Zimbabwe: Carnival Lives Up to Billing

Despite high temperatures that hit the city on Saturday afternoon, thousands of people thronged the streets in the city centre for Harare International Carnival street party.

The carnival that brought thrills excitement and competition saw different groups showcasing their cultures bringing business to a standstill in the capital.

The carnival saw 24 different countries, more than 20 corperates, schools and culture groups coming together to exhibit their cultures and works.

Countries that participated include Zambia, Malawi, DRC, South Africa, Swaziland, Brazil, and India.

The countries and groups showcased their cultures through dancing, music and other acts with most making memorable performances. Momo Kings of Brazil brought their acts to the streets while Indian Preeti also gave outstanding performances.

Though some could not come to terms with some groups with cultural costumes coming too close to nudity, the cultural experience was nice.

Different musicians including Jah Prayzah, Mawungira eNharira and Fungisai Zvakavapano participated in the street march leaving merrymakers asking for more.

The participants were rates and Brazil won the carnival contest for this year.

Other local groups including musician-cum-dancer Sandra Ndebele, traditional group dance Dzikwa, among others went home smiling after winning top spots at the event.

Streets like Robert Mugabe and Nelson Mandela had thousands of people enjoying the event that brings cultural integration and entertainment.

Hordes of people gathered at the Africa Unit Square where the final performances were being judged to come up with the best performers of this year.

People broke barricades at Parliament building to get closer to the performers and police officers had to use their force to restrain merrymakers.

The clash however came to an end after the intervention of the deputy minister of tourism Anastancia Ndlovu who fumed against the officer.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Walter Mzembi expressed his satisfaction saying this year’s carnival has managed to attract more than seven million people who matched the street in celebration of this event.

“This year’s carnival has outgrown our logistics, as you can see we need to plan for a bigger hosting as this space is small and we have surpassed last year , carnival is measured in numbers and this year we have more than seven million and this shows that we have managed to connect with people,” said Mzembi

The day was filled with different activities as the people were enjoying themselves at different entertainment arenas erected around the city.

Meanwhile, as the capital was awash with different Carnival events, LongCheng Plaza was a hive of activity on Thursday Night as several rhumba musicians performed.

With the main attractions being Congolese musician Koffi Olomide and Zimbabwean sungura king Alick Macheso merry makers were left asking for more as several musicians performed well at the event.

Parking space was a nightmare at the mall with some parking their vehicles about 100 meters away from the venue.

Entry to the event was free as thousands came to enjoy music from different artistes.

Koffi went on stage around 9pm in the evening and the musician performed his hit songs much to the delight of the fans.

Though technical glitches marred first 10 minutes of his act, the musician managed to restore the carnival mood that has gripped the city last week with good performance.

He was joined on stage by Macheso, Bev, Lady Storm and some merrymakers towards the end of his act.

Former Macheso chanter Jonasi Kasamba who is from Congo Brazavile also joined the two musicians on stage.

“Let me welcome my brother here he is a great musician,” he said much to the delight of the merrymakers.

However, some of the musicians and dancers likes of Diamond Musica and controversial dancer Beverly Sibanda failed to raise the bar high, people waited patiently for Macheso to come.

Macheso came on stage belting most of his hit songs much to the delight of the fans.

The musician proved why he is the “King of Sungura” in the country.

He sampled songs from his forthcoming album leaving fans convinced that he will save the genre’s waning fortunes.

Dancehall musician Killer T was at the event but could not make it to the stage.

He took the opportunity to meet his fans and had social interaction with them.

Source: allafrica

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