Updated: Apr 18, 2020
A Zimbabwean platform is hosting a 24-hour virtual music and arts festival to celebrate Zimbabwe's 40th independence.
ZimThrive, which had planned a month-long initiative that was scheduled to take place in Zimbabwe this month, said that the virtual celebration aims to bring everyone across the globe together to celebrate the very best of Zimbabwean music, performing arts and literature.
Taking place on Saturday 18 April, the online event will be hosted by a wide range of music artists, performers and ZimThrive ambassadors.
Mildred Munjanganja, co-founder of ZimThrive said: "As part of our wider corporate responsibility objectives, the ZimThrive team collectively made the decision to host a 24-hour virtual party that gives families around the world the opportunity to enjoy good music and performances from the comforts of their homes and celebrate everything Zimbabwean, while raising money for good causes."
She added: We've all been worried about the coronavirus pandemic. Our healthcare workers, many of whom are family and friends have been on the frontline fighting this virus daily.
Similarly, our government officials and non-profit organisations have been working hard behind the scenes to curb the spread of this disease and we want to use this day to applaud their hard work."
Confirmed acts from around the world include well-known Zimbabwean DJ, Stavo, former Noisettes frontwoman, Shingai Shoniwa, Gemma Griffiths, Kazz Khalifa, Vusa Mkhaya, King Alfred, Made in Zwe, Kwaye, Sylent Nqo, Busi Ncube, KapCity, DJ Tonez, Fungai Nengare, Cindy Munyavi, MC Smylie & The Circle and DJ Nhunzi, among others.
US based comedian Alfred Kainga has also been added to the diverse lineup. There will also be DJs from around the world on rotation.
Events will begin from midnight (Zimbabwe time) and run concurrently on Facebook and Instagram throughout Saturday and early Sunday. The first segment will kickoff in the United States.
Mike Tashaya, co-founder of ZimThrive said that during this unprecedented time, people need something to break up the monotony and positive activities to look forward to.
"People are, in some cases, feeling anxious and nostalgic, and we have created an innovative event that will enable us to celebrate being Zimbabwean. This is also a chance to highlight some notable achievements we have had in the last 40 years."
Mr Tashaya said that all diaspora hotspots such as the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, China and the Middle East have all rallied together to bring a wide range of activities that include comedy sets, poetry, DJ sets, motivational vox pops and virtual BBQs.
“The organisation was not only formed to bring Zimbabweans together for a reunion, it's also an opportunity to continually showcase Zimbabwean talent through music, art, film, theatre, fashion, business, seminars and workshops, and our audience will get a glimpse of the wider vision for ZimThrive this Saturday as we get ready for December," Tashaya added.
The event will also raise awareness and fundraise for Covid-19. All proceeds will go towards buying protective equipment for hospitals and healthcare workers in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe at 40
Every year around the world, thousands of Zimbabweans traditionally attend independence day festivities on April 18 to remember and celebrate the day that the southern African country was freed from colonial rule in 1980.
At the main ceremony, the eternal flame is lit each year for good wishes for the nation's future. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Zimbabwe has had to cancel the celebration.
Despite commemorating four decades of independence, a growing number of Zimbabweans don't believe that there is much to celebrate.
Once considered the breadbasket of Africa, the country has faced tyrannical rule and economic turmoil for much of its independence. The healthcare system has also collapsed and with coronavirus spreading, this has raised concerns that the country is not prepared to manage this crisis.
Nonetheless, though the last forty years have been bittersweet in some cases, there are also a majority of Zimbabweans who believe that the country can be restored to its former glory through reconciliation and working as a united people to rebuild and rewrite the nation's narrative.
Well wishes from Friends of Zimbabwe
Meanwhile, well wishes from Friends of Zimbabwe have been pouring in on various platforms ahead of Saturday, with many of them wishing all Zimbabweans a "happy 40th birthday!"
ZimThrive still on the calendar ZimThrive's organisers announced last month that they were postponing the homecoming and the inaugural event will now take place from 1-31 December 2020.
New calendar events will be announced in the coming weeks. In the last 18 months, ZimThrive has received the support of various partners and stakeholders, including the Rainbow Tourism Group and Tann Law in the UK. Other partners include, Loma Media, 3mob, Senditoo, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Zympay. For all Independence Day activities, visit their Instagram and Facebook pages. For more information visit www.zimthrive.com.