Preparations for the inaugural Nyanga Arts Festival are at an advanced stage as the event approaches this October. Penciled to run from the 27th to the 29th of October 2022 in the rolling hills of Nyanga in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands the fete will host music performances, environmental theatre, visual arts, a Gota/Nhanga workshop and a Music Business workshop.
Alongside are Nyanga Cultural Heritage Tours, Nature, Birdwatching and Trout Fishing Tours – a cultural and environmental display with something for everyone. The Montclair Casino provides an added element of fun to the festival.
The festival venue is the famous Montclair Hotel & Casino, with an authentic ‘stage’ in the surrounding area, a mystical ‘Bira’ (all-night) at the traditional homestead of festival Patron Chief Saunyama at Nyatate, on Friday 28 October. The Bira is a celebration of Nyanga Jekunje Dance and Nyonganyonga / Malimba featuring the ‘Music According to Percussion’ ensemble led by Othnell Mangoma Moyo, the artist ‘Mystery’ and ‘Sarungano’ & The Storytellers Band.
The festival is produced by Nhimbe Trust, whose Executive Director Josh Nyapimbi says heritage preservation is at the core of the Nyanga Arts Festival and its rallying theme is Cultural Heritage Tourism and Climate Change.
“Nyanga Arts Festival is highly inclusive to uplift Zimbabwean cultural and arts practices while promoting and showcasing Nyanga as a tourist destination of choice” he said.
Saturday 29 October features one of Zimbabwe’s highest trending artists, Jah Prayzah, along with Feli Nandi and MC Abisha Palmer.
For musicians, the weekend starts on Thursday 27 October with a Music Business workshop facilitated by industry experts Melody Zambuko, Sam Mataure and Lisa Sidambe.
“The festival will be staged at two venues, the Montclair Hotel & Casino and Chief Saunyama’s homestead.”
Executive Director Josh Nyapimbi
Montclair Hotel is the official sponsor for the 2022 inaugural Nyanga Arts Festival.
“We are very excited at the opportunity to be hosting the inaugural Nyanga Arts Festival over the weekend 28-29 October. It will be the first time the people of Nyanga will be witnessing such an event, and playing host to a lot of visitors from other parts of the country. So we are excited about the preparations that are going on, and the responses we are receiving from the market. “General Manager Brian Nyakutombwa
“We want to thank Nhimbe Trust for coming up with the idea and pulling us all together; it’s a fantastic job they are doing to coordinate everything and I think we are on course to deliver a very exciting, fascinating and memorable event in the form of Nyanga Arts Festival. It’s the first for so many things, the first for the festival to be held in Nyanga,”The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Godfrey Koti, Head of Corporate Affairs, said:
The Festival is also proud to be partnering the Rhodes Nyanga Museum with sculptures by the late Jonathan Matimba, one of the renowned early Shona Sculptors from Nyatate in Nyanga North, and paintings by local Nyanga artists.
Nyanga Arts Festival welcomes aboard the National Trust of Zimbabwe as a valued partner, which for over 60 years has been managing 7 sites of built cultural heritage and unspoilt natural beauty as a legacy for future generations.
In an ongoing partnership between Music Crossroads Zimbabwe and Nhimbe Trust, the Music Business masterclass for artists will be facilitated by industry experts Melody Zambuko, Sam Mataure and Lisa Sidambe on Thursday 27 October, with the aim of providing artists with knowledge to help increase their potential to monetise the various stages of the industry value chain.
An important high calibre event running alongside the festival is the NANGO NGO Director’s Summer Retreat, under the theme: ‘Reclaiming an Enabling CSO Operating Environment for Inclusive Sustainable Development in Zimbabwe. It is the 12th anniversary of the event, now back after the Covid-19 induced lockdown. The Retreat is a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for directors, development partners, government agencies, the private sector and interested partners to engage and develop reform matrixes for the civil society sector; an opportunity for NGOs to identify gaps and opportunities in enabling joint advocacy actions amongst CSOs and areas of possible collaboration with other stakeholders.