HomeEntertainmentIbumba Festival bigger, better

Ibumba Festival bigger, better


ONCE again we welcome the world to Makokoba, Bulawayo, the oldest suburb with the newest ideas and indeed to the Ibumba Festival 2014.

The festival will be seven days of first-class music, dance, film, literature, arts, poetry, and theatre performances in this historic township.

Ibumba Festival is presented and hosted by Siyaya Arts from funds raised through performances. The festival is supported by Sabela Music Projects (Ltd) and the recently-formed Friends of the Festival.


This year’s Ibumba Festival started on the December 16 and ends on December 22. The now-expanded festival will spread its wings to two new suburban venues.

“No Limits” is our official theme for the 2014 Ibumba Festival. This festival will come two days after the conclusion of the sixth edition of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games held in Bulawayo from December 5 to 14.

Ibumba aims to be the largest event in the greater Bulawayo community in December. In the middle of so many offerings, Ibumba Festival sets out to be distinctive by creating a programme that appeals to all.

New theatre productions will be seen and new musicians will be born. Our comedy programme will be fresh, with your usual “suspects” and a few new surprises.


In all we will present more than 50 shows in six temporary spaces and the main site of Stanley Square in Makokoba. For a “powerhouse of creative energy” and a great festival, look no further.

As we continue with the growth of Ibumba Festival, we shall not undermine the way Makokoba has been the festival’s permanent backdrop.

This wonderful place (an untapped heritage site) provides some of the most inspiring venues. Stanley Hall and Square is where the main programme of the festival will continue to be held.

Albert Nyathi
Albert Nyathi

New to Ibumba 2014 is the promised spreading of wings to other venues around Bulawayo which has seen the hosting of some shows at the Nkulumane Hall, Large City Hall and Family of God church for gospel concerts.

Thrills and surprises can be expected in this year’s festival. We have doubled our investments and upped our energies to ensure that Ibumba Festival is a reality.

We have had artistes from the different parts of world gracing our festival.

We have seen it fit now for local artistes to be afforded a platform that enhances their skill and exposes their talent to the world.

It is our aim and desire to have an international festival that affords our local artistes equal opportunities as their international counterparts. We hope the visitors will take home in their hearts a positive Zimbabwean African culture.


History and background
Ibumba Festival has been run in Bulawayo by Siyaya Arts since 1996. The 2014 edition is the 16th and will be held in Makokoba, the old township with new ideas.

It will be seven glorious days of first-class theatre, music, dance, film, workshops, literary arts performances, and fun in this historic township. The festival continues to explore the world of arts in this celebration of music, dance and theatre, and has something for everyone at every level.

Previous festivals
The first-ever Ibumba Festival was in Bulawayo in 1996, with the major support of World Vision Zimbabwe. The festival saw the participation of Black Umfolosi, Savannah Arts, Sunduza, the hosts Nasa Theatre (now known as Siyaya), and representatives from more than 20 local arts organisations and groups.

The six-day programme saw strong links of local cultural exchange being established.

Some groups from Binga, Harare and South Africa were forced to cancel their trips to Bulawayo to attend the second festival in 1997.

Besides the hosts, the festival saw the participation of Savannah Arts, Workshop 96 Children Performing Arts, Stripes n’ Dots and other groups from around the country.

We had the visiting Rangi Moja Theatre and Splindliblind Women’s Theatre from Germany. The participation of theatre groups from Germany saw collaborations with artistes from Nasa Theatre and the creation of a duet show called “Koenig Kinder — Abantwana Benkosi” which was premiered at the same festival and later on performed and exhibited at venues in Germany in 1998.

Festival director
Saimon Mambazo Phiri

Albert Nyathi
Oliver Mtukudzi
Babongile Sikhonjwa
Colour of Hope
DJ Bongz Deeper
DJ Slamma
Family Voices
Hwaiza Shelela
Ibumba Football Tournament
Keith Nkosi
Kwabatsha Generals
Martin & Ndolwane Super Sounds
Official Opening Cocktail
Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi
Ramsey Kasawaya
Vocal Ex


Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading