I have been having an Interesting time chatting about Zimfest in Bulawayo and explaining the underlying concept, that Zimfest is about all Zimbabweans getting together for a day and celebrating the things that bring us together. It seems like a difficult concept for some to grasp.
This year Zimfest Harare was scaled back because the team did not believe that they had achieved the level of penetration and gathered the right level of funding to present the event they believed that the Harare launch deserved. In some respects this was disappointing but like the saying goes, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
The event that was held provided an excellent opportunity for me to get first hand how Zimbabweans in Zim viewed Zimfest. Comments ranged from the all too familiar “It will never work in Zimbabwe” to “It’s a brilliant idea and just what Zim needs” A lot of people saying it can never be done in Zim or “you need t bring in a big international or SA act”.Ironically from what I have seen so far there is more than an abundance of talent in Zimbabwe and even stranger was the fact that this was being said by Zimbabwean Artists and Dj’s themselves in some instances. How can we believe in you if you do not believe in yourself?
it just seems that we have no faith in us embracing our similarities and embracing our differences. It is obvious that we have got a long way to go in defining our own conciousness and despite our protestations of Zimbabwean pride and bold claims about how talented we are, we are actually a long way off from genuinely believing this.
The defining characteristic of the individuals that are part of the the Zimfest team are that we all believe that the flagship Zimfest will be in Zimbabwe and that we will see Black, White, Shona, Ndebele, Coloured, Indian, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, the spiritual and the non believer come together. We still believe that they will be entertained by a Zimbabwean line up as diverse in respect of genre as Zimbabwe is itself. The BIG question is; how do we get Zimbabweans in Zim to believe and embrace this idea