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‘Blantyre Street Carnival needs improvement’

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Solomonic Peacocks Director, McArthur Matukuta, on Saturday commended the government through the Department of Tourism and other players for organising what was dubbed the Blantyre Street Carnival.

The carnival was spearheaded by Department of Tourism in conjunction with Sunbird Tourism and other partners which started with a walk from clock tower and then to Hannover Street where there were activities and exhibitions among others.

“This is a good initiative but it needs improvement in a lot of areas. There is need for the organisers to do a thorough research on what a carnival is otherwise this was supposed to be a big event and even bring the commercial city to a standstill,” Matukuta said.

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He said that the event also restricted activities to only one area and yet a carnival is supposed to have activities happening in different platforms and people choose where to go.

“Again arts need to be used fully in promoting tourism in the country. Arts has been sidelined in a lot of areas and yet it has that potential to help grow our tourism through the talent we have. We just saw the performances here which indicated the power of art,” said Matukuta.

He also observed that it was high time arts and culture and tourism moved together.

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Arts and culture have been tossed around during cabinet reshuffles being moved from one ministry to the other and now it is under the Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development headed by Patricia Kaliati.

During the carnivals Solomonic Peacocks which is working hand in hand with Chichiri Prison in arts, staged a play.

Joseph Umali who is an employee of Malawi Prison Services said the carnival gave Chichiri Prison an opportunity to showcase traditional dances as part of helping preserve culture but also had a stand that displayed some of the artworks produced by prisoners.

Chichiri Prison was the centre of attraction with their traditional dances which saw them bringing Gule Wamkulu.

Several officials from government particularly Department of Tourism were present during the carnival which delayed to start and showed lack of seriousness in terms of time management.

Random interviews with people indicated that they were happy with the event but a carnival could have shook Blantyre and informed the whole city.

There were only a few organisations that displayed their products and they included Hapuwani, Chilembwe Lodge and TNM.

Some people also felt the organisers did not do enough in terms of promotion the carnival as many found out about it on the same day.

Director of Tourism Isaac Katopola said they were satisfied with the way people patronised the carnival which was part of September–Tourism Month celebration which is running under the theme Tourism for all.

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