New Zimbabwe music fest almost here

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By Ano Shumba

After a number of delays to hold its first edition, the Jacaranda Music Festival will finally take place early next month.

The long-awaited festival will be held at Hellenic Sports Club in the Zimbabwean capital on 6 October and features big names including Mi Casa (South Africa), Yvonne Chaka Chaka (South Africa), Oliver Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe) and Mokoomba (Zimbabwe).

The festival is organised by Ngoma Nehosho, an artist developmental and promotional company, which said more acts would be announced this week.

The event was supposed to take place in October last year under the name Ngoma Nehosho Music Festival but was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, the organisers said.

“This is the first year of the festival and it’s been on the cards for a long time,” festival director Walter Wanyanya told Music In Africa.

“The festival was meant to have kicked off last year with Hugh Masekela headlining but his sickness led us to put it on hold. He was such a huge influence on the work we've been doing as Ngoma Nehosho."

Wanyanya said the festival would feature different genres so that a variety of artists could enjoy the new live platform.

“We do not necessarily look at genres because we don't want to have a genre-specific festival but a diverse music festival. Most of the artists on the line-up are acts that we have worked with at our sister event, the Ngoma Nehosho Live Sessions, so we have also brought them on to the big stage.”

Wanyanya, who doubles up as Oliver Mtukudzi’s manager, said the organisers of the new festival had faced various challenges in organising the event. “We had the usual financial challenges but we had our partner, Mukuru, who came through to lessen the burden on us and we are so proud to be working with them."

Wanyanya also challenged the government to support music in Zimbabwe and pinned his hopes on the appointment of former swimmer and Olympic gold medallist Kirsty Coventry as the new minister of youth, sport, arts and recreation.

“We have not had any government support and it’s something that we look forward to with expectation, especially with the new government that has just been sworn in.” – Music In Africa

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