CHIDO Musasiwa, director of Let Them Trust (LTT), has announced July 27 to 29 as the dates for the 12th edition of The Let Them Trust Festival, which will be in the form of a competition in honour of the late Zimdancehall chanter Soul Jah Love.
The festival will run under the title Njabulo and has sub-themes of Drama — Statutory Rape; Poetry, Visual Art & Fashion — Ubuntu (Realising Africanism); and Music — Soul Jah Love (celebrating the life of the late musician.
Every competing performance has to incorporate a song by Soul Jah Love. Njabulo is isiNdebele for happiness.
Last year, the festival honoured yesteryear’s music legend Zexie Manatsa.
Musasiwa said Soul Jah Love (born Soul Musaka) was very influential to the youth and left an indelible mark in the Zimbabwean arts industry.
Nicknamed Sauro, the late legend has a discography of hit songs which include Handichade, Ndongosimudza Musoro, Go Back to Sender, Pamamonya Ipapo, Kutangisa Ma1, African Girl (featuring Shyman Shaizo) and Ndiri Zvinhu.
Musasiwa said her organisation was child and youth-oriented, educational and cultural and aimed at creating a platform for young people to groom and showcase their artistic talent.
“LTT programming scouts, nurtures artistic talent, preserves cultural identity in young people and most importantly uses creativity to educate participants on how they can circumvent issues that affect them.
”The arts festival is an annual school’s arts festival that has been running for 11 years. This year, it’s a three-day event that will be running from July 27 to 29 that will take place at our Let Them Village in Domboshava. Each year, it has themes for different genres on display which creates platforms to engage young people on different issues,” she told NewsDay Life & Style.
Musasiwa noted that Zimbabwean art is unique and has a lot of aspects which charm the world.
“Take it from me, I was born in Zimbabwe, but I was raised in Australia and I have travelled the world all over, we are in our own league. Art is a cultural expression and it has its own evolution. I am proud of how we express ourselves and I am well versed in supporting arts in Zimbabwe because I have an appreciation of its value,” she explained.
“We have a lot of our Zimbabweans winning international awards in film or music and we are not taking enough credit for it. I believe we are all custodians of our own artistic expression as Zimbabweans and, therefore, we should invest in it. We should invest in producing output that is consumable and exportable and we don’t have to pivot from our cultural identity to do so.”
The highly innovative Musasiwa is a marketing and communications professional who has a remarkable reputation locally and internationally for brand activation, artist management and has strong collaborations with corporates, non-governmental organisations and various ministries for awareness campaigns.
Musasiwa is a leader and effective team player.
“There is always a creative team, support system that I draw from. We brainstorm casually regularly on how to do things differently and break barriers and set trends. I surround myself with creativity and I am not afraid to experiment. I give my team enough room to be creative and experiment and it brings results.
“I am devoted to my commitments. I see things through and our clients and networks value that. There is success in being deemed trustworthy and consistent. People and opportunities will look for you because your ability to deliver is undisputed,” she said.
“The arts centre is a cultural preservation project that seeks to establish structures and functions that draw us back to our cultural roots and practices. It also serves as a tourism function in Domboshava.
“It has beautiful hiking terrain and cave paintings that are unique to the area. We plan to construct a state-of-the-art learning centre for the creative and culture sector that will benefit the locals and those that want to experience our creative and culture sector in its most organic environment.”
Musasiwa has major future plans for the venue of the festival in Domboshava, which sits on 15 hectares of unencumbered land.
The venue will comprise 55 traditional huts (Ndebele, Tonga, Kalanga, Doma, Shangaan and Venda) and has a 200-seater restaurant and 300 seat amphitheatre.
The primary revenue source of the village will be accommodation, food and beverages.
There will also be a camping facility where schools, churches and youth clubs will be able to visit for weekends and experience life off-the-grid, while learning about many cultures through music, dance, theatre, poetry and storytelling.
“We are currently looking for partners and sponsors to make this dream a reality. We are offering naming rights to the huts that would be built in the village to potential partners and sponsors,” Musasiwa said.
“We are also calling on those who would want to help us build a playground for kids at the village. We are currently collecting tyres to build the playground. It’s an open call for us to build an infused version of our past and future together.
“We are masters of our own fate,” Winston Churchill once said, and Musasiwa is determined to succeed through endeavour.”
She added: “There is nothing that is set before us that we cannot overcome. Everyone that knows me will tell you even when the chips are down, I will always say our victory is certain as long as you put in the work.