carnival 2

Locals shun Victoria Falls Carnival

Nhlalwenhle Ncube
Something for us, without us…

The above adage rings true to locals who failed to attend the Victoria Falls Carnival due to exorbitant fees.

It has turned out that the three-day festival is a preserve for outsiders, as the fiesta is priced far out of the reach of the locals.

Victoria Falls Carnival is the highlight of the year in the resort town, with the event that takes place on the last three days of every year in Victoria Falls, but locals were not impressed by the exorbitant fees that seem to be part and parcel of the celebrations.

The Train Party was priced at $60, the ticket to the carnival concert on 31 December was $65 while a combo ticket for the Train Party and concert was $90.

“The carnival is an event that passes us by because it is too expensive. It is meant to cash in on the tourists that come here. It is not meant for us that’s why it is not affordable,” said Cynthia Ncube, a nurse.

A number of residents echoed the same sentiments lambasting the organisers of not having the majority at heart.

“We have realised that Victoria Falls Carnival is not meant for the locals because of their charges.

“How much will one be earning to afford to go with his family to the carnival? As locals, we will just ignore and let it pass,” said Wisdom Siziba.

The Victoria Falls Falling festival which ran parallel with the carnival for the first time this year was also a counter attraction, as locals favoured its $5 cover charge for each of its three days.

A snap survey during the carnival showed that most  people who attended the carnival were not residents of Victoria Falls; in fact most of the outsiders were foreign tourists.

World Bank data shows that the majority of Zimbabweans live on less than $2 a day, far below the income required to be able to afford going to the carnival.

But away from the pricing controversy, the Jameson Victoria Falls Carnival will go down as one of the best.

The Train Party on 29 December was bigger and better with multiple trips that took about 1500 people into the bush to party.  The train took guests on a ride of a lifetime through the wilderness to a secret bush party.

On 30 December several parties were held at different venues. Carnival ticket holders got into different night spots at no additional charge.

The 31 December New Year’s Eve gig at the Victoria Falls Farm School lived up to its billing as it kept people on their feet.