Harare International Carnival returns Big Time, organisers say expecting over 3 million people

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THE Harare International Carnival, which could not be held last year owing to financial constraints, is back this year after organizers, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, clinched a three year sponsorship deal with Big Time Strategic Group of Companies of South Africa.
The carnival, now running as the Big Time Harare International Carnival, will run from September 1 to September 10, with the climax being the street party on 9 September at the open space between the Rainbow Towers and the Interpol Offices in Harare where the main stage will be mounted for the musical carnival.
“So to give that definitive message to the nation about the carnival, we are launching the Big Time Harare International Carnival on Saturday in Highfield at the Takashinga Cricket Club. We have taken the carnival launch to the people,” ZTA Chief Executive Officer, Karikoga Kaseke said in in a press statement.
He said the show, which will be free to the public, would feature some of the country’s hottest musicians among them Jah Prayzah, Soul Jah Love, Andy Muridzo, Shinsoman, Peter Moyo, Mbira Dze Nharira, Diamond Musica  and  Ceh Calaz among others.
Kaseke said they were looking at attracting more than three million people to this year’s event, adding it will be dubbed the 3 Million Man Carnival.
“We are gratified that the government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development have already given us adequate funds to deliver an excellent carnival akin to its standards of being the biggest street party in southern Africa. More so we have been fortunate to have found a reliable partner and sponsor with whom we have a shared vision of the carnival,” he said without revealing the figures.
He said this year’s carnival will be held under the theme; “One Love-Our Unity Our Pride” noting they wanted to foster national unity and love as the annual event had proved beyond doubt that it was a unifying force among Zimbabweans.
Kaseke said apart from the cultural and social benefits, the carnival would also have a significant contribution to the country’s economy as it would generate a lot of business.
“The last time we had the HIC in 2015, according to our research the event generated around $ 21 million within the week of the carnival thereby delivering considerable benefits not only to individual but the national economy at large,” he said.Advertisement

He said although the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had indicated it wanted to be the partner country for the next three years, more countries had since expressed interest.
He said the number of participating countries had increased from 18 in 2015 to 25 this year.