It is all systems go for Africa’s most exhilarating music and adventure New Year’s festival, the Victoria Falls Carnival which has been growing over the years.
The three-day party which has been held for the past eight years, is definitely a good way to end the year for many fun lovers. The resort town of Victoria Falls comes alive as revellers are spoilt for choice as a result of the many entertainment events during the three days.
Besides fun, the event held at one of the Seven Wonders of the World, has helped market Zimbabwe to the outside world as it has over the years attraced tourists from across the globe.
The one thing that has stood out about this event is its level of organisation and professionalism exuded by the organisers. This has seen organisers, Zimbabwean and South African, clinch more and more sponsors as well as attract more patrons.
To have an appreciation of the event, Saturday Leisure Reporter, Wayne Chiridza (WC) caught up with one of the founders Blessing Munyenyiwa (BM) who shared his journey.
Below is the interview:
WC: When did the carnival start and what inspired you to create such an event?
BM: I started the carnival nine years ago with Sean Young as we realised that Victoria Falls, despite it being a resort town, was always quiet (in terms of events). We then decided to start an event that would benefit the town (entertainment and tourism). It started off in 2009 as the Falls Fest and continued its growth into 2011 when it then became the world-famous Vic Falls Carnival.
WC: How has been the journey so far?
BM: The journey has been great although it has had its ups and downs. However, despite the expenses involved in holding an event of such magnitude, there are more positives than negatives as it benefits the whole community. We were actually at one time named one of the biggest parties by the CNN so I can say all in all, it’s been exciting.
WC: People have generally said that the Vic Falls Carnival, compared to other carnivals, is not really a carnival as it does not have elements of a carnival. What’s your take?
BM: There are different types of carnivals from music carnivals to costumes carnivals. However, we’re working towards improving the carnival each year and we’re actually planning to include some of the things that people have been saying were missing (street parade). Instead of it being a three-day event, we will hold it over four days as we’ll include a day for the parade. It’s at this parade where people can wear costumes. All this will likely happen next year when we celebrate our 10th anniversary.We want this one to be a very big event.
WC: Over the years, what challenges have you faced in the hosting of the event?
BM: The expense has been the biggest challenge. Also, with the current situation in the country where there’s a shortage of fuel, some people will drive to this event worrying about fuel. However, we’re glad that Government and the local tourism players have come aboard and provided people with transport (Zupco buses) and availed fuel. We are very grateful for that and are hoping things will get better.
WC: Which artistes are performing at this year’s event?
BM: We have a star-studded lineup which has the likes of DJ Maphorisa, Prince Kaybee, Shekkinah, AKA, Ray Dizz, Ngoma Ingoma, Jah Signal, Tamy Moyo, Ryan Synth, Zafari, Flying Bantu and Djembe Monks among many others.
WC: Are there any special offers for the locals as some have been complaining that the carnival tickets are expensive?
BM: Every single year, we always have a local resident special (for Vic Falls residents) which runs for a certain period. Those from outside Vic Falls are also catered for as we have a 20% discount on tickets for them.
WC: So far, how are the ticket sales?
BM: The ticket sales are steady and going up. Towards the end of the year, people are generally excited so we expect sales to start moving more now.
WC: Will MTV Base, one of the event’s partners be broadcasting the event live?
BM: We’re still in talks with MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) to see if they can broadcast the event live. For now, they’ve partnered us and have been promoting our event on their channel and social media platforms which is great for us.
WC: Over the years, the carnival lineup has had mostly South African and Zimbabwean acts. Are there plans to invite international acts?
BM: This year’s acts are all from Africa as it is a proudly African event. For next year since we’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary, we’ll have a big international act as the carnival has over the years, attracted a lot of people internationally. – @waynecas.
The original article can be found here