July 27, 2017

Solar energy comes to the rescue of jazz musician

Filed under: Arts,Feature,Renewable Energy — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:58 am
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By Nhau Mangirazi

Twenty-two year  old Moses Munatsa is an upcoming jazz musician based in Caledonia Phase 10 about 20 kilometres east of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

“It used to be a challenge as I had to travel into town or visit relatives in Mabvuku where there is electricity to do my recordings over the phone. To date, I have done over 50 songs (that are) yet to be recorded officially.  I normally use my smartphone for that and the battery does not last long,” he says.

As is the case with  several youths and women resettled in Ward 25 Caledonia in Harare East, Munatsa faced challenges in accessing better facilities including electricity.

However, he now smiles in the comfort of their three-roomed house where he is recording his songs with ease and without thinking of transport fares into the city centre or visiting relatives to access electricity.

Caledonia currently faces an identity crisis with Harare East Member of Parliament Terrence Mukupe claiming it is within his jurisdiction while the local councillor Dereck Malifundi, reports to Goromonzi Rural District Council within Goromonzi South Constituency represented by Member of Parliament Petronella Kagonye.

“We currently do not have electricity here but we are using small solar powered panels to access radio (signals) as well as charging our phones. With that, I am recording my music on my phone regularly without any challenges,” he says.

Those resettled in Caledonia since 2000, have not benefited from the electrification programme.

‘We have seen the poles and wires that were installed but nothing has been done to bring power into our homes. We are getting  … alternative (energy) through small solar panels that we use as clean energy for lights, radio and charging our phones,” said a local teacher.

Thirty-three year old Gladys Banda of Phase 3, admits that lack of electricity has been a challenge for many people here.

“The majority of us had no homes of our own in the city centre. We needed a roof over our heads and we hoped that electricity would soon be connected in our area,” says Banda, a mother of three.

Councilor Malifundi agrees the ward is still developing and faces many challenges in the form of roads, clinics and schools, among others.

‘We hope things will move according to our plans. We are aware of the electricity challenges, but better days are coming,” he said without shedding much light on future plans.

Meanwhile, Kagonye admits the ward faces numerous challenges since it emerged as an unplanned settlement. The ward started off with nearly 5,000 stands in 2000. The figure has since risen to 54,000 stands and an estimated population of 100 000.

‘There has never been infrastructure provision including that of water and electricity. We have a high concentration of people … including a co-operative of the physically challenged with more than 250 members.

“As a result, women suffer more as fuel wood is no longer readily accessible. Generally, use of solar powered small panels has been the solution in most homes for lighting and charging mobile phones,” she said.

Kagonye said the community should embrace renewable energy alternatives such as solar and biogas.  This would be a better solution than having to wait to be connected to the national grid which is already struggling to service connected areas.

Munyaradzi Kaundikiza, an environmentalist, said energy is the key input in the socio-economic growth of communities and the nation at large. He said there is a close link between availability of energy and the growth of a nation.


April 24, 2017

Tonga arts centre abandoned

Filed under: Arts,Feature,Travel — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:14 am
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Bumi Hills Arts and Craft Centre was a ray of hope for mostly Tonga villagers, who had an opportunity to showcase their craftsmanship to the world.

By Nhau Mangirazi

The abandoned Bumi Hills Arts and Craft Centre

Established in 1995, the project was aimed at economically empowering the rural folk, while also promoting Tonga arts and crafts.

The centre, which was established by Nyaminyami Rural District Council, sold beads, dagga pots and grass crafts to mostly tourists, who used to visit the internationally-acclaimed Bumi Hills Hotel.

Situated about 300 meters from the hotel, the arts and craft centre was well-furnished with art for visitors from the community, who overworked themselves for classic products.

But the centre is now in ruins, 22 years down the line, with buildings collapsing with the hanging poles of the grass-thatched roof burnt by veld fires some few years ago.

There is no longer a caretaker for the premises now in thick forest.

The place is now an eyesore after the local council abandoned the project, claiming it was now a burden that they could not shoulder for too long.

“It was a council project aimed at empowering the communities in arts and craftsmanship. The council used to sell the products and remit the funds to the owners monthly,’’ a council worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Villagers under Chiefs Mola, Nebiri and Negande relied on proceeds from the sale of their artefacts to pay for school fees for their children.

