Artistes unite against child marriages

Several artistes including Selma Mtukudzi and Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave converged at Luke Mine in Shamva over the weekend to campaign against child marriages and gender based violence.
The campaign which was attended by communities from around the mine was aimed at curbing the high number of child marriages and teenage pregnancies cases being reported in Shamva district.
Selma, who was accompanied by her husband Tendai Manatsa, condemned child marriages and urged parents to educate their children, nurture their talent and support them.
“I want to tell you a story about my life. When I was growing up I loved singing. My parents divorced when I was three and I started staying with my grandmother,” she said.
“My grandmother took me to church every Sunday and I sang in the church choir. This is when my parents realised my talent. When I was 10 my father took me to a film production where I took part in acting and singing.
“Throughout school I led in choirs. After school I looked for a job and I only worked for one month before I was fired for being late. I was not interested in the job because all I thought about was music. I joined Tanga WekwaSando’s band and that is where my professional career started. I then met my husband Tendai. We have been together for 13 years now and we have three children.”
Selma paid tribute to her father for spotting her talent and encouraging her.
“If it was not for my father, you wouldn’t have known about me, so I want to urge you parents to educate your children and not to marry them off at a tender age,” she said.
Fungisai told parents not to rush their children into adulthood.
“I am a mother and I have a daughter. Allow children to enjoy their childhood and give them a chance to grow. Mothers take care of your children,” she said.
“Don’t look at your child as a financial opportunity. I urge the community not to stigmatise girls who have fallen victim and expose them to gender-based violence. Let us empower them so that they learn from their mistake.
“Let us support pregnant teenagers and allow them to go back to school. Our children are not for sale.”
Shamva South MP Beamwell Bushu strongly warned men against promoting child marriages and gender-based violence.
Other artisrts that attended the event included Kapfupi, Marabha and Ras Child. The event was the brainchild of Bindura Arts Festival Foundation director, Umtali Saidi, who grew up at Luke Mine.
The campaign was supported by West Property Management owned by businessman Mr Kenny Sharpe.

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