Carnival, Hifa major attractions for 2018

HARARE - Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke, whose organisation runs the annual Harare International Carnival, has promised a bigger edition later this year.

Thousands of excited fans thronged the event in September last year.

“The Harare International Carnival is a government event which should run on yearly basis; and as such it will definitely take place.

“We are determined to surpass the big crowd that graced the 10-day event last year. We will go out of our way to take the event to a new and a bigger level,” said the ZTA boss.

Kaseke, however, conceded that the recent departure of Sugar Chagonda, who was the ZTA head of corporate affairs, has dealt a big blow on the preparations for the carnival.

Chagonda has been redeployed to the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company as Head PR and Community Development after spending nine years as ZTA’s head of communications.

“We intend to make the carnival bigger and better even though the departure of Chagonda is a major blow to us,” Kaseke said.

The major highlights of last year’s carnival included the Samba Night which was headlined by a team from Brazil.

It also featured top local dancers Beverly “Bev” Sibanda and Zoey Sifelani.

Several international artistes who included Werrason, Busiswa, Uhuru and Dr Malinga also performed at the international showcase.

Local stars Oliver Mtukudzi and Jah Prayzah performed at the welcome reception held at Rainbow Towers.

But the main highlight of the 2017 carnival was the Street Party on Saturday which included a procession which marched from Fourth Street and Jason Moyo Avenue all the way to Freedom Square.

The Harare International Carnival is one of many international art showcases to expect this year.

The major highlight on this year’s arts calendar will no doubt be the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) which will run from May 1 to 6 in the Zimbabwean capital city.

According to Hifa founder and artistic director Manuel Bagorro, this year’s edition will run under the theme “We Count.”

“The festival happens at a time when we count votes, count lost loved ones, count challenges, count blessings, and count the amazing opportunities that exist in our country in 2018.

“People are what make this festival special and beautiful — each and every person counts at Hifa and has a part to play in celebrating the potential of the arts in Zimbabwe, today and in the future,” said Bagorro.

First staged in 1999, Hifa, which on average attracts thousands of artists from all over the world, has in recent times been adjudged by CNN to be amongst the top 10 in Africa.

Another event to look forward to is the Chibuku Neshamwari Traditional Dance Festival expected to take place between July and August.

Last year’s edition, which attracted 10 provincial champions, was won by Bulawayo-based traditional group Emzinyama at the finals held in Zimbabwe’s second largest city last August.

The Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima), run by presidential photographer Joseph Nyadzayo, which did not take place in 2017, is expected to bounce back this year.

In an interview with the Daily News recently, Nyadzayo said his team was currently fine-tuning its plans for the event.

“We are still deliberating on the event but chances are high that we are going to host the event this year,” Nyadzayo said.

Last year, Zima failed to host the awards owing to lack of sponsorship.

This year’s packed calendar also includes the Harare Agricultural Show, National Arts Merit Awards (Nama), Harare International Carnival and Shoko Festival, Zimbabwe Arts Festival and the Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo which took place in the City of Kings from September 27 to 30 last year.

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