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Mirror Reporter
– After unveiling their Brand Ambassador, Alick Macheso, earlier this year Nash Paints has created a buzz nationwide with their “Kochekera” promotion where they are painting houses, offices and buildings on credit.
The promotion offers individuals 30% deposit and 6 months to pay off the balance on their quotations and 0% deposit and 12 months to pay for Civil Servants.
This facility has been well received with over 60 houses having been painted since the promotion’s inception.
Where has Nash Paints been all this time? Are they a new Company?  Are some of the questions people could be asking?
The answer is they have been around since 2006 but were specialising mainly in automotive paints but with the introduction of this promotion their name has spread like a wild fire amongst old and new house and business owners as they are the only company currently offering this service on a nationwide scale.
Over the past weekend  Nash Paints went from Harare to Masvingo promoting their brand, Glascor Coatings, for which Macheso is the Brand Ambassador. Nash Paints touched every corner of the town and residential areas distributing over 30 000 flyers and 300 T-shirts.
The team was given a warm welcome by the residents who also began enquiring and requesting quotations to have their houses painted.
Most of the residents said that, with the high paint prices in the area most of the paints that had been used on their houses were imported from neighbouring South Africa and with the current economic conditions they were unable to get the job done in one go, but this opportunity was going to enable them to get the job done and pay comfortably.
The Grand Opening for their newly established Masvingo branch was soulfully done with the company’s staff mixing and mingling with the town’s people over refreshments and a braii.
The company’s CEO Mr Tinashe Mutarisi said that this project was conceived from his realisation that painting seems to be considered a luxury activity however with the country’s rapidly growing construction industry the finish is not complete without the application of paint.
He also stated that it was important for people to come together and repaint Zimbabwe and give it back its original beauty which has faded with various buildings being vacant due to neglect and thus making them inhabitable.
In a statement the CEO also added that he would like to thank Macheso for being the encouragement and driving force of this idea and also took the opportunity to wish him many happy returns with the Sungura Supremo’s 46th birthday bash coming up.
The company thanked the various corporate and construction companies that have engaged into partnerships with them for all their support.
Mutarisi urged other corporate and construction companies to come on board with them stating that with all the prevailing hardships it is important to stick together and support one another.  He invited those interested in partnerships to come to their offices in Graniteside and make their enquiries. The CEO emphasized his thanks to the companies customers for paying in time, “Zimbabweans are honest people and I am proud to be Zimbabwean”.
In closing the CEO stated that Nash Paints are the new kids on the block and have everyone talking. In light of this he added that much older and bigger companies seem threatened by the vibrant and enegeretic entry into the market making them hesitant to partner with them in some of the big projects.  ‘There is enough space for all of us in the market come lets join hands and make our Nation a healthy bright and better place” –   “Kochekera ne Nash Paints and get your house painted on credit”Business

HARARE – Nash Paints unveiled sungura king-pin Alick Macheso last week as their brand ambassador on a signing on fee of $10 000.

Macheso signed a renewable one-year contract which is coupled with other standalone arrangements which will be determined by the business of the company.

Extra-basso’s humbleness tickled the youthful chief executive officer for Nash paints, Tinashe Mutarisi who found it befitting to endorse Macheso as their brand ambassador.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister, Francis Nhema, who applauded the deal.

Nhema told the well-attended unveiling ceremony conference that the entertainment sector cannot be underestimated as it can help the economy grow.

Macheso, who has adopted fellow musician Tryson Chimbetu in his ambassadorial work, could not hide his gratitude over the honour.

“I want to thank the Lord for keeping me alive until now and all these achievements and success. I thank Him for all that.

“I receive the honour by Nash Paints for ambassadorial work and I promise we will work together as one big family,” said Macheso.

VICTIMS of the mysterious Chitungwiza blast will be some of the first beneficiaries of musician Alick Macheso’s deal with Nash Paints.

BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER

Nash Paints, a construction concern, has engaged Macheso as their brand ambassador and have pledged to do all necessary paintwork on the three houses in Chitungwiza that were destroyed in January last year.