As fate had it, the political and economical crisis in late 1990s forced the centre to shut down after only four years in operation throwing hundreds of villagers back into destitution, as it had become a source of livelihood for them.

“We used to pay fees for our children through funds raised through the sales of artefacts from here. Although the sales were minimal, as there were many members, it was a promising outreach project for us.

“It was a form of employment, where our art was being recognized internationally by tourists, who would find markets for our products. It is sad that the council resolved to close it, saying it was no longer viable,’’ Petros Kasanga, a local villager under Chief Mola, said.

Former council chairman, Washington Moyo, admitted that the local authority had to wean off the project, as it was not its core business and was becoming costly to run.

“As council, we were being forced to assist communities get their profits, but it was not part of our core business. Our mandate was to see it off, but the communities had no resources to keep it running and this affected its operations. It’s unfortunate we could not train them how to run the project on their own,’’ Moyo, a businessman in the Mola area, said.

However, the closure has negatively affected many parents, who can no longer afford to send their children to school.

“Generally, some people blame the Tongas for not valuing education, but without a source of income, where do you expect them to get money to pay school fees? There are no income-generating projects or industries to talk about here, but we need cash to survive. It is pathetic as our source of hope was dashed by the council several years ago,’’ a local teacher, who refused to be named, said.

The teacher at Marembera Primary School, who cannot be named for professional reasons, said that the project was inspirational to many locals, who could appreciate how art and culture could be a beneficiary to the community.

Newly-appointed Nyaminyami Rural District Council chief executive officer, Tsana Chirau, said she was still to acclimatise herself with projects in the area.

“I am just new in office and I need time to be abreast on council projects, including pending issues and income generating that the community was benefiting from,” she said.

The art and craft centre was also a foreign currency generation project and helped boost tourism in the country. Newsday

August 6, 2015

Zim-Canada Cultural Center host international swimmer

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 1:58 pm
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By Nhau Mangirazi
Mill Bay Beach- A center that advocates for cultural exchanges between Canada and Zimbabwe hosted international swimmer on 5 August in its bid to keep their dreams alive.

Amy with Japhet Matamba, Felix Svova-and Bigboy Kagande playing mbira during their tour for a duet with Icon Theater-Production in Magunje Zimbabwe....Photo By Nhau Mangirazi.

In a press statement released to the press, Mbira Spirits says Matamba Cultural Arts and Education Centres, Vancouver Island and Zimbabwe said they hosted International long distance swimmer, Renate Herberger, from Tseycum beach accompanied by Tseycum support boats on 5 August in memory of her son, Silvan, who was a Capoeirista artist.

”This is part of support for the Matamba’s cultural exchanges and centers. Promoting arts and culture, preserving heritage and tradition and taking pride in our community.”

”We are preparing for cultural exchanges to Zimbabwe, starting in November, and will also be hosting a Cultural Arts and Education Festival on the weekend of September 12, 2015.” the statement noted.

Icon Theatre Production members during video shooting in Magunje..Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Icon Theatre Production members during video shooting in Magunje..Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Renate returned recently from her 8th international long distance activist series of swims for Marine Sanctuaries.

She has now swum over 7200 km in 8 seasons that included, a first ever swim around the island of Cozumel in January 2015, and 5 swims along the Baja Peninsula from LaPaz to Cabo San Lucas, including several islands.

Tafadzwa, Amy and Japhet Matamba during video shooting in Magunje... Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Tafadzwa, Amy and Japhet Matamba during video shooting in Magunje… Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Renate has also completed 7 swims along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica from the Panama to the Nicaragua border between 2008 and 2014 and swam around the Island of Barbados in 2011. Renate holds the unofficial world record for consecutive long distance swims in the open ocean.

On the day, it was in honour of Renate’s son Silvan, a world class athlete who tragically passed away January 10, 2012.

On August 5, 2011 he was Renate’s principal kayak support on her first swim along the Saanich Inlet, from Brentwood Ferry Dock to Chalet Beach, 22 km in 9 hours.

