Manicaland arts groups add glamour to carnival

Liberty Dube recently in Harare
THE presence of tourism players and arts groups from Manicaland and neighbouring Mozambique at the just-ended action- packed fourth edition of the Harare International Carnival added glamour to the 10-day jamboree.

Giant learning institution, Africa University, Mutare Polytechnic, Matedzi Cultural Group from Buhera and two Mozambican arts and musical groups, Chinho Raposo and Milorho were among the 100 local and international groups who participated at the 10-day fiesta.

Despite the absence of other tourism players from the Eastern Highlands who were expected to attend the fiesta, the groups that attended represented the province well.

Thousands of people participated at this year’s carnival street party in Harare last weekend

They rubbed shoulders with Brazilian Samba Queens, Democratic Republic of Congo rhumba outfit, Werrason and Wenge Musica, Jah Prayzah, Soul Jah Love, Sulumani Chimbetu, Winky D and Seh Calaz among others who all performed during the Carnival Street Party last Saturday.

Milorho and Chinho Raposo joined hands and put up pulsating performances at the welcome reception as well as at the historic Carnival street party which saw thousands of people attending.

The two captivated the audience with their unique performances, particularly after they blended some traditional dances with contemporary instruments.

Africa University and Mutare Polytechnic showcased their services.

Mutare Polytechnic had students from the Tourism and Hospitality and Music departments participating in events such as the Carnival Bira which took place in Domboshava, Carnival Cultural Show, Costume Parade and Zim Car Festival as well as Carnival Street Party.

The 10 days of partying ended on a high note with interviewed participants from Manicaland describing it as a worthwhile experience.

“This was really beneficial to all of us, including students. They needed the exposure. We came to Harare to showcase our services to regional and international markets and we are happy with the response.

“We came here to support our brand. We always want to set the pace. It was also a learning curve for us as we also learnt how other (arts) groups from South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia do their business,” said the college’s Tourism and Hospitality Head of Department, Millet Mtetwa.

“We always attend the carnivals. They are highly beneficial. The response we received from people who intend to know more of our services was overwhelming.

“We came here to market our brand to old and new audiences from the local, regional and international community,” said Cleopatra Zulu, who was manning Africa University’s immaculate stand.

A female member of the Mozambican traditional dance outfit, Milorho, said they always enjoyed and admired the Zimbabwean arts industry and were proud to be associated with the carnival.

“The atmosphere was awesome and intriguing. This is one of the best organised carnivals ever. We always learn a lot from Zimbabwe’s arts industry. We admire the creativity and artistry,” she said.

Activation shows such as block parties which were held in and outside Harare during the carnival period lit up the carnival mood.

Beer guzzlers and pleasure animals had the time of their lives during the “Happy Week” which saw beer being sold in the streets, while public drinking was legalised.

Not even the absence of South African socialite Zodwa Wabantu, who was billed to perform at the Carnival Rhumba Night at the Private Lounge on Friday, dampened the mood of thousands of merrymakers who were visibly mesmerised by the semi-naked Brazilian Samba Girls.

ZTA described the carnival as a resounding success.

“We believe participants from the Eastern Highlands have benefited from the carnival. This was an opportunity for them to showcase their services and products to local, regional and international market and also to learn from  others.

“The Eastern Highlands is home to several scenic sites which are critical to tourism as a country and meeting and building synergies with regional and international participants will help grow the tourism sector in the area.

“The fiesta lived up to expectations. The edition was a success and we would like to thank Government, Big Time Strategic Group, local and international participants who made the carnival a success,” ZTA’s head corporate affairs, Sugar Chagonda said.