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RTG arrivals flat – NewsDay

BY TAURAI MANGUDHLA
ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed hospitality chain, Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) says occupancy levels across its hotels were flat during the nine months to September 30.

In a trading update, the firm said COVID-19-induced travel restrictions continued to dictate developments in the sector.

Tourism industry players are among the worst affected by the pandemic, which have forced governments to apply restrictions on travel.

RTG said occupancies for its hotels closed at 24% during the period, compared to 23% last year.

“The tightened level four lockdown restrictions in July and August affected business operations during the third quarter,” RTG said.

During this period, restrictions on intercity travel and gatherings affected the business, particularly conferencing activities on the domestic market.

This, said RTG, is in contrast to the second quarter which experienced better business volumes due to the near-to-normal trading conditions under level two lockdown.

Despite the setback, the group generally witnessed a surge in volumes during the third quarter compared to the same period in 2020.

The group’s Gateway Stream division witnessed a surge in volumes on its various channels during the quarter compared to all other quarters in the year with business volumes growing 55% above the comparative quarter in 2020.

The Gateway Stream performance was anchored on Gateway Stream rooms, selling hotel rooms not owned by RTG which were equivalent to 30% of the total RTG hotel rooms sold during the third quarter while other channels such as groceries, music and hardware continued growing.

RTG said it continued to navigate the current realities thrust upon the operating environment by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the same time the group also said a focus on costs as complemented by speed in exploiting emerging revenue opportunities enabled the company to register strong performance in the quarter.

“The group managed to access foreign currency through the auction system thereby easing the burden on some of its foreign currency requirements,” RTG said.

Going forward, RTG remains optimistic about prospects of the tourism industry in the short to medium term.

This is despite warnings of a possible fourth wave.

The group said the stability in the operating environment was a positive development, expected to translate to increased activities.

“The performance post the relaxation of the lockdown measures has positioned the group on a recovery trajectory. International airlines such as British Airways have resumed flights to Victoria falls with Qatar Airways coming to Harare for the first time. These developments should see growth in activity in Victoria Falls destination,” RTG said.

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New Kenny G doc explores his massive success and criticism – The Zimbabwe Mail

Kenny G



NEW YORK (AP) — Kenny Gorelick, known to millions as Kenny G, has been one of the most beloved — and hated — figures in music throughout the last three decades. But the music superstar, synonymous for his long, curly brown hair as much as for his soprano saxophone, has ignored his critics and remained largely unbothered, well before the term was a popular social media hashtag.

“If you’re going to criticize me, I’m just not going to go with that because I already know that I’m doing my very, very best. So, there’s where the confidence comes from,” said the Grammy winner. “Did it ever really hurt me? Honestly, no. Because I’ve got my armor of knowing I’m doing my very, very best. That’s why I practice every day… I’m never a little rusty — ever.”

Kenny G’s unconventional journey to the top — and the jazz purists’ feathers he’s ruffled along the way — is explored in the new documentary “Listening to Kenny G” directed by Penny Lane, which premieres Friday at 8 p.m. EST on HBO. In addition to the criticism, the film details his Seattle upbringing, being discovered by legendary music executive Clive Davis, and the massive success of hit songs like “ Silhouette,” “ Songbird ” and “ Sentimental.”

The Associated Press spoke with Kenny G, who will also release a new album called “New Standards” on Friday, about his participation in the film, his legacy, and working with current megastar artists like Kanye West and The Weeknd. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.

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AP: The film opens up with some very harsh criticism of you, but you seem to have tough skin. Was there ever a time it bothered you?

KENNY G: Since the ’80s, I’ve always thought of it kind of this way: They don’t particularly like my style of music. So the songs I put out, especially once they got popular— of course, once they got popular — they hated it more… They’re just thinking that maybe I’m just creating these melodies because I know somehow it’s going to sell records and I’m going to be rich and famous because of this, which I had no idea of. I’m just playing songs the way that I hear them. I love a melody that’s played properly.


AP: What convinced you to participate in a documentary with Penny Lane?

KENNY G: She was not necessarily a fan of my music, which I thought was cool that she said that right off the bat. But not that she didn’t like it, she just wasn’t this big fan that wanted to make a movie about me. She just said that there’s a story to tell about how “there’s a group of people that really have a problem with your success. And I’d like to tell that story.” I said, “I’ve been hearing that since the ’80s.”

AP: Because you’ve faced so much criticism from jazz purists, do you think you’ve influenced up-and-coming jazz artists?

