9 February 2013

Zambia: Big Treat Awaits Unwto Visitors

THE Local Organising Entertainment and Sports Sub-Committee of the August 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly has lined up entertainment programmes from March to August 31.

The entertainment programme is meant to entertain visitors in Livingstone before, during and after the conference.

Livingstone c and Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe will co-host the UNWTO General Assembly from August 24 to 29, 2013.

Committee chairperson James Zimba said the choreographed programme, which has been forwarded to the Ministry of Tourism and Arts and the Local Organising Committee, would include music, dance, poetry and 'stand up' comedy under the 'African drum'.

Zimba, who is Southern Province Arts and Cultural officer, said that entertainers from Zambia and Zimbabwe would also start collaborating starting next month.

"During the course of February, there will be a joint national steering committee in Lusaka between Zambia and Zimbabwe where we will present this programme.

"Our colleagues from Zimbabwe will also submit their programme to this same meeting for adoption. Once adopted, we will start rolling the out various programmes starting from March.

"We are giving ourselves February to position ourselves to take up these exciting entertainment programmes," he said.

On March 1, 2013, entertainers from Zambia and Zimbabwe would launch a joint co-hosting entertainment programme in Victoria Falls town since the town would host the official opening of the UNWTO conference.

"We will take a cultural group and a musical band to Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe to launch the joint co-hosting entertainmenton March 1, 2013.

After the launch, we will come up with another date to relaunch the joint entertainment programme here in Livingstone which is the venue for the closing ceremony of the UNWTO conference," Zimba said.

He said Zimbabwean performers, musicians and actors would come to Livingstone to re launch the joint co-hosting entertainment programme.

Zimba was also optimistic that the Maramba Culture Cultural village which is currently being renovated would be completed by June this year and ready for use by artists ahead of the UNWTO summit.

The Village would, once completed, host all arts, crafts, traditional food cuisine, fashion design, Zambian Musical Compact Disks (CDs) and cultural activities before as well as during and after the UNWTO General Assembly.

Livingstone-based Zambia National Dance Troupe would be staging daily performances at the Village to entertain tourists and other guests.

Zimba said Chinese contractors working on Maramba Cultural Village were very serious with their work and they would complete the works soon considering the rate at which they were moving.

"I am optimistic that the first building will be ready before the end of February while other buildings will be ready between March and June this year.

This will enable us roll out serious entertainment programmes in Livingstone," he said.

Zimba also said the Livingstone-based Zambia National Dance Troup had been increased from 19 dancers to 32 to promote Zambia's cultural heritage.

"Now we have a very good team which includes other dancers we recruited countrywide. We went to the entire 10 provinces of Zambia to get 13 more dancers and we considered special indigenous characters.

"We have now made a proper national dance troupe where any type of a dance we want will be found within the National Dance Troupe," he said.

Zimba said the National Dance Troupe would be performing in other venues where there will be conferences and receptions.

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