BULAWAYO — The inaugural Bulawayo Street Carnival, that was incorporated into this year’s edition of the Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo, following the latter’s adoption by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), stuttered to life on Wednesday, with indications that it was poorly organised.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The poorly-attended Street Carnival procession, organised by the Tourism and Hospitality ministry in partnership with Intwasa Arts Festival as part of the World Tourism Day commemorations, needed the magic of Christ Embassy Zimbabwe’s multitudes as its saving grace.
Christ Embassy Zimbabwe members exhibited marvellous displays, which also saw them distributing their church material, as they stole the limelight during the procession.
Gospel artistes Flem B and Best Masinire showcased their singing and dancing prowess in a mobile truck stage.
They pocketed $1 000 for their efforts under the adult category while Bulawayo-based outfits, Victory Siyanqoba and Jaiva dance group won $600 and $400 respectively.
In the children’s category, Magwegwe High School won $600, followed by Msiteli High School ($600) and Founders High School ($400).
Christ Embassy zonal pastor, Ruth Musarurwa said the church participated in the extravaganza following encouragement from its founder, Chris Oyakhilome, to support activities that promote the nation’s brand.
“Whenever we are called by any ministry, we come in because we are doing what we are supposed to do,” she said.
Bulawayo mayor, Martin Moyo appealed to the tourism and hospitality industry ministry to make the Bulawayo Carnival an annual event.
“Taking into cognisance the fact that Bulawayo houses the cultural ethos of this nation, we therefore, appeal to the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to make Bulawayo Carnival an ,’annual and international event on the country’s tourism calendar,” he said.
After the carnival, people gathered at the Bulawayo City Hall to mark the official opening of the Intwasa Festival running concurrently with Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo.
There were a few glitches with the public address system and stage lights were being set.
Festival spokesperson, Nkululeko Nkala said they wanted to lure more stakeholders for a better festival.
“If we can have more partners, we can look forward to a better festival. We could have wanted millions of people, for a Wednesday in Bulawayo the numbers are good,” he said.