Time is nigh, and Zimbabweans in their broad totality have their fingers crossed, waiting for the third edition of the Harare International Carnival, that street party where people from all walks of life, rank and file, swarm the streets, showcasing their talent, culture and prowess.
Borrowed from countries like Jamaica, Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago, the carnival is the biggest street party that brings people from different backgrounds and cultures to engage in public revelry, earning countries millions of dollars.
It’s a big event on the tourism calendar for these countries and Zimbabwe together with some other SADC countries are taking the carnival concept on board.
The turnout during last year’s edition of the Harare International Carnival was awesome and Friday 24 May 2014 is still etched in the minds of many Hararians and sojourners alike.
The capital city’s streets were painted red, blue, green, yellow and a multi-ferocious array of fashion with people celebrating diversity.
Music, dance and street revelry summed up the party with fashion, culture and skills exhibited on the streets for everyone to admire.
And yet, this year’s Harare International Carnival is still in limbo.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), the organisers of the event, had set provisional dates for this year’s carnival to be conducted from 4 to 19 September next month.
But sources within the ZTA told The Southern Times that the ZTA and the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry were still engaged in a series of meetings in a bid to carve out something to make the 2015 Harare International carnival happen.
The source said funding for the event was the biggest challenge that the ZTA was facing, with Treasury having reportedly released $100 000 towards the preparations for the event.
The source said the ZTA had initially requested $300 000 for the event to be a success.
“As such, the ZTA and Ministry of Tourism are engaged in meetings to try and come up with some adjustments in accordance with the funding availed, said the source.
ZTA head of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda assured the nation that 2015 Harare International Carnival would be held, adding that they were having meetings to come up with final dates for the biggest event in Africa.
“Our CEO (Karikoga Kaseke) is currently having meetings with officials from our parent ministry together with other stakeholders over the issue. As soon as they finalise, we will give you full details and dates for the event,” he said.
The last two editions of the Harare International Carnival were held between May and June but this time, the ZTA has kept on postponing the event owing to lack of funding.