Former Harare Mayor Muchadei Masunda is the new Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA) board of trustees chairperson. This follows the resignation of the former chair George Mutendadzamera who has relocated to South Africa.
Masunda who was at the helm of Town House for the past five years, is a well known arts enthusiast who through Old Mutual, a company he chairs, has funded the refurbishment of the Old Mutual Theatre at Alliance Francaise. The venue has been fitted with modern public address systems, lighting and music instrumentation and serves many upcoming artists for live rehearsal and hosts shows free of charge. CABS, which is a member of the Old Mutual Group, has also been one of the festivals main sponsors for years.
HIFA executive director Maria Wilson says, “I’m so proud that this man, during his time as Mayor, was always there for us, his door was always open and after his tenure he continues to do so, now as chair of our board.”
The former mayor said he is delighted to be part of the festival. “It’s really a great privilege to be taking this role. HIFA has done a lot of good not just for Harare but Zimbabwe at large.” Masunda said the festival brings people together, going on to say that “As it continues to grow it is my hope that the festival remains inclusive of all people as it has always been.”
Meanwhile, the founder and former artistic director Manuel Bagoro will this year come back from retirement after only a year to take over from Gavin Peter. “Peter has also moved to South Africa due to family commitments,” said Tafadzwa Simba, HIFA’s media and community liaison officer.
This year’s HIFA will run from 29 April to 4 May 2014 under the theme: Switch on. Explaining the theme Simba said, “It’s all about switching on the potential that we have and there is massive potential in HIFA.”
Pic caption: Ex-mayor Masunda shortly before leaving office in July 2013.