The Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) 2017 edition is done and dusted . The festival which was absent for a year rowed to life in Harare last week and gave hope to artists and art lovers. Team urbanculxure has been following the proceedings online courtesy of Zol and other stakeholders.
Over the past years we have seen a number of arts festivals sprouting up in every corner of the country. Some have struggled to remain relevant, some have folded up due to financial constraints. The biting economy has played its part in the death of some of the major Zimbabwean festivals while some have had a blackout from traditional donors.
As HIFA was staging an intervention in Harare last week we observed 3 things that other struggling festivals in Zimbabwe can learn from the well attended festival.
Well HIFA started planning this year’s edition in 2016 from their social media campaigns one could see that team HIFA was hungry and ready to execute HIFA 2017.What we are trying to highlight? It’s quite clear that other festivals do not see the importance of planning. As we write the article some festivals in my city are still mute and will probably pop-up two months or a month before they happen and then we expect success from such initiatives? #Dololo.
Ask and you will be given, knock and the door will be opened. In this digital age that we fortunate enough to have the internet and crowd funding platforms and online money transfers. HIFA had a crowd funding platform to help secure funds to support the festival. Once again as I write this blog post no festival in my city is asking for donations online and using the internet to gather the masses online to support the festivals.
Once you ask for a donation or when you are crowd funding you already has access to millions of dollars online. Its easy Telecash, OneWallet and Ecocash [Not endorsing] exist these are local solutions we can use to uplift our festivals.
3.Engaging relevant stakeholders
As an internet person I was so happy that an internet service provider like ZOL [Okay this is an endorsement lol] got on board and supplied the festival with free WIFI. We are in the information age and it is crucial that the free flow of information is promoted during large festivals likes HIFA .
Its promotes the festival and encourages longevity of the festival. Overall HIFA did a good job in engaging corporate. It is my wish that other festivals in my country not only engage companies but also engage the right corporate with art at heart.
We caught up Saint Valz a Social Entrepreneur who had this to say about HIFA “HIFA2017 was incomparable; the corporate sponsorship was amazing, the crowds unbelievable, the organization superb. We paid for entry, food and drinks with plastic money.So many interracial relationships and the sound was perfect.”
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If you were at HIFA please comment and tell us your thoughts.