PREPARATIONS for Matabeleland North’s premier arts event — the Shangano Arts Festival — are at an advanced stage with indications that this year’s edition would be bigger and better.
The festival is expected to run from Thursday to Saturday under the theme “Celebrating Cultural Diversity”.
The festival, which is in its eighth year, will run for two days in Lupane.
Shangano Arts Festival director Petros Ndlovu said preparations for the arts jamboree had gathered momentum.
“The official opening of this year’s festival will be held in Lupane mainly because we want the community to participate,” he said.
“Last year we were in Tsholotsho and before that we held it in Binga.
“We want every district to be part of it and next year we will be in Umguza district.”
Ndlovu said there were some new comers at the festival, which he said would make the event more exciting.
He said what made this year’s event unique was that they had incorporated artistes with disabilities and there would be a talent search for upcoming musicians.
“In this year’s edition, we have included some artistes living with disabilities,” Ndlovu said.
“We have also included a talent search for rural upcoming musicians and groups. There will be a Star Open Mic Set which will help search for talent on the day.
“We are going to have different workshops that will help artistes in different ways.”
The Star Open Mic Set director Pritchard Kasomali, aka Teeko, said the festival would give some upcoming artistes a room to stage, perform and showcase their talents.
“Shangano Arts festival is an open show for everyone and we are inviting both the young and the old to come and see our local artistes perform live and support them,” he said.
“We want people to know that our local artistes can do it too.”
The event will feature exhibitions of various traditional foods made from grain such as sorghum and millet. There will be a lot of games as well.
Ndlovu said there was still room for those who wanted to participate.
Some groups that will take part at the festival include Lusumbami Puppetry, Vulindlela, Shaba Arts from Tsholotsho, Makishi, poet Likhwa Ncube, Ihawu lesizwe from Lupane, Lusupuko, Kwabana, Chilimba (Binga) and Binga Sounds.
Chase Skuza will also perform.
Organisations bankrolling this year’s festival include Culture Fund, Hwange Colliery, Basilwizi Trust, Nyaradzo Group, Disability HIV and Aids Trust and Environment Africa.
Shangano Arts Festival is an annual event that started in 2007. It is a platform that seeks to give local groups exposure by affording them an opportunity to perform for bigger audiences.