BY WINSTONE ANTONIO IN VICTORIA FALLS
THE different musical sounds that rumbled for the past three days and thrilled thousands of people from all walks of life at the Victoria Falls Carnival finally faded in the wee hours of Monday.
The state-of-the-art public address system is dead, just as all the magnificent lights.
Indeed, the silence here signals the end of merrymaking.
The jamboree is over now.
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As expected, the curtain came down with a bang. South African party brand Kunye (Together) hosted the show that brought the Lookout Café alive in the afternoon.
The Kunye (Together) event was followed by a night of performances headlined by the country’s finest artistes: Rapper Asaph, Flying Bantu, Gemma Griffiths, Nutty O, South African DJ Dino Moran Shimza and Tanya Vee.
It was an unforgettable experience for the mixed-race audience at the carnival that made a striking return after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the new home, the Elephant Hills Resort.
This was a shift of base from its nine-year traditional home, Victoria Falls Primary School.
Located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the resort is considered to have one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, making it a place of choice for many.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the three-day cultural jamboree, that had become a major highlight on the arts, culture and tourism calendar, was traditionally hosted in December.
Comprising a series of events and festivities, the music festival celebrates diverse cultures, foods and arts.
The carnival also proved to be a platform to display different lifestyles and fashion trends, with some of the dressing leaving nothing to imagination.
Upon its return this year, the fete’s organisers celebrated its 10th anniversary amid pomp and splendour among the festival enthusiasts.
There was a hive of activity that brought with it brisk business, awakening the resort city from the COVID-19 slumber.
The carnival transformed the resort city.
Drum beats, dancers’ flexed feet, artists’ brushstrokes and the voices and footsteps of thousands of festival goers that attended the three-day arts and culture jubilee were the order of the day in the city.
The excitement brought smiles to the faces of many that attended the fete.
Punctuated by performances from top African artistes across genres, it was entertainment galore as the festival celebrated its 10th anniversary as it continues to grow.
Despite South African headlining acts DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha failing to turn up for the grand opening show on Friday night, the carnival kicked off on a high note as Bulawayo music group Ngoma Ingoma performed as the opening act.
The trio of DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha were supposed to have entertained guests for an hour at the Pure Africa Sunset Cruise private show before taking their acts to the main stage on the same night.
Sadly, the guests, who had paid for the VVIP package, were left disappointed as they felt robbed by the singers’ no-show.
A source in the carnival’s organising team, who preferred to remain anonymous, told NewsDay Life & Style that there has been a communication blockade between them and DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha.
“All the three artistes were fully paid and were contractually bound to perform at the carnival, but surprisingly, they failed to turn up. There was no communication at all as to why they have failed to turn up for the festival,” the source said.
While the carnival organisers promised to release a statement, which they had not done by print time last night, DJ Maphorisa’s camp had also not responded to NewsDay Life & Style.
Disappointed by DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small and Sha Sha’s absence, fans had to find solace in the striking performance by Ngoma Ingoma, who proved its worth after getting the opening act opportunity.
The band did not disappoint as it put up an electrifying performance in front of an appreciating crowd.
Ngoma Ingoma shared the stage with South Africa’s star Master KG, Khoisan, DJ La Timmy and Colastraw (all from Botswana).
As the fête entered its second day on Saturday, the vibe, the mood and atmosphere improved, with some revellers going for a VIP and VVIP sunset cruise treat on the Zambezi Explorer boat.
Upon their return, the guests had a night to remember after local dancehall singer Nutty O and Afro-pop and soul singer Gemma Griffiths shared the stage at a private Pure African stage.
The youthful and talented artistes proved their mettle on the local showbiz scene with a distinct performance.
The fans’ reactions to their separate sets showed the duo was no pushover and deserved to perform at bigger platforms.
While Nutty O and Griffiths performed at the Pure Africa stage, compatriots hip-hop singer Takura, Tashinga and Djembe Monks rocked the audience at the carnival’s main arena alongside South Africa’s trio of Boity, DJ Kabelo and Nizhe Desoul.
All the artistes, who performed at the carnival, expressed gratitude for being part of such a stellar line-up of performers.
For Griffiths, the carnival performances marked the start of A Girl from Harare tour named after her recently released extended play, that will take the album to fans through performances at different venues across the country.
- Follow Winstone on Twitter @widzoanto