Samba girls steal the show

HARARE - Samba girls mesmerised the audience at the colourful Harare International Carnival reception party held at Rainbow Towers on Thursday night.

The 15 girls from Brazil, clad in a variety of skimpy and revealing outfits, dazzled an adoring multinational crowd that included guest of honour Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke.

The Brazilians, in their colourful costumes and flamboyant head dresses, were clearly the star attractions at the event that also featured cultural groups from different countries including Egypt, China, Mozambique, Burundi, India, Malawi and Ethiopia.

Zimdancehall artiste Seh Calaz, music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi and Congolese rhumba maestro Werrason also performed at the event after various groups had showcased their dance skills.

Before the event got underway, Mnangagwa applauded organisers of the Harare International Carnival for coming up with the initiative that seeks to make Zimbabwe a popular tourist destination.

“This is an effective tool for the development of domestic and international tourism. Many countries across the globe have adopted the carnival concept because of these and other downstream benefits,” he said, adding that the event has the potential of generating business for locals.

“Carnivals are meant to make a country a more exciting tourist destination. The hosting of foreign participants in the form of transport, accommodation and meals among other services is highly commendable.

“I am aware that we have more than 300 delegates from more than 25 countries participating at this year’s Carnival,” Mnangagwa said.

The exciting Carnival reception party set the tone for the main street party that takes place today along Jason Moyo Avenue.

Groups and artistes from various countries will march on the Carnival route along Jason Moyo Avenue from Fourth Street to Freedom Square.

Countries taking part this year include Brazil, Burundi, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo,Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Mozambique, Malawi,Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, United Kingdom, Trindad and Tobago.

The participation of top local international stars will most certainly add more excitement to this year’s edition of the Carnival.

The top foreign artistes on the bill are Jamaican dancehall legend Beenie Man, Congolese rhumba star Werrason and popular South African artistes who include Babes Wodumo, Busiswa, Kalawa, Uhuru and Dr Malinga.

Though foreigners will obviously hog the limelight, there will also be a strong local presence with 39 Zimbabwean schools fielding drum majorettes, cheerleaders as well as traditional and cultural dancers.

The Air Force of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services and Zimbabwe National Army will be represented by their brass bands and traditional dance groups.

The organisers of the Carnival — Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) expects thousands to grace the event.

“People are going to march from Fourth Street and move along Jason Moyo Avenue to Freedom Square.

“At the square, there will be a state-of-the-art stage where different musicians will showcase their musical talents,” said ZTA head of head of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda said.

Over the last 10 days, the Carnival has featured various exciting activities which included the flagship events — Carnival Rhumba Night, Samba Night and the Zimdancehall Fiesta.

As part of its obligations as a partner for the Carnival, Devine Assignments hosted several shows in Harare’s First Street and in several high density suburbs in the capital city and in Chitungwiza.

On the First Street stage, artistes like Madiz, Tendai Chimombe, Tete Pipilo, Steven Dhibhura and Sons, Ras Trevor Hall and Crucial Mix, Mark Ngwazi and Talking Guitars entertained the crowds for free.

The “Carnival Passa Passa” gigs, which mostly featured Zimdancehall artistes featured artistes such as Killer T, Freeman, Dadza D, Kinnah, Hwindi President, Blot, Kadija, C.C, Seh Calaz, Silent Killer, Guspy Warrior, Dobba Don, BaShupi, Ras Caleb, Jah Signal, Lady B, Ninja Lipsy, Ras Pombi, Trevor D and Shinsoman.

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