Phineas Magwati (left) and Dunmore Jamanda teaching homeless children how to play mbira
19 Feb 2017 – MASVINGO – Phineas Magwati, a music lecturer at Masvingo Teachers College and Dunmore Jamanda, a music teacher at Victoria Primary School, have embarked on a project of rehabilitating homeless children and giving them life skills.
The two are being supported by Masvingo Association of Residential Care Facilities,
The initiative, dubbed ‘Masvingo street children music training project’, has already attracted more than ten children living on the streets and three of them have already been rehabilitated.
Masvingo Association of Residential Care Facilities coordinator; Zendakwaye Zendakwaye told TellZim News the projects seeks to make a life-long difference to children living on the streets.
“The project seeks to empower these children with self-sustenance skills through talent identification, moulding and development using local apprentice in music. In the interim, it also provides recreation, psycho-social support and a platform for them to open up for facilitation of reunion with their backgrounds,” Zendakwaye said.
Magwati said he was moved by the plight of homeless children and had resolved to work to make a difference.
“Besides braving the hostile street conditions in terms of food and shelter, street children are seen as delinquents and as unbothered by risky behaviour such as racing with trolleys, sniffing glue, swimming in flooded Mucheke and Shakashe rivers as well as frequenting commercial sex work hot spots,” Magwati said.
Jamanda said he was happy the project, which is still at its elementary level, was already producing results.
“Of the three children who have been successfully rehabilitated, one has rejoined his family while the other two have rejoined the children’s home from where they had ran away,” said Jamanda.
He however bemoaned the shortage of music instruments which he said was a setback in their wish to scale up the work being done.
“We appeal to well-wishers to support us with traditional instruments like mbira sets, ngoma, hosho, key boards, guitars and marimba,” pleaded Jamanda.
At the Roman Catholic Church cathedral, this publication caught up with Brightmore, Tyson, Charles and Chapamba; homeless children who are being trained there.
The children said they see a future for themselves in the music industry if they get the necessary mentorship.
Takundanashe and Tapiwanashe Zendakwaye have also volunteered to play mbira to children living on the streets as a way of motivating them.entertainment