Artistes grant Hifa fee discount Doc Vikela
Doc Vikela

Doc Vikela

Showbiz Reporter
After shelving the Harare International Festival of the Arts last year, organisers are appealing to lovers of the annual feat to help raise $100 000 for the week-long event.

Last year, organisers said the harsh economic climate had seen them shelving the festival, but this year, they decided to make it happen. Hifa will be held from May 2 to 7 in the capital. It will run under the theme: “Staging and intervention”.

A campaign #HifaMustHappen has been formed by the Hifa team and its friends with fans of the festival being urged to donate any amount through crowdfunding. To access the crowdfunding, one has to log on to the Thundafund website

Tafadzwa Simba, the Hifa executive director said they had resorted to begging from followers of the festival after realising that their usual funders and partners would not be assisting them like they used to.

“The socio-economic challenges faced by Zimbabwe have had a severe impact on the ability of funders, who traditionally support the festival, to continue to do so. Hifa 2016 didn’t happen but Hifa 2017 is going ahead,” he said.

“With sheer determination, we’re going ahead with #HIFA2017, but to be honest the money required is still short – and that’s where our community comes in, Hifa needs your help.”

He said they had set a $100 000 target.

“The money raised will go towards paying artists and it’ll also go to ensure the ‘I’ of HIFA continues.

“Having international artists performing at Hifa both adds depth to the festival’s artistic programming and brings a vital networking and exposure opportunity to Zimbabwean artists – a chance for local artists to find a reach beyond the festival.”

Some artistes have come through and are pledging to save the event by performing at reduced rates.

“The incredible artistes are coming through and have offered to perform with reduced fees. The corporates are also helping with what they can and now, the onus is on everyone who has performed at Hifa or attended the event to contribute something so that the event takes off. We’ll all pull together to make sure this happens,” said Simba.

As of yesterday, $8 000 had been raised on Thundafund with only a few weeks left before the festival takes place.

So far, comedians Carl Joshua Ncube and Doc Vikela among others have signed up for the Hifa comedy.

Since its inception in 1999, the festival has received recognition for its support of arts and culture in Zimbabwe. It is undeniably the largest cultural event in the country and among the eight major festivals in Africa.

“HIFA brings people together to celebrate their country, their artists and themselves. Keeping consistently high programming standards, the festival is a beacon of all that is creative, progressive and positive,” said Simba.

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