Macheso will sign a one-year deal with the company at Meikles Hotel in Harare tonight where it is expected he will also get a monetary package. The musician is Humanitarian Ambassador for the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS).

Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, Takemore Mazuruse, ZRCS spokesperson in charge of Macheso’s corporate image, said they feel honoured. He described Macheso as a born philanthropist who had done well in pushing their humanitarian drive. Mazuruse said Nash Paints were the right partners being in touch with the people’s everyday challenges.

“As part of our work, we were the first to respond to the Chitungwiza blast by providing temporary shelter, non-food and food relief items,” Mazuruse said.

“We had to go a step further by championing the reconstruction of the three destroyed houses together with other partners. Nash Paints weighed in with a full donation of paint and painting services of the three houses from first coat to the last.”

He said Nash Paints had also pledged to partner the Red Cross in its nationwide humanitarian work and said he hoped to champion a number of charity programmes with them.

HARARE – Sympathy Sibanda-Ngwenya, a rising poet and songwriter, has released an anthology 57-poem book, titled Matters of Life.

Sibanda-Ngwenya, 26, says she has an intrinsic passion for poetry, performing arts and humanitarian work.

Born and bred in the dusty streets of Chitungwiza, she is a sociology graduate from the University of Zimbabwe.

Currently, she is working for a leading faith-based humanitarian organisation in Zimbabwe.

She has worked with the writers’ organisations, including Budding Writers Association of Zimbabwe and Win Zimbabwe International.

“The anthology serves to inspire and motivate everyone,” she told the Daily News.

“Far from the demands of performing arts and my professional work, I come from a sound Christian background having been born to committed Adventist parents.”

“Much of my education was at Adventist institutions and I remain an ardent Christian to this day.

“The series is a collection of moralistic poems that aim at not only advising but entertaining as well as ensuring a positive attitude towards life.”

“It targets people from all walks of life, encompassing all aspects and facets of the physical realm.  It is also targeted at empowering, thrilling, as well as educating people.”

The anthology includes love poems, those on abortion, incest and other issues.

A first-born child in a family of four, she has given a business slant to her passion.

She runs Dunamis Poetry Consultancy where she offers live poetry performances during corporate and social functions.

“I also run a special occasion small gifts business where I craft special messages for loved ones in commemoration and celebration of anniversaries, weddings and birthdays,” she said.

“The messages are either attached to gift cards or any other gifts as requested by the client.”

In addition to the poetry,  Sibanda-Ngwenya wrote five gospel songs on the album In his Bossom, which were performed by Sylvia Hapazari, Marshall Gatsi, Yonnie Munyoro-Ndoro, Tryie Ngwenya and Tafadzwa Mutswakatira.

Songs on the album are 2000 years ago, Hold My Hand O Lord, On His Bossom, Come Lord Jesus and Beautiful.

“It is a direct translation of poems from my yet to be published Christian poems anthology titled On His Bosom,” she said.

“In this album, I also gave a chance to unheralded musicians to perform the songs that are a delight to listen to.”

