Raise­don Baya

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Culture/arts/education -

LAST week I was in the cap­i­tal for the Harare In­ter­na­tional Car­ni­val, held cour­tesy of the Zim­babwe Tourism Au­thor­ity. This was an ed­u­ca­tion trip as Int­wasa, in part­ner­ship with Zim­babwe Tourism Au­thor­ity and Min­istry of Tourism, is also plan­ning Bu­l­awayo’s 1st Street Car­ni­val sched­uled for end of Septem­ber. The Harare Car­ni­val was huge. There were over 100 groups that par­tic­i­pated. Over two dozen for­eign coun­tries were rep­re­sented and as usual the Brazil­ians lit the event. More than 70 000 peo­ple must have at­tended the car­ni­val. Drinks flowed from ev­ery­where and every­one was in a cel­e­bra­tory mood.

And to think the week be­fore the car­ni­val trended on so­cial me­dia over the is­sue of Zodwa Wa­bantu. Most peo­ple thought her ab­sence would dampen the spirit of car­ni­val go­ers and spoil the fun. But this did not hap­pen as only a hand­ful of peo­ple in the crowds were scream­ing for Zodwa.

The car­ni­val to­tally dis­rupted the ev­ery­day rou­tine of Harare life — which is ba­si­cally what ev­ery good event worth its salt must do — dis­rupt the sta­tus quo. I loved the di­ver­sity of the par­tic­i­pants and their pre­sen­ta­tions — bik­ers, clowns and co­me­di­ans, ac­ro­bats, drum ma­jorettes, cheer­lead­ers, tra­di­tional dancers, bands, churches and cor­po­rates that were sim­ply there for vis­i­bil­ity. With the num­bers that were in the streets and at the fi­nal point the car­ni­val was just too good an op­por­tu­nity to ad­ver­tise. Pity

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