MULTI-AWARD-WINNING gospel singer Togarepi Chivaviro has promised to enrich the youths in Zimbabwe Leeds Community (ZLC) where he hopes to create a home away from home for the Zimbabweans settled in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Chivaviro recently moved from the United States to West Yorkshire in northern England.
The ZLC is home to a large contingent of Zimbabwean artistes, celebrities, entrepreneurs and church leaders from different denominations.
United Kingdom appears to have become an extension of Zimbabwe considering the number of Zimbabweans who have migrated to that country.
According to United Kingdom Home Office data, Zimbabwe is number six out of all world countries supplying labour to that country.
ZLC chairperson Chris Goshomi told NewsDay Life & Style that they were happy to have Chivaviro as part of the community, adding that the singer had shared a lot of opportunities that he identified in the community to grow their home away from home vision.
“We are happy to welcome Reverend Chivaviro, our new kid to the Zimbabwe Leeds Community. Chivaviro has displayed so much excitement and enthusiasm to add value to the ZLC project model which is a pilot project (we hope) to replicate in many United Kingdom cities where Zimbabweans have settled,” Goshomi said.
“Chivaviro pledged that he will be working with other pastors and the entire community to grow ZLC’s home away from home vision. He encouraged other Zimbabweans who have settled in the West Yorkshire area to also come and join the community and work together to create a legacy for future generations.”
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Goshomi said Chivaviro, who will be celebrating a milestone of producing 20 albums since he started his musical career in 1999, had committed to celebrating that achievement on March 4 with the Zimbabwe Leeds Community.
“In celebrating his musical milestone, Chivaviro promised us that he would like to work with the ZLC youths in hosting the celebration of his 20th album Famba Usacheuke. This event is an opportunity to influence the youths to embrace the Zimbabwean culture and identity through Chivaviro’s traditional African genre,” he noted.
On February 18, Chivaviro will be the guest speaker at the ZLC Valentine event, which Goshomi said took a more African approach than the Western Valentine style.
“The forthcoming Valentine event is going to bring the whole ZLC together, unlike the approach of couples only. The event takes into consideration that there are single people, couples, widows, widowers, youths, and children in the ZLC community who should all be united,” he explained.
“The event is an opportunity to share our cultural value of unity which has been deeply affected by the long-term effects of colonialism and migration. We want to integrate into the UK, but not be completely consumed and eradicated as a community.
“We want to live alongside the diverse communities of the UK, while at the same time retaining our identity. We want to enrich the UK communities with our diversity.”
Chivaviro told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that at ZLC he feels more at home.
“I will be releasing my 20th album Famba Usacheuke which is a milestone that deserves some special celebration and in celebrating this musical milestone it will be very exciting to work with the Zimbabwe Leeds Community to help me host it here in the United Kingdom,” Chivaviro said.
“The event on March 4 is not like an album launch, but a celebration of 20 albums released in the journey and I am inviting all my fans in the United Kingdom to come and be part of the celebrations.”
Chivaviro continued: “There is a lot of work that I will be doing with the Leeds community including events, activities and helping Zimbabwean kids and teens in talent identification and exposure.”
“I will also be working with adults and couples in different areas as a way of contributing to the community cause and be able to do as much we can to uplift one another in bringing in the spiritual dimension to the Zimbabwe Leeds Community in partnership with other pastors who are already here.”
Chivaviro said there were many Zimbabweans in Leeds and working together could bring the desired results in an effort to push the agenda of the ZLC.
The ZLC executive has Goshomi as the chairperson, Pemberai Mavunga (vice-chair), Solomon Mupandawana as secretary, celebrated choreographer Enisia Mashusha as (vice-secretary) and Garth Chiutare as treasurer.
ZLC has now managed to establish solid structures, which consist of various sub-committees working on various projects which include the welfare and support team.