Hurungwe Arts Festival Alights Forgotten Karoi

By Criswell Chisango

KAROI- Hurungwe Arts Festival’s second edition due next month has attracted regional participants as it moves in to strengthen the arts industry through, music, theater, exhibition, fashion show and launching of a film society within Mashonaland West province.

The festival, a brainchild of Hurungwe based Baptism of Fire, BOF, had its first edition in November last year. It will run under the theme Accelerated Creativity in Art from 24-25 July 2015.

Joel Zilala, BOF programs manager and Hurungwe Arts Festival, HAF, coordinator said they received overwhelming applications within Southern Africa among local drama, musical, poets, fashion design groups and exhibitors.

‘’We are working out the final list but we are assured of a Ugandan based dub poet, South Africa musical outfit, Malawi and Zambian groups among our applicants’’ said Zilala in an interview here.

He revealed that the two day festival will see the launch of Karoi Film Industry as most artists are failing to market their products.

Locally Icon Theatre Production a traditional dance group that represented Zimbabwe during Malawi Easter Theatre festival will battle it out with Hwange based Pezhuba Pachena cultural ensemble. Bulawayo based outfit Bambazele arts ensemble is among the groups penciled for the show.

‘’We are trying to give everyone a chance as we are hosting a fashion show with zedlabel that will promote fashion and design’’ added Zilala.

Also included is Binga Craft centre for their fine art and craft.

Among the star attraction for the show is the inclusion of Tafadzwa Bhanditi Muzondo’s plays Demolishing Democracy currently being showcased in Zambia after it was commissioned by Yezi- Arts.

Demolishing Democracy is a play focuses on the problem of human settlement leading to illegal settlements now common in most African countries.

It reignites the unpopular Operation Murambatsvina in 2005 that left over 700 000 people homeless.

‘’It is also a serious governance issue in light of the State having a responsibility to provide shelter and land to its citizens. What of the role of public servants, the politicians, who are at the centre of controversy and remain accused by citizens as key perpetrators’ the producers said in a statement to Zambian newspaper The Daily Mail.     

Zilala added that the festival looks forward to community support that enjoyed last year edition that had Douglas Chimbetu, stand up comedians Doctor Vickella, Uncle Richie, and Nqobile Malinga and Zvido Zvevanhu ensemble among others.

Revisiting Hurungwe legends

However BOF director Sikumbuzo Sibanda added that the festival is aimed at revisiting some musical legends from Hurungwe.

‘’We are also paying tribute to our artistic heroes who made the country proud during their days. As Baptism of Fire, we launched Hurungwe Arts Festival so that we can remember departed music gurus from Hurungwe through art’’, Said Sibanda.

Among the popular groups that made it internationally are Big Tembo aka Mhosva Marasha of Bhundu Boys the first band to tour United Kingdom, Admire Kasenga of Ngosimbi Crew, Artwell Matamba, Prince Tendai Mupfuruta of ‘’Character’’, Mitchel Jambo, Elliot Magunje who acted as Madzibaba Jazzman in Paraffin drama series among others.


Mashonaland West has had Oliver Mutukudzi’s Pakare Paye Solo regarded as a musical festival but is not open to theater, fine art as well as poetry especially from remote parts of the country.