ORGANISERS of the Zimbabwe Music Festival Bira (Zimfeb), a cultural exchange programme said they were gathering resources for the return of the fete this year, six years after the tragic accident that almost claimed the lives of its founder and band members.

The Zimfeb festival was founded by Sweden-based multi-talented artiste Luckson “Manlurkerz” Chikutu in April 2007 before it became an annual event with the objective of celebrating cultures from different parts of the world.

Of late, a number of local artistes have travelled to Sweden with their counterparts from the Scandinavian country also staging performances in Zimbabwe on cultural exchange programmes.

Manlurkerz, who is also the leader of the Zim Traditional Unity Band that comprises members from both African and European countries, yesterday told NewsDay Life & Style that returning the festival to Zimbabwe was among their 2020 top priorities.

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“Zimbabwe Music Festival Bira is set for its return if everything goes according to plan. We are working hard to gather resources for this cultural exchange event, that brings different nationalities to our mother country, promoting different cultures, to happen,” he said.

“I know many arts enthusiasts have been anticipating the return of this festival, so as other artistes whom I have been interacting with over time.”

Manlurkerz said he had lined up a number of programmes that include workshops, traditional dance, music, among other artistic disciplines in some parts of the Scandinavian country as a way of promoting local culture.

“As artistes across genres we play a crucial role in nation building through our works. We are ambassadors of culture as our different works somehow depict our nation’s history that is showcased to the world through our creations,” he said.

“Artists must help to portray and preserve their country’s cultural history through their works and I am happy that I am playing my part in that regard.”

He said he was happy that his recently published book titled FlashBack Identity that narrates how music and dance have defined the Zimbabwean society was received well.

The book that is available in both hard copy and e-book was first published in Swedish in 2017 by Vulkan Media before it was translated into the English version. The book was showcased at the Africa festival in November last year in Stockholm, Sweden.