It’s that time of the year again where art lovers from all over the world flock to our humble city to enjoy a showcase of both local and international talent. This year’s edition of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) promises to be a goodie, with a massive line up of artists billed to perform.
Themed Switch On, the festival has some exciting programs in different genres including music, comedy, theatre and poetry. As usual, it will open with a blend of dance and music. On the evening of Tuesday 29 April, various artists who will perform in shows throughout the festival will give Harare audiences an idea of what to look out for. Performances from Tumbuka Dance Company (Zimbabwe), Barefoot Dance (Zambia) and top jazz pianist Kyle Shepherd (South Africa) will grace the stage, all performing with both local and international jazz vocalists.
HIFA Media explains, “HIFA’s spectacular Opening Show draws inspiration from our theme this year, from the resilience of Zimbabwe’s artistic community, from our communal search for enlightenment, and from Doris Lessing’s story The Sun Between Their Feet, which tells of the repeated determined attempts of two dung beetles to scale the heights of a rock with their precarious cargo…”
This show is expected to Light Up The Darkness as per its title. It is directed by Brooke Ciardelli, a multiple award-winning American theatre director who is also the founder and former artistic director of Northern Stage, Vermont. Stage design will be by Heeten Bhagat and Carine Tredgold.
Another highlight of the festival will be stand up comedy, a genre that has seen remarkable growth in Harare for the past few years. Festival goers can look forward to hilarious comedians Samm Monro a.k.a Cde Fatso, Michael Kudakwashe and Clive Chigubu in their show Seventy Five Percent. The comedians attack everything from social and political taboos to the more important things like potholes and beer. The show will be staged at ZB Reps Theatre on the afternoon of Wednesday 30 April. Other comedy shows include one man shows by Carl Joshua Ncube, David Kibuka and Tats Nkonzo.
Theatre will also be well represented, with a number of shows lined up at ZB Reps Theatre, and the Standard Theatre and Café. Renowned local theatre practitioner Zane E. Lucas will be part of this exciting programming. He’s directing a play titled Crucial Triviality written by Joakim Daun and produced by One Million Theatre Company. The play encompasses five different stories of people battling over sex, love, friendship and relationships being tested to their limits over what seem to be trivial things. Crucial Triviality will be staged at The Standard Theatre. Other plays on offer include The Gods You’ve Made, The Maid and My Father’s Hat.
Music lovers will be treated to the maiden appearance of Mukudzei Mukombe a.k.a Jah Prayzah at HIFA. Jah Prayzah has cut across different genres in collaborations while thriving in his afro jazz. In the past year he has been the talk of the city. At a time when many musicians are getting just a handful of people Jah Prayzah has been packing up venues. His performance at HIFA will come only two weeks after the release of his new album Kupfumbura Mhute. Jah Prayzah will perform at Telecel Mainstage on Sunday 4 May. Other musicians to look out for include South Africa’s Freshly Ground, Eve Kawadza, Zimboita and Jamaram.
Get the HIFA program with ticket prices, venue directions and other logistical information on the festival on www.hifa.co.zw. Keep on checking the same website to be up to date on sale of tickets and where to get them.
Caption: Tumbuka Dance Company. Credit: HIFA.