Winter is a time of hibernation for the performing arts. As the seasons change however, the volume turns up on the live circuit in Harare. From the suburbs to the CBD to the heart of the ghetto there’s a blaze of activity. Whether it’s live music, art or film, there’s something for all tastes. This is what’s going to be happening all around the city as spring breaks.
Theatre In The Park opened its new doors with ceremony. Across town Reps is keeping the standard, casting erudite plays. Book Cafés pop-up events are happening including Oliver Mtukudzi Live at the New Ambassador Hotel. The Volt on Samora is trending too with an eclectic mix of urban grooves.
Chez Zandi on Chitepo is a relaxing chill spot, with delectable food, old school Fridays and Jazz Sundays. Next door is the Alliance Française theatre, hosting a spectrum of activities, as is Zimbabwe German Society, across town.
In the visual art there’s Gallery Delta and NGZ with monumental, well-curated exhibitions. Njelele on Kaguvi often houses unique conceptual installations.
For pubs, The Mill and Centurion often have good entertainment. If its clubbing then the Village has Pablo’z and Pariah State with Skybar close by in Helensvale. In the Strathaven area Londoners and Circus with Globetrotter further that side. Enter the dragon at 1+1 club or Bar Rouge, Longcheng Plaza.
Three bars in the Jameson Hotel including Beer Engine host live events. For sungura fans, there are jam sessions at City Sports bar. Big Apple & Dandaro Inn are rocking with legends gracing the stages. Reggae dancehall is found in the Basement on Park Lane, Red Fox in Greendale, Blue Bar Mbare, Hideout 99 Lockingville Southerton and in many other township bars.
Time and Jazz Café recently rebranded the Sphinx Club next to Cresta Oasis set with Egyptian décor. The old Jazz 105 reopened as Jazz 24/7 in the Eastgate building. Newlands shops boasts an assortment of bars and cafés. Off Enterprise Road there’s Tristan’s Half Bar, with live acoustic gigs in a bohemian atmosphere. Enterprise has its wonders including Maestros, Amanzi, Tin Roof and 167 Enterprise.
This is the time to set your calendar for festivals. The International Images Film Festival (IIFF) kicks off on 26 August and runs to 3 September. The Harare International Carnival is a must see, running from 14–17 September. Celebrities jet in for events at Red Fox, Private Lounge and elsewhere. The climax is the biggest street party in the country. People from across the world including Brazil, Trinidad and Italy partake in the masquerade. Don a mask and lose your identity in the crowd.
Shoko urban culture Festival is from 24–26 September and hosts events both in the inner city and the ghetto. The Italian Embassy bring us the Musica festival at the beginning of October. Zimbabwe international Film Festival kicks off early October with screenings in both low and high density suburbs. Gurundoro nature conservation event raises the banner for the wilderness through the arts, also in October.
Break your inhibitions and the cultural apartheid. Venture deeper into your city.
Image: Music legend, Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi