THE Victoria Falls Cultural Festival was never registered with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), it has been established.
Philani Dube, the Matabeleland North NACZ acting provincial arts manager, said its organisers acted unlawfully by advertising such a huge festival with the media without the knowledge of the council.
The much-hyped festival had been scheduled for August 6 to 11, but never took place at the resort town as organiser – the Zimbabwe Music Association (Zimma) secretary-general Mish Nyakudarika – disappeared, leaving artistes stranded.
Dube said Nyakudarika had assured the council that he would register the event in July, but never did.
“It is not permitted for one to go to the press and advertise an event without registering with us. I had to track down some artistes working with Nyakudarika in Victoria Falls to understand more about the logistics,” he said.
Victoria Falls Artists’ Assembly chairman Ndabezinhle Sibanda told Southern Eye Lifestyle that Nyakudarika had called them advising that the festival had been shifted to August 26, saying the main sponsor of the event was no longer forthcoming.
“But what he did was wrong. I had Bulawayo artistes calling me to find out about the festival. He kept his phone off and after some time he appeared saying he had problems with the sponsor.
He should have been honest and explained what really occurred to all the artistes,” Sibanda said.
Busi Ncube, Cool Crooners, Dudu Manhenga, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, kwaito artiste PoZee, Black Umfolosi, Thandy Dlana, Chicken Bus, Willis Wataffi, DJ Francis, Mandebvu, Tata Mojo, Men at Work, Colour Blue, Victor Kunonga and Family Voices were some of the artistes billed to perform at the festival.
Nyakudarika has not been available to comment on the saga surrounding the abandoned event – Southern Eye.