Things one needs for the Carnival

A LOT of questions have been coming in regard to the inaugural Zimbabwe International Carnival which runs from May 21 to 26 in Harare.

Report Melissa Mpofu

Most questions have been “What to wear?” “What to pack?”

But before trying to pack for the carnival, one needs to know what a Carnival is.
A Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party.

People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations, which mark an overturning of daily life.

Carnival time is the only period when one can walk out of their home looking weird dressed up in colourful colours like a clown.

Here are some different ways in which you can dress to attend the carnival:

The whole idea behind going to a carnival is to have fun and forget about the stresses of everyday life. When you choose a shirt to wear it should be a fun shirt that you really enjoy wearing.

Of course if the weather is warm then you will want to go with a nice T-shirt and if the weather is cold then a long sleeved T-shirt will do just fine. Since carnivals are primarily outdoors it is a good idea to wear shirts that are made of a breathable fabric such as cotton.

Again, anything goes and you have to have fun with it. If it is cool out and you feel like wearing jeans then by all means do so.

Cargo pants are also a great option as the extra pockets can come in handy for holding your wallet or other personal effects and can also hold any tickets that you may get.

If it is too hot for pants then a nice pair of cargo short for the guys will do the trick and the girls can wear a nice pair of capri pants.

Hats are a must to wear in Zimbabwe because of the hot weather conditions.

This is probably the most important piece of apparel that you will wear. A carnival requires you to walk around all over the place and knowing that you should be sure that you are wearing the most comfortable shoes you own.

A good pair of lace up sneakers usually does nicely and you should avoid wearing slip on shoes or flip-flops as they will not only be uncomfortable but they can also get lost easily on the faster ride.

This is often overlooked, but if the carnival is a daytime one then you will be squinting all day long if you do not have a good pair of sunglasses with proper UV protection.

Bringing a purse to a carnival is just asking for trouble. Instead go with a fanny pack. Yes they may look a bit goofy, but they are a great alternative to lugging around a purse and will still allow you to ride on all of the rides without having to worry about losing all of your personal effects.

Now all you need to do is walk around and enjoy the show by taking in some attritions, rides, and good old fashioned family fun.

What to pack for the Carnival
Not packing the appropriate gear and amenities for the carnival will leave you miserable and inconvenienced. The first thing to do is get a satchel.
Make sure it is in good condition and comfy enough to carry on your back. For the most memorable carnival experience, make sure you put the following into your satchel:

Sunscreen (One with high SPF, a spray-on version would be preferable)
Sunscreen is the single most importation preparation for Carnival days, especially for fairer skinned people who aren’t accustomed to spending long periods in the sun.
The sun can beat down on your skin and leave it seriously damaged. Make sure that your sun screen is tearless . . . nothing is worse than a burning sensation in your eyes from too much sunscreen.

One bottle of your very best cologne
Nobody likes a smelly person so after freshening up you may want to wear some great cologne. What type of cologne to wear is totally up to you.

You are likely to come across stalls with public telephones however to avoid the long queues, unbearable connection problems and high rates you are encouraged to carry your own mobile phone.

Be safe; do not go back home with any souvenirs from the carnival unless if it is a key ring or a mask. If you are not going to behave, then remember to be protected.

Most of the larger bands have First Aid personnel traveling with the band. They are equipped to handle minor injuries that arise on the road during Carnival, however, if the problem is more serious, these Medics will know the quickest way to contact ambulance or police services.

There will also be First-Aid Centers, which provide free services at the carnival competition judging points. Regardless you are encouraged to bring your medical aid card in case you may need to be assisted from an established hospital.

Unfortunately access to ATMs may prove to be a challenge so you are encouraged to bring a small amount of cash. You might want to purchase souvenirs, refreshments and even food during the carnival.

Stay hydrated and powered up
You will be partying in the sun for a little over six hours. Stay hydrated.
Drink lots of cold fluids.
Whether you consume alcohol or not, your body is going to be crying out for water so make sure you pack some water remember to include sodas and energy drinks.

Gadgets and Communication
Camera – Disposable/ waterproof
Video camera
Solar chargers and/or batteries for all your electronics
A small telephone book with a copy of all the numbers from your cellphone

15 Responses to Things one needs for the Carnival

  1. jamu May 17, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    Oh damn is it really worth participating. I still don’t by it . What irked is promotion of prostitution by bringing condoms to a “stress freeing ceremony”. Oh pliz. Shame on the organisers . By the way why do we bring that evil on us .

    • SAJENI S May 17, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      If you look at the list of things associated with this so ‘CALLED CARNIVAL’, this should be a wake up call to God loving Zimbabweans. By the way what is the definition for ‘Carnival’ and who are the persons behind.

      The devil has been used all sorts of evil through these events. Please parents, protect your children from these moral killing events. Men and Women of God in Churches, please discourage your communities against such evil to erode the Godly atmosphere in the nation.

      It is time to walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise people.

    • ideologist May 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

      who said its evil stupid black man u alwawes think a little fun is evil wats wrong with being safe carry wat u feel u comfortable with if you follow this jamu of a thing you wont experience fun all because of some no good people

  2. samazi May 17, 2013 at 7:39 am #


  3. Spliff May 17, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    I hear that renowed gospel artists Charambas and South Africa’s Benjamin Dube are gracing this immoral parade of scantly dressed women dancing in the streets of Harare. Shame to these gospel suspects

  4. AHH May 17, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    with hifa gone, people didnt have enough of this ‘doggish’ behaviour seems we are going Sodom and Gomorrah way!!! years later everyday H-Metro will make money from..”Married woman caught…”, “Hubby finds…” and people wonder! LORD HAVE MERCY. KOCHINGOTAPUDZAI ZVE MAZUVA NHAI TENZI NYIKA YESE ISATI YAENDA MAWERE.

    • LEEDS May 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm #


  5. Inno May 17, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    By mentioning condoms it means many husbands and wives are not going to allow their spouses to go there. Jamu is right.

  6. zimbo May 17, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Ko ndezvipi izi zecarnival zvinombobatsire tibvire!!

  7. Baba Ju... May 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    ‘What one needs for Carnival ???’ First of all you need to understand what Carnival is… The word is derived from Latin word ” carn” meaning FLESH. In short it is a celebration of the flesh and fleshly/CARNAL desires. So what do you need for this festival??? Certaining not clothes… may be condoms and lube. You can enjoy yourselves but BEWARE the Lord your God will judge every act whether you believe in Him or not.

    NB Did you know the HIV prevelence stats for Zim have stopped falling and in fact rose for the past 2 years??? Yes, shocking right? But you do get to hear that in the papers because reality won’t sell newspapers, but a great festival of SEX does. Evil is evil in disguise or not. CHENJERA OTHERWISE UNOPERA.

  8. UNDEREMPLOYED May 17, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Unnecessary in a Christian nation.

  9. chinobhururuka May 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    attendance is s question of choice. why all the noise about the carnival when real prostitution is the star atttaction in most of harare’s nightspots. chinyowani chii ipapa?

  10. G.U.RU May 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Perverts will be looking for sex galore better believe it. Talk about sex tourism! The law of unintended consequences!

  11. Dera h May 18, 2013 at 3:50 am #

    Guys we r zimbabweans wel known the world over for perpetual strugling and economic stress. Why not take a moment of relief!? There r some who r morally ‘backward’ amoungest us they shld always carry comdoms, where ever they go, why not? Those who r maried wil not bcoz they r maried. Chigwere hamuchizive kuti chiriko here?

  12. Gaba May 18, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Melissa , this article you just copied & pasted . Do we still have public telephones in Zim , ATMs are plenty plus in hre ..

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