Jibilika Arts Festival expands to Botswana

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Sharon Kavhu

Harare - Popularly known for promoting young people’s dance talents, Zimbabwe’s renowned Jibilika Trust has officially expanded its wings to Gaborone, Botswana.

The new Jibilika initiative that was launched last week is meant to spread the project across the southern African region in an effort to promote regional cultural integration.

Jibilika is the brainchild of Plot Mhako, who said the organisation is set to host the first dance festival in Gaborone later in August.

“We are happy that we have managed to officially establish Jibilika Trust in Botswana, a move that will see open doors for art, dance and culture integration between the two countries. In Zimbabwe, we have two directors for Jibilika namely - Blessing Fire and Vera Chisvo, and we intend to do the same for Botswana. Very soon there will be two directors for the Gaborone project,” said Mhako.

“Our first edition for the festival in Botswana is set for August this year and dates are yet to be confirmed.  Winners from the festival will perform on the 11th edition of Jibilika dance festival in Zimbabwe. Normally, the festival is held in August but this year, due to the issue of presidential elections in Zimbabwe, we have moved the festival to October.”

Jibilika Trust Gaborone will be working hand in hand with other arts organisations in Botswana such as Maitisong Festival 2018.

“I have already engaged Maitisong Director, Tefo Paya, recently on how best we can work hand in hand on Jibilika Trust Botswana projects. I met Paya during a Schone Aussicht Festival in German and we had fruitful discussions.”

According to Mhako, plans to expand to the rest of the region will be determined by the response and results of the Botswana project.

“We recognize that culture needs dialogue and dialogue needs culture. Understanding other cultures across the region can prevent prejudice and hatred. It contributes to mutual understanding between societies and people,” said Mhako.

“The exchange experience is one of the most effective ways to promote social cohesion and creative development and to open up more opportunities for countries involved. We are hopeful that the Botswana project will bring positive results.”

Jibilika Trust is a youth-led creative social enterprise committed to mobilising and engaging young people in positive social actions through youth culture.  The organisation offers creative opportunities and equips adolescents in and out of school with the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to become social development agents and successful citizens.

The organisation’s projects offer young people the opportunity to use their own art, media, communication styles and ideas to make a difference in their homes, schools and communities.

Jibilika Trust is also pioneering ‘step up’ an innovative approach to social issues such as HIV and this has earned the organisation a great reputation.

It was founded in 2007. Last year, two guests from Botswana were guests at the Jibilika Festival

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