Award-winning hip hop artist Gwamba will this winter perform at two international festivals—the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) in Zimbabwe in April and the Bush Fire Festival in Swaziland the following month.
Hifa is one of Africa’s largest international arts festivals—a week-long arts celebration that encompasses five principal disciplines: theatre, music, dance, fine art, and poetry.
The Bushfire festival is Swaziland’s internationally acclaimed multi-generational global community where more than 20 000 revellers ‘bring their fire’ to the scenic farmlands of the Malkerns Valley to experience the three day event renowned for eclectic and multi-dimensional programming rooted in world music, including a compelling line-up of theatre, poetry, dance, art exhibits and installations, story-telling, puppetry, film, and themed workshops.
Gwamba’s invitation to the two festivals is the fruit of his recent participation in a Sadc Safeguard Youth Programme (SYP) run by UNFPA that saw seven artists from the region release a song.
Gwamba will also be joined by his six peers for both events, according to communication from SYP regional coordinator Renata Tallarico.
“All of you will go to the Bush Fire and will perform twice. Once at the school festival on May 28 and either the 29 or 30 at the main festival,” the letter reads.
Gwamba, who is anxiously looking forward to the festivals, said he is excited at being invited to the festivals.
“I can’t wait to represent Malawi at these two international festivals. I am raring to go. Malawi, let us do this,” he said.
Before participating at the festivals, Gwamba, Zeus from Botswana, Kaliwo from Zambia, Namibia’s The Dogg, Brian from Zimbabwe, Lesotho’s Stlofa and KYC from Swaziland will participate in a five-day writing and recording workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa next month .
As part of preparations for the workshop, each artist will be given a theme to be used for lyrics of their song which will be conceptualised on key messages and story lines given.
Last year, Gwamba travelled to South Africa to attend a UNFPA workshop which saw him and the six other artists recording a song as well as a video. n