GOSPEL music sensations Michael Mahendere and Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave have teamed up with Dendera prince Suluman Chimbetu to work on a single which condemns the practice of child marriages.
Other musicians working on the song, to be released in two weeks’ time, are Progress Chipfumo, Selmor Mtukudzi, Sandra Ndebele, Anita Jaxson and the South Africa-based duo of Mike and Mbali.
This comes as Zimbabweans are still trying to come to terms with the death of 14-year-old Marange girl — Annah Machaya — during labour at a church shrine where she was denied medical attention.
Police have already arrested Annah’s “husband” Hatirarami Momberume, 26, and are charging him with murder.
The deceased girl’s parents have also been arrested for obstructing the course of justice after they tried to dupe investigators by providing fake documents to pass off Annah as a 19-year-old.
Annah’s death has left emotions running high among Zimbabweans with musicians and other creatives now using their influence to spotlight the dangers of forced child marriages.
Afro Jazz singer Kuchinei Chatsama an advocate for girl child protection and human right respect said artists should speak out against child marriage as it is one of the greatest barriers to girls around the world.
“Child marriage effectively ends a girl’s childhood, curtails her education, minimizes her economic opportunities, increases her risk of domestic violence, and puts her at risk for early, frequent, and very high-risk pregnancies,” said Chatsama.
“We are also hoping to feature Alick Macheso on the song. The song will be released in two weeks’ time together with the visuals,” Edzai Kachirekwa, who has sponsored the project through his electrical company Power Giants said.
“The idea is to make the song so popular; the message should reach the targeted audience. We are currently working on a massive launch for the song and we have invited big names in the music industry…”
Kachirekwa, who also sponsored local television drama Ndine Thaza, said many people can relate to Annah’s story.
“I have a background which is not good and these things of child abuse and marriages are not new to me.
“ I know a lot of people can relate to this. Through the song, we hope to put an end to the culture of abusing children,” he said.