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Awake Zim launched

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A new youth organisation, Awake Zimbabwe, was officially launched in Harare recently with a mandate to educate young people on HIV and Aids, and reproductive health through poetry, music, dance and drama.

The launch, held on June 18 this month coincided with commemorations to mark the Day of the African Child, celebrated every year on June 16 in honour of children who died in the Sharpeville Massacre while protesting against the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Founding director Tendai Maduwa said besides music and dance, plans were in the pipeline to have awareness and cleaning campaigns, interchurch discussions, sporting tournaments and workshops in target areas such as Epworth, St Marys, Rusape and Kadoma.

The guest of honour during the launch, prominent author Charles Kuimba, called on stakeholders to support Awake Zimbabwe and commended Maduwa for his vision. He said the Awake youths were better-placed to access and influence other youths.

“Given resources, Awake Zimbabwe can do something solid.

“Imagine they were able to organise this launch at zero budget,” he said. “Imagine what they can do with funding?”

Those who attended the launch were treated to scintillating poetry by the highly- creative artist Nqobile Malinga, Mbizo Chirasha, Jery Mugweni, Charles Mzemba and the youthful Chitungwiza mbira crew, Madhonza Makuru.

Maduwa said his organisation would use entertainment such as poetry, dance, music and drama to spread its message among youths in high-density suburbs that often fall victim to crime and drugs due to, among other things, unemployment.

According to Maduwa, funding for activities has been the major challenge since the organisation’s inception although they have taken great strides in doing work they set out to do.

Organisations represented at the launch included Young Voices Network in Zimbabwe, Network and Support for HIV and Aids Trust, Contingency College and Chitungwiza Junior Council.

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