BULAWAYO – Umkhathi Theatre Works is set to participate at the 45th edition of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Scotland that will run between July 28 and August 5.
The performing arts ensemble based in Njube high density suburb in the City Of Kings was invited to the prestigious event in line with a twinning agreement between Bulawayo and the Scottish city.
The invitation to prestigious festival is captured in the latest Bulawayo City Council (BCC) minutes.
“The invitation came through our relationship with Aberdeen International Youth Festival that we (BCC) created in 2004 when we attended the festival for the first time.
“Early this year, the director of the festival, Steward Aitken, saw a post on Facebook page that Umkhathi Theatre Works is celebrating 20 years of existence . . . Aitken proposed that we attend the Aberdeen International Youth Festival,” read part of the minutes.
The minutes also stated that the performing arts ensemble, led by Matesu Dube, will be accompanied by eight BCC officials though it emphasised that the event will be “supported as long as it has no financial implications to council.”
According to the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Umkhathi will feature in events in the main Festival programme.
The award-winning group will also take part in the extended festival programme that will see them performing at venues throughout North-East of Scotland.
They will also feature in the fringe festival and at community events including outdoor and non-theatre/performance venues like at shopping centres, gardens as well as city centre pedestrian areas.
Umkhathi Theatre Works has toured Scotland before. They took part in the Aberdeen Festival back in 2004.
The Bulawayo arts ensemble, that won the 2011 National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) in the Outstanding Dance Group category, is one of Zimbabwe’s foremost dance and theatre groups.
Umkhathi Theatre Works has just been nominated in two categories — Outstanding Theatre Production for the play Warrior and the Best Traditional Dance Group in the inaugural Bulawayo Arts Awards set for June 30.