While local music fans are already gearing for a fun-filled week, with reports that a prominent international artiste was billed to perform on the music night, local musicians and other performing artistes are probably experiencing the same thrill, but in a different way.
Quite a number of them will have an opportunity to stage shows before a capacity crowd, composed of locals, international delegates who will have in their promoters, looking for local talent to showcase and promote back in their respective countries.
Such an opportunity may prove to be beneficial for several local artistes in the long run in the event that they are considered for regional and international carnivals that largely focus on artistes and their products.
Those with good branded products would find themselves a niche market beyond the borders of Zimbabwe. This is a privilege that has been limited to a few names in the arts sector, who have been able to market their products at such big events which are usually made up of art, cultural and fashion enthusiasts but are largely defined by music.
At most international carnivals, music and other forms of art have become some of the major activities attracting thousands of people from all over the world, and in the process earning a country millions of dollars in revenues, generated in just a few days.
For instance, the Trinidad Carnival held in Trinidad & Tobago every year has over the years become one of the most revered carnivals across the world because of its music, revelry and creativity. It has spawned similar celebrations around the world, where arts enthusiasts travel thousands of kilometres to just soak themselves in the pulsating beat of soca, reggae and partying for days to no end.
With its colourful decorated bands, amazing regalia of costumes and stunning apparel and its well atoned music, Trinidad Carnival can best be described as the greatest annual show on earth.
A situation closer home is that of the Calabar Carnival held every year in Nigeria, which is increasingly becoming popular not only in Africa but throughout the world as well.
Though it has not grown to the level of the Trinidad Carnival, the Calabar Carnival has become one of the greatest African carnivals that have been graced by both regional and international musicians, not to mention different performing artistes who have been at this grand event just to showcase their artistic excellence in front of huge crowds.
It is probably along these lines that our very own Zimbabwe International Carnival would be moulded. Already the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority is working flat out to ensure that the inaugural Zimabwe International Carnival matches those of its Trinidad & Tobago and Nigerian counterparts.
Already, different sub-committees have been set up and are working with identified groups and the corporate world to form synergies as the country prepares for a fun-filled week next month. For many probably the highlight of the event would be the musical night, where one international artiste backed by both local and regional artistes, is expected to serenade music lovers during a gig to be held at the National Sports Stadium.
Although the authority is yet to settle on the international artiste, music fans are expecting a high-profile international artiste who would be supported by a coterie of local musicians to spice up the event. Officiating at the carnival training workshop held in Harare a fortnight ago, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority boss Karikoga Kaseke made it clear that there were many benefits attached to the hosting of a carnival.
“Let me confirm that carnivals the world over where they are held, have proven to be very popular and a unifying force among people and provide a big marketing platform comparable to travel shows.
“So we want to create another essential destination marketing platform where we sell, apart from tourism, Zimbabwe in its entirety,” he said.
Ruth Butaumocho Entertainment Editor