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NACZ Director, Nicholas Moyo

The hosting of the inaugural Nyanga Arts Festival is a much welcome development for the Cultural and Creative Sector (CCS) in Zimbabwe and provides proof that the sector has managed to pick itself up and recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s a unique opportunity to uplift Zimbabwean cultural and art practices while promoting and showcasing Nyanga as a tourist destination. This combination of the arts with tourism provides a platform for exhibiting Zimbabwe’s diversity and creativity as well as the beautiful vistas of the Eastern Highlands.

I would like to congratulate the organisers for putting up this event for artists to showcase their craft, share experiences in the workshops accompanying the festival, and above all increase the platform for the consumption of local CCS products and services.
The Festival should also help to grow the regional and local economies, promote the specific destination (in this case Nyanga), contribute to the livelihood of the artists and the local community and display different forms of art and create specific images of the area in local and international media spaces.

As part of the National Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) strategy, the NACZ has engaged in a drive to collect information in the socio-economic benefits of festivals to communities. In their five-year strategy NACZ hopes to collect, document and provide concrete information on the impact of festivals and other CCI products in communities. This is the first step in out endevour to professionalise the CCS so that  we can produce a correct measure of its contribution to the economic development of the country.

patron - chief saunyama

Ladies and gentlemen, the year 2022 is a historic one for the town of Nyanga. It is the year of the founding of the Nyanga Arts Festival.
The town continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The hosting of this festival increases the status of the town and the diversity of its cultural and tourism offering. Held under the theme, Heritage, Tourism and Climate Change, the Nyanga Arts Festival mission addresses a plethora of sustainable development goals (SDGs). By unveiling equal opportunities to both male and female creatives and professionals at the festival, it is already addressing the 5th SDG on gender equality. By purposeful-ly curating a workshop on music decent work and administering professional contracts to every-one engaged in the festival, it is unfolding Goal #8 on decent work and economic growth. By founding the festival in Nyanga, it is in compliance with SDG 11 that speaks to the establishment of sustainable cities and communities. And there are more SDGs that are being pursued. Looking closer to home, I note that by hosting this festival, Nhimbe Trust is contributing to the fulfilment of key priority areas of the National Development Strategy 1. By establishing the festival in Nyanga, there is already a large emphasis on devolution – to allow citizens to participate in development planning – which is one of the 14 priorities of National Development Strategy 1. More than half of the 14 national priorities are addressed by this festival.

What a unique intervention! I implore the people of Nyanga to ensure by all means possible that this festival becomes a reflection and a productive manifestation of sustainability over the years. After a few years, the town will be counting the spin-offs of this intervention. Last but not least, the remarkable intentional focus on the environment and climate change is to be applauded. It is an open statement that the festival is here to enhance promotion and the need for protection of the beauty of the awesome Eastern Highlands. I am humbly honoured to be a part of this exceptional historic occasion.

festival executive producer- founder - josh nyapimbi

The Nyanga Rural District is a major highlight of the Zimbabwean geographical landscape. In its vicinity is the Nyanga National Park renowned for a variety of wildlife, Mount Nyangani, the highest mountain in Zimbabwe, the spectacular Nyamombe Falls, the breath-taking Mutarazi Falls, the scenic Pungwe Falls and the Ziwa Ruins and Museum – among many other tourist at-tractions. The natural resources surrounding the town are a sight to see. It was our point of view pertaining to such immense beauty that the missing cherry on the cake was a cultural attraction, hence the founding of the Nyanga Arts Festival.
Complementing the current efforts to enhance tourism in the Eastern Highlands, the conception of the festival was to establish a more engaging and socially cohesive intervention, and the Nyanga Festival was highly befitting.
This inaugural edition is a seed which is envisaged to grow into a full-fledged festival for the benefit of not only the Nyanga town but the Eastern Highlands and the country as a whole. I am happy to see keen appreciation of the festival by the corporate tourism community. They have certainly embraced the logic and fact of the essence of festivals in generating income for the locals, employment creation, improvement of infrastructure and facilities as well as enhancement of visibility amongst many other factors.
This annual experience will not only bring quality artistry to Nyanga, but it will definitely identify untapped talent and bring it to the limelight. It will also bring to the forefront and in a way safeguard the Nyanga jekunje traditional dance and revive the threatened Nyanga kind of mbira well known as the nyonga nyonga, malimba heritage which intricately connects to Nyanga’s robust cultural and spiritual background.
As Nhimbe Trust, our vision for this festival is bigger than has been imagined before. This year alone we aim to reach 10 000 people altogether in live and online audiences, and to be viewed digitally in more than 50 countries.
It is not all just fun and merriment at the Nyanga Arts Festival, but it is also about awareness, training, education, actively preserving cultural heritage and biodiversity and a lot more! Nhimbe is an indigenous collaborative work system where community members work towards a common goal.
True to the ethos of Nhimbe, the inaugural edition of Nyanga Arts Festival would therefore not have been possible without the tremendous support of the Montclair Hotel, Sound Connects Fund, Music in Africa Foundation, ACP-UE, the Goethe Institut, Siemens I Stiftung, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, National Trust of Zimbabwe, Rhodes Nyanga Museum, Music Cross-roads Zimbabwe, NANGO, Nyangani FM/Community Radio Trust, Diamond FM, ZiFM, ZIMPA-PERS and earGROUND.