Hifa roars to life in style

Japan's Lyco on stage

Japan’s Lyco on stage

Brenda Phiri/ Tawanda Marwizi/ Sophia Chese
The Harare International Festival of the Arts kicked off yesterday with various shows taking place in the Harare Gardens and surrounding places. The first day of the festival saw many arts followers attending their favourite shows while artistes exhibited their expertise in shows and exhibitions under this year’s theme “Articulate”.

Below are some of the events that took place at the festival yesterday:

Star FM breeze in Coca-Cola Green

Star FM radio presenters Itayi “Iyati” Takaendesa and Tariro Mazvarirwofa opened the station’s Harare International Festival of the Arts programme on a high note yesterday.

Tariro and Iyati, as they are affectionately known, were at Star FM stand at the Coca-Cola Green arena where their programme “The Breeze” was broadcast from.

Speaking on the experience, Iyati promised more action as the week progresses.

“We had a great time today, meeting people and doing interviews. What is most important to us is meeting the breezers — that is the name we give our fans,” said Iyati.

It was business as usual as the duo spoke to different people during their show.

They engaged artistes like Tariro Ne Gitare before interviewing dance coordinator Soukaina. The artists expressed their delight in taking part at the festival.

Amongst the guests was also a representative from Innovate High Performance Centre who contributed towards their fitness programme.

“All the Breeze slots of the week be broadcast from here. We want our fans to come throughout the week and hang out with us. They can interact and give shout outs as well,” she said.

The award-winning presenter promised gift vouchers to fans who will be part of the future programmes at Hifa.

The outside broadcasting is part of Star FM’s goal of taking radio to the people in 2015.

Japanese singer sobs on stage

Japanese based singer Lyco could not help but sob after being overwhelmed by the response she got after performing in Africa for the first time at Harare International Festival of Arts yesterday.

The singer put up a sterling performance together with her band Kakafuraha at Hifa’s Coca-Cola Green stage.

The show was amongst the festival’s first performances. Dishing out the best of both worlds through their Afro Japanese music until midday, Lyco and her band were outstanding.

Speaking on behalf of the six-member band, tour manager Kazuya Murota said they were happy to be in Africa.

“It is a dream, come true for Lyco to be here. She has liked African music from a young age. Because of that her music is influenced by African music. They feel African music has a good rhythm,” said Murota.

Lyco who is the lead vocalist also composes songs for the band according to the tour manager.

Their band set an electric mood in their interactive show.

While proudly embracing their Japanese roots through their lyrics, their beat had Africa written all over.

The band’s performance was enhanced by equally talented Japanese female deejay, Juri.

DJ Juri who is also a respected producer featured during their act and showcased her prowess on a traditional drums.

The band that will perform at the Lay’s Global Stage today, will carry the party over to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo before converging at Victoria Falls’ Boma Restaurant.

Taurai Pekiwe still going strong

Whenever a traditional drum, bass guitar, marimba and saxophones are fused they bring in a melody that leave people shaking and dancing.

That was the case yesterday at the Lays Global Stage at the Harare International Arts Festival when yesteryear musician Taurai Pekiwe and his backing band The Legal Lions performed.

Clad in a leopard print outfit the musician went on stage in the afternoon giving those who had come for the show his best.

Pekiwe who played songs like “Famba NaMwari” and “Sweetheart” received rounds of applause after every song.

His three female dancers got off stage and picked members of the audience for some dances, making the show interactive.

The musician brought original Shangara vibes that left the audience convinced he is a force to reckon with.

From his music people had the opportunity to listen to fused Shangara music with folktales.

With the fusion of modern electric music instruments and traditional sound textures, played by the country’s finest exponents of this style of Zimbabwean music the musician managed to capture audience.

The musician said it was a good opportunity for him to be playing on this year’s event.

“Hifa is a platform for us to show what we have and the response was good,” he said.

Pekiwe is one of the yesteryear musicians who are still going strong.

He has managed to keep his music and has played on different platforms in and outside Harare.

Pekiwe started his career in Chitungwiza and managed to record four albums, namely “Samero” in 1992, “Zvakanaka” in 1993, “Shangara Volume 3” in 1994 and “Isaac Mazitye” in 1999.

The most known album among these is Samero, with title track which stayed on the number one spot on the local charts for some time.

Craft makers happy with exposure

A number of local crafters have saluted Hifa organisers for giving them a platform to showcase their talent.

The festival opened with a number of crafters exhibiting their works yesterday.

Those who spoke to The Herald Entertainment expressed gratitude saying the festival has opened avenues for them.

Felistas Taderera from Mabvuku who does craftwork with his brother said “This is our sixth year to exhibit our works here; our craftwork is called wire and beads.

“Since we started we have never stopped because each and every year we get new clients and as result we have managed to survive through craft work,’ she said.

“We are Africans and so are our products. Those who are proudly Africans will always look for our products and we will continue coming up with new things,” she said.

Among Taderera’s products are jewellery, lamp sheds, plate mates, bowels and key holders which are all in wire and beads.

Farai Makarimani who is also exhibiting his craftwork also hailed Hifa for the exposure they are given as craft workers.

“This is my fifth year to exhibit my works here because since I started, I have been getting more customers and also have managed to meet with other craft workers from different countries whom we exchange ideas with for the benefit our industry.

“I have been able to survive through craft work thereby implementing the government initiatives of indigenisation and I can’t complain,” he said.

First timer Joseph Padzareverwa who does “Wire Curious” type of craft works also said he is optimistic that his first year of exhibiting at the festival will be a life changing experience.

“This is my first time and I am optimistic that I am going to get customers and learn some new things from fellow crafters here,” he said.