Carnival set for early 2017

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) says the Harare International Carnival (HIC) will be held between March and April next year.

ZTA head of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda told the Daily News that the carnival, which was launched three years ago, has moved to a more relevant period.

“We are going to hold the carnival next year between March and April in line with international trends in the world of carnivals,” Chagonda said.

The ZTA spokesperson, however, conceded that the carnival was postponed several times this year due to lack of adequate resources.

“The major reason why we could not hold the carnival is because we could not mobilise adequate resources. We have now postponed this time around because our stakeholders said the beginning of the year would be more convenient,” he said.

Chagonda is confident that they will be able to mobilise the necessary resources for next year’s event.

“We are confident that the new date gives us the time to mobilise enough resources. This time of the year is not ideal as most companies are now winding up their operations. But in the first quarter, we are sure they can include us in their budgets,” he said, adding that the event won’t undergo massive changes.

“The template will remain the same; it’s the concept that changes. Remember, we are still teething so some things change with each edition,’’ he said.

The ZTA spokesperson revealed that organisers of the carnival will soon resend invitations to potential participants.

“We had already sent out invitations for this year but we need to resend them when we set dates. But definitely some of the countries including Brazil, India, Nigeria and DRC will be re-invited,” added Chagonda.

Other countries which have participated in the past include Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, United Kingdom and Zambia.

He also added that organisers will attempt to lure prominent artistes to perform at the event.

“The entertainment landscape is dynamic so we will look at what would be trending then and what could make people happy,” Chagonda said.

Several top local artistes who include Jah Prayzah, Oliver Mtukudzi, Mbare Trio, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana performed at the 2015 event.

Regional artistes were represented by Judith Sephuma (South Africa), Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Michael Philips (South Africa), Malawian guitar wizard Erik Paliani, Kenyan songstress Suzanna Owiyo and DRC star Koffie Olomide.

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