With over a year since the GNU came into effect, it remains to be seen whether the little gains achieved to date will be consolidated or invalidated.
The onus, in my view, lies with the three principals in the GNU, namely, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to entrench the positives that have and can potentially be achieved in this transitional period.
The quality of the three leaders’ devotion to the GNU and its deliverables are key to the quality of Zimbabwe’s destiny. Many arguments have been put forward as to what has derailed meaningful progress with implementation of the political parties’ key outstanding issues with talk of sanctions topping the list.
However, other analysts have argued that the politicians’ outstanding issues are not necessarily the same with those of the people. The principals must therefore address the people’s issues now or else history will judge them. They have the opportunity and time to make right their wrongs.
The GNU was premised on key deliverables that were believed to usher in a truly democratic dispensation in Zimbabwe. Media, institutional, electoral, constitutional and other sector reforms were noted as key to positive change, but these can only be achieved if the principals’ utterances and ideological positions reflect that desire for reform.
True, some encouraging steps have been taken towards achieving the above reforms, but we continue seeing political parties’ interests taking centre-stage in what should be a people-centred initiative for change.
Several commissions have been put in place to achieve the necessary reforms, but there is clearly very little political will-power from some of the parties involved to see true change coming to Zimbabwe.
Personal interests are far outweighing the people’s wishes and for that reason, meaningful progress remains more of a pipe dream than a reality.
Zimbabweans have proved to be long-suffering and enduring in adversity, but they can only take so much. It’s  time the principals walk the talk; and for the good of our nation openly speak and fight for full implementation of the GPA.
The ordinary Zimbabweans have suffered enough and what hurts most is that much of the suffering is as a result of a few self-serving individuals safeguarding their interests at the expense of the masses.
Talk of “national” interests when we know it is the average citizen who suffers the repercussions of the supposed protection of the same is certainly barbaric. How “national” are these national interests?
To quote Marcus Garvey’s “Africa for Africans at home and abroad” assertion, Zimbabwe is certainly for Zimbabweans at home and abroad, but what value is this safeguarding of interests and resources when they don’t benefit everyone? Any wealth that is not generational is useless and our leaders need to appreciate that they are only stewards of the land, its people and resources and are answerable to a superior authority in heaven.
Accountability and transparency must be a virtue in leadership. Disregarding the people’s suffering and views for personal gain is suicidal. It is only fallacy that one enjoys the ill-gotten pleasure of riding on people’s shoulders against their will because such a move will only hurt you the more when you fall. We are all citizens of this land and indeed a people together.  The people’s wishes must always come first.
The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), a local churches mother body and Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA), a faith-based human rights organisation known for the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, together with other civil society partners in May this year produced a communiqué to SADC and other local and international stakeholders in the fight for Zimbabwe’s political salvation.
The communiqué, among other things, noted that what the political parties regarded as outstanding issues were not necessarily the people’s outstanding issues. The communiqué, which was penned after wide civil society grassroots consultations, cited deepening and widening poverty, high unemployment rates of over 90 percent, discouragement of humanitarian aid by some political authorities, slow recovery of the health and education sectors, poor service delivery, political violence and intimidation, discouragement of investment, delays in the making of a new constitution, ineffective national healing programme and continued harassment of human rights defenders as some of the key outstanding issues, among others. It is unfortunate that such positive input is oftentimes regarded as pushing for a Western agenda when civil society should, in actual fact, be regarded as an equal partner in development of the nation and poverty alleviation.
That the Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) and the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration have set out to do their work towards the writing of a people-driven constitution and national healing respectively is encouraging, however, utterances that we continue to hear from certain politicians fly in the face of those positive strides. Such utterances have seen the continued derailing of what should be key progress in facilitating a transition from our past as reflected by political party hooligans and some overzealous and partisan individuals standing in the way of these reforms.
