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Modified & Updated: 30 Dec 2023

Source: Performap.com

The Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) is a prominent cultural event that takes place annually in Harare, Zimbabwe. Since its inception in 1999, HIFA has grown to become one of the largest international arts festivals in Africa, attracting artists and audiences from all over the world.

Over the course of six days, HIFA presents a diverse program featuring music, dance, theater, spoken word, visual arts, and workshops, creating a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere in the heart of Harare. The festival aims to promote artistic expression, foster cultural exchange, and showcase the rich heritage of Zimbabwean and African arts.

In this article, we will explore 18 fascinating facts about HIFA, shedding light on its history, impact, and unique features that make it a must-visit event for art enthusiasts and travelers alike.

Table of Contents

HIFA is one of Africa’s premier arts festivals.

The Harare International Festival of the Arts, commonly known as HIFA, is an annual event that showcases a diverse range of artistic disciplines, including music, dance, theater, visual arts, and literature. Since its inception in 1999, HIFA has become an integral part of Harare’s cultural fabric, attracting both local and international artists and audiences.

HIFA promotes cultural exchange and collaboration.

One of the key goals of HIFA is to foster cultural exchange and collaboration by bringing together artists from different backgrounds and artistic disciplines. Through workshops, performances, and interactive sessions, HIFA provides a platform for artists to share their experiences, learn from each other, and create new works that challenge and inspire.

HIFA celebrates the diversity of African arts and culture.

With its focus on showcasing African talent, HIFA plays a crucial role in promoting the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the continent. From traditional dance and music to contemporary theater and visual arts, HIFA offers a glimpse into the vibrant artistic traditions that thrive in Africa.

HIFA features renowned international artists.

While HIFA primarily celebrates African arts, it also welcomes renowned international artists who bring their unique perspectives and artistic styles to the festival. Over the years, HIFA has hosted world-renowned performers and artists from countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

HIFA attracts a large and diverse audience.

Every year, thousands of people from all walks of life attend HIFA to experience the magic of live performances and immerse themselves in the world of arts and culture. From locals to tourists, students to professionals, HIFA caters to a wide range of audience members, ensuring there is something for everyone.

HIFA supports emerging artists.

Recognizing the importance of nurturing young talent, HIFA provides a platform for emerging artists to showcase their work and gain exposure. With mentorship programs, workshops, and networking opportunities, HIFA plays a crucial role in shaping the future of the arts in Zimbabwe and beyond.

HIFA takes place in various venues across Harare.

Throughout its duration, HIFA transforms the city of Harare into a vibrant hub of creativity, with performances and exhibitions taking place in various venues, including theaters, galleries, open-air spaces, and community centers. This allows for a dynamic and immersive festival experience that embraces the city’s cultural landscape.

HIFA features a diverse range of artistic disciplines.

From theater productions and musical performances to dance showcases and visual art exhibitions, HIFA offers a wide array of artistic disciplines for audiences to explore and enjoy. This multidisciplinary approach not only enriches the festival experience but also encourages cross-pollination of ideas and collaboration between artists.

The HIFA Main Stage is a highlight of the festival.

The Main Stage at HIFA is a central focal point of the festival, featuring performances by acclaimed artists and bands. From traditional African rhythms to contemporary jazz and rock, the Main Stage offers a diverse lineup that captivates and entertains audiences of all ages.

HIFA promotes cultural education and awareness.

With its emphasis on arts and culture, HIFA plays a vital role in promoting cultural education and awareness among both artists and audiences. Through panel discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions, HIFA stimulates critical thinking, encourages dialogue, and fosters a deeper understanding of the artistic landscape in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole.

HIFA offers opportunities for collaborative projects.

One of the unique aspects of HIFA is its emphasis on collaborative projects that bring together artists from different disciplines to create innovative and thought-provoking works. These projects often push the boundaries of traditional art forms and pave the way for exciting explorations in contemporary arts.

HIFA has a strong focus on community engagement.

Recognizing the importance of community involvement, HIFA organizes outreach programs and workshops in local communities, schools, and disadvantaged areas. These initiatives promote inclusivity and accessibility, ensuring that the magic of the arts reaches as many people as possible.

