Unidentified merrymakers get grilled meat at the Braai Fest at Old Hararians Sports Club in Harare on Saturday


MEAT and beer lovers were in for a treat when the popular Castle Lager National Braai Fest returned on Friday and Saturday at its ceremonial home, Old Hararians Sports Club in Harare.

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The popular and strictly no-under-18 fest funded by Delta Beverages through their Castle Lager brand was cancelled last year, following an outbreak of cholera.

Making its return over two days, the fest had a false start on Friday with the really heavy, but very welcome rains forcing the cancellation of performances by dancehall chanter Killer T, urban groover Ex-Q and some wheel spinners.

But there were smiles all around on Saturday as the skies cleared and the partying went into full swing.

Thousands turned out on the final day, with entertainment galore from the dancehall president Winky D, Freeman, urban groover Ex-Q and Hip- hop sensation Takura adding to the fireworks.

Winky D showed why he remains the reference point among local artistes before sound glitches cut short his performance in the middle of his MuGarden hit song, a duet with local pop sensation Gemma Griffiths.

This drew angry protests from the fans unhappy with the sound engineers and bringing the show to a premature end.

In a country struggling for positives and any sought of relief, the braai fest brought some joy to thousands of merrymakers.

But going forward, the few glitches need to be ironed out, such as the long queues which resulted in commotion and disorder as revellers got impatient.

It also appears that bouncers who have become a menace at several live concerts, were facilitating entry to anyone who would pay them in cash.

They attempted the swindle on this reporter before whisking him in after one of them recognised him.

At the inaugural braaifest, over 12 000kg of meat were consumed in one day, while a staggering 15 000kg was gobbled in 2017. 2019 is likely to set a new record, with proceeds being channelled towards charity.