LOCAL Afro-jazz musician Dereck Mpofu, the Goodwill Ambassador for Water Conservation and Zero Littering Campaign, has published his debut book titled Little Green Ambassadors which was launched on Friday at Harare’s Town House.
The book, which was edited by Eve Christine Gadzikwa, is written in a way that inspires children, especially of school-going age, to understand and appreciate the basic principles of environmental safeguarding which are simplified into 10 steps for easy internalisation.
Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the launch, the Chisikana Changu Zimbabwe singer said it had been a long journey for him to publish the book than compose songs.
“Zimbabwe is endowed with various natural and man-made wonders that we should be proud of and conserve. I penned the book with the intention to educate children on the basics of environmental preservation,” Mpofu said.
“I am committed to working towards raising awareness about environmental issues and general cleanliness as I am disturbed by a future without resources. I want the next generations not to only see pictures and read about the beauty that used to exist, but to be able to see it for themselves,”
Mpofu said the book had already been translated into four languages, English, Tonga, Shona and Ndebele, and if corporate support would come on board, they wanted to translate it into about six other languages.
“We are going to be using this Little Green Ambassadors book as part of our Catch Them Young Campaign,” Mpofu said.
At the launch, Mpofu performed songs Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, in which he urges the nation to be responsible so as to save the resources, recycle and reuse them where possible, and Tisarase Marara, which castigates littering and cites the latter as one of the causes of Harare’s loss of the “Sunshine City” status.
The young and talented musician came into the limelight after releasing his single Chisikana Changu Zimbabwe on which he praised the country’s vast natural resources and encourages every person to play their part in safeguarding the good things that the nation holds for its citizens.
Mpofu released his debut album Handizirini in 2008, followed by Dr Philosophy, an eight-track album released in 2012, with Mr Green Ambassador Sir being his latest offering.
In 2012, he was appointed City of Harare Goodwill Ambassador for Water Conservation and Zero Littering, an initiative being spearheaded by the Water Department.
As part of his ambassadorial duties, Mpofu works with City of Harare and the Ministry of Environment and Water Conservation in shepherding environmental awareness campaigns on water conservation and waste management, among other concerns in various parts of the city and in schools educating students on the environmental matters.
Speeches at the launch:
Editor of the book — Eve Gadzikwa
In a speech read on behalf of the editor of the book, Gadzikwa applauded Mpofu for educating people and advocating on environmental preservation.
“Dereck Mpofu has managed to lower the bread to the lowest shelf so that even the kids can comprehend environmental issues while they are young,” she said.
“I encourage you to write more books for even older children and the youths and even go further and do it for adults.”
Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate Prince Mupazviriho said the ministry was happy that the government’s efforts to instil the spirit of environment awareness among its citizenry were now manifesting through the writing of conscious, educational and promotional material.
“Government looks forward to the grooming of more Green Ambassadors through peer educational groups and as a ministry, we are prepared to assist people like Dereck to lead in the grooming of the youths so that our tomorrow is not bleak,” Mupazviriho said.
Chairman of the Environmental Management Committee
Chairman of the Environmental Management Committee, councillor Chris Mbanga, said the council was happy that Mpofu was a truly motivational environmentalist and awareness campaigner.
“Dereck Mpofu has managed to hold educational campaigns under the Catch Them Young initiative together with our corporate communications members of the City of Harare,” Mbanga said.
“Through Dereck, the council hopes to produce a lot of young green ambassadors who will help spread the gospel of anti-littering and water conversation and cleanliness. Council takes the young children as the future and as such places great importance in catching them young.”
Mbanga said their vision is to achieve a world-class city by 2025.
“Our anti-littering and water conservation campaigns will have a much bigger impact if we green our city and have Harare as a Sunshine Garden City,” he said.