Difference between revisions of "Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA)"

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[[File:HIFA-2012-first_street-kubatana.jpg|200px| HIFA 2012 First Street Performance]]
[[File:Hifa-20112-tapjazz.jpg|150px|The dancers of Jazz Tap Ensemble - HIFA 2012]]
[[File:Hifa-20112-tapjazz.jpg|200px|The dancers of Jazz Tap Ensemble - HIFA 2012]]
[[File:HIFA-2012-the-accused.jpg|150px|The Accused. Brought to Zimbabwe by Sierra Leonian Patrice Naiambana and supported by a cast of Zimbabwean actors.- HIFA 2012]]
[[File:HIFA-2012-the-accused.jpg|200px|The Accused. Brought to Zimbabwe by Sierra Leonian Patrice Naiambana and supported by a cast of Zimbabwean actors.- HIFA 2012]]
[[File:HIFA-2012-Maia_von_Lekow.jpg|150px|Maia von Lekow and her backing guitarist. She also played her own guitar - HIFA 2012]]
[[File:HIFA-2012-Maia_von_Lekow.jpg|200px|Maia von Lekow and her backing guitarist. She also played her own guitar - HIFA 2012]]
[[File:Hifa2012_Ismael_Lo.jpg|150px|Ismael Lo on the main stage- HIFA 2012]]
[[File:Hifa2012_Ismael_Lo.jpg|200px|Ismael Lo on the main stage- HIFA 2012]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-opening-show-of-spirit.jpg|150px|HIFA 2012 Opening Show]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-opening-show-of-spirit.jpg|200px|HIFA 2012 Opening Show]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-opening-show-of-spirit2.jpg|150px| HIFA 2012 Opening Show]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-opening-show-of-spirit2.jpg|200px| HIFA 2012 Opening Show]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-when-angels-weep.jpg|150px|HIFA 2012 Show, When Angels Weep - HIFA 2012]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-show-of-spirit3.jpg|200px|HIFA 2012 Opening Show - Comrade Fatso]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-dream-streets.jpg|150px|HIFA 2012 Show]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-when-angels-weep.jpg|200px|HIFA 2012 Show, When Angels Weep - HIFA 2012]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-dream-streets.jpg|200px|HIFA 2012 Show]]
[[File:Hifa-2012-livevibe.jpg|200px|HIFA 2012 Show - Live Vibe]]
==2011 - ''The Engagement Party''==
==2011 - ''The Engagement Party''==

Revision as of 20:31, 21 April 2014

The Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) is a one week long annual music and arts festival and workshop programme held in Harare usually around late April or early May. The festival showcases local, regional and international arts and culture in a programme of theatre,dance, music, circus, street performance, fashion, spoken word and visual arts. HIFA is the largest arts festival in Zimbabwe and is amoung the largest in Africa. HIFA was founded by Manuel Bagorro.


The inaugural event took place in 1999. Bagorro, an internationally renowned pianist enjoyed playing at festivals because, according to him, of the rare opportunity of meeting and sharing his talents with other artists. He then developed a keen interest in festivals and especially in the organisation of such events.

I wanted to produce one for my country, Zimbabwe, and so the idea of HIFA was born.[1]

Revenue Model

HIFA is a non-profit making organisation, run as a charitable trust overseen by a Board of Trustees. HIFA charges attendees for shows, and the fee varies depending on the show. HIFA also gets revenue from sponsorship by companies. Such companies in the past have included Telecel, Cocacola, ZOL, Old Mutual, CABS, and others. HIFA also partners embassies of various countries as well as NGOs that include the UN, Hivos, Pamberi Trust and others.

The HIFA festival has been reported to cost an estimated US $1,000,000.[2]

HIFA Themes

Each year, HIFA 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's also serves the purpose of highlighting an element for reflection, discussion and inspiration. Some themes chosen over the years include Hand in Hand, Whats Next and About Face.

