LANGA-ANDREW

TALKING ARTS: Adios Comrade Langa . . .

Nkululeko Nkala

TRUST me I would have loved to get straight to talking about Intwasa, but it will be wrong to let the passing of a king seem like a non-event.

Yes, Intwasa is dear to my heart and I have seen some amazing acts and enjoyed myself so far, but Langa is no longer our minister.

Oh my God do we even have a ministry? Ah well they say we do. Are we under the culture side with Minister Abednico Ncube or on the recreation side with Minister Makhosini Hlongwane? Thata��s a story for another day.

I remember when it was announced that we as the arts industry finally had a ministry, we were ecstatic for lack of a better word.

We finally had hope that something good was coming our way. After all economies with a striving arts industry have a Ministry as a foundation.

So yes, ex-Minister Langa was the man tasked with taking us to the Promised Land but did he? When his Excellency excused him and dismantled the Sports and Arts Ministry,newspapers came out guns blazing at the brother calling his tenure uneventful. I will have you know that things happened under the minister.

We hosted the youth games, held National Arts Merit Awards twice in Bulawayo, got the national football team kicked out of the World Cup, made Cont Mhlanga cry and read a few unclear speeches.

Then the newspapers call it an uneventful tenure. Like really? Ncncnc. Here is what the biggest mistake for the former minister was. When you save people the first stop is meet the people and hear them out.

God knows we tried to meet with the minister with no luck. The few times he was in the city, he was only here for sports. I guess all I am doing is hinting to which ever ministry we fall under that engage us. We know what we want and we will gladly advise. After all we are over qualified in this industry (no offence meant).

So now that the deed has been done, what happens to the National Culture Policy? Anyway whoever is leading us, welcome to our jungle? Here is hoping you will arrange things. Leave the hippos in the water and make plans for when the drought comes.

Imagine if the Arts and Culture desk had actually made industry changing decisions? I wish Comrade Langa well in his future endeavours. I will definitely miss the speeches.

Back to Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo. The showcase which began on Monday continues till tomorrow.

Like I said earlier, I have seen amazing moments at this yeara��s festival but I delayed writing this piece so I can talk about the Intwasa Official Opening. That event is the face of the festival it is what brings people together and what many people judge the festival by. More impressive this year was the numbers at the Car Park.

Of interest to many was the main act Africa Revenge who had a music break up nine years ago and recently got back together. I was scared for them, I mean nine years is a long time.

What happens to the chemistry? Well, my fears were put to rest. The boys sang their hearts out. They still have those sweet harmonies and the inclusion of original Africa Revenge band members made it sweeter. It will be wrong to not talk about the Opening Act which comprised artists from Umkhathi Theatre, Siyaya, Ezimnyama, Explosion, Snipers, puppeteers and two artistes from Harare.

I liked how they married contemporary and modern dances. It was long but it still was amazing.

Come this evening I am sure the Large City Hall will be a blast of fun. Winky D the ninja President is coming to town. He will be supported by local Djs who will battle it out for one prize. Australian DJ Paul Ray Charles will be one of the judges for the DJs show.

He has previously recorded with foreign-based musician Tinashe. Tomorrow the festival curtain will come down with performances from comedians Clive Chigubhu, Keith Nkosi and Doc Vikela. Intwasa fashion show is proving popular will happen at Amtec and will feature designera��s models from South Africa and Botswana. For me this has been a wonderful Intwasa. From an Intwasa perspective, until next year, be safe.