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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) 2011 - Index of articles, videos and images

  • Inside/Out with Alenka Ponjavic, opera singer and popcorn addict
    Bev Clark,
    April 29, 2011

    Alenka Ponjavic

    Zimbabwean audiences have been wowed for several years by Alenka Ponjavic who regularly performs at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA).

    Alenka graciously gave Kubatana some of her time and went Inside Out with us.

    Alenka Ponjavic - the princess of the Balkans and Queen of Everyone and Everything and Everywhere else (she really believes this is true), Opera singer and Artist at HIFA.

    Find out more about Alenka from her web site:

    Describe yourself in five words?
    Determined, a bit crazy, passionate, artistic, compassionate (I hope).

    What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
    From my mother: if you're going to do something, do it properly or don't bother.

    What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
    Stapling a dress together and singing in it in front of 5,000 people. Ridiculous is necessary and very present.

    What is your most treasured possession?
    My voice.

    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    On a global scale, a large number of people not having access to basic necessities.

    Do you have any strange hobbies?

    Getting up and singing in front of strangers. I write poetry and paint and don't have any talent for it.

    What do you dislike most about your appearance?
    My nose and my double chin.

    What is your greatest extravagance?

    I don't really have any.

    What have you got in your fridge?
    2 litres of milk that's gone off, a bottle of champagne and a bit of cheese.

    What is your greatest fear?

    To be imprisoned for no reason. To be imprisoned innocent.

    What have you got in your pockets right now?

    No pockets on me!

    What is your favourite journey?

    All journeys are favourite. As long as they are journeys I am happy, and life itself is a journey.

    Who are your heroes in real life?
    I make a point of having no heroes. Ultimately when you meet a person who you think is a hero you realise they are just a person.

    When and where were you happiest?
    The day I got accepted at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study music. Its been a holiday ever since.

    What's your biggest vice?
    Addiction to popcorn. I am in the process of developing Popcorn Anonymous. The first thing I checked at HIFA after dropping my suitcase was where the popcorn machine was. Otherwise I would have called Manuel.

    What were you like at school?
    One of those people who wanted to have lots of results without working too hard.

    What are you doing next?
    Ordering a carrot cake, my second biggest vice

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