Silvan expressed the Brazilian side of his family background by becoming an incredible Capoeirista. He performed all over Brazil and Canada. People always in amazement when they saw him fly in a salto mortale on stage.

He seemed to defy gravity in his acrobatics and he he had taught many many children before his untimely and tragic passing at age 23.

Mbira Spirits duo of Amy and Tafadzwa Matamba were in the country in May for a duet video shooting with Zimbabwean traditional dance group Icon Theater Production who performed at Malawi’s Easter Festival where nearly 90 groups from Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe showcased their talent.

July 23, 2015

Hurungwe Arts Festival to advocate for accident free society

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 1:52 pm

By Nhau Mangirazi

KAROI- Hurungwe Arts Festival’s second edition due tomorrow will advocate for an accident free society strengthening the arts industry through, music, theater, poetry in Mashonaland West here.

The festival a brainchild of Hurungwe based Baptism of Fire, BOF, had its first edition in November last year.

This year theme ‘’Accelerated Creativity in Art will only be done on 24 July 2015 due to poor funding after major potential funder did not meet the pledge.

Hurungwe Arts Festival had capacity crowd last  year in Karoi

Hurungwe Arts Festival had capacity crowd last year in Karoi

Joel Zilala, BOF programs manager and Hurungwe Arts Festival, HAF, coordinator confirmed that although they received overwhelming applications within Southern Africa among local drama, musical, poets, fashion design groups and exhibitors but lack of funds will see them taking the festival for a day.

HAF has partnered with Traffic Council of Zimbabwe who will sponsor school dramas, poetry that will boost advocacy on accident free society.

‘’We are grateful that Traffic Council of Zimbabwe will be part of this year festival through sponsorship on traffic matters. This will go a long way for us as we are geared for the festival’’ said Zilala.

Local schools have been drawn for the festival.

Among local traditional groups is Icon Theatre Production a traditional dance group that represented Zimbabwe during Malawi Easter Theatre festival who will battle it out with Hwange based Pezhuba Pachena cultural ensemble.
‘’We are trying to give everyone a chance as we are hosting a fashion show with zedlabel that will promote fashion and design’’ added Zilala.

Zilala added that the festival looks forward to community support that enjoyed last year edition that had Douglas Chimbetu, stand up comedians Doctor Vickella, Uncle Richie, and Nqobile Malinga and Zvido Zvevanhu ensemble among others.

Baptism of Fire director Sikumbuzo Sibanda added that the festival is aimed at revisiting some musical legends from Hurungwe.

‘’We are paying tribute to our artistic heroes who made the country proud. As Baptism of Fire, we launched Hurungwe Arts Festival so that we can remember departed music gurus from Hurungwe through art’’, Said Sibanda.

Late Jiti singer Big Tembo aka Mhosva Marasha of Bhundu Boys fame whose band was the first to tour United Kingdom, Admire Kasenga of Ngosimbi Crew, Artwell Matamba, Prince Tendai Mupfuruta of ‘’Character’’ fame, Mitchel Jambo, Elliot Magunje who acted as Madzibaba Jazzman in Paraffin drama series among others hailed from Hurungwe.

The only musical festival in Mashonaland West is occasionally hosted by Oliver Mutukudzi’s Pakare Paye Solo festival though not open to theater, fine art as well as poetry especially from remote parts of the country.

April 30, 2015

Artists called on to be sober ambassadors

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 10:35 am
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By Nhau Mangirazi
MAGUNJE- Canadian based musician Tafadzwa Matamba has called on Zimbabwean artists to respect their audience by remaining sober during performance as they are ambassadors of art industry.
Speaking during the launch of a duet video collaboration with Karoi based Icon Theater Production in Magunje here; Matamba said it is imperative that any artist’s well being represent most of those in the industry.

