THE Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo has set April 30 as the registration deadline for artistes that want to be part of the 2015 edition.
This year’s edition would be staged from September 21 to 26 under the theme “My Intwasa, Your Intwasa, Our Intwasa”.
Intwasa is a Ndebele word meaning spring. The festival director Raisedon Baya said they were looking for new acts in music, theatre, the spoken word, literature, dance and visual arts.
“Intwasa is looking at new, exciting, cutting edge work in music, theatre, spoken word, literature, dance and visual arts. Interested artistes can download the application form from our website or call our offices,” Baya said.
Intwasa Festival is a multi-disciplinary event that seeks to proudly showcase African aesthetics and cultural expressions.
The festival is held every September as the month marks the beginning of spring; a season of regeneration and rebirth.
After 10 years of Intwasa trying to establish itself as a serious platform for cultural expression, the festival is charting a new course that is deeply centred on community engagement in the hope of creating a sense of community ownership of the festival, especially among Bulawayo residents.
The refocus seeks to encourage Bulawayo and its different communities to be involved one way or the other.
“This year is about taking the festival to the people. It is about community engagement, participation and identifying with the festival, thus the theme ‘My Intwasa, Your Intwasa, Our Intwasa’. Historically, Bulawayo is a cultural city. It was the capital city of King Mzilikazi Khumalo’s Ndebele kingdom where successful festivals such as inxwala and umthontiso were held,” Baya said.
Inxwala was traditionally a festival of the first fruits held at the king’s kraal after which his subjects could start reaping their produce.
Umthontiso was held over a week preceding inxwala. The whole nation abstained from normal daily activities, including sex.
During that week, only milk from black cows (ancestral beasts) was used.
Umthontiso was prominent during King Mzilikazi’s reign.
“Our mission is to produce a festival that encompasses mass celebration of diversity and creativity and our vision is to be the leader in the creation of platforms that promote excellence in Zimbabwe’s arts and culture,” he said.
The one-week festival would be staged at several venues in Bulawayo, including the City Hall car park, Bulawayo Theatre, Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel, National Arts Gallery, Hope Centre, Amphitheatre and 8th Avenue Street Mall.
To date the festival has hosted regional and international artistes from Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, Denmark, Italy, Canada, Malawi, Belgium, Wales and Zambia.