By Moses Mugugunyeki
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Sekai Nzenza could not hide her admiration for sungura musician Alick Macheso’s music at the World Red Cross Day commemorations held at Tongogara Refugee Camp on Thursday.
Macheso, who is the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) humanitarian ambassador, was part of the entertainers at the celebrations where Nzenza was the guest of honour.
Nzenza said she was happy that the celebrations had united her with her favourite local artiste — Macheso.
“I am happy that these celebrations have brought me together with Alick Macheso, who happens to be my favourite artiste in the country. If I was not ‘wearing this ministeral robe, I would have danced to Macheso’s music,” Nzenza said as she concluded her keynote address.
The Madawu hit maker, who was not part of the early stages of the celebration proceedings, was a star attraction when he disembarked from the car as people, including the minister, jostled to greet him and take photo shoots.
“I am happy that the little that I do as an artiste and as a humanitarian ambassador of the Red Cross is noticed by influential people like you,” Macheso told the minister.
“I will do my best to entertain and inform people as well as supporting the humanitarian cause.”
Nzenza said despite her tight schedule, she would wait for a few minutes to see her “favourite” musician perform live.
The minister is a revered writer and cultural critic.
Macheso did not disappoint when he went on stage with his Orchestra Mberikwazvo outfit. He kickstarted his performance with the song titled Tokumbirawo Rubatsiro, a tribute to families that lost their loved ones during the Cyclone Idai disaster.
From there, the musician did not stop as he belted song after song much to the delight of the minister and the crowd made up mostly of refugees.
Despite the minister and her delegation leaving, Macheso continued with his polished act that sent the refugees into a frenzy.
Tongogara Refugee Camp administrator Johanne Mhlanga said the decision by ZRCS to bring Macheso to the camp was most welcome.
“Macheso’s presence brought joy and life to the camp as refugees took to the podium to showcase their dancing skills. This was also psychosocial support through music and dance,” Mhlanga said.
Tongogara Refugee Camp is home to 12 980 refugees and asylum seekers with the bulk coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo while others are from Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia and Burundi.
Macheso is conversant with languages such as Swahili, Portuguese, Nyanja and Chewa which made easy his interaction with his fans on the day.