Zimfest Brisbane 2011
by Guest Author
Zimfest is a celebration of food, music and culture. It brings together all members of the community and allows businesses and entrepreneurs to showcase their goods and services, as well as creating the opportunity for entertainers to perform and show off their talents. It started off as a small festival in London and has continued to grow ever since, spreading to cities around the world. About six months ago the opportunity to organize Zimfest Brisbane arose, and after a few minutes of discussion, we decided to take up the challenge on the front foot with both eyes wide open.We moved to Queensland from Bulawayo just over seven years ago but have kept in touch with our African family and friends. When we went back to Africa on holiday in 2009, we had just left the Johannesburg airport and were driving a car with a Zimbabwean license plate. As we stopped at a set of lights, a poor man wandered towards our car, then tilted his head, returned to the window and said Oh, youre from Zimbabwe, dont worry. As if to say that he considered himself better off than a Zimbabwean. Its moments such as these that make you realize just how serious the situation in Zimbabwe really is.
Whilst all our work is voluntary and can become quite time consuming, the past six months have been an incredible learning curve and have really opened our eyes at just how many people from southern Africa are living in and around the east coast of Australia. We have had some very generous support from both businesses and individuals alike, making the job of organizing the event most rewarding. Zimfest Brisbane is to be held on Saturday 24th September at West Brisbane Bulldogs Rugby Club, Toowong. We are looking forward to seeing the spirit of Africa bring the community together and hope to see some Aussies among the crowd. Zimfest is also becoming more family friendly, with a kids playground nearby and face painting and ballooners to keep children entertained.As organizers of Zimfest Brisbane we have attempted to find a worthy organisation to support that will create an exponential multiplier effect from an investment. Our focus this year is to assist Foundations for Farming (see http:www.foundationsforfarming.org) FFF is an organization started in Zimbabwe that is dedicated to teaching and training people who are interested in the principles of zero and conservation tillage for simple and yet highly effective agronomy. It is through organizations such as this, that people can become truly self sufficient, independent and also have the means to help those around them to help themselves. The training that Foundations for Farming provides to Southern Africans creates a self reliant and self determined mindset, which is the ultimate key to break a cycle of poverty and dependency.