UB40 show breaks down barriers, rejuvenates tourism

UB40 show breaks down barriers, rejuvenates tourism

Tafadzwa ZimoyoEntertainment Editor

The visit to Zimbabwe by British reggae band, UB40, featuring Alistair Ian Campbell is a welcome development that goes beyond entertainment to double up as a draw-card for tourism. 

While Britain and Zimbabwe’s relations have been lukewarm, the arts sector has once again proved to be a unifying force between the two countries; a rare show of togetherness.

Coming as it did on Africa Day, there could not have been a better time for Ali Campbell, who reunited the citizenry of both countries through music and dance.

The highly-attended gig, which was a show-and-a-half, had the hallmarks of a world class event that can be best equated to “Live at the Apollo” in New York, and the young ones, that is “Coachella” for you.

Never mind the distance, culture and difference in genres, for once the Old Hararians Sports Club was lit with show-goers enjoying every bit of it.

Even the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Melanie Robinson, was beyond herself with excitement that she took to social media to announce the splendour and grandeur of the Campbell show.

“What a better way to end #AfricaDay2023 than sharing a fun evening in Harare, enjoying British reggae and pop#UB40. A band of English, Jamaican, Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Yemen heritage, from not far up the road from where I grew up,” she said.

The beauty of the concert was in the crowd that came through, promoting brand Zimbabwe as well as boosting local tourism.

At the concert, various dishes from the Motherland and beyond were being served.

It was a full house at the gig that was staged on Africa Day.

Musician Ali Campbell said Zimbabwe was full of loving people.

“This is my second time coming to Zimbabwe. I last came here in 1982. It is very peaceful, with fun and loving people. I hope you have enjoyed the show and hope to come back soon,” he said during the show.

Mrs Maria Mazalo (61) from Zambia, who flew for the Ali Campbell show, said it was a great way to celebrate Africa Day.

“I came to Zimbabwe on Monday ahead of the show. First, I attended the Africa Day pre- dinner celebration with friends from various countries. On May 25, we came to enjoy the Ali Campbell show. Thank you Zimbabwe,” she said. “Another reason is that our country is not part of the tour.”

Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is an annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) founded on May 25, 1963, now known as the African Union (AU).

It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world. 

The day celebrates African unity, and all the wonderful cultures that this amazing continent is home to. It’s a day to reflect on the progress Africa has made as a continent in the face of the many challenges that a global environment brings. 

It’s also a day to recognise the successes of the continent and its cultural and economic potential.

This year’s edition ran under the theme, “Our Africa, Our Future”, in a bid to celebrate Africa’s steadfast journey of unity, progress, and shared dreams.

The Herald