Organisers of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) who last year, had announced that there would be no festival this year have instead introduced a programme which will see them holding shows each month.
The monthly festivities which will be held over the course of the year will however be a build-up to the 2017 edition to be held under the theme “Next Level.”
This year’s extravaganza kicks off with the CABS Classical music celebrations next month followed by the Theatre season and Music Concert Weekend in May and June respectively.
Hifa will host a Rugby Exhibition match and Classical Ballet Celebration in July, an Equestrian Exhibition with Art Auction and Wine Show in August and a Formula One Racing Demonstration in September. The festival will close out the year with a Fashion, Hair and Beauty Show in November and an Anti-poaching and Environmental Conservation Conference in December.
The festival’s associate executive director, Tafadzwa Simba, said the festival would run throughout the year again next year as part of their efforts to ensure that the festival continues to be shared among fans and artistes around the country.
“We realised that a lot of people want the Hifa experience throughout the year. People love the mood and atmosphere associated with Hifa and it was a pity when it could only be experienced for six days only in April.
“As a result of this demand, the yearlong festivities will continue next year, despite the return of the initial festival,” Simba said.
For the first time, some Hifa activities will be held outside Harare such as the Conservation Conference set to be held in Victoria Falls in December and the Hifa Engage programme which will see festival representatives preaching the Hifa gospel around the country.
“With programmes like Hifa Engage, we’ll be able to create more awareness about the festival because it’s not just a Harare event, but a festival that resonates outside the capital because it’s national in its scope.”
He added that although the festival had included sport in its festivities, it did not mean that the arts would be absent from the sport dominated events.
“Even though we’ll be holding sporting events, the arts and artistes will be at the forefront of whatever event that we hold.
“There’ll be artistic presentations preceding the sporting events and I think that’ll expose the participants to new audiences. In addition, a lot of sporting codes have artistic elements within them so I think it’s only fitting that we incorporate sports into the arts,” Simba said.