Four years ago, Zambian freelance writer/blogger Mazuba Kapambwe teamed up with Lorraine Bgoya, a cultural producer based in Zimbabwe to create ‘The Fest Gurus’, a show that aimed to explore Africa through her various festivals. Produced by Gwinyayi Mabika and Ngonizashe Chinara of Crafted Media studios, the concept began as a webseries on youtube.
“Our goal was to pitch the first episode which we shot in April 2013 at the Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA) to different television stations. However, we weren’t picked up by a network though we kept shooting at travelling to festivals”, stated Mazuba Kapambwe. Over a four year period, the foursome attended Lake of Stars (Malawi), Shoko Hip Hop Festival (Zimbabwe), Bushfire (Swaziland), Vic Falls Carnival (Zimbabwe), Barefeet Festival (Zambia) and Sauti Za Busara (Zanzibar).
By maintaining an active social media presence, The Fest Gurus were tapped by CNN to rate their top seven festivals in Africa and received speaking engagements at Social Media Week Lagos and London. However, due to lack of finances, they stopped actively shooting the show. Their luck changed last year when they were approached by Zambezi Magic to film a pilot episode.
Shot in Lagos, Nigeria during the 20 year anniversary of Felabration (a festival celebrating the life and legacy of Fela Kuti) and at the Windhoek Jazz Festival in Namibia, the pilot episode features interviews with some of Africa’s biggest artists such as Micasa, Sauti Sol, Liz Ehlers and more. Other highlights include the hosts trying out the local food and drink in Nigeria and Namibia and attending Windhoek Fashion Week.
“The pilot is great in that it features two very different festivals. Being a part of a festival that has been going on for twenty years and is held at the residence of Fela Kuti was an unforgettable experience and then in Namibia, we were attending a newer festival and less than a 10 minute drive from there, we met the Himba tribe, an indigenous Namibian tribe that still dress the way they have been for centuries”, said Gwinyayi Mabika.
The aim of The Fest Gurus is to encourage African millennials to travel to festivals on the continent in an attempt to boost intra Africa tourism and also to showcase how African festivals are supporting the creative economy by contributing to the GDP of the countries they are held in.
“Festivals create jobs and support entire cities. For example, The Cape Town Jazz Festival brings in 522 million rand and creates almost 3,000 jobs. The festival market on the continent is lucrative as global festivals such as Essence and Afropunk have hosted editions in South Africa. So The Fest Gurus is definitely a timely show”, stated Lorraine Bgoya.
The Fest Gurus will air on Zambezi Magic channel 160 on Friday December 22 at 21:00 CAT and will repeat on December 25 at 18:40 CAT and on the 30th Dec at 16:00 CAT. Share your thoughts about the episode using #ZMFestGurus and follow @TheFestGurus on instagram, twitter and facebook for live tweets and more festival related content.
Instagram: The Fest Gurus
Facebook: The Fest Gurus
Images from pilot episode