Photos courtesy of Zezuru Creatives
By Lindsay Chiswe
The two day annual Let Them Schools Arts Festival which began on Friday spilling to Saturday at the Show grounds (Fun park arena) surpassed expectation with more schools promising to take part next year.
Running under the theme No Limits, the event has become an attraction on the schools 2nd term calendar. The festival was officially opened on Saturday by Dr. Biggie Samwanda, Director of Arts Culture and Heritage in the Ministry of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage.
Addressing the crowds who had come to attend the festival, Dr Samwanda, commended Let Them trust for having a festival of this kind were new talent is discovered for nurturing by established artists.
He said that “As society we should boost our childrens’ self-esteem and self-confidence so that they can imagine and create a future of their dreams”.
“We want children to know and experience our faith in their abilities so that they can feel even the sky is not the limit”
The festival kicked off with theatre and poetry were children were tacking day to day issues affecting the society such as drug abuse, child marriages, HIV and AIDS, water conservation, electricity usage, waste management, intergenerational relationships, freedom, peace and the rise in rape cases of women by their Pastors.
The second day was devoted to music and dance, students displayed well-choreographed dances, giving the judges a tough time to decide whom to declare the winner. Various dances such as, clacks, hip hop, the traditional Jerusarema, and dancehall were on display.
The 2017 Let Them Trophy award went to Mufakose 2 High School, who were previous winners in the 3rd edition of the festival with second place going to Warren Park1 High School.
Best Poetry performance which was sponsored by Meals on Wheel went to Hallingbury Primary School who incorporated Shona, Ndebele and English in their poetry.
The 5th edition of the festival featured students with special needs from various schools including St Giles, Emerald Hill School for the deaf, Jairos Jiri, Vimbainshe Learning Institute meaning to say, Let Them Trust is not discriminatory or selective . It is giving each and every child equal opportunity to show case their talent.
To add flare to the festival, the crowd were kept dancing on their feet with polished acts from BaShupi who also showcased his dancing skills, the Brown Sisters Amara and Changeto, AfriKera, Tammy, Frodo, Pro Beatz, Zi Judgment Yard and other guest artists.
In an interview with the festival director Chido Musasiwa said that, this year’s festival was above our expectations though she lamented lack of parental support.
“Overrall the festival was a huge success, though the numbers for Saturday were a little bit disappointing, and in particular the fact that parents are still not coming to watch children perform in the Arts”.
“We are on a journey and there are no limits as our Let Them theme says, we hope in future parents become more involved with their children in the Arts.”
A festival of this kind can go a long way if key partners such as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education join forces with organisations such as Let Them Trust to promote the arts industry in Zimbabwe.