The Chronicle

Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent

THE inaugural Loziba Festival meant to uplift young female artistes in Bulawayo is set to take place from March 27 to 29 at different venues in the city.

Named after Queen Loziba, senior queen and King Mzilikazi’s wife in the Ndebele Kingdom, the festival will be held under the theme: “Bulawayo in Solidarity with young women in art” in light of its objective of creating a widespread acceptance and support for young women’s art.

The festival, the first of its kind in the city, was established by a committee of female artistes who came together after seeing the need to support each other in order to rise in the male-dominated field. They partnered with Youth For Innovation Trust (YIT) to come up with a concept that would honour the life of Queen Loziba while embracing the Ndebele culture and giving female artistes a breakthrough.

And what better time to launch the festival than now when the world is commemorating Women’s Month.

YIT managing director, Thando Gwinji said the festival will help revive the arts scene in the city through reintroducing diverse female artistes.

“The goal of the festival is to elevate Bulawayo female artistes so that they contribute meaningfully to the city’s creative economy. We also want to celebrate and support their artistes so that they make names for themselves in the city and with time, penetrate the regional and international market,” said Gwinji.

She said the festival was inspired by Queen Loziba as she stood her ground in terms of uplifting the status of women in a patriarchal state.

“We chose Queen Loziba as the background name of our festival because she played a part in assisting marginalised women in the past. Just like our female artistes in the city, many of them are not known thus this platform is meant to address that issue,” Gwinji said.

The festival will kick off with a launch workshop on March 27 at a venue yet to be announced where the artistes will receive mentorship from renowned artistes that include poet Sithandazile Dube and sculptor Sikhulile Sibanda among others.

Later that day, the National Gallery will screen a documentary of Her Wednesday, a platform for up-and-coming Bulawayo artists. Also at the same venue, a play titled Imbokodo which features Nama 2020 Outstanding Actress Charmaine Mudau will be showcased. The day will end with a revised Friday Late event where young female artistes will take to the stage to entertain revellers. Among these are Vicmoe Musik, Jacqueline Sharon, Acquillah K, Pam, Celine Sky, Tamara, Cookie Nozukile, Noluntu J and Oriel Joseline Walter. Exhibitions will be showcased as the artistes provide diverse entertainment.

Day two will open with a comedy and tea session at the Alliance Française de Bulawayo offices. It will be hosted by up-and-coming comedians Miss Dee and Spanchi. An afternoon poetry session will follow at The Place and will be headlined by Voko the Poet, Spanchi, Celine Sky, Yolanda, Natasha K and Umfumukazi. Running concurrently at the same venue will be a fashion showcase and sale where Marcia, Sinini Collection, Lush with Lelo and Samzah will market their brands.

The day will be wrapped up with the main event, the “Music Galore” that will start from 5pm at The Place. Musicians Mimie, Qeqe, Novuyo Seagirl, Rudo Amor, Ajay August, Sweet Mobby, Sasha SNS, Acoustic Queens, Mandy Mae and Nani are expected to entertain revellers.

The last day of the Loziba Festival will see a dance competition from over 30 dancers from different genres participate at Club Alabama. Wrapping up the festival will be a DJs battle between DJs CP, Lulo Glad and Stokswit at the same venue. – @mthabisi_mthire.