Zim to hold Victoria Falls carnival

HARARE – Zimbabwe will hold the country’s second carnival in Victoria Falls next month as a welcoming gesture to thousands of tourists expected to attend the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly.

Karikoga Kaseke, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive told the Daily News his organisation will hold the carnival on August 23 on the eve of the UNWTO assembly in line with a government directive.

Zimbabwe is co-hosting the prestigious tourism event with Zambia projected to attract more than 2 000 delegates from across the world.

“We have been allocated $300 000 to host the carnival on tourism night in Victoria Falls on the eve of the UNWTO General Assembly,” said Kaseke.

“Although the funds are not enough, we are going to do our best to ensure that we give international tourists something to remember about Zimbabwe.”

The forthcoming Victoria Falls event will be a sequel to the hugely-successful inaugural Zimbabwe International Carnival held in Harare in May.

The carnival presented a platform for the country to showcase its culture, trade, tourism and investment potential through different animated carnival floats paraded through the streets of the capital.

More than 10 countries, including Seychelles, the United States, Italy and Trinidad, took part in the carnival and Kaseke commended Zimbabweans for spontaneously responding to the call for celebration of the country’s diversity despite limited resources.

A carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party.

People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations.

The ZTA chief executive said although the Victoria Falls carnival would not be of the same magnitude as the Harare one due to geographical and demographical reasons, ZTA had lined up an exciting galaxy of local and international artistes to grace the event.

“Most of the local artistes who performed during the Harare carnival such as Suluman Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah have already confirmed their participation while we are still waiting to hear from the targeted international artistes,” he said.

Kaseke said the tourism authority is also working hard to bring to the Victoria Falls Carnival music legend Oliver Mtukudzi who is reportedly committed elsewhere on the date.

“It is important that we bring him on board. He (Mtukudzi) is the best and will remain the best for some time to come .

“We can’t have this important national event without Mtukudzi,” added the ZTA chief executive.

“I don’t think it is fair for Zimbabwe and the international tourists to have an event showcasing Zimbabwe’s culture without Mtukudzi,” said Kaseke.

The tourism boss highlighted that carnivals the world over have become good platforms for destination marketing.

“This is especially true when we talk of cultural tourism.

“ This is because a nation’s culture and its people are depicted through carnivals,” he said.

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