Abet-Arts Performing Festival starts at CAS

Spotlight on Performing Arts with JOHN KAPESA
AN EXCITING weekend awaits theatre goers and lovers of local cultural dances during the two-day 2017 Abet-Arts Performing Festival, which starts today at Chingola Arts Society (CAS) in Chingola with an intricate theme, “Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Prevention and Reduction of Early Marriages in Zambia”.

The festival is consciously being held to augment Government and co-operating partners’ efforts to mitigate the serious flaws in GBV matters that bring down developmental strides.
During the festival, described as one of the well-themed artistic gatherings, scripted plays with thoughtful and wary refrains, skilful and proficient stage performances are expected while cultural dances will not only add spice to the event but awards await those that will excel at the end during the gala presentation.
By early this week, a total of six drama groups and four cultural dance troupes had confirmed participation in the festival; with well over 1,500 members of the community expected to watch the performances with others scheduled to receive information through the workshop, brochures and leaflets.
Among the confirmed theatre groups are Kasama Arts Theatre of Kasama with Eric Kasomo’s play Innocent Murder, Nkwazi Theatre Club of Lusaka has Francis Malunga’s Bride Price while Vision Action Theatre of Chingola is set with Family Miseries by Alick Chileshe. Other groups are Bendeka Theatre Club, Intanda Arts and Cultural Ensemble and CAS.
Cultural dance troupes are Sunga Umukoshi of Kitwe, Mazumba from Chililabombwe and Intanda Arts and Cultural Ensemble and Sotambe of Chingola.
As part of the publicity campaign, a six kilometre match past has been planned from CAS through Chingola central business town and back.
Festival director Ackson Tembo categorised the awards as Best Leading Actor, Supporting Actor, Best Leading Actress, Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Production (two Awards) and Best Script. In the Cultural dances, there is the Best Male and Female Dancer, Best Group (two awards), Best Song and Best Drummer.
Tembo said the organisers have made frantic efforts to reach out and invite some of the loud advocates against GBV and early child marriages.
“We have invited Hon Victoria Kalima, Minister of Gender to grace our festival” Tembo intimated.
Lined-up too are training and information workshops on various topics of theatre, GBV and early child marriages to be facilitated by different leading personalities in those areas.
Abet Arts Promoters is an arts promotion agency based in Chingola. The agency has over the years undertaken various arts activities which include festivals, workshops and worked with schools to improve their play performances. It also produces a monthly newsletter.
Tembo is still appealing for sponsorship saying all prospective contributions can be forwarded to him through the First National Bank (FNB) Account Name – ABET Arts Promoters, No. 62703346115, Chingola Branch. He can be reached on email abetembo@gmail.com and cells 0977752335, 0966901716 and 0955038292.
Thank you for the uplifting comments and contributions from readers; Edward Lange wrote in to say he follows the column, while Zimbabwean Stephen Chifunyise has called for the local artists to make comments some of the matters raised by the late Chibale Kalaba in this column.
Then I received a call from Esau Simwinde in Choma saying he was pleased to read about the arts in the Weekend Mail. Mwaka Monde in Chipata said she had just relocated from Lusaka to Eastern Province and wants help how she can link up with theatre artists in Chipata.

For comments write to; john.kapesa818@yahoo. co.uk – 0955-0977-710975

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