Music Dancing Across Borders
Zimfest 2018 was held August 9-12 at Western Oregon University. We were pleased to return to the festival-friendly WOU campus in the town of Monmouth, Oregon, nearly equidistant from Portland and Eugene.
We were pleased to debut our new Zimfest registration system, the product of 16 months of research and development by our hard-working Zimfest Technical Team. Many thanks to them, and also to Alex Weeks and Jake Roberts as co-creators of the now-retired system which served us well since 2010.
The Zimfest Organizing Committee was proud of the program we put together for 2018. The Cultural Appropriation panel on Saturday morning August 11 was an important, free community event.
Introducing a Star-Studded Zimfest Lineup
Zimbabweans joining us at Zimfest to teach and/or perform for the first time included:
- 17 year-old marimba band-leader and nyunga nyunga, drum, and dance teacher Abel Mafuleni
- Inspiring vocalist and choir director Tsungai Tsikirai, based in the UK
- Award-winning instrumentalist and choir leader Tafadzwa Matiure, following in his father’s (Dr. Sheasby Matiure) footsteps
- Dancer/instrumentalist Napoleon Jambwa, currently living in Capetown
- Gwenyambira Alois Mutinhiri, coming from Zimbabwe.
We also welcomed back popular gwenyambira and teacher Musekiwa Chingodza (based in Zimbabwe); Kwanongoma graduate and marimba expert Michael Sibanda (South Africa); marimba specialist Patience Musandirire (Zimbabwe); and the multi-talented vocalist and dancer Lucky Moyo (traveling from England).
Last, but certainly not least, we extended a hearty welcome to Zimfest 2018 to the following North American-based Zimbabwean teachers and performers: Rujeko Dumbutshena, Tapiwa Kapurura, Zivanai Masango, Paul Mataruse, Chakaipa Mhembere, Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa, Evelyn Mukwedeya, and Moyo ‘Rainos’ Mutamba.
Unfortunately, visas were denied for Zimbabweans Jacob Mafuleni and Martha Thom. Visa applications for Barnabas Ngalande and Tawanda Mapanda were abandoned for this year because they ran out of time.
Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders
The Zimfest Association Board chose Music Dancing Across Borders as the theme for Zimfest 2018. Given the vulnerable circumstances for immigrants and citizens both here in the United States and in Zimbabwe, we are steadfast in the knowledge that music and dance are unifying forces around the world. We look forward to dissolving borders and creating togetherness at Zimfest 2018 in Monmouth, OR!
Feel free to download the Zimfest 2018 Save the Date card, designed by graphic artist Rachel Edson. The Music Dancing Across Borders theme inspired her graphic depicting Zimbabwean musicians and dancers in a circle – suggesting a spiral with no beginning and no end.