Singing is such a vital part of the culture and every day life in Zimbabwe (and one of the things I miss most about living there) that I always try to capture some of it on video. While at Tsungirirai in August, I held a “Song and Dance Contest,” in part for my own selfishness, but also because I was concerned about stigma that seemed to be growing in the community. It is sometimes difficult for children, especially the older ones, to enter the fenced in agency that advertises services for HIV positive adults and orphans and vulnerable children. I wanted to host some sort of event that would draw community members to Tsungirirai.
In order to pull it off, I met with local pastors and community members and convinced them to advertise the contest and recruit contestants who were not associated with Tsungirirai. In order to participate, groups had to have 5-7 people. They could be any age.
Although they had some horrendous acts (and a few fantastic ones), on the day of the event, there was a huge crowd. Many of the performers and audience members had never before stepped into Tsungirirai’s gates, which gave Tsungirirai’s staff members a perfect opportunity to articulate the mission of the agency and dispel some myths between acts.
-written by Liz Berges (C4C board member)
To hear the two winning groups, click below. The harmonizing is lovely!