Murals Painting

HIFA Murals in Mbare

During each HIFA year, a Mural is painted in the city. HIFA has said they do the Murals as part of urban regeneration to beautify previously marginalised areas. The murals are done by visiting artists and local ones.[3]

Some notable Murals have been those painted in the Mbare.


HIFA has often attracted criticism especially by Ziimbabweans who have pointed out that it's 'eurocentric' and 'elitist' and that it doesn't afford local artists enough visibility.[4]

Political Commentary

One HIFA open show director, Brett Bailey, has said that he uses the shows to air political commentary about Zimbabwe. In an article for the Sunday Times titled "ZIMBABWE: THE MUSICAL", Bailey wrote: " I feel I have a moral responsibility as an artist working within such a context to make something that reflects more than just the ability of the human spirit to transcend adversity. Some feet have to be stomped too. My mission: to find a way to fuse the brazen joy of showbiz with a heavy dose of political commentary and a flare of optimism. ".[5]

2014 - Switch On

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 Freshly Ground, 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.


You can view or download the 2014 programme lineup here.

2013 - What's Next

HIFA 2013 - What's Next

The festival was held from 30 April to 5 May, under the theme What's Next.

Artistic Director, Gavin Peter, said of the theme:

Our theme reflected my own feelings, our team’s feelings and what I felt was on many people in the country’s minds – that there is something positive, there is progress, the arrows point to the future and no matter what comes, we look forward to new possibilities.

The opening show in 2013 was directed by Asa Jogi. The show had a number of of musicians from Starbrite and Zimbabwean dancers who explored Zimbabwe's music.

Artists that featured at the festival include Baaba Maal, Bheki Khoza, Victor Kunonga, Bokani Dyer, Hope Masike, Busi Ncube , Edith Weutonga, Cool Crooners, Selmor Mtukudzi, DJ Otis Fraser, Jah Prayzah, Mokoomba, Noisettes, Prince Edward School Jazz Band, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, Alexio Kawara, Roki & Mampi and Tumbuka Dance Company


You can view or download the 2013 programme here.


HIFA 2013 Half empty – half full - HIFA 2013 Harvest of thorns - HIFA 2013 Wild Dogs - HIFA 2013 Shingai Shoniwa of Noisettes - HIFA 2013 Shingai 'Shoko' Shoniwa - HIFA 2013 Busi Ncube and Edith Weutonga - HIFA 2013 Roki & Mampi - HIFA 2013

2012 - A Show of Spirit

HIFA 2012 - A Show of Spirit

Held under the theme of A Show Of Spirit the 13th edition of HIFA started on 1 May and closed 6 May. The theme, according to HIFA, pointed to both the vibrant nature of the festival, and the passion and aspiration of the audiences. It celebrated the capacity of the arts to impart courage, compassion and determination, and called on the audience "to boldly embrace the creative force within all of us."[6]

The opening show was directed by founding Artistic Director of Tumbuka Contemporary Dance Company, Neville Campbell. The Musical Director of the show was the young Zimbabwean Saxophonist [[Vee Mukarati]. The Opening show featured Chiwoniso Maraire, John Pfumojena, Aura, Wadzanai “Black Pearl” Chiuriri, Rutendo Machiridza, Josh Meck.

The overall festival featured artists such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Edith Weutonga, Ismael Lo, Alexio, Liz Ogumbo, Kouyate – Neerman, Hope Masike, Tumi & The Volume, Ba Shupi, Stunner, Mokoomba, Maria de Barros, Batsirai Chigama, Oness Sankarra Willom Tight, Winky D, Yamandu Costa and Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana


You can view/download the HIFA 2012 programme here


The dancers of Jazz Tap Ensemble - HIFA 2012 The Accused. Brought to Zimbabwe by Sierra Leonian Patrice Naiambana and supported by a cast of Zimbabwean actors.- HIFA 2012 Maia von Lekow and her backing guitarist. She also played her own guitar - HIFA 2012 Ismael Lo on the main stage- HIFA 2012 HIFA 2012 Opening Show HIFA 2012 Opening Show HIFA 2012 Show, When Angels Weep - HIFA 2012 HIFA 2012 Show

