Eye Witness: Betty Makoni -CNN hero for protecting the powerless who was in attendance(I feature only people who are doing work that transforms people and I can testify that what happened at this concert changed me forever)
By ZIMBABWE INTERNATIONAL GOSPEL MUSICIANS ASSOCIATION (ZIGMA)
ZIGMA, an association of Zimbabwean Gospel musicians based in UK held an HIV Awareness Gospel Music Extravaganza at the All Nations Centre in Leicester on Friday the 28th October 2011. The event which was attended by about 250 people from different parts of the United Kingdom was to support and reinforce the government’s initiative to raise HIV awareness in the UK. This event which comes ahead of World Aids Day coming up on the 1st of December was funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
More than a dozen musicians participated on this event that started at 6pm till midnite. ZIGMA partnered with a local HIV agency LASS (Leicestershire Aids Support Services) and Nokuthula Children’s Trust who were available on the day to address the persistent discrimination and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
This was part of ZIGMA’s ongoing outreach program to present social issues on HIV in a sensible way. The Association was launched in December 2006 as part of efforts to unite Zimbabwean gospel musicians for the purposes of promoting gospel music and supporting charitable causes.
The guest of honour was CNN Hero of the year Muzvare Betty Makoni, Founder and President of Girl Child Network Worldwide. She gave a touching speech on the work that her organisation is doing to help abused and underprivileged young girls. This was followed by an emotional tribute of a plea from a dying mother who was a victim of AIDS.
The exciting show was opened by a local church choir from Emmanu’-EL Apostolic Gospel Academy. Their music was an inspirational power of African gospel, adding much flavour to the variety of music that was presented on the day. Some of the musicians who performed on the day included the highly entertaining Obert Mazivisa who did not disappoint despite the limited time he was afforded. Mr Fantastic John Mutoko who added to the striking on-stage spectacle with his taste of gear and flawless footwork. Another artist, George Kufa delivered a spirited performance followed by Pamela Ndengeya who had the audience on their feet with her song Ngiyakuthanda. The spectacular Jane Doka wooed the audience with her electrifying dance routines. Royal Destiny’s performance was destined to be a rousing time of praise and worship followed by Mantongande who delivered a truly inspirational performance. Also Sety Mandiveyi delivered an outstading performance of her hit song Dambura. Chris Kusema with his young group of rising stars Kamani clan delivered an uplifting performance spiced up by Enos Deve’s simply flawless performance.
Zigma also welcomed Thomas Ngwenya and Caroline Rumbi whose performances were well received by the audience. Another upcoming artist who touched many on the evening was Beatrice Masvingise. Two well respected DJ’s Ezra Tshisa Sibanda and The General Eric Knight from a UK based internet radio station visionsradio graced the show with their dynamic effortless presenting skills.
This was the first ZIGMA gospel concert and it was well received by the audience who danced throughout the evening. Many are already asking the dates of the next event.
One of the organisers of the show, Maria Rusike said it was a great thing to see people teaming up together for a worthy cause. The secretary of the ZIGMA, Rex Ndengeya said despite a few hiccups, the show went on well. It was a great event that will in the memory of many for a long time.
Thumbs up to the organisers of the Show, Rex Ndengeya, George Kufa, Kenneth Ruchaka and Maria Rusike who worked tirelessly throughout to make this event a success. Praise be unto the Lord.