Icon members during video shooting in Magunje photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Tafadzwa and Amy Matamba in Magunje By Nhau Mangirazi

Tafadzwa and Amy Matamba during video shooting in Magunje, Zimbabwe….Photo by Nhau Mangirazi

‘’We hope our collaboration will cement our working relationship in future. The local and international audiences take you serious when you are sober and they know that you respect them and your act will be perfect. As artists we are ambassadors of arts industry and at times we represent our countries internationally so we must be good at that.’’, said Matamba.
The two groups performed during video shooting by a Canadian filmmaker where Icon traditional dances were fused with mbira while Mbira Spirits came in with their guitars.
Matamba got Black History Month Award in February for group efforts on sharing, educating art, music, traditions and culture of Zimbabwe said he is grateful to work with the youthful group.
‘’I am happy that my dreams to educate the world on how rich the Zimbabwean culture is now a reality. The respect and tribute from Canada is well deserved and that is the main reason we are taking Icon on board as Zimbabwe culture remains original and rich. We need to preserve it’’, said the Hurungwe born artist.
Mbira Spirit are permanent residents of Vancouver Island, Canada have vision of bridging Canada and Zimbabwe communities.
They play African reggae, folk, spiritual and gospel music fused with mbira. He is also into painting besides being a culture educator.
On the hand Icon stunned theater lover during Solomonic Malawi Easter Festival where 90 groups from Malawi, Zambia and Malawi performed where they left audience asking for more.
Matamba said, ‘’The video collaboration between our groups will cement our plans for cultural exchange programs with Canada as Zimbabwean culture is still raw. We have the talent but what lacks is exposure. Icon Theater Production had international exposure and must strive to maintain better standards and do more research on traditional dances’’
He added that the video is part of long time plans to have their Canadian audience getting snippets of Zimbabwean traditional dances.
Icon specializes on mbende, chinyamusasure, Jerusarema, dinhe dances among other genres.
Group director Leo Fanwell Magada said he was humbled that their group was getting support from Mbira Spirits.
‘’We appreciate that   Mbira Spirits have shown confidence in what we are doing. We will strive to do more and put polished act whenever we are called to perform’’ said Magada.
Mbira Spirits financially assisted Icon with transport fares for the fourteen member group ahead of Malawi trip after potential funders failed to honor their pledges.
‘’Mbira Spirits assisted us when hope was lost and they have seen the potential we have and we hope to maintain good working relations in future’’ said Magada.
Amy and Tafadzwa plan to spend much of the year traveling to communities throughout Vancouver Island, other places on the west coast of Canada, making music, educating young and old to raise funds for their dream of creating twin cultural centers on Vancouver Island and Zimbabwe.
‘’Hurungwe has the potential to be cultural epicenter as is still rich and raw’’ he said.

Tafadzwa, Amy and Japhet Matamba during viedo shooting in Magunje. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Tafadzwa, Amy and Japhet Matamba during video shooting in Magunje. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Matamba believes musicians including late uncle drummer and vocalist Artwell Matamba of Hurungwe Sounds, Biggie Tembo leader of Bhundu Boys, Tendai Mupfurutsa, and Admire Kasenga of Ngosimbi Crew among others must be remembered through the centre.
They originated from Hurungwe and made it locally and internationally musically.

April 11, 2015

Malawi Easter Festival in pictures

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:50 am
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Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi at Easter Festival Blantyre Malawi....Photo By Nhau-Mangirazi

Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi at Easter Festival Blantyre Malawi….Photo By Nhau-Mangirazi

Icon's Roberta Katurura with Tinotenda Daki on stage during Malawi Easter Fesival in Blantyre, Malawi Photo by Nhau Mangirazi

Icon’s Roberta Katurura with Tinotenda Daki on stage during Malawi Easter Fesival in Blantyre, Malawi Photo by Nhau Mangirazi

Actor Muzumala during Easter Theatre Fesival

For the record.... part of the crowd Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Festival in Malawi... Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

For the record…. part of the crowd Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Festival in Malawi… Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Easter Festival theater lovers in Malawi...... Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Easter Festival theater lovers in Malawi…… Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Japhet Matamba as part of Icon Theatre being inteviewed by a Malawian journalist during Easter Theatre Festival photo-By Nhau Mangirazi

Japhet Matamba as part of Icon Theater being interviewed by a Malawian journalist during Easter Theater Festival photo-By Nhau Mangirazi

Part of the Easter Festival in Blantyre Malawi Photo-By Nhau Mangirazi.

Part of the Easter Festival in Blantyre Malawi Photo-By Nhau Mangirazi.

