Determined to Make HIFA 2008 a Success

Determined to Make HIFA 2008 a Success.

It was with great pride that Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) organisers announced this year's event would take place from April 29 to May 4.

It takes tremendous dedication on the part of the HIFA Board of Trustees and Management Team to make the leap of faith needed to commit to a festival, especially as times become more difficult. However HIFA management, and the team that ensures this amazing event actually comes to fruition, are nothing if not determined. Hence HIFA 2008’s theme – The Art of Determination.

This year will be the ninth – and every year, this now internationally renowned festival reaches new highs/ Box office figures grew from 39,750 tickets in 2006 to 56,000 in 2007. HifAmigo subscriptions increased from 467 in 2006 to 1,047 for HIFA 2007.

The HIFA website receives thousands of hits every day and website research showed that, following HIFA 2007, there were at least 600 separate articles covering the Festival on various international websites, in numerous languages including Braille. The Main Stage shows were beamed out on

All of this illustrates why HIFA has chosen its theme for 2008. The Festival strongly believes that the time has come to positively acknowledge the determination of the Zimbabwean public and artistic community to keep going and strive for excellence.

They want to acknowledge the power of arts and culture as a vehicle for people determined to raise their spirits, to achieve some form of cohesion, to stand with pride against many odds. They also acknowledge the determination of the Zimbabwean corporate community, HIFA’s major partners, to remain united with their customers and clients – the Zimbabwean community – in the most positive, affirming and public way. And finally, they acknowledge the commitment of the diplomatic and donor community in encouraging cultural exchange.

Opera, world…or bingo? Something for all tastes

An Opera Gala, presented by CABS, and a highlight performance of Puccini’s Tosca, performed by London Festival Opera, are set to thrill classical music fans at this year’s HIFA.

And for world music aficionados, an extensive programme on the African Banking Corporation Global Stage includes the uplifting, melody-driven sound of Pascal Danae, who sings in French, English and Creole.

The La Voix programme is supported by the Embassy of France, Culturesfrance and Alliance Francaise. The programme also includes a performance by Reunion Island music star Nathalie Natiembe, whose band brings together musicians from Reunion, the Mauritius Islands and Madagascar.

Novelties at HIFA don’t get much more novel than a theatrical bingo show performed by Zimbabwean actor Gavin Peter, promenade performances, wild interactive buskers and spectacular firework shows at the opening and closing performances.

[Two pics. Caption: Scenic setting for Chimanimani’s festival with soul. Caption two: A welcome with open arms to festival-goers in 2008.]

Chimanimani…it’s good for the soul

With its scenic mountain backdrop; warm, friendly atmosphere, and cool vibes, Chimanimani Arts Festival, say the organisers is good for the soul’.

This year sees the revival of the free Festival, scheduled to take place from April 18 to 20. It follows on from the successful mini festival of 2007 and the organisers anticipate a return to the popularity the festival enjoyed through the late 90s until the last edition in 2003.

Set in the scenic town of Chimanimani, this year’s event will see a full programme
of  music and arts-related performances and exhibitions. Performers include Oliver Tuku’ Mtukudzi, Nicholas Madzibaba’ Zacharias, Willom Tight,Victor Kunonga, and others such as Sam Mtukudzi (as he showcases his debut album). Groups from Crossroads and Bocapa will complement the development initiatives, whilst there will be a return for Black Roots, and Adam Chisvo will also be launching his new album at the festival.

Local groups, dancers, drama and poetry recitals will provide the opportunity for local people to show their talents. The kids’ programme will include a performance from Ingo the Clown with her mix of magic, juggling and unicycling.

With the support of Africalia, the British Embassy and Hivos, the event organisers – Chimanimani Arts Festival Trust (CAFT) – are looking forward to showcasing a wide range of what Zimbabwe has to offer.

The full programme, coordinated by Thulani Promotions, will be finalised shortly with various drama, spoken word and visual artists still under consideration. For regular updates visit

Chimanimani is 420km from Harare and 150km from Mutare. Local accommodation is limited, so booking is essential. There are camping facilities at Chimanimani Hotel and Heaven Lodge, which are both within a five-minute walk of the main festival venue. Full bar and catering will be available for the duration of the festival.

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