Reports of disturbances to COPAC’s outreach programmes in Masvingo and Chinhoyi as well as civil society organisations being denied access to violence prone areas for their national healing programmes, prove the potency of these unfortunate utterances by political leadership. The GNU principals must make it their pre-occupation to formulate a positive strategic framework towards positive change in Zimbabwe and to start with, they must avoid opening their mouths too wide and speak the right things.
That President Mugabe was conciliatory when he recently opened Parliament and at the recent Heroes Day commemorations, is a good sign and the same spirit must continue on every forum and be upheld by all the three principals. Speaking at the Heroes Day commemorations, the President highlighted that one of the key deliverables of the GNU, national healing was national and not meant to ferret out supposed criminals for punishment, but calls on all Zimbabweans to avoid the deadly snare of political conflict. This should set the tone for reform and the same message must be taken also to the die-hard and not-so-well-informed hooligans in Zaka.
Some analysts have argued that it is near impossible to achieve any success if the country is not enjoying peace. Speaking at a recent Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration meeting organised in conjunction with Zimbabwe Christian Alliance in Gweru, Prime Minister Tsvangirai said no country has ever progressed in the absence of peace. It is for this reason that we must heal the past and secure the future to ensure durable peace and economic success.
The Prime Minister, in the spirit of the GNU, said it was for the sake of the people that in spite of the animosity between him and the President, he had to join hands with President Mugabe in the GNU. He revealed that he had earlier in the day met the President and the Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in a meeting where they agreed on the need to heal Zimbabwe. This was indeed encouraging, but unfortunately, the same spirit is not evident across Zimbabwe. Political temperatures that had somewhat cooled down appear to be on the rise again owing to the constitution-making process where the political parties are rooting for their positions.
On national healing, it seems some sections seem to be of the view that this a witch-hunting exercise. Any efforts by civil society in areas that are in great need of healing have been regarded with great suspicion or thwarted altogether. The principals therefore need to rally their supporters and leadership to speak with one voice. We have all hurt each other in different ways and ignoring that truth is retrogressive.
The principals also need to appreciate the need for working together with all progressive nations. Talk of national interests that amount to nothing in this day and age is not welcome. Given the souring of relations with the West, Zimbabwe developed a Look East Policy which, though I wouldn’t want to judge it, whatever positives it achieved were based on a smooth working relationship. The question which the principals, especially President Mugabe, needs to ask himself is what has come out of our sour relations with the West.
I don’t intend to be an apologist for the West or an advisor to the President, but it is true that many positives came out of our relations with the West especially after we won our independence and the same is true even under the current state of relations. It is only in the best of our interests that the GNU principals stand for the good of all of us. We can still be a sovereign nation enjoying good relations with the world. After all we are a nation blessed with natural resources and can set the terms for all our engagements.
It is only natural for human beings, politicians included, to speak highly of themselves, what they stand for and have achieved either for their own good or that of the people. However, they must as well understand that what you say about yourself is not important, but what the people say about you. In Ndebele they say, umuntu umuntu ngabantu, meaning you are what society thinks of you.
As the GNU slowly outlives its lifespan, the GNU principals must be free to do their politicking, enjoy the titles and power that comes with it, but remember this may be the only chance they have to stand and be counted as honest and people-serving leaders. We all know our history and the wrongs that we have made in the past, but it only takes the wise to build on those wrongs and restore our dignity.
To quote the President’s speech at the Heroes Day commemorations: “Hupenyu hwako kuti hunake kunge uchinatsawo hwevamwe (True happiness is derived from make others happy).” and this must be an open call to the principals to join hands in dealing with whatever has derailed meaningful progress and change courtesy of the GNU.
There is never too late a time to act and for the GNU principals, its either they stand up and be counted as true champions of democracy and positive change or shut up altogether.

