PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to address the inaugural edition of the Peace Starts with Me (Peace and Family) Festival scheduled for next Wednesday. He will deliver a congratulatory message at the fiesta where music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi and mbira songbird Hope Masike will be among the rich line-up of music stars scheduled to provide entertainment. Family Federation and World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) group regional chairman Bakare Camara of Nigeria confirmed the development at a Press conference in Harare yesterday.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
“The purpose of this festival will be to heal the wounds of the past and support the Zimbabwe government’s endeavours for peace and reconciliation. Mother Moon will be coming to pray for peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe,” he said.
Gospel musicians Michael “Minister” Mahendere and Mathias Mhere are also scheduled to perform at the festival organised by FFWPU and the Universal Peace Federation Zimbabwe.
FFWPU co-chairperson Johannes Ndanga said the festival, which will be free of charge, will kick off with a workshop by Hak Ja Han Moon, the founder of the Sun Hak Peace Prize and the Peace Starts with Me Movement.
“Through a celebration of arts, music and inspirational words, we highlight the diversity and creative power of our human family. The purpose of the Peace and Family Festival will be to heal the wounds of the past and support the Zimbabwe government’s endeavours for peace and reconciliation,” Ndanga said.
NewsDay understands, however, that some gospel musicians turned down the offer of performing at the fiesta as they were uncomfortable with some doctrines of the Unification Church which believes, among other things, that although Jesus created the conditions necessary for humanity’s spiritual salvation, he miscarried God’s plan for man’s salvation because he did not marry.
Masike said she was happy to be among the performers at such a gathering.
“I certainly feel great to be part of such a wonderful line-up. I will, as always, give my best to make a bold contribution to a noble event such as this one. I have always been conscious of the part that we artistes play in socially responsible activities. This is no exception and I am grateful to the organisers for coming up with such a great commemoration,” she said.
“With such a great line-up of musicians plus such a wonderful message of peace and the importance of family, I have no doubt fans will have a good time at the festival.”
The peace festival, which was initially scheduled for next Saturday, has been pushed further to November 21 at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.