POPULAR southern African music, sport and culture event, Zimfest, this year returns with an exciting twist, as the festival will move to a new West London venue and extend for the entire weekend of 18th to 19th August 2012.
Adored as a summer highlight for diasporian southern Africans and their Brit hosts alike, Zimfest celebrates life outdoors through its diverse music and cultural offers, sports tourneys and African cuisines with the famed traditional braai (BBQ) at its heart.
This year, the festival will move a short distance north to Osterley’s Grasshoppers Rugby Club, from its “traditional home” of Raynes Park, where it has been held every year but one of its eleven years of running.
Zimfest director, Hilton Mendelsohn, said: “This development is a mark of the festival’s growth as an event and a popular fixture on the London calendar.
“Apart from the change of venue, the festival’s range of entertainment on offer will be enhanced, with a bigger and better kid’s corner, more competitive and social sport. We will also have art installations and a music line up with artists from Zimbabwe and around the world making up an innovative and exciting programme on the day.”
For the first time in its history, the event will this year take place over two days with Zimfest being held on Saturday 18th August while EAT Festival will cap the weekend of festivities the following day.
Music, the centrepiece of Zimfest
The main stage will be graced by Afro Funk band, Thabani which is lead by the mercurial Zimbabwean singer Tee Nyoni, acclaimed Nigerian Soul songstress Wunmi (vid below), South African Jazz exponents Pinise Saul and the Lucky Ranku Band, as well as the bass and drum duo, Mashasha and Sam.
Other performers billed to perform include rockers Kamikaze Test Pilots, the Hip Hop acts Boyz ReTonaz and Team Kontroversial; and South-Africa born singer/songwriter Frankie Rudolf.
Zimfest’s dance arena will be headlined by Londoner Zepherin Saint of Tribe Records, Angolan House artist Djeff, as well as Rob Macson and Mixolis.
Tickets to Zimfest 2012 can be purchased at www.zimfestlive.com
Words and photography by @makiwahenry