KENNY G: I think so in some ways. You know, first: the fact that the saxophone is out there so much — that people are hearing the sax. I know the soprano sax has definitely gotten a resurgence because of me and the fact that I’ve been out there so much with the soprano, mostly.

AP: You’ve connected with Kanye West and the Weeknd. Is that how you’ve stayed current?

KENNY G: I’m really flattered when I get those phone calls from Kanye and then The Weeknd, of course. It makes me feel great that somehow they want my sound to be part of their music. And they’re so popular now — they don’t need me. I’m not doing them a big favor. They’re not reaching out to me so I can help them sell records. They’re just doing it purely because creatively, they think, “Oh, wow, (we love) your sound.”

AP: Kenny, what do you think your legacy will be? I think the documentary leads to that question.

KENNY G: Gosh, I’ve never even thought about something like that. I don’t think of myself so seriously to have a legacy. But I mean, I don’t know — hopefully it inspires people to want to play the saxophone… Maybe part of my legacy is people really interested maybe more in me because of the notoriety that I have, but maybe I can steer them towards some of the old traditional jazz stuff that they may not have ever heard, and I can keep that music alive longer. ___

Follow Associated Press entertainment journalist Gary Gerard Hamilton with his handle @GaryGHamilton on all social media platforms.


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Pastor stuck in immigration slowdown | CTV News – CTV News London

Huron County, Ont. –

For the past year and half, there’s been no one to lead services at Pine River United Church near Ripley, Ont.

“We’re missing the continuity of having a regular minister every week with us, and pastoral care. Things we’ve always counted on before,” says congregation member and music director, Patt Lowry.

Pine River’s minister retired 14 months ago. In May, following an exhaustive search, the congregation decided to hire Reverend Wonder Chimvinga from Zimbabwe.

His immigration application was submitted in June and the congregation expected him to arrive in six to nine weeks’ time.

“We’re now at week 24,” says congregation member and part of the search committee, Janice Curtis. “He got terrible news a week ago, that (his immigration application) had been turned down by the High Commission in Pretoria, so the United Church of Canada has now hired an immigration lawyer that’s now working with him,” she says.

Curtis says it appears their new minister is caught up in a confusing immigration backlog.

“It seems to be they’re kind of obsessed with whether he’ll actually return to Zimbabwe at the end of his stay. Of course, we’re hoping he’s on the track to permanent residency and eventually citizenship. That’s what he wants to do,” says Curtis.

Complicating matters, Chimvinga sold his car and some other personal belongings to pay for the immigration application, so he and his three children, are left in limbo along with the congregation.

“Apparently it’s not all that uncommon in that part of the world, for the first time to be turned down, so we’re hopeful eventually it will come to pass,” says Curtis.

Local MP Ben Lobb is now on the case, along with the immigration minister, to try and get Pine River’s reverend, to Canada. However, flights from Zimbabwe are currently banned from entering the country due to concerns over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“We were pretty excited in the beginning. This is something brand new for this area to have someone from Zimbabwe. It’s just kind of gone the other way lately,” says Lowry.

The congregation recently held a ‘pray-in,’ appealing to a higher power to deliver their new reverend from immigration purgatory.

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Chimedza reflects on mbira music – NewsDay

BY TENDAI SAUTA
MBIRA Centre founder Albert Chimedza said they would reopen in the first quarter of next year having temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Chimedza said improvisation and entrepreneurship around the mbira instrument were some of the ways to bring relief from economic difficulties during the COVID-19 challenges.

“We shut the workshop when the pandemic started in 2020.

“We are carrying out work to make all Mbira Centre workspaces compliant with COVID-19 regulations. We plan to restart production in the first quarter of 2022,” he said.

“In the midst of COVID-19 difficult times, we went ahead with the online festivals and continued to work on the formalisation of the Mbira Guild of Zimbabwe.”

An accomplished mbira player and manufacturer, Chimedza said artistes must think outside the box in this COVID-19 environment.

“COVID-19 is offering new challenges and opportunities.  It does not hurt to try some new thinking and ways of doing things,” he said.

“Collectively as Zimbabweans, with clarity of purpose and an entrepreneurial spirit in mbira practice, mbira can go far in the coming years.”

Chimedza said there would be more interaction between mbira and other music forms.

“More people from non-mbira music backgrounds will engage the instrument and, hopefully, bring in new music possibilities and dimensions to the instrument,” he said.

  • Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe

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