HARARE – While they are young, confident, smart and full of life their situation today remotely reflects the challenges they had to endure growing up.

Talking to Samantha Mandiriri, 24, from Seke, in Chitungwiza, and June Munyongani, 22, from Mucheke in Masvingo, you would never imagine the two are both graduates of child-headed families who never had the chance to enjoy parental love and support.

“We never had it easy growing up but we believe one’s past must never determine their future. While other kids had the luxury of taking their daily requirements and challenges to their parents, we had to quickly adjust into child-parents with the demanding responsibilities of taking care of our younger siblings. Truth be told, being head of the family at such an age is the worst nightmare one can ever endure. Life is still a challenge but we have faith now.”

The two recently returned from a 10-month Youth Exchange Programme in Norway and they speak of an experience that has helped shape their future in spite of the many challenges they faced growing up.

Their difficult past has somehow influenced their intrinsic desire to change their fortunes and that of their siblings. “We are inspired and we now have hope for the future. What we have experienced has taught us that one must never sit and wait for life to happen but rather make life happen, defining one’s future.”

June lost his father at  three and his mother at 13 while Samantha lost her father at 10 and mother at 11. With the passing on of their parents, life changed.

“I lost my father when I was 3 and unfortunately my mother also passed on when I was 13. While my father’s death was a big blow, it was my mother’s demise that really changed life for me. I was very young and already suffering from social exclusion having grown up with no father to talk of. All of a sudden, I was alone with my young sister who is now 19 and doing her Advanced level in Masvingo,” said June.

With no one to look up to, June had to deal with a lot of responsibilities. At that tender age, his peers were more worried about their studies and how to look trendy and have fun while he had to worry about the meal for day and where to get money for school fees and other necessities. “Growing up in a child headed family alone is not an easy thing but it’s even worse when you are the head of that set up. The future suddenly looked bleak. I sat down to reflect on what was to become of us. It was at that moment that we were then admitted into the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Programme support. We would get monthly food rations, educational as well as psychosocial support.”

June reckons the greater part of his educational needs and related costs were taken care of by the Red Cross.

“The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society became my father and mother and the help we received would help carry us through each passing day.

Their support was complete in that we would also get counselling and go on Psychosocial Support gatherings in Chimanimani with fellows OVCs from around Zimbabwe. That alone helped me realise that I was not alone in that situation and the experience sharing would lessen the burden and help provide solutions to every situation.”

For Samantha, it was even worse since she is a girl child. “Our father left us when we were 10, and a year later, mum also passed on. Being the eldest in the family with a young sister and brother, I automatically became the head of the family. A lot was going on at that stage, I was growing and a lot of changes were taking place but I had no one to talk to. That, coupled with the burden of looking after my siblings, made life a real mess. I would actually dread the dawn of another day,” She said.

“Everything at home became my responsibility from the bills, food, medication for a sick sibling or whatever needed attention. Being a girl, I was also suffering from social pressures. When I was 15, some even suggested that I get married so that I could take care of my siblings. I became very popular in the neighbourhood because I would go to every household looking for menial jobs like housecleaning, washing, ironing or even working in the urban fields.”

Samantha shares experiences when she would be asked for sexual favours in exchange for power and water supply in the house.

“We would fail to pay for power and water and oftentimes when people came to cut supplies into our house they would always try to talk me into sex in exchange for uninterrupted power or water supplies but I am glad I had the fighting spirit and never allowed myself to be abused. It was not easy being young but I am glad God saw me through it.

“Like June, I also became a beneficiary of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programme support in Chitungwiza and we would get the monthly food rations as well educational support. However, the rations would not come at times and it was during such periods that life really became tough. We just had to make do with what was available and of course the piece jobs. This difficult past made me realise that one has to soldier on regardless of challenges.

“Under the Red Cross structures, we had Support Groups for Orphans and I was the OVC Chairperson for Chitungwiza and I would mobilise my peers to meet every Saturday under a tree and share our experiences and motivate each other to fight through our challenges and experiences. The sharing of experiences helped in that we would realise that the problems were not peculiar to us but there were some who were actually worse off.”

Because of their involvement in Red Cross Youth work and volunteering for humanity, Samantha and June were chosen to be part of the volunteer Youth Exchange programme between Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and Norwegian Red Cross.

From August in 2013 to June 2014, the two were in Arkeshus in Norway where their work involved strengthening the capacity of local youth groups, increasing the visibility of Red Cross Youth work, Recruitment and retention of youth volunteers as well as humanitarian advocacy. The Norwegian Red Cross also seconded two youths to Zimbabwe who were also carrying out the same activities.

“Norway was an enriching experience and for people who endured a lot of challenges growing up, we had an opportunity to appreciate that challenges are not a reserve for this part of the world. Humanitarian challenges are a global phenomenon but it calls for committed people who can sacrifice their time and resources to empower the less privileged. We also had an opportunity to make contacts and important networks which we believe will help shape our future.

Samantha is her final year studying for an Accounting degree at Chinhoyi University while June is studying for a Human Resources Degree at Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo. Samantha’s young sister is also studying at Monash University in South Africa under the Presidential Scholarship while the young brother is still pursuing basic education. June’s young sister is also studying for her Advanced levels in Masvingo.

