HIFA Diaries – day 5

6 05 2007

First off was the South African Ballet Company who did a repertoire of well, everything. Classical, jazz, even Bonny Tyler. Witty and stylish but I rather missed the full stage spectacle of dancers as everything, except the last piece, was just two at a time. They did rather slip up by not having an encore. Hey guys, when we give you a standing ovation, you give us an encore! Still, I did enjoy the perfect bodies (female) and I do admire how they move, something I will never do of course.

There was more dance in the evening with the Germany based Wee Dance Company. All contemporary this time and no, I did not understand it. Very clever using giant cardboard boxes as props and doing some pretty neat acrobatics on them. Maybe the goldfish that observed everything from its lit bowl stage front right had a better idea. I do admire the creative people who think of these things.

I then went on to the social centre of things in the centre of Harare to meet with Hannah and some of her friends. We were chatting in the Green Room that I mentioned earlier. Well, chatting was a bit of an under-exaggeration, it was closer to shouting. Crowds everywhere and an improvised rap group next to us who were very bad but equally entertaining. It is apparently a requirement to nod one’s head and left shoulder into the centre of the group whilst wringing one’s hands and reciting unrehearsed, unrhyming and just generally bad lyrics. They seemed to be enjoying it. We scored some tickets to a DJ something-or-other which I was pretty sure was not going to be my thing. Hannah insisted that we go along for half an hour or so. Loud, very loud even from 70m away and not what I’d call music, but there were plenty of youngsters who seemed to be enjoying it. It certainly was not art so how it came to be under the banner of HIFA I’m not sure – entertainment maybe? There is a hotel, the Monomotapa, which overlooks the main stage area and is where most of the artistes stay. I expect that the music is probably not too much of an irritant (the speakers are quite directional) but there were some VERY bright lights displaying on the front and I would defy anyone to have slept through that.

HIFA has a policy of using “street kids” as security guards on the car parks. I put that in quotes as I’m not sure that some are not school kids cashing in on rather lucrative week of hanging around and getting drunk. You are not obliged to give them anything and I have never had any hassles. However, one had made the error of leaving his jacket on Hannah’s vehicle. Hannah wanted to know why. She wasn’t cross, she just wanted a reason. Hannah, is tall (there are not many women that I don’t have to look down to and at 1.83m Hannah is one), German, and very attractive and like a number of Germans I know she can be very determined. She was going to get an answer, a reason and NOT an apology – that just did not cut the mustard and this kid was NOT getting off with an apology. Poor kid, I even started to feel a bit sorry for him but it is a familiar situation for me. You just want to know why something was/was not done and all you can get is a “sorry” or even just silence. In the end even Hannah had to admit defeat.

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