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Masvingo braces for arts fiesta

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THE picturesque ancient town of Masvingo will awaken to the sound of the drum and melodious voices from the length and breadth of Zimbabwe when the Youth Cultural Arts Festival (Yocaf) kicks off in July.

The festival which has seen a steady growth over the years has been pencilled for July 31 to August 2 2014, at Masvingo Civic Centre. It will run under the theme, “I am an artist”.

Commenting on the theme, the artistic director, Leeroy Gono said: “An artist is a political being, constantly aware of the heart-breaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image.

“The arts are windows on the world in the same way that science helps us see the world around us. Literature, music, theatre, the visual art, the media (film, photography, and television), architecture, and dance reveal aspects about ourselves, the world around us, and the relationship between the two.

“Imagine what life would be without the arts. While science can explain a sunrise, the arts convey its emotive impact and meaning.”
Yocaf, as it is affectionately known, has become one of the biggest youth festivals in the country and it has since started spreading its wings to the region.

Already, there has been keen interest shown by groups wanting to participate in this cultural fete, from countries like Zambia, South Africa, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia.

In its efforts to enhance the development of Zimbabwean communities through objective use of the arts and culture by nurturing professionalism in the youth for better economic growth and social healing, Yocaf has created an opportunity for young people to develop skills and to utilise those skills to contribute to their communities that in turn, increase their ability to succeed.

Gono reiterated: “We are encouraging arts administrators, the new Sport, Arts and Culture ministry and schools that they have a fundamental obligation to provide the fuel that will ignite the mind, spark the aspirations, and illuminate the total being.”

The festival, now in its fourth edition has seen leading Zimbabwean artistes such as Selmor Mtukudzi, Tendai Manatsa, Edith WeUtonga and Guspy Warrior perform.

Exciting local acts are expected to perform.

– New Zimbabwe

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