The two encouraged youths in similar circumstances to remain focused and shape their future through hard work and sheer determination.

HARARE – When Shamiso Nsingo, 20’s mother left home for Gwanda Business Centre on a beer drinking spree and prostitution, she left five other children in the care of the youngster.

As for Shamiso, it was not only her five siblings she had to take care of, as she has two children of her own, bringing the total number of people under her care to seven.

“My drunkard mother is staying at Gwanda business centre and she does not help us in any way,” says Shamiso.

Musa Ndlovu, 60, Shamiso’s neighbour had no nice words for Shamiso’s mother. “I really do not know what is wrong with that woman. Even before she left for Gwanda, she would still spend all her time on beer drinking binges and was of no help at all.

“How do you leave a child like this to fend for the family? As you can see, she has been exposed to exploitation and at 20 she already has two kids from two different men who are not providing for their children.

“Right now the eight of them are staying in a one-roomed house. I wish someone could talk sense into her mother’s head.

All we know is that she is residing at Gwanda Business Centre where she is prostituting but she does not communicate with the family in any way.

“If it was not for this hardworking girl, this family would have been wiped out by hunger.”

Ndlovu said that the area is susceptible to droughts and even though people plant crops every season, they do not harvest anything because there is never enough rains.

“The major problem with this area is that even though people plant crops, they never harvest anything because of poor rains. People have to rely on interventions from organisations like World Vision, Care International and the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society.”

While most families living in the Gwanda North District are suffering from the drought, Shamiso’s predicament is worsened because she is not gainfully employed.

“I have no one to help me, I rely on casual jobs from fellow villagers to put a meal on the table.

“I can’t even afford to pay school fees for the two school going children because my major concern for now is to provide basic food supplies for them,” she said.

While Shamiso’s story is touching and heartrending to say the least, she is one of the many drought stricken villagers in Gwanda North district whose humanitarian situation is in dire straights.

Gwanda is generally a dry area and its inhabitants have to bear the brunt of the perennial droughts which continue to stalk them.

While some of the villagers are fortunate enough to have children working in Gwanda and Bulawayo or neighbouring South Africa; it is the child headed families with have no one to look up to that are most affected.

Some of the child-headed families are a result of the HIV and Aids scourge with others like Shamiso and her siblings being victims of negligent, irresponsible and pleasure seeking parents.

“Every day is a nightmare for me, but I have to be strong for the sake of my children and siblings. Now and then we get help from fellow villagers but it is never enough. The rains that fell during the 2013 to 2014 season have been a blessing to some of the locals but for me there is no difference.

“To start with, I spent much of the planting period working on other people’s fields for food and even if I had the time to plough we are just a poor family with no draught power.

“What it means is that the hunger cycle will continue stalking us and I wish I could get some form of support to start self-help projects that can assist the family,” said Shamiso.

For the better part of 2013, Shamiso and her siblings had to survive on one meal a day until humanitarian organisations came in with support through emergency food aid.

“Before the support from humanitarian organisations came through, we would survive on one meal a day. After their intervention our situation improved a little but we are hoping for sustainable support that can help us throughout the year and until the next planting and harvesting season.”

Shamiso is one of the many beneficiaries of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society’s $726 389 Food Security Emergency Appeal for
2013 – 2014 which sought to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable households in Gwanda.

The society’s support had a cash transfer component whereby beneficiary families would get a monthly allocation of $50 which would be redeemed for groceries. Other components of the intervention included the rehabilitation of 21 boreholes for safe water as well as establishment of 5 community gardens for nutritional support.

Siphiwethina Tshuma the society’s provincial manager said the intervention was one of their nationwide humanitarian programmes aimed at alleviating human suffering.

“This programme targeted 10 500 people in Gwanda North District and was both emergency and developmental so that while addressing the prevailing food insecurity, we also develop community-based solutions to the perennial droughts.

