Yocaf winners for Hifa

THE legacy of the late legendary arts icon, Walter Muparutsa lives on as Gifford Boys High School from Bulawayo make a maiden appearance at the forthcoming edition of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) in Harare.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

Leeroy Gono

Leeroy Gono

For the school to book the ticket for the prestigious festival set for May 2 to 7, they scooped the Walter Muparutsa Theatre Award at the recent Youth Cultural Arts Festival (Yocaf) held in Masvingo.

Gifford Boys High are set to become the second school to perform at Hifa under the Yocaf mentorship programme after Pamushana High, the first recipients of the award (Walter Muparutsa theatre award) launched in 2014 by the then Sports, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa.

At the festival, Gifford Boys High will perform their winning play titled The Burning Ulcer.

Speaking on the Hifa partnership which started in 2014, Yocaf director, Leeroy Gono yesterday said the deal is very crucial as it accords the winning school an opportunity to undergo training while working with a professional director on a piece to be showcased at Hifa.

“Yocaf is a youth initiative aimed at enhancing the development of Zimbabwean communities through objective use of the arts and culture by nurturing professionalism in the youths for better economic growth and social healing,” he said.

Gono said the mentorship programme has continued to make huge strides in the artistic development of young people and has immensely contributed to the growth of the local arts industry.

“Yocaf creates the opportunity for young people to develop skills and to utilise those skills to contribute to their communities, which in turn, increase their ability to succeed. Over the years, Yocaf has become a beacon for young people’s creative expression and one of the most consistent and sought-out artistic platform,” he said.

The teacher-in-charge of drama at the school, Bridgett Sayers said it was an honour to be taking part in this year’s edition of Hifa showcasing their play, a two dimensional story, which seeks to analyse the relevance of humanity in the 21st century.

“We have always been keenly following Hifa and now finally we have an opportunity to showcase, my boys are on cloud nine. Hifa has always been closely aligned to young people; it believes in giving young people choices that will help them to develop into creative, productive citizens,” Sayers said.

Since its inception in 1999, Hifa has received recognition for its support of arts and culture in Zimbabwe and is seen as a major contributor to development in this area unifying local and international artistes.