Home » Arts & Culture » Biggest Street Party Comes to Harare

Tomorrow, the Harare International Carnival, dubbed Southern Africa’s Biggest Street Party, roars to life with pomp, zest and fanfare.

Zimbabweans, supported by revellers from 26 other countries, take to the streets to celebrate the country’s diversity in colour, creed, dress, drink, music and culture all rolled in one.

It is the total package.

Tomorrow, the police will not arrest anyone for drinking on the streets of Harare, so, let the party begin.

Let Zimbabwe leave its footprints on the continental and indeed the global tourism market. Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe, our Zimbabwe!

Screeching vehicle tyres, hooters, song, dance and colourful dress will all tell the story of magnificent Zimbabwe, the 34-year-old country that has taken a new trajectory in marketing its tourism and hospitality industry.

May 24 will forever be remembered in the history of this country as the day Zimbabweans poured out of their homes and business premises to celebrate the country’s diversity.

The second edition of the Harare International Carnival comes to town in an improved, more organised and increasingly diversified way, with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority going out of its way to market, promote and develop the country’s tourism.

At least 26 countries have registered to participate at the carnival whose build up started on May 16.

Among the events that have taken place so far are the Miss Carnival, Mbira Night, Gospel Show, Ethiopian Night, Jazz Night and Sungura Night, among others.

But the ultimate event will be tomorrow’s street party.

A carnival is a creative art form, aesthetic and dramatic spectacle as well as an entertainment presentation on a mass level usually celebrated annually in many countries across the globe.

We will be treated to a masquerade, calypso, steel band music, dance and an array of different ethnic food and arts.

A carnival usually involves a public celebration or parade, combining elements of circus, masques and a street party.

A carnival is a great way to showcase a country’s cultural heritage its people, food, drink, music and its everything.

The first ever Zimbabwe International Carnival held in Harare last year was an exceptional achievement.

Jason Moyo Avenue exploded into a symphony of colour and business ground to a halt.

Of course, as is common with most debut first events, there were technical glitches here and there, which this year the ZTA has declared to make history.

Zimbabwe is borrowing the concept from other countries where carnivals are huge business events.

Two famous such events are the Rio Carnival in Brazil, also known as “The Greatest Show on Earth'”, and the Trinidad Carnival, commonly referred to as “The Greatest Party on Earth”.

Both carnivals have grown into international spectacles, bringing in hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. As their tag lines suggest each brings a unique experience to the offering.

In Zimbabwe the carnival is certainly the way to generate tourism in the future given the massive response. Being the first of its kind, last year’s event was a learning process for all, from ZTA to the media and performers.

Brazil makes $2,9 billion per year from carnivals that are held in each and every city. Of course, Brazil started in 1949 and has the experience but it takes a year for Brazil to organise a carnival and with ours it was just two months.

Well, Zimbabwe needed to start somewhere.

Everything having been said, it was a very good starting point and worth trying. It is an experience well lived. It is the future!

This year, dress the way you like, put on your most colourful plumage, sing and dance, eat, drink and make merry in your own way as Harare explodes.

Zimbabwe is sending message to the world. Let us celebrate our diversity.

Source : The Herald

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