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Zimbabwe human rights arts festival 2007
Silvanos Mudzvova, Vhitori Entertainment
December 06, 2007

The wait is finally over the Zimbabwe Human Rights Arts Festival starts the ball to roll on Tuesday 11 December in Highfield, Wednesday the train moves to Mbare, Thursday the performances move to Mufakose, Friday in Dzivarasekwa to conclude on Saturday in Mabvuku/Tafara. Five community theatre groups shooting stars, Mabvuku cultural drama group, Highfield community arts, Takashinga arts and Mhondoro drama group will this year showcase human rights problems these communities are facing.

The festival was born after realizing that Zimbabweans basic human rights are being frighed everyday especially in high density areas were residents are not well informed of correct procedures to be followed even on simply issues like the period of time ZINWA should take to repair bust sewerage systems and an individuals rights under arrest ,community problems will be dealt with at this years festival at community levels .All festival performances will happen in open spaces at shopping centre's and Wednesday and Thursday will incorporate Madzimai eChina this is being done as the festivals main objective is to reach the people and spread the messages.

The theme for this years festival is vote, vote, vote. Theatre is a powerful tool for information dissemination and the festival is a wonderful opportunity to encourage the residents of these communities to prepare for the elections even under difficult circumstances. to spice up these edutainment plays musical groups like Madiz, Nesto, Mafrique, Pamuzinda and great poets like Outspoken and Congo will entertain the people. Despite this is the pilot project we hope to leave mark in these communities says the festival producer Silvanos Mudzvova of Vhitori Entertainment indeed they will leave a mark especially looking at top class plays like Final Push and Madam Speaker Sir they have produced this year.

The human rights arts festival is the first of its kind in Africa, the world over such festivals have happened in troubled spots like Yugoslavia, Chile, Russia even in normal environments like Australia such festivals happen just to keep masses aware of there rights. This is a creative and wonderful way of entertaining the people.

To spice up the festival this year we will bring an awards ceremony where human rights defenders will be honored for a job well done .the process started some 2 months ago when the people were asked to nominate the defenders in 16 categories the response was overwhelming especially for the youth activist which received close to half of the nominees, it clearly shows the youths are playing their role in shaping the future of Zimbabwe. enclosed is the final list to those be honored this year.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Arts Festival nomination list 2007

Youth activist
Maureen Kademaunga (ZINASU)
Madock Chivasa (NCA)
Edison Hlatswayo (Masvingo state university)

Arts & Culture

Cont Mhlanga (Amakhosi)
Decades of Terror (Savanna Trust)
Superpatriots & Morons (Rooftop Promotions)

Thomas Mapfumo (Blacks Unlimited)
Leornard Zhakata (Zimbabwe Stars)
Cde Fatso (Jambanja Toyi Toyi Crew)

Deprose Muchena
Rutendo Hadebe

Alec Muchadehama

Gift Phiri (Zimbabwean)
Tafirei Shumba (ZimOnline)
Caiphas Chimhete (Standard Newspaper)

Media House
The Zimbabwean
Studio 7 (VOA)

HIV/AIDS & Children's Rights
MaiNyamupinga (Social Forum)
Betty Makoni (Girl Child Network)
Tendai Westerhof

Traditional Leaders
Chief Edison Chihota
Chief Monstad Chitsundo
Chief Mutekedza

NGO/Civil society

Foreigner based in Zimbabwe
Sten Reylander
Gillian Dare
Christoper Dell
John Sheppard

Female Activist
Jenny Williams (WOZA)
Maureen Kademaunga (ZINASU)
Jestina Mukoko (ZPP)

Exiled or jailed
Chenjerai Hove
Gabriel Shumba

Learnmore Jongwe
Gift Tandare
Maria Moyo

Festival 2007 awards to unsung defenders
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights

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