A host of different events will be giving a French flavour to Harare’s cultural scene next week. Kicking off on Monday, entertainment seekers will find all sorts of events to whet their appetite including competitions, quizzes, films and, of course, music. This is all part of the globally celebrated Francophonie Week and will take place at the Alliance Francaise, the French Ambassador’s residence, Prince Edward and Gateway School until the 22 March.
A highlight of the week will be the Sing Your Way to Paris competition where participants select an original French song and perform it in front of an audience and adjudicators for the chance of winning an all expenses paid trip to Paris. Francophonie Week coordinator Sarudzai Sharon Chadokwenda explains, “This year we opened the Sing Your Way to Paris competition to anyone who can sing in French, as opposed to our previous only Zimbabwean nationality policy.” She said registration for the competition closed on Friday and was open to anyone between the age of 14 and 26. “73 people entered. They will be auditioned at Alliance Francaise this Saturday,” said Chadokwenda.
Of the 73 entries only ten will be selected to compete at the final of the competition to be held on Friday 21 March at Alliance Francaise.
Film lovers will be treated to a Film Festival on selected days of the Francophonie Week. Screenings will start at 6.30 pm at the Old Mutual Theatre at Alliance Francaise featuring French movies with English subtitles.The festival will have movies including Le Monde nous Appartient and Barbecue Pejo, drawn from different French speaking countries.
Also to look out for is the Happy Hour on the 14 March, where one can enjoy a buy-one-get-one free offer on drinks while listening to French music at Alliance Francaise.
Harare’s own mbira princess Hope Masike will be taking pride of place at the Saturday night concert at Alliance Francaise. Having toured many different countries in both Africa and Europe, she is sure to keep music lovers entertained with her fusion of mbira and folk.
Education will also hold a spot during the week, with a spelling competition and quiz aimed at encourging young people learning how to speak French.
The International Organisation of La Francophonie began in 1970. Its mission is to embody the active solidarity between its 77 member states, respecting cultural and linguistic diversity and promoting the French language, peace and sustainable development.
“Come and join us and the rest of the world as we celebrate the French culture in Zimbabwe,” said Alliance Francaise administrative assistant Gerald Mugwenhi.
Caption: riveted audience from Sing Your Way to Paris 2013.