ZIMBABWE is set to host a carnival similar to the Seychelles carnival in May this year. The event, which has been named Harare International Carnival, will be the first grand scale cultural carnival which is expected to attract performers and exhibitors from across the world.
Melissa Mpofu (in Victoria, Seychelles)
Speaking at the Seychelles Carnival, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said carnivals were a good way of promoting unity among organisations, governments and private companies.
He said the Harare International Carnival would be a week-long event showcasing Zimbabwe’s diverse cultures.
The event will run from May 22 to 29. The climax of the event will be on May 25 at the National Sports Stadium when ZTA will host a carnival parade and a concert in the evening.
Organisers of the Harare Carnival are scouting for an international artiste who will perform with Zimbabwean artistes at the concert with part of the organising committee proposing artistes such as America’s Rihanna, Chris Brown, R Kelly and Akon.
Kaseke made it clear that he would have loved Akon to perform at the carnival, but was not sure if they would bring him since he had performed in the country before.
He added that the carnival would bring more exposure to Zimbabwe.
“The carnival will bring more exposure to Zimbabwe as a lot of countries will come on board to experience what Zimbabwe has to offer. Since May is an off pick season for the hotel industry, the Harare International Carnival will bring business as tourists will occupy the rooms,” he said.
Kaseke said the International Carnival de Victoria in Seychelles provided a learning curve for Zimbabwe and hoped that the Harare International Carnival would be better.
He added that the Harare International Carnival would be wholly organised by Zimbabwe. For the Seychelles Carnival, Zimbabwe was the co-host.
Last year, Victoria Falls attempted to host a Vic Falls carnival, but it proved to be more of a musical festival than a carnival. Though various artistes drawn from Zambia and South Africa performed at the event, it was not as colourful as other carnivals hosted in other countries.
A carnival is characterised by celebrations and entertainment, with performances from various artistes, an array of international food dishes and a family fun-day, among other things.
People dress up in the most outrageous costumes, take to the streets, join thousand others and dance to loud music like no one is watching. Such is the mood during a carnival. It is a public street party that has some elements of an agricultural show, but only better.