umoja festival.jpgThe search for participants to represent Zimbabwe in this year’s edition of Umoja Cultural Flying Carpet festival reached a climax this Wednesday with 15 out of 60 participants being selected.


The 15 artists were short listed after 10 days of auditioning.

The initial search had been for 12 participants but the selection team upped the number after an impressive performance by the artists.

Dutch theatre director, Koen Schyvens who is visiting all the 7 Umoja nations to select finalists says due to the high level of talent exhibited by the artists, it was difficult to drop some of them.

Schyvens says apart from artistic talent, the team was also looking at social networking skills as the assembly is about interaction.

“Zimbabwe has a lot of talent and this year it was unbelievable….Umoja is interactive as artists will have to live together for over two weeks, hence the need for social interactive skills and multi talent on the artists part,” said Schyvens.

Another selector from Sweden Per Skoglund said the talent shown by the artists was immense and said the Umoja assembly hopes it will be able to create a platform for the artists to grow in promoting the country’s culture.

“We hope when we meet the other countries and camp the experience helps the artists to grow as we shall take them to international festivals and shows….culture is the essence of a people,” Skoglund said.

umoja logo.jpgUmoja now in its 8th year tries to unify and explore cultural diversity through various art forms such as song, dance and drama.

The country hosts the next edition of the festival under the theme “Creating Together,” with participants from Mozambique, South Africa and Norway expected to grace the event which runs from the 27th of April at the Zimbabwe College of Music in Harare.

The artists will also perform at the Harare International Festival of the Arts before traveling around the globe with their act.