HIFA showcases the work of female artists.

In line with its commitment to gender equality and inclusivity, HIFA actively promotes and features the work of female artists. From musicians to filmmakers, playwrights to visual artists, HIFA celebrates the contributions of women in the arts and provides a platform for their voices to be heard.

HIFA encourages experimentation and innovation.

As a dynamic and forward-thinking festival, HIFA encourages artists to push boundaries, experiment with new ideas, and embrace innovation in their work. This spirit of exploration and risk-taking allows for groundbreaking artistic discoveries and showcases the evolving nature of the arts.

HIFA provides networking opportunities for artists.

For artists, HIFA serves as a valuable networking platform, providing opportunities to connect with industry professionals, fellow artists, and potential collaborators. These connections can lead to future collaborations, artistic residencies, and international exposure for the participating artists.

HIFA has a positive impact on the local economy.

Beyond its cultural significance, HIFA also contributes significantly to the local economy. The influx of tourists, the increased demand for hospitality services, and the boost in sales for local businesses during the festival period all have a positive economic impact on Harare.

HIFA promotes cultural tourism in Zimbabwe.

As one of the most prominent arts festivals in Africa, HIFA attracts international visitors who come specifically to experience the festival and explore the cultural offerings of Zimbabwe. This promotes cultural tourism, showcasing Zimbabwe as a vibrant and culturally rich destination.

HIFA continues to grow in popularity and acclaim.

Since its inception, HIFA has gained recognition and acclaim both locally and internationally. The festival’s commitment to artistic excellence, its diverse programming, and its impact on the arts landscape in Zimbabwe have positioned HIFA as a significant cultural event on the global stage.


In conclusion, HIFA (Harare International Festival of the Arts) is a vibrant and diverse event that celebrates art and culture in Harare, Zimbabwe. This annual festival has gained international recognition and has become a significant platform for artists from all disciplines to showcase their talents. With its rich history, exciting performances, and strong community support, HIFA continues to be a highlight of the cultural calendar in Harare. Whether you are a music lover, a fan of theater and dance, or simply looking to experience the magic of Zimbabwean arts and culture, HIFA offers something for everyone. So mark your calendars and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and creativity of HIFA.


1. When is HIFA held?

HIFA takes place annually in April or May, typically lasting for one week. The exact dates may vary from year to year, so it is recommended to check the festival’s official website for the most up-to-date information.

2. Where does HIFA take place?

The festival is held in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. Performances and events are hosted across multiple venues in and around the city, providing a vibrant backdrop for the festival.

3. How can I purchase tickets for HIFA?

Tickets for HIFA can be purchased online through the festival’s official website. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance as some performances may sell out quickly.

4. Are there different ticket options available?

Yes, HIFA offers various ticket options to cater to different preferences and budgets. From single event tickets to full festival passes, there is a range of choices available to suit your needs.

5. What types of performances can I expect to see at HIFA?

HIFA showcases a diverse range of performances spanning music, dance, theater, comedy, visual arts, and more. From international artists to local talent, there is a dynamic lineup that promises to captivate and inspire audiences.

6. Is HIFA suitable for families?

Yes, HIFA is a family-friendly event with performances and activities suitable for all age groups. The festival often includes dedicated programming for children and families, ensuring everyone can enjoy the festivities together.

7. Can I volunteer at HIFA?

Absolutely! HIFA offers volunteer opportunities for those who would like to contribute to the festival’s success. Check the festival’s website for details on how to become a volunteer and be a part of this exciting event.

8. Are there any accommodation options available near the festival venues?

Yes, Harare offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. It is advisable to book your accommodations in advance, especially during the festival period, to secure your preferred choice.

9. Is photography allowed during performances?

Photography policies may vary from performance to performance. It is recommended to check with the festival organizers or the venue staff for specific photography guidelines before the event.

10. What are some highlights of previous HIFA festivals?

Previous HIFA festivals have featured remarkable performances by renowned international artists, collaborations between local and international talent, thought-provoking exhibitions, and engaging workshops. Each year brings new highlights and surprises, making HIFA an eagerly anticipated event on the arts calendar.