My heartfelt congratulations go to Dumi Senda, the Poet as he is passionately known. During his studies I was honoured to be invited to speak at a conference he had arranged at his University, Leeds Beckett University to share strategies to end child sexual abuse. I was so convinced he was an extraordinary student because he tackled child sexual abuse in a way that changed me. And of course when men of quality and equality stand up to protect children from sexual abuse we must record them as heroes of our history. Today, Dumi announced that he is heading to Oxford University after scoring highly for his degree Please let me be part of his academic journey. Dumi Senda is exceptional.
Below is Dumi Senda`s official announcement.
Friends, I am pleased to share with you some good news. I have achieved a First in my degree in International Relations and Peace (Hons), and have been accepted to do a Masters in African Studies at the University of Oxford. My academic journey was prompted by a rejection, told that I could not participate in a conference because I was a ‘mere activist’ and not an academic. While I found this elitist and grossly shortsighted, I took it as a challenge to show that anyone of us can become anything they set themselves to be. Today, I remain proud to be an activist, fighting for equality and humanitarianism. However, my story demonstrates that ordinary people like me, with a passion to serve society, can achieve a lot from very little. I hope to use my story to inspire others who are considering going back to study. If I can do it, you CAN do it too!
Child Sexual Abuse Seminar organised by Dumi Senda at Leeds Beckett University-November 2014
I have listened to a song by a young musician Zimbabwe called Tocky. To be frank he is very new to me and am trying to read a little bit about him and so for his biography please forgive at this early stage. I don’t want to write about people from other sources, I want direct from source. I am very positive that I might get some time to interview him and get to know a little bit more about him and his music because the title Mhai-Mother speaks to my work for women. Of course as a Mother to three boys there is so much the song is doing to me. So whatever is my analysis here is based on his song Mhai.
His song Mhai is exceptional, apt and to the point. It is a song that has come at the right time. His song is a revolution in women`s lives. It sets to position Mothers- Women as prime givers of life. It sets to position women for the power and strength of who they are. He uses narrative approach to share a simple story of a young man leaving a village. His mother`s words are very simple; Tocky please don`t forget us. His response to his mum is what makes everyone get deeply moved. He says Mother, you are my life giver. This life that I have Mother you sacrificed everything. You gave me your breast milk and this is what made me who I am. He tells his Mother that he is very grateful to her and anyone big today came from Mother . He makes a commitment to always remember his Mother. Tocky goes to tell the world that being in a Mother`s womb is not a joke. Tocky makes a poetic rhythm in his lyrics. Every Shona word comes as well thought and these are the most important words any child could use. Quite Classic Lyrics, very rare these days. I refuse to classify him under Zimdance Hall. This young man is his own class like Elton John of UK maybe.
Now why I love Tocky`s song. It teaches what Motherhood is all about which many Zimdance hall artists have not done. Yes musicians can sing whatever they want but a musician can be a Changemaker. We have often called men to be involved in gender justice programs and anyone who works in this area must not forget musicians like this young man. Instead of educating men in small workshops and wasting money, it is best to call Tocky with this song and some mind sets get changed. They say if you want to change a man touch his sister or mother and so this strategy to first give power to Mother is so easily transmitted to every woman whether they have children or not. Music is the most powerful strategy to mobilise people on any issue affecting society.
The fact that this is a young man who has chosen to divert from such songs on women as sex objects who see girls and women as less is another reason I love the song. Tocky has chosen to be unique. He has chosen an image of a Woman that we must know. After listening to this song many young boys grow with the importance of a Woman. Yes of course it is Women who gave birth to men and put them in this world. The song must always go to the Mother. This song has taken us away from young men who focus on women as less. Hats off to Tocky for that!!!
For those who don`t know before I became a humanitarian, I studied Performing Arts and so time and again I do some analysis of Arts and Artists. Tocky`s vocals are soothing. He has a new rap style where he chooses to be different especially with his drop and pick up of words like Agh Agh. He lets the rhythm create itself naturally and he does not force words. He must be very poetic. His voice is heavy but very calmed especially in Shona. He is not screaming, He is telling a story. There is no powerful way to appeal to people other than using story telling. The reason why so many people like Mhai is that it is a story we know but we never talk about. Hey, how many people have been reminded to just send a hello to their parents. Our parents in Africa do not go into residential homes. They die in communities. There are many stories of abandonment of parents and especially fathers dump wives and then sons dump mothers. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Well gender activists out there, do not ignore such young men who are coming to position women. Music and arts remain the best way to appeal to mass audiences. It takes just one big event for people to gather for Mother`s day and sing along Tocky. Well, this is my gender justice strategy- use the Power of the arts.
I wish Tocky the best in his musical career. The best you must always do is to get a good mentor or manager and keep your audience nourished with good lyrics like this. You have my vote and please send links where we can purchase your great album especially the song Mhai.
Look forward for my next musician changing the world from a gender eye.