Carnival lives up to its billing

By Lovemore Ranga Mataire recently in Victoria Falls

The 2017 edition of the Victoria Falls Carnival lived up to its billing with over 9,000 revellers attending the three-day party explosive festival in Zimbabwe’s prime resort town.

The usually serene town was turned into a hive of activity as nationalities from different countries converged to witness one of Africa’s biggest festivals which ran from 29-31 December up to the New Year.

To kick-start the festival, revellers packed into the legendary party train to a destination into the bush hinterland where an array of DJs played music until the wee hours of December 30.

Party-goers with painted faces and national flags mixed and mingled in a merry-making atmosphere that reverberated across the bush.

The festival moved from the bush to Kariba Primary School where merrymakers were entertained by DJs from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and DRC. Warming up the crowd was Mi Casa band from South Africa which left the crowd in ecstasy with their danceable tunes.

DJ Jason le Roux moved a notch-up with his Zimbabwean theme announcing the heralding of a new dispensation and insisting that this was not a military takeover. He played a mixed bag of afro-fusion and house before leaving the decks to the inimitable Black Coffee.

The award-winning Black Coffee proved why he is world renowned when he kept the cosmopolitan crowd on their toes with his deep, rich with soulful notes. He played tracks from his studio albums which sounded like mixes with beautiful sonic themes and tracks that seemed to melt in and out of one another perfectly.

His mixes were something close to magical proving beyond doubt that he was the main act of the night. After Black Coffee came a musical heavyweight from Congo, Tresor. Tresor is a multi-award winning, platinum selling, breakout singer-songwriter and producer.

Tresor did not disappoint as he dished out collaborations with AKA, Beatenberg, Khuli Chana and The Soil.

South African based The Kiffness brought to the festival their hair whipping, multi-instrument electric performance. The group’s live performance – a mix of jazzy, groovy and uplifting house music was just what the doctor ordered.

The third day of the festival, saw revellers painting their faces in their national flag colours, no better way to celebrate the New Year than being serenaded by music from the Zambian Queen of RnB Mampi and Zimbabwe’s own diva, Amara Brown.

It was a marvel to watch Mampi’s energetic, rhythmic performance on stage which added some real African flavour to the festival.

Both female musicians are riding high with their top charters. Mampi is riding high with her hit song “Walilowelela” while Amara’s “Akiliz” is like a national anthem among her legion of fans in Zimbabwe.

But that was not all, thousands of adventure loving travellers from all over the world, fire breathers, and traditional dancers spiced the festival which proved to be a once in a life-time experience.

And the excitement did not end at the festival grounds. Fan loving revellers enjoyed subsidised rates for water rafting, bungee jumping, elephant rides while others enjoyed a drink watching the vultures feeding at Safari Lodge.  Speaking to The Southern Times entertainment, event and festival marketing director, Charlotte Kanter, said the festival surpassed her expectations and is growing bigger each year.

“We always choose a mixed line-up of African artistes and we were excited to have been able to host Africa’s biggest act, Black Coffee, this year,” said Kanter.

She said the African Carnival Train and the Secret Bush Party were huge attractions and the two events are set to be permanent features of the festival.

The Victoria Falls Carnival is the biggest party of the year in Africa. The 2017 edition attracted Black Coffee (South Africa), Mi Casa (South Africa), Mampi (Zambia), The Kiffness (South Africa), Prince Kaybe (South Africa), Amara Brown (Zimbabwe), Tresor (DRC), Jason le Roux (Zimbabwe), Rubber Duc (South Africa), Flying Bantu (Zimbabwe), DJ Francis (Zimbabwe), and El Mukuka from Zimbabwe, among others.

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