A Zimbabwean Festival Focused on Mental Health? Yes Please!
Hip-Hop Artist Indigo Saint is what one would refer to as a Mental-Health Awareness Advocate.
Last we wrote of Indigo, he was using music to discuss some deep-seated mental health issues affecting young people in his community through Friends of Indigo in Cottage 47 which was once only a recording studio with Indigo Saint at its helm. Now, Cottage #47 represents a young Bulawayo community that really wants to talk.
No, really. They even made a virtual Mental Health clinic called Xoxa where people can virtually talk to a counsellor when they need to instant messaging style. Xoxa, which is isiNdebele for talk has had 600 unique chats since its inception in late 2019.
“We highly underestimated the responses that would come from it…that’s 600 people that found an outlet to talk through, yikes!” exclaimed Indigo Saint about the online chat app.
Regardless of its new-found relevance in Pop Culture specifically, Mental Health in the African context remains a taboo and massively misunderstood subject.
“My friend used to say there can’t be a conversation about health without mental health. There’s no escaping it, there’s no avoiding it.” shared Indigo.
In response Cottage #47 will host a Mental Health Concert to raise money toward scaling their Mental Health Awareness efforts.
“Through the festival, we aim to raise fund so we can do better than what we are doing right now… at some point, someone has to do something, if not us, then who?” said the statment.
Named Cottage Fest, the concert hopes to normalize mental health conversations as well as celebrate those that battle with Mental Health.
“The concert is to celebrate everyone who has made it this far. Everyone who has been dealing with depression, anxiety, stress, addiction.” Said the statement.
Cottage Fest is on the 29th of February for ages 18-21 at the Homestead Conference Centre, Bulawayo.