By Kundai Marunya
Countdown to one of the biggest youth festivals in Zimbabwe, the Youth Cultural Arts Festival (YOCAF) has begun with Masvingo residents waiting in anticipation of great performances.
The showcase set to be held from July 30 to August 1, in the Ancient City has the whole of the province anxiously waiting for to get their own share of entertainment while hoping to score some business from thousands of visitors that head their way each year.
Yocaf artistic director Leeroy Gono said, “Preparations for the Youth Cultural Arts Festival are at an advanced stage.”
He said I Will Act Now (the festival’s theme) is the word going around the suburbs of Masvingo, in Mucheke, Rujeko, Rhodene, Yeukai and from as far afield as Bikita, Gutu, Mashava and Chiredzi.
Gono said, “Creativity, like any other ability, must be noticed and nurtured to bloom. Our Festival plays a large role in recognizing and providing opportunities for creative talent to be expressed. The arts are the ways we human beings “talk” to ourselves and to each other. They are the language of civilization through which we express our fears, our anxieties, our curiosities, our hungers, our discoveries, and our hopes. The arts are not just important; they are a central force in human existence.”
Since inception, the Festival has been instrumental in bringing young people together and giving them a voice that is uniquely their own resonating with their being. Masvingo resident Phineas Makanda said about the festival, “Yocaf accords the opportunity for networking and exposing local talent and it has become one of the biggest events in our calendar year.”
Meanwhile, schools are battling it out for the coveted Walter Muparutsa theatre award. “Competitiors are the defending champions, Pamushana High school, Thornhill High school, Masvingo Christian College, Churchill Boys High School, Mapanzure, Serima, Dadaya, Regina Mundi, St Peters Kubatana, Glen View 1 High, Victoria High, Gifford Boys and Eveline Girls high school.”
The award goes to the best school in the theatre competition.