Ji­bi­lika fest kicks off:

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Kundai Marunya Arts Cor­re­spon­dent

AN EX­PANDED 11th Ji­bi­lika Fes­ti­val is un­der­way at dif­fer­ent venues around the city in­clud­ing Batanai Gar­dens and the Harare In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence Cen­tre (HICC).

Run­ning un­der the theme “Re­newal” the fes­ti­val which now in­cludes skate­board­ing, graf­fiti, cheer­lead­ing, fash­ion and mu­sic will run un­til Satur­day.

Ji­bi­lika di­rec­tor Plot Mhako said the fes­ti­val has moved from only cel­e­brat­ing dance to in­cor­po­rate other forms of youth tal­ent and in­no­va­tion.

“The fes­ti­val has a new for­mat now. It’s no longer just a dance fes­ti­val. We took a three year plan to trans­form the fes­ti­val, first from a one day event to two, then now to three and that also meant changes to the pro­gram­ming to ac­com­mo­date more youth cul­ture el­e­ments.

“We want to de­velop and em­power a com­plete young artist by of­fer­ing var­i­ous skills, ex­po­sure and op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

Mhako said the new for­mat rein­vig­o­rates Ji­bi­lika. “Our theme is Re­newal and Wow which we are call­ing Re­newow! The new for­mat bring new en­ergy, new imag­i­na­tion, new el­e­ments and a wow fac­tor.

“It chal­lenges young peo­ple to dream and paint a new beau­ti­ful Zim­babwe,” he said.

As the fes­ti­val brings about in­clu­sion in dance, Ji­bi­lika has en­gaged a renowned Ger­man chore­og­ra­pher, who will con­duct a work­shop with fe­male dancers.

“The dance work­shop on day one will be hosted by Stephanie Körner from Ger­many, a young and ex­tremely ta­lented dancer whose ex­per­tise is in styles such as bal­let, hip hop and con­tem­po­rary.

“She will be chore­ograph­ing an all­girls Ji­bi­lika dance group which will be per­form­ing at the fes­ti­val open­ing Dance Theatre pro­gram fea­tur­ing three other non-pro­fes­sional com­pa­nies,” said Mhako.

In mu­sic, Ji­bi­lika gave per­for­mance space to up­com­ing tal­ents. They ear­lier on made a call for emerg­ing artists to par­tic­i­pate and re­ceived 88 sub­mis­sions.

Only ten artists were se­lected to be part of the fes­ti­val among them Masa, Alchemy, Lib­erty Mathole, Divine Chi­tubura, and D-Blok.

“Our new el­e­ments in­clude a mu­si­cal con­cert which seeks to cre­ate a space for up-com­ing ta­lented mu­si­cians in Zim­babwe to per­form to a larger au­di­ence.

“We are ex­cited to host the Ear­ground mu­sic con­cert ded­i­cated to emerg­ing voices that are ta­lented but nor­mally don’t get per­for­mance space,” said Mhako.

One of the main high­lights of the fes­ti­val is the Ri­val­skool Bat­tle which will see dancers com­pet­ing for a spot at an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion in France.

“Ri­val­skool, since last year has be­come a high­light of the fes­ti­val due to the prize of send­ing the win­ner to Paris, all ex­penses paid.

“Last year the com­pe­ti­tion saw Bless­ing Fire (the fes­ti­val’s artis­tic di­rec­tor) ac­com­pa­ny­ing Panashe Gabi to Paris to rep­re­sent the coun­try,” said Mhako.

Run­ning with­out spon­sor­ship, Ji­bi­lika has forged part­ner­ships with dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing B2C Co-work­ing, Afrik­era Arts Trust, Denor, Mhodzi, the Zim­babwe Ger­man So­ci­ety, Al­liance Fran­caise and Ri­val­Skool.

“This year will def­i­nitely be big­ger and more ex­cit­ing than pre­vi­ous years. We did not man­age to get fund­ing but we forged work­ing part­ner­ships with in­sti­tu­tions, artists and the com­mu­ni­ties to make this 11th Ji­bi­lika a suc­cess,” said Mhako.

Plot Mhako

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