The much hyped 2017 Harare International Carnival has already been set in motion with the confirmation of participation by both local and international entertainers.
In her comprehensive update on the Harare International Carnival at a press conference in Harare, Anastancia Ndhlovu, the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry said preparations for the showcase were at an advanced stage.
“If there were some doubting Thomases amongst our people, I’m sure that the three events that successfully took place during the weekend are a testimony that the Carnival is now here and there is no going back on this ambitious project. Moreso, some of the carnivalists from some participating countries are already in the country with the bulk of them expected during the course of this week,” Ndhlovu said.
There are a variety of local and foreign groups that will be coming to participate in this year’s edition of the Harare International Carnival. Foreign groups have come from Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Cuba, the United Kingdom, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago just to mention a few.
Locally, all the uniformed forces will take part in the Harare International Carnival through their brass bands and traditional dance groups, These are the Air Force of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services and Zimbabwe National Army, among others.
It has also emerged that 39 schools have confirmed participation through traditional, cultural, drum majorettes and cheerleading.
“Definitely without the carnivalists there is no carnival to talk about. We appreciate the fact that it takes a lot of commitment from individuals and groups coming to participate particularly taking into consideration that our carnival is still teething and growing gradually. As Government we are optimistic that it will yield return on investment in the next 5 to 10 years hence the reason why the project has continued to receive major support from the Treasury,” Ndhlovu said.
The minister said the carnival has potential to generate the much needed revenue for the country. She urged the Government and other development partners to continue supporting Carnivals to realise meaningful gains from it.
Apart from government funding, this year’s edition has been made possible through the adoption of a Public Private Partnership model. This saw the coming on board of the Big Time Strategic Group of SA as a major sponsor.
The Carnival has been described as a platform that brings together people to celebrate their oneness and unity as aptly captured in the theme for this year, One Love, Our Unity Our Pride.
The uniformed forces add colour, prestige and dignity to the whole event. The ZTA went a step further this year by collaborating with the Airforce of Zimbabwe who are organising the Commander AFZ Charity Horse race that is taking place this weekend.
“With the support of the AFZ, we are gratified that the ZTA managed to do some carnival activations and roadshows across some of our major cities. Certainly Harare will this week record increased traffic from across the country and beyond borders with people coming specifically to attend the carnival. This will definitely spur domestic tourism and to this end I want to implore our industry players, through their leadership here present give our people coming to carnival special and affordable packages. We want our people coming to carnival to have memorable experiences. Once we do that I am sure you will be guaranteed of repeat business.”
In the past, the carnival attracted tourists who were booked in hotels and lodges around the city. Apart from bringing entertainment, the events are a huge source of foreign currency and foster diplomatic cooperation with the rest of the world.