THE once deported and barred popular Cape Town (South Africa)-based musical group Freshly Ground will this year perform at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), event executive Director Maria Wilson said on Wednesday.
The festival kicks off on 1st of May up to the 6th.
Wilson said this as she briefed journalists where CABS partnered HIFA in this year’s event which is expected to attract more than 250 foreign artists and between 30 and 40 artist directors globally.
Former President Robert Mugabe in 2010 banned the talented group from performing a song which portrayed the ageing Mugabe as a chicken afraid to relinquish power.
The band, which is made up of South Africans, Zimbabweans and Mozambicans and has a pan-African outlook, was due to perform at the Wild Geese Lodge in Harare in October of 2010.
The Immigration Department revoked its working visas without any explanation, just days after the launch of the “chicken to change” song.
The song then condemned Mugabe who was forced to resign in a coup last November for clinging on to power for 30 years (then).
In May 2014, the group was also deported as it prepared to perform at HIFA but, government officials gave no reasons for the deportation.
Asked if the group would not face any challenges at this year’s event since the country has a new leader, HIFA Associate Director, Tafadzwa Simba, said; “This is a new dispensation and everything is new so we are hoping for the best.”