THE curtain comes down on the fourth edition of the Harare International Carnival today.
The last 10 days where action packed, punctuated with a number of pulsating performances by both local and visiting artistes.
Internationally acclaimed Brazilian Samba dancers and rhumba sensation Werrason gave a glimpse of what was expected of them at the Samba Night and Carnival Rhumba Night respectively when they first performed at the carnival welcome reception held at the HICC last Thursday.
Werrason is also expected to have flown the flag of DRC at the “Battle of Limpopo”, which started yesterday after the Carnival Street Party, ending today.
Jah Prayzah, Soul Jah Love, Suluman Chimbetu, Winky D, Seh Calaz, the Charambas, Jeys Marabini and Sandra Ndebele were scheduled to take part at the battle.
South Africa was to be represented by Babes Wodumo, Dr Malinga, Busiswa, Prince Kaybee and Euphonik.
Besides these top acts, a number of activation shows including block parties in and outside Harare took place, in the process helping sway the public into a carnival mood.
But perhaps the major highlight, particularly for guzzlers, was the Happy Week, which saw 10 days of legalised public drinking with booze being sold in the streets.
The waiver expires today at midnight. However, mood spoiling moments came when South Africa’s Zodwa Wabantu was barred from taking part at the carnival.
The general interest and comments that the ban attracted on various strata of society speak volumes on how unpopular the decision was.
Nevertheless, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) head of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda said the carnival lived up to its billing despite the hiccup. “We are delighted with what the fourth edition of the carnival has achieved. The success of the event shows we are moving in a positive direction.
“Let me also take this opportunity to thank Government, our anchor sponsor BigTime Strategic Group, various other partners and carnival-goers that made this event a success,” he said.
João Montenegro, producer of Momo King – the Brazilian carnival team – said the Harare International Carnival has potential to make it big on the global scene.
“We have participated in a number of carnivals in different countries like South America – Peru and Guatemala, Barbados in Caribbean, Seychelles and now Zimbabwe.
“We also have travelled to DRC in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, Japan, El Salvador, Jamaica for some shows there.
“I must say what you have here is up there,” said Montenegro.
“It’s always a big pleasure to be in Harare and be part of this great event. We are excited and looking forward to the parade.
“The atmosphere is amazing, the people are really friendly, always with a beautiful smile on their faces.”
Meanwhile, as the carnival folds, it is certainly time for the organisers to reflect and see how best to perfect the fiesta.
It is every one’s wish that debacles like the Zodwa issue do not recur again in the future. Such scenarios have potential not only to ruin the overall carnival but also to scare away promoters or partners of the event.
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