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Zimbabwe exuberant about FOA

Over 1000 people filled the National Rehabilitation Centre in Ruwa, Zimbabwe on a sunny Saturday in October with guests from all over southern Africa.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that Zimbabwe is a country with an unemployment rate of up to 95%, the audience made it clear that there’s high motivation to focus on a more prosperous future. Some of the vocational films screened followed stories, such as a carpenter who uses his feet as his tools of trade, a teacher (http://www.focusonability.com.au/FOA/films/Like_Any_Other_Teacher_1151.html) with vision impairment and a hearing-impaired shopkeeper.

There were many films from the African continent highlighting the skills of amputees, such as Simiyu Barasa’s One Foot Ahead (http://www.focusonability.com.au/FOA/films/One_Foot_Ahead_1183.html) and the international actor winner Chances (http://www.focusonability.com.au/FOA/films/Chances_1188.html), starring Bill Kasanda.

Not only did the day provide a platform for the filmmakers to show off their work, there was also an open-mic. event during which audience members had the chance to tell their story and have their abilities seen. Singing, acting and dancing took over the stage!

Blessing Fire (http://www.focusonability.com.au/FOA/films/Walking_Tall_566.html), a star of the 2014 entry Walking Tall entertained the crowd with his dance crew and their mesmerising talents.

One of the day’s highlights was a young woman from the audience wowing everyone with her singing. It just so happened that she uses a wheelchair and is a double-arm amputee, but that didn’t stop her from taking on three encore performances. Two members of the crowd were so impressed with her talents that one gifted her the opportunity to record at his music studio, while the second, a filmmaker, offered to make her a free music video.

That’s what we call a successful FOA17! See you in 2018, when we celebrate ten years of focusing on ability.

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