As Zimbabweans around the world ponder the implications of the much criticised 2013 elections that have resulted in a controversial win by Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF Zimbabweans in the UK are set to gather for their annual Zimfest in London this Saturday.
Dubbed a celebration of being Zimbabwean Zimfest has for over 10 years provided Zimbabweans many of whom left Zimbabwe because of the deteriorating political and economic situation. It may be difficult to see much reason for celebration in the current context.
The event organisors have tried to steer clear of politics insisting that Zimbabweans from every background are welcome to attend and that the event remain a reflection of the cultural diversity of the country and a representation of what is possible. “Zimfest exists within that space where we find common ground as Zimbabweans and it’s strength has always been in ensuring that everyone is represented” said Organisor Hilton Mendelsohn.
This year Zimfest is being held in collaboration with the Homelanz Festival, a similar annual event targeted mainly at Australia, South Africa and New Zealand expats. “Homelanz was the right fit for us culturally and in respect of the great deal of pride the Homelanz take in the organisation of the event. We also believe that we need to expand beyond the community to provide Zimbabwean artists and companies with a platform that extends beyond just Zimbabweans” said Mendelsohn
Among the main acts featured this year will be Zimbabwean born singer Thabo Mkwananzi whose music will resonate with tracks like World War Free and Revolution, an ode to the late great Bob Marley, being based on the ordinary people’s struggle for respect and dignity and and its apparent divergence with the motivation of politicians.
Also in the line up are Australian roots band Blue King Brown who have been outspoken about the people’s struggle in Papua New Guinea and who should also prove popular as well as New Zealand bands Tahuna Breaks, I am Giant, South Africans What Now, Munkinpure and Desmond and the Tutus as well as a special live set by Zimbabwe born Producer Rymez who produced last summers number one hit for Wiley “Heatwave”
The combined festival will feature 18 bands and more than 10 Dj’s over 4 stages ensuring that there is something for everyone. It will also include a festival Village showcasing goods and services from all four countries as well as food representing the diverse cuisine of the attendees.
Zimfest @ Homelanz sponsored by Western Union will be held at Boston Manor Park in West London from Midday to 11:00pm on Saturday 10th August 2013. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.zimfestlive.com/tickets