Bulawayo’s Intwasa Arts festival lived to its top billing despite the threat posed by the novel coronavirus.
The festival started on 20 and ended on 24 December.
Bulawayo Theatre, Bulawayo Art Gallery and Sabela Studios played hosts to Intwasa this year.
Running under the theme, “The New Normal,” the festival had to do with a limited number of shows to discourage large gatherings in order to keep the pandemic in check.
A great number of shows were broadcast live online to cater for the diaspora market, which didn’t get the chance to grace the events due to travel restrictions.
As a way of adjusting to the new normal, virtual shows like the Women Music Show, Hwabaraty Unplugged, Vagina Monologues and the Closing Music Concert kept people entertained in the comfort of their homes as they accessed these shows for free on the festival’s Facebook and Twitter page.
Those who love theatre were treated to a variety of plays which took centre stage at the Bulawayo Theatre.
On 22 December, the play Sons of Men which is a collaborative work by Christopher Mlalazi, Butshilo Nleya, Philani Nyoni, Thabani Moyo, Memory Kumbota and Raisedon Baya, entertained the theatre fanatics.
Another play, The Taking returned on Intwasa and it featured the likes of Zenzo Nyathi, Alec Zulu and Gift Chakuvinga.
Other shows that featured were Comedy Night, And Now The Poet Speaks, Children’s Poetry, Vagina Monologues, 9 Months In 2020, Intwasa Poetry slam, among others.
“2020 has not been a good year for many. Covid-19 came and disrupted life and all our plans for the year. The arts sector was hardest hit. Festivals were cancelled, shows closed, tours postponed and then cancelled, many artistes found themselves jobless.
“To survive many migrated to digital space. A new normal was born. Streaming of arts events on digital platforms became a matter of survival. It is a miracle Intwasa 2020 happened,” said Raisedon Baya who is the director of the festival in a statement.
He gave thanks to the arts community, the City of Bulawayo, and their partners OSISA, US Embassy, Hivos, Page Poetry Alive, Habakkuk Trust and PES for making this year’s edition a success.