The Sunday News
Samantha Munyurwa, Sunday Life Reporter
PREPARATIONS for this year’s Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo are still ongoing, despite uncertainty that has been brought on by the latest lockdown measures which have once again put a freeze on all arts related activities in the country.
Last Saturday, Government announced a blanket ban on all gatherings, while ordering all companies to de-congest their premises by 50 percent. Meetings and workshops are to be held virtually while restaurants are no longer permitted to sell food to sit-in customers save for those appended to hotels and lodges, among other health protocols.
Under the new measures, retail businesses and shops’ operating hours will be from 8am to 6pm with operators expected to ensure “strict adherence to preventive measures such as proper wearing of face masks, sanitising and temperature checks of clients”. Bars and nightclubs, usually artistes favoured playground, remain closed.
Intwasa Arts Festival director Raisedon Baya said the event will be held, even virtually despite the lockdown measures. However, he acknowledged that it was harder to plan for the event due to the uncertainty brought on by Covid-19.
“Yes, we have been affected hugely by the lockdown measures because we were planning for a hybrid and cross-breed kind of event so now the lockdown has affected the physical part of the festival. This might mean we might not be able to showcase some of the physical aspects of the festival.”
Baya said a large percentage of the festival plans have not been altered yet, despite the latest challenges. He said he was hopeful that the event will go well as planned.
Meanwhile, Intwasa has sent a call for entries to anyone interested in participating in this year’s short story competition. The event organisers have said Zimbabwean citizens and residents are welcome to partake in the competition only if the entries are written in English and previously unpublished.