THIS June, SOS children bring African inspired melodies in concert with acclaimed international afro-jazz musician, Oliver Mtukudzi.
The event is co-hosted by SOS Children’s Villages Zimbabwe and Crowne Plaza Monomotapa (African Sun Limited) dubbed “Singing with the stars”.
It promises to fill the Crowne Plaza Monomotapa with a sound of music that will restore faith in humanity that children can have a brighter future in Zimbabwe.
As part of its corporate social investment programme, African Sun Limited recently entered into partnership with SOS Children’s Villages Zimbabwe.
Whilst its Crowne Plaza Monomotapa subsidiary is sponsoring “Singing with the Stars”, Holiday Inn Harare (another subsidiary of African Sun Limited) will carry out a US$12,000 refurbishment exercise for seven of the Waterfalls Children’s Village houses.
The SOS Children’s choir is a combination of children from the SOS Villages, SOS Hermann Gmeiner schools and community outreach programmes from the various areas the organisation works in.
Music has always been an integral part of children’s life within the SOS Children’s Villages.
Over the years, a children’s music and culture programme has developed with children involved in activities such as choral groups, CHIPAWO, and an afro-jazz fusion orchestra.
Music is invaluable from the perspective of psycho-social childhood development.
Studies conducted show that music is likely to have an enormous influence on children in areas such as academic and life skills, self-confidence, discipline and memory skills.
The musical programmes have also been additional platforms for integration with the community thus reducing stigma associated with orphans and vulnerable children.
Despite the differences amongst children performing, music is a common language that forms the ideal backdrop for sharing of cultures, and
One of the groups within the SOS Villages choir is Band SOS, a 10 member band which is an offshoot of the larger SOS Hermann Gmeiner Bulawayo orchestra.
The group has defied the traditional concept of an orchestra – it features 350 student performers playing a jazz fusion of African and Western instruments that include marimba, recorders, guitar and African drums.Advertisement
According to Tanya Maponga, the school head girl, who is also part of the band, “we are excited to be performing at the dinner…we are very strong (as a band)…thanks to SOS and our music director who has moulded everyone from voices to instruments”.
SOS Herman Gmeiner High School Bindura’s star performer is Prosper Tani, a Form three pupil who is an exceptional mbira and marimba entertainer.
Prosper recently won an award for his mbira performance at the National Allied Arts Festival. He has also scooped several other honours for solo and group performances.
He also participates in the school’s Mbira Ensemble which made it to the semi-final round of the Starbrite competition.
Over the years, this talent show has birthed artists such as Prudence Katomeni Mbofana and energetic dancer Tendai Chidarikire.
As a run up to the event, Tuku yesterday (18 June) conducted a workshop with music students from SOS Hermann Gmeiner High school Bindura.
Tuku said: “Performing with the SOS kids is a labour of love for me …. I have been doing music for so many years and I love what I do.
“Participating in this event is my way of opening the door for future musicians. The very least I can do is pass on the knowledge and experience I have gained to the next generation”.