4 May 2012

Zimbabwe: Harare International Festival to Close With Celebration of Tuku's Birthday

Photo: Facebook
Zimbabwean music legend, Oliver Mtukudzi.

The annual Harare International Festival of the Arts, which kicked off Tuesday night and runs for six days, is due to close with a spectacular show this weekend which will celebrate music icon Oliver Mtukudzi's 60th birthday.

Sunday nights show will also feature Senegalese legend Ismael Lo and rising Zim stars Edith WeUtonga, a local band fronted by female bass player Edith Katiri.

Edith took some time from rehearsals Friday to talk to SW Radio Africa about the HIFA experience and the importance of developing a thriving arts culture in Zimbabwe. She said the opportunity to perform on the same stage as "Tuku" is both an honour and a challenge, to prove she is ready for that level of success.

Edith said she was excited about the HIFA experience because it gives Zimbabweans a chance to see artists from all over the world and provides a platform for local artists, who normally have no access to such large audiences.

"I saw a white band from Germany and they were playing reggae, deep reggae, you know. There's something about HIFA. It seems everything changes and we wonder how come we don't live like this every day," Edith explained. There are also acts from Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the United States.

HIFA is something of a family affair for Edith, whose sister is in a theatrical production called "It Never Rains" and her husband is directing the live version of Zambezi News, a parody of state news broadcasts, starring Comrade Fatso and Outspoken, the country's well known spoken word artists and founders of the Magamba Cultural Activists Network.

Fatso agreed with Edith that HIFA brought many different kinds of people together in a peaceful, creative environment, giving Zimbabweans an opportunity to experience the world. "It's a fantastic mix here. There is old, young, black, white, coloured and people from Borrowdale or Highfields," Fatso explained.

Regarding Zambezi News Fatso described it as a "comic news broadcast" performed live, but soon to be televised as well. "It's a parody delving humorously into issues Zimbabweans are dealing with on a daily basis," Fatso said.

As a spoken word artist, Fatso said he was pleased to see this form of expression play a key role at this year's festival.

Copyright © 2012 SW Radio Africa. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.