2014 Harare Carnival a mischance so far

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Flashback: South Africans show off their outfits which stole the show at the inaugural Zimbabwe International Carnival held in Harare on May 25, 2013. Picture: Aaron Ufumeli

THE Carnival Tourism Night that was scheduled for the Harare International Conference Centre on Sunday has been called off and will no longer be held on any other day as expected.

Simbarashe Manhango
Own Correspondent

This programme was part of the ongoing Harare International Carnival hence it becomes the second event to be cancelled after the much-anticipated Carnival Gospel Concert also failed to kick off.

Speaking during a Press conference held at a local hotel in Harare yesterday, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said the event had been cancelled as part of ZTA’s efforts to streamline events to allow visiting countries to have outdoor performances.

“Our visiting performers have requested to have a chance to showcase their acts on an outdoor platform, thus the decision. Instead we will bring the curtains down on the Carnival with a free music show at Africa Unity Square where local artistes will also be performing on the day,” he said.

However, since the Carnival kicked off in the capital last week, the event has failed to ignite excitement that had been anticipated and such goings-on leave a lot to be desired.

For a nine-day-long spectacle, the event has been marred by sudden cancellation of events, a move that has shown a high level of disorganisation within the ZTA itself.

With the high expectation of a hive of activities in the capital during the event, the city has just been too plain to fuel any inspiring moments, glitz and glamour associated with such a spectacle.

This alone is hazy enough to give insight on the credibility and capacity of ZTA to even host the event.

Meanwhile, the Carnival Street Party is expected to be the major highlight of the event this weekend with a street parade set to unite people from all walks of life including those from participating countries, marching and celebrating with Zimbabweans.

Led by the newly-crowned Miss Carnival 2014 Gamuchirai Kujeke and several bands, the parade route is set to begin at the Show Grounds travelling down into Robert Mugabe Road and go round into Angwa Street, through to Nelson Mandela Avenue.

From Nelson Mandela Avenue, the parade is supposed to head to Fourth Street and back into Jason Moyo Avenue before culminating with a big bash at Africa Unity Square.

The elaborate costumes, props and lively dancers are the only hope left to bring back the carnival to life and add substance to this sceptical experience running for its second time in Zimbabwe.

Kaseke also blasted Benjamin Rupapa who was organising the Gospel Night for the glitches in the outcome.

“We gave Rupapa rights to organise the concert in the spirit of working with private individuals after he convinced us he could man up the task, but it turned out he had not budgeted anything for the concert,” he said.

Kaseke added that it had come as a shock to ZTA and it was regrettable and unfortunate that the concert had to be cancelled.

Besides the major street parade, several circuit street parties will be running in the streets and this includes the Street Carnival Passa Passa set for George Silundika Avenue between First and Angwa Street.

Starting mid-day, the passa passa will attract some of the best Zim-dancehall artistes, bands, sound selectors and dancers converge to put on the best parade extravaganza possible.

Speaking to NewsDay on the magnitude of the Carnival Street party, ZTA spokesperson Sugar Chagonda said the street party would be the major highlight of the festival and they were expecting an immense parade considering the increase in number of participants.

“It is our hope that the Carnival grows to be one of the biggest events in the country and at the same time, we are also aware of the benefits to the economy and activities surrounding this event,” he said.

The Carnival Street Party will probably mark the height of this event since so much will be happening in Harare while the fete will conclude with a Carnival Music Festival slated for the Harare International Conference Centre tomorrow.

10 COMMENTS

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  2. I always think if you make it short and exciting it can be very satisfying. The main issue is the time factor. If the Carnival 2014 was made to last only for this weekend with all the activities lined up to cover from Friday to Monday (bearing in mind its a holiday) in for now lets make it as short as possible.

    Ah it best to have the Carnival in Summer. Now it looks like its competing with HiFA. Its the same crowd we are trying to entertain. Lets have it after August before the rains. So that we may have a year filled with fun and pompey.

  3. Editor – you do not even say when this Carnival Street party is going to be held. What does “this week end” mean. Be specific, if it Sat say so, if it Suday say Sunday….. give program of events…….. you really disappoint me. Number 1 in Africa for literacy….naaaaa!!

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  6. What a disaster; what a traffic jam tried to move around town today took me 30 minutes from flyover to market square. Had to double back via zupco and samora machel.

    What’s the use of blocking all roads for such a useless fest without proper traffic management. I wonder what would happen if an ambulance/fire truck would done caught up in this ill planned event.

    Whoever is planning this should give clear signs via billboards in advance and reduce the roads affected and limit the time. Peak Saturday late morning to mid afternoon VERY bad idea.

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  8. What a waste of time! Where these street parties are enjoyable, the countries have somehow stable economies. How can you enjoy a street party when you know that there is no electricity at home, no clean and running water, you don’t have a job, you can’t get treatment at a public hospital, and you are going to be squeezed in a commuter omnibus going back? Please be serious, President Mugabe we want uninterrupted electricity supply, clean running water, jobs, a modern day healthcare system and a decent public transport system, just like what it was during Smith’s UDI. Can you just restore the country to the state it was when you took over in 1980: a currency stronger that the US dollar, agricultural colleges which were the backbone of the agriculture sector, a thriving manufacturing industry that managed to sustain a country under a blanket UN trade embargo/ sanctions, a police force that actually fought crime and not exacerbate it, and most important, a country that rewarded hard work and not corruption!

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