2011 - The Engagement Party

HIFA 2011 - The Engagement Party

HIFA in 2011 ran from the 26th of April to the 1st May. This edition was themed The Engagement Party. HIFA explained the choice of theme:

The Engagement Party, exhorts all Zimbabweans and visiting Festival goers and artists to engage themselves fully, in art, culture, and life. Like each of HIFA's themes over its eleven years to date, 'The Engagement Party' theme can be interpreted on various different levels and in different ways, depending upon how it strikes each individual, whether metaphorical, symbolic, or on a surface level. HIFA invites ALL Zimbabweans EVERYWHERE, no matter their walk of life, belief system, social echelon, income, age, or any other variable amongst our multi-faceted population, to ENGAGE. Engage with one another, engage with your community, engage with the artistic community, with our broader, multi-cultural, multi-lingual society, get involved, fully involved, and CELEBRATE. Celebrate our amazing, beautiful country, our strong, resilient people, our extraordinarily talented artists. It's an inspiring, joyful theme.[7]

The opening show for HIFA in 2011 was created by Brett Bailey, his 5th opening at HIFA. The show was title Titled Trea$ure. On their website, HIFA reported on the show: "The show opened with the fat-cats displaying their opulent riches, with pianos turning into fabulous cars and giant sparkling washing-machines that symbolised that “life was good.” The dancers were dressed as religious, military and political leaders with their faces painted in gold and silver. This was a true celebration for the elites while the common-man, from the youngest to the oldest, was forced to accept the crumbs from the chief’s table and brutality at the hands of the powers-that-be. A people’s revolt forced the chief, cowering, into the audience as the singer sang the disco-favourite 'I Will Survive.'"[8]

Local artists that performed in 2011 include: Winky D, Chiwoniso Maraire, Victor Kunonga, Edith Weutonga, Mic Inity and Ivan Mazuze

International acts included Boubacar Traoré, Tcheka, BLK JKS - a South African rock band, Bibi Tanga and the Selenites, Adriano Adewale, Antonio Forcione and others.


View or download the programme here


Winky D - HIFA 2011 HIFA 2011 Main Entrance HIFA 2011 Black Bird performs at HIFA 2011

2010 - About Face

HIFA 2010- About Face

The festival in 2010 ran from 27 April to 2 May and it was under the theme About Face. HIFA explained the choice of theme:

ABOUT FACE signifies moving forward, it signifies positive change and growth, developing new attitudes, changing our minds and changing our lives. It invites us to turn everything around, as we march proudly on, into a future ripe with promise and opportunity. As has been demonstrated, ABOUT FACE as a HIFA theme has many layers - and predictably, is triggering tremendous creativity amongst Zimbabwe's many talented artists.

The Opening show in 2010 was a performance of Carl Orff's famous cantata Carmina Burana. It was delivered througha choir of 100 Zimbabwean people.

Zimbabwean artists that featured that year include: Winky D, Edith Weutonga, Comrade Fatso and Chabvondoka, Sulumani Chimbetu and the Orchestra Dendera Kings, Mokoomba, Hope Masike and Kakuwe, Chitungwiza Harmony Singers, International artists included Salif Keita, Ndabaningi Mabuye, Outspoken, Emeline Michel, The Magnets, Manou Gallo, Amy Dickson,


You can view or download the 2010 show listing here.


Salif Keita at HIFA 2010 Salif Keita's Group at HIFA 2010 Comrade Fatso and Chabvondoka - HIFA 2010 Hope Masike at HIFA 2010 Outspoken and Upmost at HIFA 2010 Main Entrance Gate - HIFA 2010

2009 - Enligh10ment

HIFA 2009

In 2009 Zimbabwe was under a coalition government, a political compromise to arrest economic decline and end political uncertainty over a inconclusive election in 2008. The festival was held from the 28th of April to 3 May. As HIFA celebrated its 10th anniversary, it's theme reflected this. HIFA explained the choice of theme:

Enlightenment is the striving for and achievement of greater knowledge and understanding, the process through which we ‘see the light’.