“Through the community gardens and agricultural training, we are hoping to provide all year round nutritional support for the beneficiaries and we are engaging our partners to provide more support for water lifting equipment that can guarantee all season farming.”

HARARE – Chipo Samoyo, 32, grew up with fairy dreams of her own just like any other girl of her age.

Top of her priorities was to enjoy marital bliss and raise beautiful and healthy children who would take care of her in her old age.

When she gave birth to her first born child Courage Mambingadya some 14 years ago, she reckoned one of her childhood dreams had been fulfilled.

Unbeknown to her, fate had other ideas for her new born baby.

“Courage had a normal childhood like all her peers and he was a healthy and bubbly boy.

“Just like any mother, I had great hopes for him and it was my dream to see him grow to be a responsible child who would also raise a family of his own and earn respect in the community.

“As you can see from his early childhood photos, he had no deformity whatsoever. It’s very saddening that an unfortunate development dashed all my dreams,” said Chipo with despair.

When Courage was about four years old, he developed some rash that required him to be operated. Unfortunately, this was during the 2004 rampant strikes in which the local medical professionals engaged in strikes.

This sad situation resulted in him being attended to by junior doctors at one of the local hospitals in Harare. Because of that anomaly, he didn’t get the best of attention leading to an irreversible paralysis which has all but confined his entire life to bed.

“It was just a normal sickness which never raised any alarm and, as responsible parents, we had to take him to hospital. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the best of attention because professional doctors and nurses were on strike and only the juniors were available.

“Instead of his situation getting better, it actually deteriorated, but we were encouraged by the promises which were given that he would get better. Unfortunately, this never changed and even after taking him for rehabilitation, we could not make his situation better”.

Courage never grew out of his paralysis and he paints a painful picture of the promising boy that he was some ten years ago.

His ribs are curving in and have given him a permanently bended posture. He cannot walk, he cannot speak, cannot sit properly and his hands and legs are deformed and not developed enough for a person of his age. Feeding him is a nightmare because he cannot chew and can only take foods that are easy to swallow.

While Chipo is trying hard to present a brave face, one can tell the agony that she feels. “My situation is difficult but I have to accept what life has given me. It’s even unfortunate that my child’s situation has brought me more ridicule and despise than pity from the public. We cannot stay at one place for more than 3 month because once the landlord realises we have a paralysed child we are given notice.

“That notwithstanding, we also have to deal with other needs for this child given the specific food requirements for him. We also need as much linen and blankets because the child always wets and soils himself. Unfortunately, the water problems make our situation worse.”

Courage’s father, Jeremiah Mambingadya, 37, has not taken the sad development lightly and has since become a victim of feats which medical professionals attributed to be stress related to his child’s state.

“I used to work for my family but Courage’s sickness really came hard on me. I never imagined him in this state and being a father, it has really destroyed my spirit.

“All the little that I get from my part time work as a tout and the mother’s contributions from hair braiding business is easily eroded in our efforts to provide for Courage and this has made it difficult to take care other siblings. We just have to watch him lying all day and we have resigned to fate “Takungosiira Mwari”.

The family was however, relieved when they were presented with a state of the art wheel chair courtesy of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Humanitarian Ambassador Alick Macheso.

Courage’s mother could not hide her relief after receiving the donation. “This is a God-inspired intervention and I don’t know how to thank Ambassador Macheso and the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society for support. They have lessened my burden and as you can see Courage, is happy to be in this wheel chair.

“Now I can also take him to church and I hope the Red Cross and other partners will not forget me after this effort”.

Ambassador Macheso, as the veteran musician is now known after being bestowed the status by Zimbabwe Red Cross Society also took the opportunity to encourage Zimbabweans to help each other. “This family approached me through a family member when they heard of my new role with Red Cross. I then worked with the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society to secure a wheel chair for the child and we hope to continue helping them in many ways,” said Macheso who was accompanied by the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Secretary General Maxwell Phiri.

The Mambingadya family also pointed out that they were given a stand by the Chitungwiza Municipality when they presented their situation but they would still need to pay $1 000, which they don’t have.

