AFTER some soul searching, this year’s edition of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) has been deferred to next year (April 28 to May 3) with organisers citing financial constraints.
Three years ago, the festival was shelved again with organisers also citing financial constraints at the time.
“The Harare International Festival of the Arts will not stage the event in 2019 and will focus on new projects leading up to a major festival in 2020. The decision has been taken after much thought, soul-searching and discussion.
“Zimbabwe is dealing with many important issues, both social and economic. In this context, the festival cannot responsibly commit to presenting a feasible and viable event this year of the same quality and impact that Hifa is known for,” read a statement issued by the organisers.
The organisers of the festival that has been involved with various communities over the years said they would use this time to work on other projects, particularly in schools to broaden and deepen the organisation’s contribution to arts and cultural development.
“In addition to working on producing a spectacular Hifa 2020, Hifa will continue to work throughout the year on initiatives that build capacity within the local arts community, use arts and culture to explore social and community issues and assist companies to realise their marketing and PR potential through creative thinking.”
Hifa is Zimbabwe’s biggest festival that is widely acknowledged as one of the best arts and culture initiatives on the continent. It brings together corporate investors, embassy and donor partners, local and visiting artists as well as large enthusiastic audiences.