THE Soap and Shirt Donation Winter Festival (SSDWF) lived up to its billing with about 3 500 people thronging Belgravia Sports Club in Harare on Saturday to assist the needy.
Despite the chilly and windy weather, Zimbabweans showed their unity for a good cause with tonnes of clothes, soap and sanitary pads donated on the day.
Many people who attended the event applauded ZimRights and its partners for coming up with the noble initiative.
“More than 5 tonnes of clothing items, over 300 bars of soap and several sanitary pads were donated,” ZimRights director, Okay Machisa said.
Launching the SSDWF on behalf of Harare mayor Councilor Bernard Manyenyeni and Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere commended ZimRights and its partners for putting up efforts to assist flood victims around the country.
“I encourage all Zimbabweans to participate in this noble cause. We have to assist because you never know, tomorrow it might be you,”Madzokere said.
Meanwhile, musicians put up polished acts and left fans hungry for more. Leonard Zhakata took fans down memory lane with his hit song Mugove while Sulumani Chimbetu performed some golden oldies from his late father, Simon’s albums to the delight of many.
The Charambas, Pastor G and Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave also put fans in a spiritual trance following their splendid performances.
Jah Prayzah did not disappoint either as he put up an impressive show. Other artistes who performed included Progress Chipfumo, Snipper, Dhadza D, Baba Shupi and Cynthia Mare.
“As much as we would want to assist, some of us have no access to the affected areas. We are grateful for this platform as it allows us to help,” Mazvita Chari from Warren Park D said.
“Most people think of money when they want to fundraise, but we salute you for coming up with this idea. It allows everyone to assist without segregation,” another resident from Mbare said.
The gala came in the wake of floods which struck Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Mashonaland Central. The floods left tens of thousands of people homeless, hungry and destitute after losing their lifetime investments.
Machisa added that it meant a lot to them to realise that many Zimbweans were prepared to assist others in time of need.
“After such a success at the inaugural festival, we want the event to take place annually in the affected areas. We are also set to have shows in nearby cities to the places which would have been affected by natural disasters like floods so as to raise awareness thus the coming events are likely to be divided into two parts,” he said. SSDWF was initiated by ZimRights, The Women’s Trust, Bhaso and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition to promote socio-economic rights and bridge the poverty gap created by natural disasters in the form of drought, floods, disease outbreaks and extreme temperatures.