“We were given a stand but we do not have the money required to pay for it and it’s also unfortunate that the stands are still to be serviced otherwise we would be happy to move into a home of our own and possibly drill a borehole to deal with the water woes we are facing right now. The discrimination is too much and we are now tired of moving from home to home”.

The family called on well-wishers to come to their aid. “This is not something you can live with under normal circumstances but we believe there is a reason for everything and we are calling on all Zimbabweans to support us in whatever way they can

Macheso donated the blankets in his capacity as Red Cross Humanitarian Ambassador, but his gesture was met with a barrage of criticism as people questioned the rationality of donating to merrymakers instead of the disadvantaged.

Zimbabwe Red Cross marketing and public relations manager Takemore Mazuruse said Macheso was involved in many charity activities under the society and the pub donation was only a way to make his fans understand some of his responsibilities.

“The Red Cross has done a lot with Macheso since his appointment, including reconstructing three destroyed four-roomed houses for the Chitungwiza blast victims,” said Mazuruse.

“The New Life donation was just one of the many charity activities we have undertaken. We also realise that in as much as his legion of fans call him ambassador, not all understand the responsibilities that come with the title, but after the Friday donation and explanation given they now have an idea and would possibly want to play a part in their small ways.”

Mazuruse added it was a misconception to conclude someone is not needy because they have attended a musical show.

“Some show goers actually have worse problems and extended family members to look after and they only drink to relieve stress.

“Even if they had everything, they still belong to the larger community where the needy, including orphans, are a common feature. This explains why Macheso told the recipients to take the blankets to the needy in the community in the event that they feel they have enough.”

The society indicated it intended to use Macheso’s shows to source commodities for donations to the needy.

“We actually hope to have Red Cross collection boxes at some of his shows with proceeds going to charity. It’s all part of the bigger picture.”

Macheso was appointed Red Cross Humanitarian Ambassador early this year.

SUNGURA ace Alick Macheso mesmerised Victoria Falls revellers on Thursday night when he put up a scintillating act during the Zimbabwe Red Cross concert, aiding the humanitarian organisation raise more than $10 000 for charity.

Richard Muponde
Senior Reporter

Macheso, a goodwill ambassador for Zimbabwe Red Cross, belted out his past and present favourite tunes, leaving the revellers, estimated at over 3 000, people asking for more.

The lively performance by Macheso and his band coupled with a general good patronage by Victoria Falls residents that thronged to Chinotimba Stadium seemed to please the organisation’s officials who least expected a huge attendance, considering the timing of the concert.

The association’s head of marketing and public relations, Takemore Mazuruse, said the concert was a huge success and was surprised by the attendance.

“We had more than 3 000 people who attended the concert all paying $3 each. Although I can’t give off hand the exact figure the money was $9 000 plus from gate takings, before we add that of food and beverages which were being sold at the venue,” Mazuruse said.

The show started at 8pm at Chinotimba Stadium, but revellers had already flocked to the venue earlier.

Barring a few drunkards, the show was largely peaceful.

“It was a huge success considering the timing of the concert which was on a Thursday when the following morning people were supposed to go for work. However, they came in their numbers to support the noble cause. We want to thank the people of Victoria Falls since they did not come to have fun only, but to support our charity programmes.”

He said they were going to hold such concerts more often around the country to raise more money for their charitable programmes for the 2013 and 2014 calendar.

“Our humanitarian ambassador Macheso is more than willing to help in this cause. Even our youth advocate, Tryson Chimbetu, has indicated that he will be vigorously supporting us. In fact, Chimbetu in all his shows he moves around with Red Cross collection boxes where he calls upon his fans to donate some money for us,” he said.

“We are optimistic that the corporate world will continue to support us. We have also romped in Peter Moyo of Utakataka Express as a volunteer and are doing Red Cross work.”

A live DVD was also being shot at the concert and would be sold with the proceeds going towards the Red Cross charity coffers.