Miombo arts festival provides cheerful moments for the creative sector

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TAWANDA MARWIZI

Over the years, there have been events that  provide a big platform for artistes to showcase their talent with Miombo Arts Festival being one of them.

Last Sunday, crafters, painters, collectors and musicians had something to cheer about when they showcased their works to potential buyers at the Miombo festival that was held at the Wild Geese Lodge in Harare.

The festival provided a big business opportunity for the artistes as well as a platform to exchange ideas with the corporate world.

For years the festival has provided opportunity for both established and upcoming artistes to realise the full potential of the sector.

According to one of the organisers, Leslie Johnson  art work worth US$80 000 was sold at last year’s edition of the event and chances are that they surpassed that figure this year.

“Though we are yet to get the exact figures of those who came through for this year’s event,  last year we had more than 8 000 people visit the show and we sold in excess of US$80 000 worth of artwork,” he said.

Entry into the event was free and anything raised from the event was directed to The Vimba Project, which is focused on rebuilding a school in Kopa, which was destroyed by Cyclone Idai.

At least 150 visual artistes took part in the festival and have expressed their satisfaction in the organisation and the attendance of the festival.

Merrymakers were spoiled for choice as different types of visual art were at display with musicians Cello Culture and Gemma Griffiths being part of the event.

Griffiths who is riding high with her collaboration with Winky D had time to interact with the audience.

Food and drink also spiced up the event making it one of the biggest festivals held in the country.

One attraction of the festival is their Art Demonstration that saw more than 10 artistes completing their paintings in 15 minutes while the merrymakers were watching.

Renowned artistes that took part in the festival include Keith Zenda a renowned painter, Liberty Shuro, Daryl Nero, Marlene Bornman, John Kotze, Barry Lungu and Cosmas Shiridzinomwa.

Zenda said the festival was important to all artistes as they had time to showcase their talent as well as having time to share ideas.

“This is one of the festivals that brings smiles to visual artistes as it gives us time to interact and know what our audience needs; exchanging ideas as artistes and also have time to appreciate ideas that come with sponsors and I am happy to be part of the historic festival,” he said.