Steppers in action during-Malaw Easter Festival

Steppers in action during-Malawi Easter Festival

Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Arts Festival in Blantyre

Roberta Katurira and Last Ndlovu Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Arts Festival in Blantyre

Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi

Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi

Japhet Matamba interview with a Malawian journalist while drummer James Kamhaka looks on. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

The crowd during Icon Theater show during Easter Festival..... Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

The crowd during Icon Theater show during Easter Festival….. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

City of Blantyre 2

14 reasons you must know about Easter Theater Festival

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 11:03 am
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1- Easter Theatre Festival was mooted in 2010 only to take off in April 2015 2- Easter Theater Festival Director is MacArthur Matukuta who is also Solomonic Peacock Festival Malawi director. 3- Solomonic Peacock formed in 1999, derived its name from biblical King Solomon and performed theatre locally, in Africa and overseas. 4 Easter Theatre Festival is the first country international festival with three countries namely Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. 5- It was launched in capital city Lilongwe on Friday and switched to Blantyre on Saturday about 311 kilometers away 6- The second edition will be in March 2016 with artists from Kenya and South Africa 7- Easter Festival Theatre becomes the grand stage for poets, traditional dance and drama among others fusing the old and new generations. 8- Easter Festival Theatre operated without financial support from Malawi Government that is still yet to pass a law to assist culture and artists. 8- Village Cultural Troupe from Blantyre city performed in Scotland. 9- Tresor Nsengu a Congolese rapper and slam poet living in Malawi since 2009 is popular among other poets that include Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa who performed at Crossing Boarders Festival Uganda and Arts Alive in Johannesburg using voice as a tool of social change. 10- Evelyn Pangani Maotcha a poet cum radio DJ is the first female poet to release an album. 11-Several more radio DJs showcased their poetic prowess during Easter Festival Theatre including Nicholas Mbonera, Frank Naligonje aka Dr Bakili Muluzi, Snowden Tembo aka Mr. Malawi among others. 12- Chango Travelling Theatre is the oldest existing group formed in 1970 and played Tax Abortion of creative tax evasion by some foreign investors abusing tough economic environment in Africa. 13- Zimbabwe’s Icon Theatre Production was easily identified with their mbira fused with drums during traditional dance at the Easter Festival Theatre. By Nhau Mangirazi  

April 6, 2015

When Malawi ex President visited Easter Festival

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 4:36 pm
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Frank Naligonje aka ex President Bakili Muluzi












By Nhau Mangirazi in Blantyre Malawi

Blantyre Cultural center stage is set as red carpet is rolled out while suspected state security agencies mingle in the crowd.

All of sudden everyone looks stunned as serene environment grips the venue of Easter Festival here.

Soon after the red carpet is rolled out, a bespectacled gentleman in a grey suit, accompanied by First Lady walk on the stage, smartly dressed bodyguards behind them.

With a booming voice that vibrates the stage, locals are taken aback as the voice says it all. Former Malawi President Doctor Bakili Muluzi is now speaking publicly to Malawians.

‘’Ladies and gentlemen let me welcome you to this wonderful event. Correctly speaking I welcome you all. Lelo ndimanene kunena kuti tiyeni pamozi pachikala pachobozi. There must be love in this country. If there is no love this country will not develop my fellow countrymen abambowe. Thank you, thank you’’ he says as the crowd burst into laughter.

Muluzi was the first democratically elected president for Malawi in 1994 ending nearly a three decade rule by Kamuzu Banda.

This is a rare occasion for theater lovers here as Frank Peter Naligonje brings back those memories.

‘’My art of mimicking is about bringing memories. I admire former president Muluzi on the way he dressed as well as movement. Apart from that I am concerned about my attire to compliment everything I do for the occasion. So whatever I do I try to have the best suits, my bodyguards are well dressed during the act’’, he says.

Naligonje is an artist who is open to criticism.

‘’As an artist, I am looking forward to mimic the way American President Barrack Obama speaks and African leaders including our own President Robert Mugabe. I will try to improve during my shows’’ he says.

Naligonje is among several poets, comedians, drama actors as well as traditional dancers including Zimbabwean’s Icon Theater Production representing the country here.

Bulawayo based stand-up comedian Clive Chigubu kicked off his comics in Lilongwe on Friday before the event was switched to Blantyre 311 kilometers away.

