ORGANISERS of the inaugural Mafuwe International Festival (MIF) say they are going ahead with the arts extravaganza scheduled for August 16 to 18 in Harare.

This is despite the volatile economic situation in the country, which has significantly eroded people’s disposable incomes.

The fiesta comes at a time several such programmes have failed to take off due to the current economic meltdown.

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The festival — a brainchild of Germany-based arts promoter Plot Mhako (pictured), Rwanda-based performer-cum-choreographer Brian Geza and Zimbabwean award-winning dramaturge and director Cindy Jaenicke — will be held under the theme Invisible Boundaries.

“We are constantly monitoring developments in the country and still engaging more support and partnerships, but so far we have had great commitment from key festival partners in the country and abroad,” Mhako told NewsDay Life &

“We are still mobilising resources and funds for the festival, and we remain very optimistic though we must say the funding prospects for culture in Zimbabwe have been further reduced. This has been worsened by the liquidity crunch.”

He said the festival — expected to unite various dancers, communities and artistes across the world — is a platform to advance, promote and celebrate the art
and culture of dance.

“We have received overwhelming applications from across the world. Over 60 applications from dance companies, productions and solos from all over the world who want to be part of the festival. We are completing the selection process for our programme,” he said.

Mhako said most of the applicants were drawn from the United Kingdom, Germany, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“We are partnering with the Dance Trust of Zimbabwe, the Reps Theatre and Bvukumbwe Theatre in Highfield,” he said.

The arts promoter said they were certain that the festival had the capacity to invoke imagination as well as provoke dialogue for national growth.