The evolution of HIFA over the last 10 years has been a shared journey of progressive enlightenment, a varied road trip in pursuit of thought-provoking creative endeavour, offering escape as well as empathy, fantasy as well as reason, beauty as well as realism. Our 2009 Festival is a snapshot from an important destination along the way.

So, at a time when all Zimbabweans are seeking ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’, the lightening of our individual burdens and an ethos of reason, clarity and resolution, HIFA presents our largest and most luminous Festival yet. We plan to prominently celebrate our 10th anniversary but also to turn a spotlight on all of us – our fears, our sadness, our joys and ultimately on our hope for a brighter future.

Some of the following international artists were featured at the festival: Freshlyground, Malaika, PJ Powers and Habib Koité, Local artists included Alick Macheso, Alexio, Rusike Brothers, Prince Edward School Jazz Band and Willis Wataffi Afirika Quartet


You can view or download the 2008 programme here.

2008 - The Art of Determination

HIFA 2008

Held from 29 April to 4 May, the 2008 HIFA theme was The Art of Determination. The festival in that year was held as the economic situation in Zimbabwe worsened in the midst of runaway hyperinflation. According to HIFA the theme celebrated Zimbabweans who had stood the course, and were still there and continuing to perform: "We want to acknowledge Zimbabwean resilience, that spirit of just keep on keeping on."[9]

This not withstanding, 2008 was reported to be the biggest HIFA yet. The festival attracted 120 international artists.[9] Some international artists included Freshlyground and Steve Dyer.

Local artists included Oliver Mutukudzi, Comrade Fatso, Outspoken, Tumbuka Dance Company, Chiwoniso Maraire and Sandra Ndebele


HIFA 2008 Sam Mtukudzi & Steve Dyer - HIFA 2008 Oliver Mtukudzi, Samu Mtukudzi and Steve Dyer - HIFA 2008 Oliver Mtukudzi Performance - HIFA 2008 Visual Arts at HIFA 2008 Visual Arts - HIFA 2008 Visual Arts - HIFA 2008 Chiwoniso Maraire - HIFA 2008 The Audience at a HIFA 2008 show

2007 - It’s Show Time

The HIFA 2007 Flyer

The 2007 HIFA was themed It's Show Time. HIFA said of theme on their website:

HIFA 2007 a time to S+how that artistic expression has meaning and purpose for a community that is facing challenging balancing acts every day; a time to Show that in Zimbabwe in 2007, the arts express our desire to make life better for ourselves as individuals and as a diverse community; a time to Show that HIFA and artists recognise the paradoxes faced by Zimbabweans each day as we step out on to our own personal tightrope; most of all, it is a time to Show that creativity surrounds us and makes us smile each day - HIFA 2007 is a celebration of all the small-scale acts of creative heroism that give magic, enchantment, existentialist ideals to ordinary things.[10]

2007 featured 36 Music shows, 26 theatre, 6 Visual Arts, 14 Dance performances, 1 Spoke Word, and 1 Circus. Local artists that performed in 2007 include the Tumbuka Dance Company, The Cool Crooners, The Mbare Trio.[11]

2006 - hAND in hAND

The theme for the 2005 edition of HIFA was "hand in hand". HIFA said about the theme on their website:

The theme uses the conjunction “AND” to play with the marriage of words and ideas. Young AND old, privileged AND under-privileged, high density AND low density AND rural, Shona AND Ndebele AND Tonga AND French AND English ANG German…, Buddhist AND Christian AND Jew AND Hindu AND Moslem, dance AND theatre AND visual art AND poetry AND, AND, AND![12]


You can view or download the 2013 programme lineup here.

