A cross section of people in Harare believes Zimbabwe Tourism Authority sold them a dummy by using popular South African socialite and entertainer, Zodwa Wabantu to market the just ended Harare International Carnival.
In the build up to this year’s carnival, conflicting statements were issued by different stakeholders including ZTA, Censorship Board and the central government on the status of Zodwa who was billed to perform alongside the Brazilian Samba girls but reportedly failed to come at the last minute.
In a brief survey conducted by 263Chat during the carnival street party, most people expressed disappointment that Zodwa’s name was only used to to attract fans to the festival.
“I don’t think Zodwa was coming to Harare for Carnival but the organizers only used her name to attract fans because they know that she is a crowd puller.
“The issue of censorship board and the so called Anne Nhira barring her to come and perform in Harare were calculated moves to create hype around the carnival event, they were lying to us and if it was true that she was barred, they were supposed to issue a public statement in newspapers apologizing about her absence,” said Jeremiah Nhari.
Some said they started to know about the Harare International Carnival through Zodwa who was making headlines in daily newspapers.
“Truly speaking l didn’t know anything about Carnival and l had not attended any edition, but l started to know about it when Zodwa was making headlines in every local newspaper that’s when l started knowing about the so called Carnival.
“But however l attended the Samba night with my boyfriend on Saturday, it was awesome, l really enjoyed the Samba girls from Brazil but we wanted to see Zodwa though our own Bev was there, Zodwa’s issue was just a marketing strategy and it worked for me because that was my first time of attending Carnival,” said Naomi James.
“l was disappointed with the absence of Zodwa at the Harare International Carnival. The Herald had earlier reported that Zodwa’s visit had been cancelled and later on we heard that she arrived in Harare through social media but the people behind this were the ZTA guys l know, they must not use other people’s names to market their programs,” said Tariro Gwesera.