ONE of the most anticipated events of the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as ZIFF, is the dhow race.
The race took place on Wednesday on the shores of Serena Hotel, from where 12 logo-festooned single sail dhows took to the sea to the glee and anticipation of the enormous crowd of race lovers.
Less than an hour later, the crowd watched as the dhows appeared far in the distance. To the astonishment of the waiting crowd, the wind had indeed risen to speed up the racers.
The dhow race is a cultural landmark of the seafaring people of Zanzibar Island. The race involves fishermen who compete in a 2-kilometre run from the Stonetown shoreline.
The winning dhow is eligible to pocket cash prize and a coveted trophy. It is a race that takes place annually during the festival.
“The event, which is the icon of the festival, symbolises a long history of communication, migration and interaction which has produced cosmopolitan cultures as the manifestation of the human experience and expression of Zanzibar and the region,” says Hatibu Madudu, the ZIFF festival coordinator.
On the shoreline of the Serena Hotel in Zanzibar, Robin Batiste of Zanzibar emerged the race winner, winning by a good margin from Azam Media, who emerged second and Wiomsa finished third overall.