This year’s Jibilika Festival to be bigger and better

Sharon Kavhu

Zimbabwe’s 11th edition of the premier annual youth dance festival, the Jibilika Dance Festival, is set for October 11 to 13 in Harare.

The festival, which was established by the Jibilika Dance Trust in 2007, runs under the theme: “Renewal and Wow which we are calling Renewow”.

In an interview, the brainchild of the festival Plot Mhako told The Southern Times that this year’s edition will be different from the previous one, as it will have a platform for artist skills other than dancing.

“The festival has a new format now, it’s no longer just a dance festival. We drew a three-year plan to transform the festival first from a one-day event to two, then now to three and that also meant changes to the programming to accommodate more youth culture elements,” said Mhako.

“We want to develop and empower a complete young artist by offering various skills, exposure and opportunities. The new format brings new energy, new imagination, new elements and a wow factor. It challenges young people to dream and paint a new beautiful Zimbabwe.”

He said this year’s edition is expected to be bigger and more inclusive of various elements of youth culture.

This year’s Jibilika Dance Festival is including cheerleaders, skaters, graffiti artists, fashion designers, musicians and dancers from all over Harare and Zimbabwe. The festival will be taking place in the CBD with certain outreach events taking place in locations such as Mbare where the participants will have a clean-up and fashion programme as part of an anti-cholera drive.

Some of the highlights of the festival include a dance workshop on day one which will be hosted by Stephanie Körner a dance choreographer from Germany.  Körner has experience in ballet, hip-hop and contemporary dance. The German talent will offer dance choreographing to all girls from the Jibilika dance group, which will be performing at the festival opening Dance Theatre programme featuring three other non-professional companies. 

Mhako said various organisations partnered in the event, among them, B2C Coworking, Afrikera Arts Trust, Denor, Mhodzi, the Zimbabwe German Society, Alliance Francaise, TV and RivalSkool from France.

RivalSkool since last year has become a highlight of the festival due to the prize of sending the winner to Paris all expenses paid. Last year, the competition saw Blessing Fire (the festival’s artistic director) accompany Panashe Gabi to Paris to represent the country after winning the Zimbabwe Rival Skool Competition.

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