Hello FAB People, greetings from Zimbabwe!
After a 10-hour red eye flight from London to Harare on Air Zimbabwe where it was a toss and turn to get a half-decent 4-hour sleep, I arrived at Harare International Airport at 6.30am local time, so please allow me to keep this short and sweet as today was one unending day and right now my comfy bed at Rainbow Towers is luring me on to its snow white sheets and goose feather pillows.
Due to a minor oversight on the part of Zimbabwe Immigration, I entered the borders of the country two hours behind my fellow media trip buddies, but hey, so far what I’ve seen – and honest, I have not stepped beyond the boundaries of Rainbow Towers – was well worth the wait.
After I finally made it to the hotel as Zimbabwe Tourism Authority official the fabulous Stanley Banda’s passenger through the streets of Zimbabwe – first through the quiet roads decorated on each side with jacanda trees adding a splash of purple to an otherwise ordinary green landscape ,
then through the oldest townships Mbare and Kopi,
I grabbed a quick bite for breakfast (kept it light and simple with toast and scrambled eggs) and freshened up, the next stop was Sanganai Toursim Fair held at the conference hall of the hotel (Thank God for small mercies for I think we were all pretty beat to go any further). Following a solid two hours of mingling with exhibitors from various parts of Zimbabwe and southern Africa, it was then time to attend the official opening ceremony.
To be honest, I was expecting yet another humdrum ceremony with endless speeches but we were greeted with Zimbabwean dancers, inspired by Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara’s vision to create Brand Zim and make Zimbabwe one of the tourism heavy weights of not just Africa but the world at large and sent off with a spectacular interactive drum show by the fab drummers of Drum Cafe.
The highlight of the day? Most certainly finding out Professor Mutambara is a fan of FAB! 🙂
A low-key awards ceremony which saw the most impressive exhibitors of the expo awarded for their efforts was followed by dinner at the hotel – a maise flour dish quite similar in taste and texture to fufu named sadza served with beef stew . And now I am about to have my first night’s sleep in Zim to wake up to a new Zimbabwean day as the sun rises over the cityscape my 10th floor hotel room boasts unprecedented views to.