Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
Gwanda Annual Festival of Arts (Gafa), a festival meant to celebrate and showcase the town’s diverse talent, has been launched and organisers are preparing to host the inaugural edition this year.
The festival is expected to take place at various venues including Jahunda Community Hall, The Phoenix Arena (Eyadini) and Gwanda District Club from March 25 to 27.
Should the lockdown regulations remain in place, organisers have said the fete will be pre-recorded and aired virtually.
The festival organising team consists of very skilled, talented and innovative personnel drawn from Gwanda, among them Adrian Drivo Musa (festival director), Mthabisi Dube (assistant director) and Noble Maphosa among others.
Director, Drivo said the festival will ensure that arts groups in the town are resuscitated and capacitated.
“The festival seeks to revive community arts groups through skills training and capacity building workshops as well as creating platforms for exhibitions.
“It also aims to resuscitate community halls and venues through engagement and partnerships with local authorities,” said Drivo.
He called on artistes from the town to register for participation as 75% of the line-up will consist of artistes from the Matabeleland South province.
By introducing this festival, Drivo said they want to bring back the culture of festivals in the town.
“In the 90s, Gwanda used to host arts festivals which lit the town. Festivals like Scapfest which was funded by Matabeleland Aids Council (MAC) and co-ordinated by Savuka Community Arts Group during the 90s were a hit.
The festival attracted artistes from as far as Botswana, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa, something we definitely want to revive.
“It is against this background that creative cultural industries in Gwanda have decided to revive the Matabeleland South arts industry through the introduction of Gafa,” said Drivo. – @mthabisi_mthire