Ever imagined yourself happy, partying and drinking on the streets of Harare without fearing the city authorities? This will come to reality next month when the Harare International Carnival comes to life as people will,
for the first time, be free to party on the streets consuming alcohol without fear of being arrested.
As much as public drinking is prohibited in Zimbabwe, organisers of the carnival, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, have roped in the Harare city fathers and ZRP who have allowed them to have people consuming alcohol during the carnival street party on May 24.
This is all in a bid to make the Harare International Carnival a “real carnival” and have people loosening up as the street party is the soul of the carnival. Last year, the event was more of a street procession as there were no parties along the route and food booths were non-existent. This year, the carnival route has been changed and will bring the carnival to the central business district as opposed to last year where the carnival ended away from the people and the streets.
A carnival is a “street party” and a festival of colours, which is transformed into costumes, music, dance and an array of different ethnic food and art, which attracts people from within a country and around the globe. People dress up in funky costumes, take to the streets and party like no one is watching.
Addressing guests at the Carnival media launch in Harare on Thursday, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said the Harare International Carnival running under the theme “Celebrating our diversity” was being held to promote unity among Zimbabweans through celebrating their diversity and to attract tourists to the country.
He said the carnival was a borrowed concept for Zimbabwe, and as such the idea was still being refined and modelled in accordance with Zimbabweans cultural values, beliefs and aspirations.
“It is quite impressive to note that, though in its infancy, the carnival concept has been well received across the generality of Zimbabweans and more importantly by the national leadership. It is our hope that in the future, Zimbabwe’s economy will be getting a big boost from this annual event,” said Mzembi.
ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said this year’s edition would be the real deal. “We have made a lot of improvements compared to last year and also put the notes we learnt from other carnivals we attended in Brazil to action. Carnivals are all about having fun and that’s just what people are going to have,” said Kaseke.
True to his word, organisers have lined up an action packed, exciting and exquisite 10-day cocktail of events that will cater for the interests of the generality of people. The carnival which kicks off on May 16 will begin with the crowning of Carnival Queen Zimbabwe at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
Mellissa Mpofu Showbiz Editor