An international carnival aimed at boosting Zimbabwe’s tourism industry has ended in the economically troubled country.
Some saw the festivities that featured artists from Brazil, Cuba, Egypt and elsewhere as a relief from the struggle to get by in the southern African nation. Lots of people came out and were very happy at the carnival, at least something to put smiles on the faces of the poor people of Zimbabwe.
Others called the carnival a waste of money in a country struggling to pay civil servants’ salaries and battling acute currency problems.
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi defended the carnival as necessary to promote tourism, saying private sponsors paid for most of it.
The 10-day carnival has been held annually since 2013 with the exception of last year, when funding problems forced its cancellation.
A law banning the consumption of alcohol in public was suspended for the duration of the carnival.
Among those who graced the occasion were Dr. Kaseke, the Group CEO of Big Time Strategic Group (title sponsor of the carnival) Mr. Justice Maphosa, Minister of State (Harare Metropolitan Province) Hon. M. Chikukwa MP., and the Deputy-Minister of Tourism & Hospitality Industry Hon. Anastancia Ndhlovu who gave the official launch statement.
Harare International Carnival Official Launch Statement by Deputy-Minister Hon. A. Ndhlovu.
The Carnival did not go down without controversy though. The popular south african socialite Zhuwao Zodwa Wabantu was barn by Zhuwao the Tourism Minister from the carnival due to complaints by actress Anne Nhira over Zodwa waBantu’s near nude performances.
She said the occasion deserved much better than half naked South African who gets a lots of cash for flashing her private part in public. At first the tourism minister Patrick Zhuwao said she will perform with her pantis on but later withdrew the South African invitation altogether.
“I acknowledge your complainant on the above subject matter. Government position is that the concerned (Zodwa waBantu) may not participate at the Harare International carnival. In this regard the relevant authorities have been notified,” Zhuwao said.
Zodwa made headlines after appearing in a revealing black dress without undergarments at a Durban July event leading to local promoters hiring her. She then performed before a packed crowd in Bulawayo—opening another door for her to participate in the Harare International Festival.