- As Maun International Arts Festivals returns
Following a two-year hiatus due to COVID 19 pandemic, the annual Maun International Arts Festival (MIAF) is set to return this month, bringing a 5-day feature of both local and international artists.
MIAF which has been in existence since 2011 is an all-inclusive arts festival that was introduced by Poetavango, following the realisation that the growth of the arts in general was unsatisfactory.
The festival that will be held from the 23rdth of November till the 28th has brought a feeling of excitement to arts enthusiasts.
MIAF’s main objective is to promote the arts performances, literary and visual arts and culture in Botswana. The festival will incorporate a variety of events with the first being the ‘public mural art’ which will be done in partnership with the Mural Supply Company.
On November 24th there will be a ‘visual art exhibition’ at Nhabe Museum, followed by an event to donate reading glasses to the less privileged. A poetry night and dinner gala at Okavango Brewery will follow on the 25th bringing performances by seasoned poets, and then a live music and picnic event will be held at Luna Gardens on the 26th.
On the 27th, there will be another public mural painting at a different spot followed by the interschool poetry slam which will be held on the last day of the festival specifically meant for students. During the event, an award will be presented to the best poetry and short story essay writers at Nhabe Museum.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Poetavango Events Manager Thato Molosi explained that the idea of the MIAF is to market Maun not only as a gate way to the Okavango Delta but also as a destination in its own right.
Molosi revealed that they are still awaiting confirmation from other international artists as it has been a norm for the festival to feature performances from abroad. Only artists from Zambia and Namibia have so far confirmed their participation.
Poetavango Chairperson Legodile Seganabeng said though artists were negatively affected by the pandemic, the positive impact it had on them was that they found time to work on themselves.
Seganabeng said MIAF is a platform that helps Botswana artists to become globally competitive. He also promised that this year’s MIAF will bring the finest performances.
Meanwhile a Youth Officer from the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Refilwe Banda believes that the festival has the potential to grow even bigger. She however said there is need to support. “Art is an important industry that needs attention and support as it has a lot of money and with lack of employment being an issue in our country, the youth could venture into it to diminish the worrying issue,” she advised.
The Ministry has since 2011 been funding the festival. MIAF began with just as a one day event but eventually grew to a 7 day event, however this year they will host a short but yet exciting 5 day festival as they are only rising from a difficult time of the pandemic.