HIFA 2014 - Switch On
HIFA 2014 Logo
GenreMusic, Film
Dates29 April - 4 May 2014
Location(s)Harare, Zimbabwe
Years active1999–present
Founded byManuel Bagorro

For HIFA editions in previous years, please see, the HIFA Index

HIFA in 2014 was held under the theme, Switch On. It ran from April 29 to May 4. The festival featured local artists; as Jah Prayzah, Carl Joshua Ncube, Comrade Fatso, Michael Kudakwashe, Clive Chigubu, Chirikure Chirikure, Tumbuka Contemporary Dance Company and Blessing Hungwe; and international artists; Dobet Gnahoré, David Kibuuk, Toya Delazy, Manuel Lopes Andrade - aka Tcheka, Black Bazar - a Congolese band and Freshlyground, a popular South African band.

Founder and artistic Director, Manuel Bagorro said of HIFA 2014 in a welcome note published with the programme:

Our theme this year is an invitation to seek out the light in darkness, and to explore the capacity of each one of us to illuminate and enlighten through our commitment to the arts. Let’s change our world - one vivid, luminous, transformative arts experience at a time, beginning at HIFA this year….

Chairman of the 2014 HIFA board of trustees, Muchadeyi Masunda, said of the theme:

SWITCH ON invites all of us to see ourselves as patriotic Zimbabweans in a new way.

HIFA Executive Director, Maria Wilson, said of the 2014 HIFA:

If ever there was a year that I felt we were going to have to postpone HIFA, it was this one. The Festival has been struggling to survive and it is only through the passion, compassion and determination of the HIFA Team that it is still alive. The theme SWITCH ON is therefore very appropriate to HIFA’s situation. There is so much apathy around us and a real element of not caring about each other or important initiatives, such as HIFA, that are so obviously struggling to continue. We truly need to SWITCH ON as a people and take a definite interest in our surroundings, our streets, each other, our country and its future.


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You can view or download the 2014 programme lineup here.

Freshly Ground Show cancellation

The main act of the closing show scheduled for 4 May 2014 by a South African Afro-fusion group called "Freshlyground" was cancelled and replaced with an array of artists after the group was denied entry into Zimbabwe by the immigration authorities. The immediate deportation of the group was generally believed to be the result of their 2010 song "Chicken to Change" which was critical of President Robert Mugabe's long stay in power.

HIFA had already sold tickets for the show and insisted even a day before the deportation that everything was on course for the group to perform.[1] HIFA however announced the cancellation via their Facebook Page 37 minutes before the show was scheduled to take place.[2]

An opinion piece in government owned press (Sunday Mail) had indicated that HIFA's idea of bringing Freshlyground to the country was not a good one.[3] This was not the first time for Freshlyground to be denied entry into Zimbabwe, as they had been denied visas 4 years earlier in 2010.[1]

Freshlyground later posted an official release to their Facebook page expressing disappointment at not being allowed to perform in the country, and said "It would seem the powers that be have yet to find a sense of humour." Freshlyground also said they had not been given any reason for the deportation as the immigration officers had said no "official reason given or required”.[4]

According to the organisers the 2015 edition had 1,006 Zimbabwean artists and 239 international artists performing at the event.[5]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Mtandazo Dube, Hifa final act hangs in balance, Sunday Mail, Published:4 May 204, Retrieved:4 May 2014
  2. Freshlyground arrived at Harare International Airport but will not be performing at HIFA this year, HIFA, Published:4 May 2014, Retrieved:4 May 2014
  3. Tinashe Kusema, Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!, Sunday Mail, Published:26 April 2014, Retrieved:4 May 2014
  4. Frshlyground Freshlyground Press Release: HIFA 2014, Freshlyground Official Facebook Page, Published:5 May 2014, Retrieved:6 May 2014
  5. Winstone Antonio Hifa announces 2015 theme, NewsDay, Published:28 November 2014, Retrieved:19 March 2015,