The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has unveiled  the Big Time Strategic Group of South Africa as the headline sponsor for the Harare International Carnival for the next three years.

In recognition of their invaluable sponsorship, the event will be named BIG TIME HARARE INTERNATIONAL CARNIVAL. Among other critical things, they will sponsor the main stage, public address system, the lighting equipment as well as sponsorship of both local and Regional artistes.

The  official launch of the Big Time Harare International Carnival  will be held this Saturday (8 July 2017) at the Takashinga Cricket Club. It is a free family show that will see the cream de la cream in the music industry playing. Jah Prayzah, Soul Jah Love, Andy Muridzo, Shinsoman, Peter Moyo, Mbira Dze Nharira, Diamond Musica, Seh Calaz are some of the musicians billed to perform.

According to a press statement delivered by ZTA Chief Operating Officer, Mr Givemore Chidzidzi, on behalf of the ZTA Chief Executive, Dr Karikoga Kaseke, this year the focus is  on a legacy project for the carnival in partnership with the headline sponsor by transforming Robert Mugabe Road. In its current state, the street has become a shame to the country as it is filled with all sorts of dirt emanating from different activities of vending and transport movement rampant during the day and night.

“We cannot continue to cast a blind eye to that as a nation. Robert Mugabe Road is named after our iconic President. We need to show respect and pay homage to the Head of State by creating order and sanity in this road. We are going to put proper vending stalls which are also environmentally friendly along Robert Mugabe Road. We want to create a shining model that will also link them with the main stream economy. Vending happens anywhere in the World even where there are strong and vibrant economies like in the USA and Italy but it’s how it is done that makes a difference. Next year working with our sponsor and our partners the Harare City Council, we will take the project to First Street. We want to restore glamour and glitz to the streets of Harare and they must be manned by Tourism Police particularly the First Street which must be a Tourism Street. So starting this year every edition of the Carnival must have a sustainable legacy project that will benefit our communities and the economy at large,” he said.

 This year’s carnival is being held under the theme: One Love- our unity our pride and will take place from 1 to 10 September 2017 with the climax being the street party on 9 September 2017 . The ZTA is also decentralizing the carnival by creating Carnival fiestas around the country, in particular in Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru and Bulawayo to create awareness of the main event. Over the years the carnival has proved beyond any doubt to be a unifying force amongst our people. In line with the theme, the aim is to celebrate and foster national unity and love. Apart from the Socio-cultural benefits accrued from this event most importantly it is has a huge impact on the economy.

At the last edition about 18 countries that participated in the carnival and this year the event has stirred beyond the Region, the  set target is 25 countries. The major change this year is the route of our carnival street party. Traditionally the procession began at the magistrate courts into the CBD. This year people will  converge on the eastern side of the CBD, proceeding to the Robert Mugabe Square opposite Rainbow towers where the main stage will be mounted for a Carnival musical concert.

The Harare International Carnival (HIC) is an annual festival that encompasses a series of events and festivities with the main goal of advancing arts, culture, and the heritage of Zimbabwe as well as uniting the populace. It is all about celebrating diversity, getting communities together, getting to know one another, in the love and harmony that builds the country into a peaceful and promising place for everyone. Zimbabwe as a country boasts of the rich cultural traditional events which celebrate the seven wonders of the country in activity, jubilation and colour. “Celebrating our Diversity” is the permanent branding pay-off line of the Carnival.