by Staff reporter
This year’s Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) is expected to take advantage of the positive image the new administration is getting from across the globe to become one of the most exciting since its inception, organisers said Tuesday.
The festival will run from the 1st to the 6th of May at the Harare Gardens in the capital.
Addressing a press conference in Harare, HIFA Executive Director, Maria Wilson, said all the attention the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power after a soft coup that has been endorsed by the world, should be harnessed to make the festival the biggest in Zimbabwe and the world’s top 10, a success.
“We are in a new place in so many ways. HIFA should be celebrated as a huge example of innovation and forward thinking by Zimbabweans,” she said.
“The last three months has set a huge example; from the coup to where we are now; as a country so we are deserving of positive attention from across the world. We feel we need to have positive eyes and attitude to what we are as a people because we have achieved amazing things,” she added.
This year’s festival will be running under the theme “We Count” and is expected to be graced by more than 250 foreign artists from more than 30 countries and not less than 1000 local artists.
Wilson said the HIFA had managed to survive despite the political and economic challenges which the country had been facing over the years.
“It has been happening in a country where people had said it cannot happen because of the politics and the economy. It has attracted artists from 32 countries and people come in and say this is a phenomenal country,” she said.
HIFA Associate Executive Director, Tafadzwa Simba, said this year’s event was special in that both the HIFA Trust and the Festival had become of age.
“HIFA Trust turns 21 years and the Festival turns 18, so we have become of age,” he said.
He said the festival will also support a number of community initiatives including free entrance for 50 vulnerable children on each day of the festival, making a total of 300 children.