Tawanda Marwizi Arts Correspondent
“It is the role of the society to unite with them and supports them in different ways” The upcoming Bindura Arts Festival that was set for Chipadze Stadium will now be held at Chipadze High School after organisers and Bindura Municipality failed to agree on the fee for the stadium. Organisers of the festival were expecting to hire the venue on a lower fee in a special arrangement but the agreement could not sail through, leading to the change of venue.
The two-day festival will be held on October 31 and November 1. Amtali Saidi, who is the chairman of the festival, said they opted for Chipadze High School to cut costs. “This is a festival for Mashonaland Central not for me but the municipality failed to negotiate reasonable prices with us,” he said.
This publication understands that the municipality wanted the organisers to pay $500 for the venue but Saidi said the amount is beyond their reach since they have a tight budget. Communication between Saidi and the municipality that was availed to this paper indicates that the city authorities could not negotiate the figure downwards.
In previous years the organisers used the venue under special arrangements but this year things have changed. Saidi said it was unfortunate that the city’s governing board failed to understand the importance of the festival to the community. For years, the festival has tried to come up with themes that enhance behaviour change in the society. This year they are running under the theme “Zimbabwe Uniting in the fight against Recidivism”.
Recidivism is a repeated relapse, or the rate at which criminals re-offend. Saidi said they have engaged an organisation of ex-inmates called Another Chance Another flight to encourage communities to accept ex-convicts. “That is one way we can reduce recidivism and we are donating 20 percent of the proceeds to the organisation so that they engage in different projects,” said Saidi.
This initiative by the festival complements several programmes being carried by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services to unite ex-convicts with the society. “It is the role of the society to unite with them and supports them in different ways,” said Saidi.
Several musicians have been lined up for the two-day event. Peter Moyo, Soul Jah Love, Leonard Zhakata, Suluman Chimbetu are some of the musicians that will perform on opening night of the fête while many visual artistes will also be part of the programme.