Melissa Mpofu Showbiz Editor
The stage is set for the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) which roars into life today in Harare with several local and international performances lined up. Running under the theme “Switch On”, the week-long festival’s thrust this year is on using the arts to portray the lives of Zimbabweans.
“Hifa 2014 invites all of us to switch on a light in the darkness. Using a flashpoint of the arts to see our lives as Zimbabweans, in a new way, Hifa is a call to ignite our potential for luminous transformation.
“The festival this year highlights our capacities and aims to radiate our communal light around the world. The positive rays of Hifa 2014 will open eyes and open hearts,” reads a statement issued by Hifa.
The Hifa opening show tonight will feature an act from musicians and dancers from Barefeet Theatre Zambia, Zimbabwe’s Drum Cafe and Tumbuka Dance Company.
The show which draws inspiration from Hifa’s 2014 theme will be anchored by the artistry of South African jazz pianist, Kyle Shepherd.
Shepherd will be joined by Zimbabwean and South African jazz stars in a performance that is expected to ignite the Harare Gardens.
Tomorrow, Bulawayo’s stand-up comedian, Clive Chigubu will perform at the Reps Theatre with Comrade Fatso and Michael Kudakwashe.
Other comedians to look out for at the festival are Carl Joshua Ncube, Tats Nkonzo (South Africa), Daliso Chaponda (Malawi), David Kibuuka (Uganda), and Ben Voss (South Africa).
Spoken word poets, Umncantsha from Matabeleland South will feature at the Hifa Spoken Word programme at Hivos Poetry Cafe on Thursday.
As usual, the Hifa closing night promises to be explosive as the main act will be South Africa’s Freshly Ground who are popular locally for their Doo be do hit track. Their music which is a fusion of rock, jazz, and Afro-pop is a favourite among all audiences — from young children to their grandparents.
Other highlights at the festival will be performances by Zimbabwe’s finest artists including, contemporary musician, Jah Prayzah, Diana Samkange, Prince Musarurwa, Cynthia Mare, Were Band, DJ Rax and dancehall artists Killer T, Dadza D, Ricky Fire, Lady Squanda, DJ Naida, Bongo Love, Take Fizzo, and Jnr Bantan. International acts who will perform include DJ Milkshake (South Africa), Black Bazar (Congo), Acada Canto (Spain), Helga Davis (New York), Tcheka (Cape Verde), John Wither (South Africa), Steven Prutsman (America), Queen Mashie (Kenya) and Dutch band Chef’s Special. Hifa will also provide a platform for fashion designers to display different lifestyles and fashion trends through its fashion shows.
Hifa is the largest cultural event in Zimbabwe which brings huge audiences together to celebrate diverse cultures.