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Preparations for this year’s edition of Francophonie Festival are at aanced stage and organisers have finalised the programme. The festival, which will run from March 13 to 27 will be held at various places in Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru. Guest performers Sowe Band from Burkina Faso will present a fusion of energetic Zimbabwean and Burkinabe music. Sowe Band will share the stage with contemporary jazz sensation Eve Kawadza interpreting Edith Piaf, French singer and guitarist Patrick Lupi on the closing day of the festival.

Alliance Francaise de Harare administrative assistant Gerald Mugwenhi sai, one of the major highlights this year is the Sing Your Way to Paris Competition.

“Each year in March, the main French-speaking embassies and institutions in Zimbabwe partner with the Alliance Franccedilaise in Harare and Bulawayo to present a series of films, concerts, shows and activities that reflect the diversity of the francophone world.

“The goal of this two-week celebration is to bring free cultural activities that entertain, educate and improve cross-cultural understanding, to both the Zimbabwean and international community. Our major highlight is the ‘Sing Your Way to Paris’ competition which is proudly sponsored by Bon Marcheacute. The competition is open to any amateur musician of Zimbabwean nationality or legal resident, between 16 and 26 years old,” he said.

Mugwenhi said the first prize is a two-week all-expenses paid trip to Paris courtesy of Bon Marcheacute and the French Embassy.

“Auditions will be held on March 13 and 14. Vocal and language trainers are available free of charge,” he said.

“The Festival de la Francophonie also promotes and celebrates French language learning in Zimbabwe. In collaboration with a number of schools in Harare, the Ecole Franccedilaise de Harare, a bilingual French school, has set up a programme for pupils and teachers that encourage young and old to be more determined in learning French, thus opening themselves to a whole new world. Films will have English subtitles.

Source : The Herald