The Sunday News
Sunday Life Reporter
PREPARATIONS for the 10th anniversary of the Youth Cultural Arts Festival (Yocaf) are at an advanced stage after the festival took a sabbatical following the outbreak of Covid-19 that forced a suspension on gatherings.
Running under the theme, ‘It’s Time’, Yocaf continues to be a mainstay of development of arts among the youths and communities.
The fete is scheduled to take place from the 4-6 August, 2022 at Reps Theatre in Harare. The festival promises to be the bigger, bold and better with star studded lines up, competitions, exhibitions, workshops, symposiums among others.
This year’s festival will see high schools, universities and colleges compete in theatre. Competitions are also lined up for individuals and groups for different categories including dance, singing, instrumentalists among others while the search is on for Miss Yocaf 2022 who will represent the Zimbabwean youth at various global stages and forums.
Speaking on the latest developments, one of the festival coordinators, Simbarashe Chikukwa says Yocaf has over the years provided an array of opportunities that have enabled the youth to build their competencies, and become engaged as partners in their own development as well as the development of their communities. It has also felt the impact of everything affecting the nation.
“These past few years have been difficult for everyone especially in the arts. We are however delighted to announce that we are back. YOCAF seeks to identify, develop and nurture artistic talent among the youths.
“We also ensure that they are groomed into understanding the arts as an alternative career path with the objective of building arts entrepreneurs. We collaborate with government, NGOs, corporates, performing arts bodies, institutions and schools to create opportunities for performing artists from all backgrounds,” said Chikukwa.
He said that was enhanced through training to bridge the gap between personal branding and entrepreneurial thinking and skills.
“Performers learn how to articulate their craft and mobilise funding to take them out of their shell and build their business skills.”
Commenting on the theme, Chikukwa said it was time the youth took charge of their own destiny.
“It is time the ideas, dreams and beliefs of today’s youth form the foundation of tomorrow’s communities in our country. The theme is dedicated to helping young people find and develop a creative voice that is uniquely their own. It’s time to shine, it’s time to follow your destiny, it’s time to embrace your gifts, its time to stand up and rise!”
He said entries are still open for different categories and age groups and can be made online or on email: [email protected]
Chikukwa added that Yocaf does not view arts talent merely as a source of entertainment, but rather capitalises on its capacity to act as a vehicle for self-development, nation building, arts education, and the facilitation of social cohesion right from the ground.
Yocaf has become a beacon for young people’s creative expression and consistent artistic platform and
its strategic posture also focuses on training and education.
“This approach ensures that once the talent is selected, appropriate coaching and mentoring is also offered to prepare them for a brighter future,” he added.