By Tafadzwa Zimoyo
Zimbabwe’s leading arts showcase, the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa), roars to life today with numerous activities and performances expected to take place during the six-day event.
Several foreign artistes and festival directors who are billed to perform are already in the country for the festival amid high expectations.
This year’s edition is running under the theme “We Count”.
Hifa executive director Maria Wilson, said they were expecting a lot of activities to take place during the high-octane arts fest.
“As a nation, are we saying enough about our country and what is important to its people?
“In organising Hifa 2018, my answers to these questions are affirmative.
“The Zimbabwean corporate community that has rallied behind Hifa 2018 certainly should be counted as ensuring our country is open for business and willing to engage,” she said.
Festival lovers are expected to witness some of the master class performances from both local and international artistes ranging from music, theatre, dance, sculptor, film, poetry and other genres.
In tonight’s opening show, Hifa goers will be serenaded with jazz music before acrobatic and puppeteers come on stage to exhibit their artwork.
Jazz star Prudence Katomeni, Dereck Mpofu, Masa Caroleen, Hope Masike and the Zimspiration choir are billed to perform, sharing the stage with Haitian-American vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles, American pianist Jarrett Cherner.
Other major highlights will also include the famous Cabs Opera Gala night which is an annual night of musical magic under the stars featuring arias and ensembles from some of the world’s most loved operas lead by Zimspiration Choir and members of the chamber music ensemble Baroque 2000, as well as some musical surprises.
One of the directors of the opening show tonight, James Blaszko expressed satisfaction working with a people from different background.
“This is a major cultural moment for Zimbabwe on the international stage and I am thrilled to collaborate with so many stars to make it unforgettable,” he said.
Highly controversial South African outfit Freshly Ground who had been barred from performing at the festival previous year, returns on the closing concert hosted by Zol at the main stage.
In the category of comedy, Hifa this year will have something to laugh about as the “Feel Good Africa” takes centre stage with local comedian Carl Joshua Ncube expected to introduce some of his friends in an ensemble show with Kavin Jay from Malaysia and South African comedian Nqoba Ngcobo.
These shows will be held at BanCabc day, Cabs day and NetOne days.