AFRO-JAZZ sensation Duduzile Manhenga, who was expected to make her first public appearance on stage since incarceration at Gwanzura Stadium, in Highfield, Harare, on Saturday at the Africa Prisons and Correctional Day celebrations, excused herself from the gig, saying she needed time to rest.
Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, Retired Major-General Paradzai Zimondi, last week told the media that Dudu, as the songbird is affectionately known, would be part of one of the music groups from prisons that featured at the show.
However, on Saturday, Zimondi said Dudu had excused herself from the gig since she was still to come to terms with her new environment.
“That was my wish (to have Dudu performing at the event), but she is supposed to concur (before performing),” Zimondi said.
“She had to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For the time being, I think she wants to adjust to what is going on with her.
“She did not say ‘no’, she said ‘just give me time to rest’, so it was entirely up to her to come.
“She was free to come and that was our intention. Maybe since it is the first time she is in (prison), she was right.”
Dudu is serving an 18-month jail term after being convicted of culpable homicide following a road traffic accident in which a motorcyclist was killed.
She has been in prison for more than a week and is still shying away from public attention, which could be the major reason she excused herself from Satuday’s event.
The event that was running under the theme Rehabilitation of Offenders, A Key to Reduce Habitual Criminals and the Successful Social Re-integration went well as prisoners from the Manicaland region and Mashonaland entertained audiences with their music.
Besides performances from prisoners, musicians like Freddy Manjalima aka Kapfupi, Bob Nyabinde, Pax Gomo and Machanic Manyeruke, as well as many upcoming artistes, put up spirited performances at the event as part of their social responsibility programme.