Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
RENOWNED American lighting designer Michael “Spike” Foster and South Africa’s Bamanye Yeko are set to land in Bulawayo for the inaugural Phenomenal Festival of Lights to be held at the Gordon Park area of the Matopos National Park early next month.
Phenomenal Lighting Solutions’ Mildred Moyo and her crew are stepping up preparations for the festival which will run from September 2 to 4.
The festival will be held under the theme, “Let there be light” which mirrors an escape from darkness.
Foster, Yeko, and Moyo will oversee the adjudication of works by participants. Complementary to the above-mentioned panel will be British lighting expert Patrick Woodroffe.
He will also officiate virtually via a video which will be played on the opening night.
Moyo said the festival is meant to make her nationwide tour come full circle.
“This festival is important because it’ll culminate in my nationwide tour and give participants of the Phenomenal Lighting Solutions class a platform to showcase what they have learnt over the months with the hope of financially rewarding those who will excel. They will get a chance to design a stage for the artistes. Be it scenery, theatre, dance, music, or whatever they choose to light, they will get a chance to win. The main stage will be named after Patrick Woodroffe who is my mentor,” she said.
Participants are expected to come from four cities, Harare, Masvingo, Mutare, and Bulawayo to showcase their lighting design skills.
Moyo said members of the public are free to bring their camping gear to experience lighting design merged with music, poetry, dance, bonfire, jumping castles, inflatable pools, slides, comedy, quad bikes, spit braai, and high rope activities to make it a family-friendly affair.
The first day will have a workshop conducted by Yeko who expressed excitement at being part of a groundbreaking event in Zimbabwe. He said he is looking forward to interacting and learning from local artistes.
“I’m very excited about being part of this great initiative and I’m looking forward to learning more about the lighting industry of Zimbabwe. Since I’ll be running a workshop, I’m really hoping to grow personally as an artist and a collaborator.
“Lastly, I’m praying my contribution towards this project helps to develop and grow the festival to be one of the spectacular festivals in the history of the lighting industry,” he said.
The event will be a first of its kind in Zimbabwe and is set to be held annually going forward. – @eMKlass_49