Jacaranda season is here! Harare geared up for festival

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Jacaranda season is here! Harare geared up for festival
Ammara Brown

Wayne Chiridza, Showbiz Reporter

AFTER the successful celebration of the spring season through the hosting of the Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo last week, all attention now shifts to Harare where the sunshine city is preparing to host the Jacaranda Music Festival this weekend.

The two-day music festival, which is a celebration of the Jacaranda season, will kick off on Friday with performances from South Africa’s Black Motion, Ammara Brown, Music According to Percussion, Sylent Nqo, Bryan K, Houz of Gruv, Transit Crew and DJ Chucknosis at the Hellenics Sports Club.

On Saturday, South Africa’s DJ Zinhle and Ringo Mandlingozi will share the stage with Bulawayo’s Bekezela, Djembe Monks, Gudo Guru, Jesa, Mokoomba, The Travellers, Norman Masamba, So Kindly, Tamy Moyo, Pro Beatz, The Black Spirits and Mbeu. 

This action-packed festival, which is in its second edition, will be a welcome development for many, especially in the capital, as it will somehow make up for the Harare International Festival of the Arts which was not held this year because of the economic crunch.

Walter Wanyanya, the founder and director of the festival, said preparations are at an advanced stage with the capital city set to light up this weekend.

“We’re good to go and are now just waiting for the weekend to come. All artistes have confirmed participation and this is a sign that the event is going to be a success.

“I thus, want to call upon the whole nation to come and support this good cause of promoting our music,” said Wanyanya.

He said advance tickets are already on sale at the Avondale Shopping Centre in Harare.

Last year, the festival was attended by about 6 000 people and had 14 acts who shared the stage with the late music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi. 

Wanyanya, who was Tuku’s manager, said he founded the Jacaranda festival two years ago through his Ngoma Nehosho, an arts development company to among other things, promote young artistes by giving them exposure.

Explaining the festival’s naming, he said: “Usually in the first week of October, jacarandas are in full bloom in Harare hence why we named it the Jacaranda Music Festival. The city itself, without us having to do anything, is already celebrating as it’ll be colourful and beautiful.”

He said the festival was all about celebrating anything musical.

“We’re looking at the city (Harare), the people and music. The Jacaranda Music Festival is unique in that it covers all genres. It doesn’t focus on a certain genre as it’s all about celebrating music.”

Having gotten inspiration and worked closely with the late Hugh Masekela, the organiser, who is very passionate about the arts, said it was his hope to see more similar events which attract regional artistes being held across the country. 

“Entertainment is key to the growth of the economy and as Zimbabweans, we tend to underestimate how it can have a huge domino effect on all kinds of business. 

“I love to see growth and would love to see similar festivals being hosted in different cities and towns. It’d be nice to have such an event in Tsholotsho, Kariba, Gweru, Nyanga, etc as the mission is to promote art while providing entertainment,” he said.

But before these events are hosted in other areas, Wanyanya said event organisers need to put in the work.

“We have to make sure that the quality of events improves and meets a certain standard as the bar always has to be set high.” – @waynecas

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