Ibumba a success


THE Ibumba International Festival hosted by Siyaya Arts that ended on Sunday has been described as a success by the arts fraternity for managing to accommodate several genrés in a well-co-ordinated manner.


The festival, which has become a permanent feature on the country’s arts calendar, was punctuated by electrifying performances that left audiences highly entertained throughout the week-long event.

The festival featured music, dance, film, literature, art, poetry and theatre performances at venues dotted around Bulawayo although the main venue was Stanley Square in Makokoba.

Speaking to Southern Eye Lifestyle, Ibumba Festival director Simon Mambazo Phiri said the organisers were elated by the outcome and would thrive to up the quality next year.

Ibumba Festival director Simon Mambazo Phiri
Ibumba Festival director Simon Mambazo Phiri

“As artistes in the city of Bulawayo, we do not want to celebrate mediocrity and we are happy that all our planned events took place and our audiences were kept captivated by performances that we hosted from the first day to the last day of this festival. We shall continue working hard to make sure that our creative output as artistes matches international standards as far as art is concerned,” Phiri said.

This year’s festival was bigger and better than in the past years and audience turnout increased. The increase was attributed to the introduction of more venues as well as taking some big acts to locations closer to the people, such as Old Pumula.

Also of note was the introduction of gospel shows which attracted more people.

“We had shows that we did not make money, but our idea was to hold a successful festival in line with our theme no limits”.

The major highlight of the festival was a performance by premier musician Oliver Mtukudzi, who other artistes applauded for coming to perform in Makokoba.

Mambazo took a swipe at some corporates at the beginning of the festival saying it was important for sponsors to assist the arts sector with no conditions attached because that affected the essence and the plan of the whole festival.

“Surely how can people tell us to distribute condoms so that they can fund us? As artistes, in as much as we need support, it is imperative for us to remain guided by our goals and values that have made this festival to be what it is,” he said.

The festival took off with an official opening cocktail dubbed “No Limits” at Stanley Square graced by the Sport, Arts and Culture principal director Paul Damasane.

Artistes that took part in this year’s Ibumba International Festival include Albert Nyathi, Babongile Sikhonjwa, Colour of Hope, DJ Bong, Deeper, DJ Slamma, Family Voices, Hwaiza Shelela, Iyasa, Kadder Keith Nkosi, Kwabatsha Generals, Martin and  Ndolwane Super Sounds, Mjox, Ramsey Kasawaya, Siyaya and Vocal Ex.