17th Shangano Arts Fest held successfully A play by Pezhuba Pachena at the Shangano Arts Festival

Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Reporter

The 17th edition of the Shangano Arts Festival was held successfully last week bringing together arts enthusiasts from all corners of the Matabeleland North province.

The province is home to a rich and diverse multilingual community with languages, including Nambya, Tonga, and Ndebele. The festival showcased a wide range of artistic activities, including a two-day arts management workshop that provided valuable insights and knowledge to arts enthusiasts and professionals.

The workshop was followed by an exciting play by the Shangano Arts Theatre group on Wildlife Crimes, which touched the audience with its engaging storytelling and exceptional talent. The province is among the most wildlife-human conflict areas and poaching hotspots due to the immense wildlife in the resort-filled boundary.

The festival also focused on nurturing young artistes with a special children’s stage programme designed to discover and support young talents from various schools. The programme was held under the theme “Every child, every right”, promoting the importance of providing artistic opportunities for all children.

An official opening ceremony marked the beginning of the festival, graced by several critical stakeholders, including the Sports, Arts, and Culture Ministry permanent secretary Nicholas Moyo. To commemorate the festival’s grandeur, organisers hosted a talent search initiative at Madumabisa Mega Supermarket, providing a platform for artistes and performers to showcase their skills while inspiring and enriching the Madumabisa community.

Basilwizi Trust programme officer from Binga, Porta Muzamba said, “This was a great and fantastic festival. I managed to meet Obert Dube for the first time. I was strongly moved and touched by his advocacy poem about Africa. Another key takeaway from this festival was the Deaf Arts theatre. I came to realise that I was not doing justice by marginalising people living with disabilities. They have abilities in their own way. We need to work with them. Their play taught me to embrace inclusivity.”

Gwamba Express from rural Hwange, through their leader Tshabalala, said, “It was great participating in the festival for the first time. I was overwhelmed by the support I got from the fans and fellow musicians alike, not forgetting my dear brother George Splash for the assistance during my practice sessions.”

– @mthabisi_mthire


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