MOSES WALUBITA, Lusaka
THEY came in all sizes and shapes to showcase Zambia’s rich culture heritage from the 10 provinces in the 2018 colourful Pamodzi Carnival in Lusaka.
If you missed the August 18 Carnival, then commit yourself not to miss next year’s celebration in the capital city.
Organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, in line with Zambia’s cultural diversity, the 4th Pamodzi Carnival reaffirmed yet again the unique national identity that presents a rare spectacle.
The Minister of Tourism and Arts, Charles Banda, flagged off the festival that attracted scores of Lusaka residents starved of such cultural events.
The festival had no dull moments throughout the procession. The programme included traditional dancing, exhibition of native foods and handcrafts.
There was contemporary music by Zambian artist ‘B-Flow’ and representations of Lusaka-based local cultural groups to add to the flair. The Amayenge cultural ensemble was also on hand to provide the much-needed entertainment.
The carnival was flagged off from Woodlands B Primary. The route included Chilimbulu Road in Chilenje to Kabwata Market; past Kabwata Cultural Village; the Mosque on Burma Road; into Independence Avenue to Kafue Round-about on Cairo Road to Kabwe Round-about, turned into Great East Road on ZESCO Fly-over Bridge.
From Makishi Road, the festival turned north into Manchinchi Road, Katima Mulilo Road, Arcades Round-about on Great East Road, up to Addis Ababa Drive, then east into Nangwenya Road and finally into the Lusaka Agricultural Showgrounds’ main arena.
The Pamodzi Carnival brings together the best of Zambia’s traditional music and dance from all the provinces, some of which have been witnessed before urban audiences. The Carnival creates an opportunity for people of different ethnic backgrounds to dialogue and enjoy Zambia’s cultural diversity.
It always presents a unique experience that is truly beyond imagination. Besides the colourful parade, the Carnival day is characterised by a traditional food festival where highly nutritious cuisines and beverages as well as Zambian made handcrafts are sold to the public.
Officiating at this year’s celebration, Vice President, Inonge Wina appealed to the arts and cultural fraternity to embrace artistic excellence in their works so that Government’s efforts to develop the creative industries can equally be complemented.
Emphasised in her speech is the need for the production of high quality artistic and creative products that meet international standards if all Zambian products are to penetrate the international markets.
Mrs. Wina encouraged both the participants and patrons to use the Pamodzi Carnival to interact and further their professional and business networks because knowledge is not a monopoly of individuals.
“I, therefore, encourage you to share your professional experiences among each other for the general good of the arts and cultural section and Zambia as a whole,” the Vice President stated in a speech read by Mr Banda.
The Pamodzi Carnival has developed into an annual cultural and tourism event just as was promised by the ministry at inception.
Among other things, the Pamodzi Carnival is aimed at showcasing Zambia’s traditional and dance repertoires, local foods and beverages as well as creating a unique cultural tourism product through entertainment.
“It is a celebration of our heritage. As its trademark, the Carnival continues to bring together representation from all the 10 provinces of the country. This is highly commendable as this strategy ensures the sustainability and celebration of our national unity through cultural diversity,” Mrs Wina said.
Government will continue to support such events that contribute to the development and promotion of local creative industries for the betterment of the arts and cultural sector. Such measures will go a long way in realising the country’s aspirations for a diversified economic base.
Mrs Wina was confident that a well developed and managed arts and cultural sector can largely contribute to the economic diversification agenda of the country through cultural-tourism. The Pamodzi Carnival is poised to effectively contribute to the diversification process.
The Vice President saluted all the participants for their varied contributions for making the Carnival such a wonderful and colourful event. She also commended the organising committee for putting up a successful festival.
In 2015, when he launched “Zambia’s premier cultural tourism event”; President Edgar Lungu said cultural festivals such as the Pamodzi Carnival will play a significant role in uniting Zambian people and also act as a platform for sharing and promoting the country’s heritage.
The importance of the Pamodzi Carnival cannot be over-emphasised as it will also enhance Zambians’ capacity, and improve the visibility of traditional music, local dance, traditional foods and handcrafts as the living museum of their heritage.
“I am very confident that the creation of the Pamodzi Carnival will help transform Zambia into a competitive destination of choice because of its uniqueness. However, this product will only succeed when constantly supported by marketing programmes to make it resonate with its target market, both at home and abroad,” Mrs Wina said.
MOSES WALUBITA, Lusaka