The BOOK CAFÉ, Harare’s lively arts hub, will be marking Jamaica Independence Day with an exciting programme of film, music and food on Wednesday 6 August 2014.

The celebrations begin with a screening from 6pm of the film “The Harder They Come” starring the world famous reggae artist Jimmy Cliff, a renowned 1972 Jamaican crime film whose famous sound track is said to have brought reggae to the world. Directed by Perry Henzell and co-written by Trevor D. Rhone the film has been described by Barbara Mennel, author of Cities and Film, as “possibly the most influential of Jamaican films and one of the most important films from the Caribbean”.

From 7pm, energetic reggae DJ Irie Lion hits the decks at Book Café’s Gochi Gochi garden with a playlist including a compilation of eclectic reggae classics which are bound to get the crowd on their feet.

Macy&TheRed headlines the main event and will be joined by some of Zimbabwe’s most loved reggae acts including Yagga, Memo and Wreckless.  Macy will also be joined by Verity Norman, the young talented violinist who is quickly making a name for herself for being dynamic in supporting both local hip hop and reggae acts.

To complement the celebrations Food as Culture, Book Café’s initiative aimed at celebrating authentic traditional cuisine, will be serving up freshly made oven baked Herby Vegetarian Pizzas, authentic Jerk Chicken (a Jamaican favourite), Rice & Peas and so much more.

Food as Culture primarily aims at providing a platform for food practitioners to develop their craft, offering facilities for production and delivery to local audiences, while creating a space for cultural exchange through the celebration of food as a dynamic form of cultural expression.

The Jamaica Day celebration is about cultural exchange and friendship through culture. The Book Café aims at increasing cultural links with diverse cultures as a way of building cultural understanding and friendship; and equally to promote our famed Zimbabwean cultural friendship globally.  Culture is, after all, universal in spirit. Cultural exchange is a worthwhile platform within the Book Café setting, the scope of which already includes all genres in the local music scene, theatre, film, books, poetry, stand-up comedy, fashion, craft and a wide range of arts dialogue.  Since 2012 the venue has seen steady development of facilities, offering an ever-widening cultural program to the local arts community.

Zimbabwe is rich in culture and celebrations focusing on diverse world cultures have grown and become more popular in recent years. It is important to strengthen meaningful multicultural exchange because such platforms provide mutual understanding.

The key principle for the Jamaica Day celebrations is one of reciprocity where the Book Café, as a 100% Zimbabwean arts centre and it’s patrons aim to create a relaxed space where cultural exchange can take place freely and where everyone can enjoy a small taste of Jamaica in Harare, with a Zimbabwean twist.

Visas to Jamaica are not required


BOOK CAFE EVENTS, 6 August – 09 AUGUST 2014

Wed 06, 6pm, FREE FILM-screening, a Jamaica Day Special:  “THE HARDER THEY COME” the classic 1972 Jamaican crime film starring Jimmy Cliff, which is most famous for its reggae soundtrack that is said to have “brought reggae to the world”. A definite MUST-SEE!   Entry is free, all welcome.

Wed 06, 8pm – WEDDY WEDNESDAY!  Book Café Celebrates ‘JAMAICA DAY’ with MACY & THE RED – cc$5  ++SPECIAL MENU: Book Café’s Food as Culture presents an authentic Jamaican culinary spread including Herby Vegetarian Delux Pizza, Jerk Chicken with rice and peas, and so much more.


Thu 07, 5.30pm, CD LAUNCH: ALI BLACK launches his second afropop album ‘RUDO’ – follow up to ‘Chimoto’ 2013.  Free, all welcome.




Fri 08, 7pm, Garden stage: MBIRA FRIDAY with MAWUNGIRA ENHARIRA – one of Harare’s top mbira ensembles, led by gwenyambira NYAMASVISVA  (Entry 6th St gate) – cc$5


Fri 08, 8pm, Main stage: Zimbabwe’s much-loved woman singer-songwriter BUSI NCUBE is back home, touching fans with another great show, opening with Band POWER – cc$5


Sat 09, 6pm-Late, ZIMFEBI MUSIC FESTIVAL – Featuring Spiderman (Zimbabwe), Mawungira Enharira, CI (Nigeria), Celso Paco & Troupe (Mozambique), Swedish Folk Dance (Sweden), Vibe Tricks (Sweden), Manluckerz and the Zim Traditional Unity (Southern Africa), Guruve Marimba Ensemble (Zimbabwe), Dance hall presentations, Ambuya Vajesina Madhinga and so much more!  Presented by Zimbabwe Festival Bira (ZIMFEBI) – cc$10


Book Café and Pamberi Trust wish all artists and audiences Happy Heroes’ Holiday

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See the link for a report on the meeting ZESN Activity Update 100414 – for news about the Creative Sector in Zimbabwe

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 CARA and Econet have  installed ‘Life Size’ video conference equipment into a College of Health Science Lecture Hall on the University of Zimbabwe’s main campus.

 ‘Virtual Lectures’ will be streamed in  to support the College of Health Science and the Faculties of Science and Veterinary Science in  areas currently lacking teaching staff, or who could benefit from engagement with the diaspora and/or international partnerships.


Population Census in Zimbabwe 18-28 August – how many people are in Zimbabwe? For more info click on 2012 Zimbabwe Population Census

Dear Friends,
Some of you may be interested in this new blog, which discusses some
current issues in Zimbabwe, based on my recent experiences as Director
at Hlekweni. I’d especially appreciate comments from Zimbabweans, at:

With thanks and in Friendship,
Craig Barnett