INTWASA SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2019 After a four year hiatus, the Intwasa Short Story Competition is back and calling for entries. The competition is an annual literary event seeking to promote original creative writing talent in English. The competition also seeks to promote Zimbabwean narratives from Zimbabwean writers be they in Zimbabwe or living in […]
Curatorial Statement: Mthabisi Phili The Realities and Experiences Exhibition will open on the 28th of September at the National Gallery in Bulawayo during the 2018 edition of Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo. Zimbabwe has been a host of realities and experiences from social, political, economic and religious spheres. Beginning with the 2016 July protests, the Zimbabwean […]
Intwasa Extra, taking place from the 28th to the 31st of December 2017, is a spill over program from the main Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo that takes place every year during the month of September in the city of Bulawayo. The four day arts extravaganza coming under the theme “Celebrating a New Era” is basically […]
One of the most exciting moments at Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo is the Live Literature Sessions by Centre For Talent Development (CTD). In 2015 alone about 3000 O’ and A’ level students from schools as far as Plumtree, Lupane and Filabusi thronged Bulawayo Theatre to watch live stage performances of various literature setbooks by this […]
Last week, on the 30th of April, Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo stopped accepting applications for the 2016 edition. As usual there were one on two artists that submitted their applications a day or two after the deadline. The excuses were too numerous and always the same - almost believable. As Intwasa and a people's festival […]
In March this year I was very lucky to attend the first International Festival Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland. The one week festival management course is organized by Festivals Edinburgh in partnership with the British Council. My participation at the academy was courtesy of Intwasa’s long standing partnership with British Council Zimbabwe. My experience in Scotland, […]
Dear reader, and by extension festival goer, if you are reading this article and you have a calendar or diary near you please mark the following dates - 26 September to 1 October 2016. These are the official Intwasa dates. Notice that for the first time in the history of the festival we have encroached into October. But […]
The New Year is upon us and as we celebrate it half the mind is already thinking about Intwasa 2016. Things being equally we should actually be announcing the 2016 edition programme or at least the headline acts with this blog article. In countries where the arts are serious business festivals are programmed a year […]
September is here and the annual arts extravaganza known as Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo is upon us. For a full week the city of Bulawayo shall reverberate with the sound of music, the stomping of feet and excited ululation and whistling as hundreds of artistes from different places and countries gather for the 11th edition of one of Zimbabwe’s top arts festivals. Intwasa is a people’s festival as it was created by local cultural professionals, sons and daughters of the city, with a specific mandate to spearhead arts development while marketing Bulawayo as a cultural hub and a tourist destination. Over 500 artists, including schools students, are performing at this year’s edition of the festival. Here are some reasons why Bulawayo should support the festival: More than fifty (50) events shall take place during the six day arts extravaganza. Hundreds of local artistes get to showcase their talents before a home audience. Over 50% of the events are free, giving access to the general public, especially poor residents who ordinarily cannot afford ticket prices for some of the acts when they are done outside the festival. Access to arts and culture has been proven to help promote social cohesion and improve standards of living for people. The festival is a platform to explore local and regional collaborations and cultural exchanges and networking with the aim of improving the status of artists. The festival has become a critical platform for the democratisation of arts and culture in Zimbabwe. Intwasa’s involvement with schools has invigorated arts activities in schools, particularly drama. The festival’s schools drama competition supported by Plan Zimbabwe has attracted over sixty schools and seen thousands of students participate. Apart from the High Schools Drama intwasa has now introduced choral and dance platform for both primary and secondary schools. The festival can create visibility and positive images of the city and its people. The festival temporarily provides employment to youths and artists. Intwasa believes festivals are judged by their audiences and it is only when the city and its residents fully embraces the festival that it can take its rightful place among Zimbabwe and Africa’s top festival.
It has become the norm with many festivals that the official opening event is huge and eye catching. For example Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) is known for its spectacular opening shows coupled with spellbinding fireworks. The official opening night is viewed by many as eye candy for festival audiences. Intwasa also thrives for nothing less. In the last few years the festival’s opening shows have been huge and become the talk of Bulawayo many weeks after the festival itself. If one hasn’t seen any of the opening shows then one hasn’t seen Intwasa at all. The opening show normally sets the mood and tone of the whole festival. For many, especially those in the media, it has always been the bar to measure the success and failure of the festival. One of the Official Opening Show So what is in store for Intwasa audiences in 2015. First and more importantly is the fact that the Bulawayo Combined Ensemble, comprising of dance and music artists taken from different Bulawayo groups, has become a permanent feature at Intwasa. More interesting is the fact that this year the combined ensemble is showcasing a choreography of Zimbabwean dances recently taken to Millan, Spain by one of the ministries. Intwasa 2015 audiences are privileged to sample this choreography by Bulawayo’s son and talented choreographer Richard Ndlovu and directed by Simon Mambazo Phiri. Both Richard Ndlovu and Simon Mambazo Phiri recently collaborated on the opening of the Zone Six Africa Games which took place in Bulawayo in 2014 and their skills were noticed by many. The big performance of the evening will obviously be by Afrika Revenge who last performed in Bulawayo some 9 years ago. Since their coming together after the split that left many fans feeling robbed and confused Africa Revenge has not set foot on any stage in Bulawayo. The band has performed in Harare and other places and this performance at Intwasa will be the official homecoming show for the band that once set the whole country on fire with such songs as Wanga, Memo and Buwe Buwe. Afrika Revenge is a Bulawayo band. It was born in the city and went to find fame in Harare. Their special performance at Intwasa reinforces the never – say-die attitude of the festival and its endeavours to bring joy, laughter and hope the midst of despair. Watch the official opening show on the 23rd of September 2015 at the City Hall Car Park at 7pm sharp.
INTWASA ARTS FESTIVAL KoBULAWAYO is one of Zimbabwe’s premiere arts gatherings curating about 50 events within a week. The festival is a multi –discipline arts fiesta that celebrates human diversity and creativity. Running under the theme My Intwasa, Your Intwasa, Our Intwasa the 11th edition of the festival is set for 21 -26 September 2015 […]