Melissa Mpofu Showbiz Editor
All is set for the second edition of the Harare International Carnival (HIC) which kicks off today with the crowning of Carnival Queen Zimbabwe at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)-organised carnival will be a melting pot of diverse cultures and activities with over 20 countries among them -carnival gurus Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago – expected to showcase their cultures.
The much-anticipated Carnival Queen pageant will see 18 beauties from the country’s 10 provinces competing for the coveted crown which will see the winner driving away with a cash prize of $20,000. It remains to be seen if Bulawayo will bring the crown home this year after the City of Kings settled for second position last year when Thabiso Phiri was crowned first princess.
Bulawayo is being represented by heavyweights in the modelling industry including former Face of Zimbabwe Sibo Bero, Marizane Murashiki, Siphethengani Sibanda, Marble Nyathi and Patience Mazonde.
The girl who will be crowned will be the face of the carnival as she will be responsible for leading the Carnival street party next weekend and will also be an ambassador for the country.
Entertainment at the pageant will be provided by Exodus Steelband from Trinidad and Tobago, diva Cindy Munyavi, Sebastian Magacha, Peekay and local dancehall artistes.
International beauty queens, reigning Miss Tourism Queen International and Miss Philippines Angeli Dione Gomez, Miss Tourism Malaysia Tharaah Ganesan and Miss Tourism Swaziland Lebo Maseko are expected to grace the event.
Organisers have lined up an action packed, exciting and exquisite 10-day cocktail of events that will cater for the interests of the generality of people during the carnival.
Tomorrow, gospel lovers will be spoilt for choice at the carnival gospel concert where different gospel musicians will converge at the HICC for performances. Vabati VaJehova, Mathius Mhere, Purple Pride Choir, CCAP Voice of Mbare, Thembalami, Sebastian Magacha, Pastor Stanley Gwanzura and Tatenda Mahachi are some of the artistes who will perform.
Other events which will be held during the carnival include a dancehall night, street passa passa, carnival jazz night, exotic night, carnival fashion show, carnival bira and a carnival samba night.
Meanwhile, Spatial IQ, a software and events management company headquartered in South Africa, has partnered with the ZTA and introduced a mobile App for the HIC. The Harare International Carnival Mobile App is expected to enhance communication and information dissemination using smartphones and tablets during the carnival.
The Mobile App is easily accessible to the public by searching for “Harare International Carnival” from the Google Play Store as well as the Apple iStore. It contains details that include event venues, schedules, city guide (maps), performing artistes, participating regional and international countries and online news feeds to alert the public and participants on any developments before and during the Carnival.
The mobile App technology is expected to improve sharing of arts, cultural, travel and tourism information in Zimbabwe.