'Big five' artistes for Tourism Night

HARARE - Congolese rhumba star Maison Mere known as Bill Clinton on stage and an impressive line-up of Zimbabwean musicians will herald a Tourism Night gig slated for Saturday October 20 to celebrate the country’s major attractions.

Sugar Chagonda, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) spokesperson said the gig will be part of Sanganai/Hlanganani — World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair to be held in Harare from Thursday, October 18, ending on Sunday, October 21.

Chagonda said the Zimbabwe musicians line-up is impressive. “We are going to showcase a performance we have dubbed ‘‘The Big five’’ comprising Zimbabwe’s artistes. These include Alick Macheso (sungura), Oliver Mtukudzi (katekwe), Suluman Chimbetu (dendera), Baba naMai Charamba (gospel) and Mbira Dzenharira (traditional).

There will be something for everyone and the show will be free of charge at Gwanzura Stadium on October 20, our Tourism night.”

Renowned dancehall musician Winky D, Mbare Chimurenga Choir and Iyasa will perform as supporting acts. “Our theme is Tourism for All by 2015. We want everyone to come and celebrate tourism and cultivate a culture of appreciating our domestic tourism.

“There would be street processions from Stodart Hall in Mbare, from Willowvale and another from CJ Hall in Highfield. One of the processions would be led by Vice President Joice Mujuru who will address the gathering at Gwanzura Stadium before the all-night gig.”

Chagonda said ZTA has plans of launching township tourism to realise Zimbabwean history and preserve homes of liberation war heroes in townships such as Mbare and Highfield as well as other national heritage sites in those areas. Chagonda said when the time comes ZTA will liaise with other government departments to make the project a success.

Township tourism is prevalent in some African countries including Soweto, Johannesburg in South Africa and Katutura Township in Windhoek, Namibia.

ZTA has been working tirelessly to drive tourism in the nation and Chagonda said the authority will not tire.

“We want to drive tourism for all by 2015 and make sure everyone is involved. We want the ordinary people to appreciate tourism and take part in it.

This Tourism Night gig will aim to aid people’s appreciation of travelling and visiting new places for leisure.

We have approached the national broadcaster ZBC to ensure that the event is beamed across the nation.
We have always worked with ZBC on issues of tourism and we are hopeful that they would be able to broadcast the event live to the nation.”

Meanwhile, international visitors have started coming into the country for Sanganai/Hlanganani Fair.

A 19-member group of Chinese and South Korea buyers, media personnel and tour operators arrived in Harare on Tuesday. Chagonda said other international visitors from Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America, among others will attend the function.

ZTA said on its website that international and local participants at Sanganai/Hlanganani — World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair stand to derive the following benefits: Meet and network (Sanganai) with exhibitors, visiting buyers, investors and suppliers of services to the tourism sector from all over the world, establish strategic business partnerships with world tourism players, showcase your destination, products and services, acquire knowledge about different source markets, derive value from well-structured, theme and informative International tourism conferences and workshops, interact with travel media from all corners of the world, establish strategic partnerships with other destinations/cities and network across ministerial divides.

However, from the general point of view, the Tourism night gig is not to miss as it will be a feast of Zimbabwe’s finest local musicians and brief speeches on tourism before the gig will keep revellers entertained.

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