Day One of HIFA 2014 got off to a slow start with low turnouts at most of the morning and afternoon shows. Most audiences, it seemed, were waiting for the official opening event, titled Light up the Darkness, to kick start their HIFA diaries, and indeed the Telecel Main Stage was packed by 7:30pm.
Yesterday’s full programme included about thirty events, including comedy, theatre, music and poetry, but audiences were mostly small. The popular Coca Cola Green was half empty during the day in spite of an interesting line up.
Claire Nyakudyara performed alongside Dudu Manhenga’s sister Uza in an Afro-fusion show. Nyakudyara is the champion of the Imagine International Music Competition and put up a brilliant performance. The group, who came about through Music Crossroads, the same institute that put Mokoomba on the line, were fully charged and bursting with energy.
Meanwhile, the craft centre had some interesting events including live graffiti and painting. Environmentally sensitive artists who use recycled material including bottles, cans, plastics and even bottle tops were busy with their displays.
The Spoken Word show at the Hivos Poetry Cafe attracted less than twenty people, mostly poets and media personnel. The poets were undeterred however, as evidenced by Upmost, who put on an amazing display of talent even after some technical glitches forced him to abandon the microphone. It was a great preview of what’s to come at this venue.
Low turnout was also experienced at Crucial Triviality at the Standard Theatre. This humorous show looks at how issues like sex, love and friendship can blow up over seemingly meaningless events.
Bucking the trend however was the Opening Show which was fully packed with revelers. Titled Light Up The Darkness, the show saw some of Zimbabwe’s legendary musicians such as Oliver Mtukudzi and the Cool Crooners lead a huge line up of artists who came together to impress the packed main stage grounds.
HIFA continues today and crowds are expected to start growing, especially tomorrow which is a public holiday and over the weekend when the city comes out to play.