2005 - What About You?

HIFA logo in 2005

The 2005 edition of HIFA took place from the 26th of April to 1st of May and was themed What About You?. According to HIFA, the theme was a "call to artistic action, to be positive and innovative, to not stand back in the wings but coming forward and being counted as an artist, revolves around the concept of personal responsibility, involvement, commitment and accountability."[13]

The programme featured local artists Afrika Revenge, Rocqui & Mafriq, Tumbuka Dance Company, Mbira dze Mutupo and Zexie Manatsa & The Green Arrows. International artists at HIFA 2005 included; Socca Moruakgomo, Antonio Forcione Quartet, Femi Kuti and Paulo Flores amoung others.


You can view or download the 2013 programme lineup here.


HIFA in 2004 ran from 27 April to 2 May under the theme Heartbeat of the city. That year international artists included: Ishmael Lo, Freshlyground (for the second consecutive time), Chris Lynam, Waldemar Bastos, Soweto Kinch and Local artists who performed inn the 2004 HIFA inlude: [[Chipawo], a children's traditional dance group, Iyasa, Albert Nyathi, Edgar Langeveldt, Oliver Mtukudzi,


You can view/download the 2003 programme here.


In this year HIFA was held from 29 April to 4 May.

International artists to grace HIFA in 2003 included a newly South African band called Freshlyground, Bongo Maffin and Judith Sephuma. Local artists included Mbira dzeNharira and Tumbuka Dance Company

Here are some pictures from HIFA 2003 as retrieved from an image of the HIFA website back:[14]


You can view/download the 2003 programme here.


Hifa-2003-Lion.jpg Benhura-snake.jpg


The festival was held from May 1 to 6 May 2001. Some local artists to feature in 2001 include Mechanic Manyeruke, Pastor Haisa and Oliver Mtukudzi. International Artists that performed that year included Sigi Finkel & Juliet Roberts. Here are some pictures from HIFA 2001 as retrieved from an image of the HIFA website back:[14]




Here are some pictures from HIFA 2000 as retrieved from an image of the HIFA website back:[15]


HIFA 2000


Here are some pictures from HIFA 1999 as retrieved from an image of the site then:[16]


HIFA 1999 HIFA 1999 HIFA 1999


  1. HIFA Team, HIFA Official Website - via Internet Archive, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  2. Art imitates violent life at the festival that dares to defy Mugabe, Zimbabwe Situation (republished from 'The Times ( http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/africa/article2593129.ece )', Published:5 May 2007, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  3. Minister Kanengoni-Malinga questions Hifa, Pamushana.com, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  4. Itai Mushekwe, Hifa pressed to rope in more local artists, Zimbabwe Independent, Published:6 Aug 2004, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  5. ARTICLES ON HIFA OPENING SHOWS BY BRETT BAILEY, Sunday Times, Published:May 2007, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  6. HIFA Opening Show , HIFA, Retrieved:21 April 2014
  7. The Engagement Party - HIFA's theme for 2011, HIFA, Published:2011, Retrieved:21 April 2014
  8. REVIEW: The 2011 HIFA Opening Show, HIFA, Published:2011, Retrieved:21 April 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 The art of determination, Kubatana.net, Published:7 April 2008, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  10. The HIFA 2007 Theme , HIFA - via Internet Archive, Published:26 March 2007, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  11. ZIMBABWE: THE MUSICAL, The Sunday Times, Published:2007, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  12. HIFA 2006 Theme , HIFA, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  13. HIFA 2005 website on Mweb, Mweb, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 HIFA Official Website via Internet Archive, HIFA, Retrieved:20 April 2014 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "hifa01" defined multiple times with different content
  15. HIFA Official Website via Internet Archive, HIFA, Retrieved:20 April 2014
  16. HIFA Official Website via Internet Archive, HIFA, Retrieved:20 April 2014