“The festival was a success, see you next year where we will be bigger and better.”
The above are the words of satisfaction from the director of Bulawayo Arts Festival (BAF),Saimon Mambazo Phiri.
The festival ran from 2 to 5 June.
When BAF was created in 2020, the main idea was to portray and represent Bulawayo as a cultural hub.
However, this year, that was not the only gospel. It was all about fusing new age popular culture through the youthful city’s artistic creativity and re-announcing Bulawayo as a model city.
From Bulawayo to the world, local artistes and others from the rest of the country, took part at the second edition of the festival and the world was eating at the palm of Bulawayo’s hand.
With all being said and done through different performances, tours and exhibition, Mambazo revealed that they were content with the performance of the festival.
As BAF was launched last year when the world was engulfed in a dark cloud of Covid 19, that didn’t let down the idea of the organisers or make them give in because of the catastrophic plague.
Instead, the first edition was a learning curve which led to this year’s polished event.
“This year our main thrust was to push numbers and we are satisfied we managed to achieve that. Last year we managed to attract 45 countries but this year we attracted 60 of them meaning we had 33 percent increase of our audience.
“Even if Covid-19 was a party pooper, the lockdown allowed us to write corrections and this year’s edition is a testimony that we did our research and it worked.
“Our techniques of streaming and mixing sound with visuals were all on point. So far, the reviews we got are all positive, maybe negatives one are yet to come but we haven’t registered any,” said Mambazo.
He continued: “BAF was experimental in the sense that we wanted to see whether it is possible for shows and events to be done. We are glad this platform gave artistes a ray of hope because it’s a testament that performing can still be done in these hard trying times.
“I hope as creatives we have learnt and embraced the aspect of participating and performing under the new normal,” said Mambazo.