Entering its third edition this year, the Youth Cultural Arts Festival has become one of the most successful Youth Festival in the land. The Ancient City of Masvingo being the host City is at full throttle preparing for the fete, the fever has gripped the City as word is abuzz and there is a general feeling of expectation and excitement. ‘It’s Time’ is the word going around the suburbs of Masvingo and from as far afield as Bikita, Gutu, Chiredzi, the young people are saying, Its time and they cannot wait for the Festival to roar into life.
This year, Yocaf is being celebrated with the theme, “Its Time” and speaking to the organizers of the event, they were very keen to see what the young people will come up this year as since the beginning of the Festival a couple of years back, it has been a feeling amongst the youth that they want their time, they no longer want decisions being made for them, they want to contribute to their development as well as their communities.
Since its launch, the Festival has been instrumental in bringing young people together and giving them a Voice, a voice that is uniquely their own and a voice that resonates with their being.
‘Yocaf is an uplifting time for Masvingo; it gives the City an artistic facelift. The festival takes an extreme leap forward in engaging the public in all its dimensions to be intimately involved in this artistic experience and also a call to the people to rise up as arts enthusiasts and join the artistic revolution.’ said Mr Banda of the Charles Austin Theatre.
The Director of the Festival, cde Leeroy Gono when asked to comment on the theme, “ ‘ITS TIME’ – the ideas, dreams and beliefs of today’s youth form the foundation of tomorrow’s communities in our nation, the theme is dedicated to helping young people find and develop a creative voice that is uniquely their own. It is a mission we will realize when we inspire every teacher and challenge every student to truly embrace the art of creative expression through writing and expressing their voices. Therefore, this is it, ITS TIME!
Schools expected to take in this year’s Festival include, Mucheke high school – the reigning champions, Hippo Valley high school, Victoria high, Regina Mundi girls high, Masvingo Christian college, Pamushana high, Matinunure high, Churchill boys high, Thornhill high, Gutu high, Hillcrest college, Founders college and Eveline Girls high school.
The Festival still is offering workshops this year running throughout the Festival. Some of the highlights from last year’s workshops include, Creative writing by a team of professors from the University of Iowa, USA, Poetry workshop by Albert Nyathi, Media and the Arts by Mtandazo Dube and Physical theatre by Lloyd Nyikadzino among others.
Also lined up is a guest performance by a group from Durban who are bringing down a show called ‘Madame President’ which has had a successful European tour directed by Edmund Mhlongo. Exciting local acts are also on the cards, with some of the top musicians billed to perform at this year’s Festival including Mokoomba, Jiggaz and Spiderman, Alchemy, Judgement Yard among others.
Yocaf is scheduled to take place from the 20th – 21st September 2013 at the Civic centre in Masvingo. The official opening ceremony will be on Friday the 20th of September.
The Festival organizers are appealing to all stakeholders, partners, the community of Masvingo and friends of the Festival to really come up with their support so that the Festival becomes a success.