Liberty Dube Entertainment Correspondent
THE revival of the Chimanimani Arts Festival after a six-year sabbatical has been hailed by local artistes.
The leisure fete, which folded in 2014 due to lack of funding, is back amid revelations that a revival gala has been slated for September 2020.
It is hoped that the festival will provide a platform for the artistes to promote their brands regionally and internationally.
The festival nurtures emerging artistes while also promoting peace, love and social cohesion through music and visuals.
One of the organisers, Sam Mataure, said this year’s event will be bigger and better.
“The Chimanimani Arts Festival is back. We intend to raise enough funds to invite as many artistes as possible. We are keen to invite some of the biggest names, as well as local artistes. We are talking to several sponsors and we will soon be mobilising foodstuffs and clothes, among other things, to take to Chimanimani,” he said.
Artistes who have performed at previous editions of the Chimanimani Arts Festival include Alick Macheso, the late Oliver Mtukudzi, Sniper, Agatha Murudzwa, Blessing Shumba, Assegai Crew, Juicer Mpostori, Memo and the Antiques, House of Stones, Joshua Sacco, Aleck Muchayi and Ngangu Band, among others.
Visual and performing artistes interviewed this week welcomed the development.
Gospel artiste Dorcas Moyo said: “This is good for us as artistes in Mutare. This is a platform to preach the good news through music, reaching out to the dejected, widows and widowers as well as the people who were affected by Cyclone Idai. I hope to soothe the hearts of many through this noble platform.”
Mbira player Lino Piloto, who leads Ntswai Ntswai said: “The revival of the festival is good news to us. There is need for the organisers to include more artistes from Manicaland, unlike in the previous editions where most artistes were from Harare and other cities. Also in the wake of Cyclone Idai, it will be refreshing to bring entertainment to the people of Chimanimani.”
Talented afro-fusion group, Real Eeez, said in a statement: “Art is not art until there are platforms to showcase it. The revival of the Chimanimani Arts Festival is not just good, but an excellent way of giving life to the Manicaland arts sector in general, and to us as a group”.
Talented gospel musician Pastor Tinashe Murigo said: “This is great news for us as it offers us a platform to showcase our musical prowess and reach out to our fans. This was arguably the biggest, if not the only festival in Manicaland.”
Taurai Moyo, who leads Chenhaka Trust, a traditional dancing group, said: “Such platforms help us to reach the hard-to-reach audiences. It unites artistes and people of all walks of life. Above all, this is a good platform to market and promote cultural tourism.”