or donor support, unfortunately we haven’t been able to get that. But if we do get it within the next week or so we will include it,” said Baya.
He said they cut down some programmes from last year that were leaving them in debt.
“We have streamlined for obvious reasons. First we had to do away with programmes that were not sustainable and always left the festival in some kind of debt. Secondly, we are experiencing funding challenges. However, we’re still hoping to keep the nerve centre of the program – which is the car park intact. We are hoping our partners will confirm their support for activities at the car park.”
Baya said they were working hard so that the festival be a success.