The Malawi Easter Festival is hosted by Solominic Theater where 90 artists from Zambia, Zimbabwe and locals from remote districts are gearing themselves to showcase their talents during three days arts festival.

April 4, 2015

Icon stun theatre lovers in Malawi

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 8:03 pm
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Icon Theatre on stage during Easter Arts Festival in BlantyreBy Nhau Mangirazi in Blantyre, Malawi
Karoi based Icon Theater Production left a mark during the ongoing Solomonic Easter Arts Festival when they performed in first international arts fiesta here on Saturday afternoon.
The thirteen member group formed in 2007 specializes in traditional dance including dinhe, chinyamusasure, mbakumba, mbende, Jerusarema among others fused with mbira.
They left the audience asking for more when they put a polished act with their dancers.
Icon theatre is a youthful side led by Leo Funwell Magada and had the backing of elders during their tour that included Japhet Matamba, Felix Svova and Bigboy Kagande on mbira while James Kamhaka was on drums.
Part of the crowd was taken aback following the slow rhythms of Chipembere song before the dancers Nomsa Beremauro, Juliet Mashayanyika, Roberta Katurira and Julia Moffat came to give a superb act during Chemutengure song.
Later on Danny Bwanya, Last Mapiye and Tinotenda Daki came as they performed during Jerusarema act.
Local Floor Steppers warmed up the crowd before drama by Chango Traveling Theater who performed Tax Abortion play that highlights how international companies evade paying taxes while exploiting on the poor African countries.
The sarcastically play exposes how investors milk poor African nations where the politically connected benefit while the majority suffers.
Solominic Peacock director MacArthur Matukuta said he was happy that the local audience had shown confidence in regional festival.
The festival kicked off in Lilongwe on Friday before it was switched to Blantyre where it will run till Monday
‘’I am happy that regional integration must not be political but arts is a form of employment for us all. The performance by several groups from Zimbabwe, Zambia and many parts of Malawi is an indication that we can do more to preserve our culture and traditional values’’ said Matukuta.
Magada said he is happy that they performed to an international audience.

‘’Traditional dance and mbira is part of Zimbabwean culture and identity. We are happy that we are making strides to market Zimbabwean traditional act to the outside world’’ said Magada.
At least 90 traditional groups, poets, comedians from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe will battle it out during the three day fiesta.

April 2, 2015

Icon Theater in Malawi for Easter festival

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 3:57 pm
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From Nhau Mangirazi in MALAWI

BLANTYRE– Karoi based traditional dance group Icon Theatre production are in Blantyre, Malawi where they will perform during Easter festival here on Saturday.

Solomonic Arts Festival kick starts on Friday in Lilongwe before it is switched to Blantyre on Saturday till Monday.

The traditional dance group will represent the nation during the festival that takes place in two major cities from April 3-6.

Dance groups, comedians, poets, drama artist from Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi will battle to showcase their talents during the arts fiesta.

Icon Theater will battle it out with Village Cultural Troupe as well as Kwathu drama group on Saturday.

Malawi’s Izeki ndiJakohbo will face Zambia’s Bikiloni ndiFikoti while Mr. Jokes and Zimbabwean Clive Chigubu perform in Lilongwe on Friday and Monday in Blantyre.

Solominic Peacock director MacArthur Matukuta said the festival was being done in two cities due public demand.

‘’We could have done all this in Blantyre but due to public demand we are also hosting it in Lilongwe and we hope the performing artists will deliver. We are happy that Zimbabwean group are already here’, Matukuta said.

He added at least 90 local and international groups and individuals will showcase their talents during the festival.

Icon Theatre leader Leo Funny Magada said he was happy that they will showcase different dances from Zimbabwe to an international audience.

‘’I am grateful that we are performing and hope this will mark our entrance on the international arena’’, said Magada.

He is leading a fourteen member group including 10 men and four women.

‘’We are happy that at least we are here to perform and represent the country besides financial challenges’’ said Magada during their rehearsal on Thursday.

Icon Theatre Production performed during last year’s Hurungwe Arts Festival though no funder came on board besides pledges made by some businessmen and organisations locally and nationally.

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