Intwasa Arts Festival
|Founded by||Raisedon Baya|
The Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo is a multi-disciplinary arts festival that brings together various art forms: dance, theatre, music, film, literary arts, visual arts, spoken word and fashion within one platform. The festival is aimed at celebrating artistic talent present locally, regionally and globally and ensures that there is cross fertilization of ideas, collaborations, and exchanges between various arts disciplines.
The Director of Intwasa is Raisedon Baya.
THE Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo, the annual arts fete that announces the arrival of spring in the City of Kings. The festival is one of Zimbabwe’s premier arts gatherings curating about 50 events within a week — six days to be exact. The festival is a multi-discipline arts fiesta that celebrates human diversity and creativity. Workshops, discussions, crafts, fashion and various performances including comedy, theatre, dance and music take place as the arts momentarily colour the city of Bulawayo. The city hall car park is turned into a creative space and for a week buzzes with cultural activities. In 2019, Intwasa Arts Festival, were celebrating 15 years of existence and has 4 awards in the process.
Intwasa is a non-profit making organisation, run as a charitable trust overseen by a Board of Directors. Intwasa charges attendees for shows, and the fee varies depending on the show whilst most of the events are free of charge with something to appeal to everyone. Intwasa is also funded through sponsorship by various companies. Such companies in the past have included OSISA (Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa), the City of Bulawayo (Bulawayo City Council), Plan Zimbabwe, the US Embassy, Patsime, Nhimbe Trust and Theatre in the Park, and others.
Each year, Intwasa has a theme chosen by the team organising the event. The theme usually reflects on what is happening socially, culturally and even sometimes politically in Zimbabwe. It also serves the purpose of highlighting an element of reflection, discussion and inspiration. Some themes chosen over the years include Year of the woman, Realities and Experiences and Unforgettable.
The festival activities are usually centred on Bulawayo Theatre, National Gallery, City Hall Car Park, Large City Hall and Bulawayo Club. The target audience is 35000 and the initiative has 100 events per year.
Children across cultures have an inherent desire to express emotions and concerns, however, for various reasons communities have grown to ignore these critical voices. The Intwasa Schools Program is an initiative to provide platforms for creative expressions of children's voices. Intwasa Arts festival works with renowned practicing artists to inspire and assist children from various schools around Bulawayo learn to express their views, emotions, and concerns through aesthetic productions such as art and drawing, music, storytelling, poetry, dance, and movement. Unlike the Intwasa Festival the Intwasa Schools Program projects are spread out through the year. Currently Intwasa has 40 schools involved, 500 active students and the initiative reached out to 3000 students.
High Schools Drama Competition
High Schools Drama Competitions are credited for the vibrancy of drama in schools. The reason for the success is the nature of our education system. It is a competitive system; about passing exams, about doing better than the next student. This culture of competing pervades the whole education system. So in other words drama competitions are here to stay. The big prize is not in students winning competitions but discovering themselves and being able to tell their own stories using their own voices.
100 Girls - 100 Voices
100 Girls/100Voices is an advocacy initiative that uses poetry as a tool for civic engagement and social change. It involves a 100 girls taken from 20 different schools in and around Bulawayo, working on pieces of poetry that speak to the issues of child marriages, alignment of marriage laws, child sexual offences, the scourge called vuzu parties and the general empowerment of the girl child. The initiatives takes the girls through a thematic training and poetry skills sharing journey. The thematic training empowers the girls with information on their rights as girls and general children’s rights. The girls also receive personal grooming – personal health and etiquette. They are then expected to use knowledge and skills learnt to advocate for the up-liftment of the girl child in their respective communities. The 100 girls, with their diverse voices and stories, all speak to issues of participation, inclusion, diversity and engagement.
- [[Raisedon Baya - Intwasa Director
- Nkululeko Nkala - Spokesperson