before I begin, I just would like to express thanks from both Matthew and his father Sam to all those who helped with the fundraiser in 2007 for Sam’s heart operation… He recovered well and is still able to farm in his late 80’s.
Chitungueza is located on the outskirts of harare and up until recently has been violently subject to the ZANU-PF manipulations, resulting in many people having to flee thier homes. Matthew, for those who don’t know, is a musican who performs with political band. In 2007 they were banned from zimbabwe as thier music was too political. In this same year a group with the lead singer sporting long dreadlocks stepped too finely over the political line – the government ordered all dreaklocks to be banned. If you we’re seen with them they would take you and cut them off. In these years Emmanuals family was threatened multiple times by government officals and we’re eventually forced to flee to south africa. Matthew through his connections with his band went to europe where dale and I worked (to no avail) to get him refugee status there. After a year of much frustation at the system and Matthew living on couches unable to work to support his family – he returned home – here he found his house had been burnt down and his wife and two boys still remained worried and peniless in south africa.
Matthew returned at a time when the MDC party had just been allowed into parliment and he was lucky enough to be able to present his case to the rural land committee (just neighbouring chitungueza) they understood his harships and gave him a new plot of land to build on for $22US a year. When I visited this year his house was almost finished and he has great plans to turn this plot of land into a music school for the kids of chitungueza. He wants to pull the kids that can’t afford school and school leavers that are unable to find work and teach them keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, mbira, djembe and vocals. Including him, there are four others who are willing to donate thier time to teaching the instrument that they know. Eventually his plans are to build a staged area for the kids to then put on alcahol and drug free family performances and to set up a small recording studio. His idea is to get the kids would otherwise fill their time with drinking and taking drugs and filling their time with teaching them musical skills and talking about what they want to do and what they can do with thier lives. To keep the project afloat Matthew wants to buy a communter bus to use part time for the music school and most of its time to hire a driver and join the flock of zimbabwean commuter buses. He also plans to have a chicken rearing program on the land for the pupils to partake in, as well as small sections of farm land.
On my return home I plan to write a grant for this project and do as much fundraising as I can. The benefits of this project are far reaching and it is an amazing oportunity for him to make a difference to the lives of many zimbabwean kids and subsequently thier families.  If you want to help with this project or at anytime donate money or fundraise send me an email and we can make a plan!

Chitungiza is located on the outskirts of harare and up until recently has been violently subject to the ZANU-PF manipulations, resulting in many people having to flee thier homes. *Matthew, for those who don’t know, is a musican who performs with a band. In 2007 they were banned from zimbabwe as thier music was too political. In this same year a group with the lead singer sporting long dreadlocks stepped  over the political line – the government ordered all dreaklocks to be banned. If you we’re seen with them they would take you and cut them off. In these years Matthews family was threatened multiple times by government officals and we’re eventually forced to flee to South Africa. Matthew through his connections with his band went to Europe where Dale and I worked (to no avail) to get him refugee status there. After a year of much frustation at the system and Matthew living on couches unable to work to support his family – he returned home – here he found his house had been burnt down and his wife and two boys still remained worried and pennyless in South Africa.

Matthew returned at a time when the MDC party had just been allowed into parliament and he was lucky enough to be able to present his case to the rural land committee (just neighbouring chitungueza) they understood his hardships and gave him a new plot of land to build on for $22US a year. When I visited this year his house was almost finished and he has great plans to turn this plot of land into a music school for the kids of Chitungueza. He wants to teach the kids that can’t afford school and school leavers that are unable to find work musical skills. Including him, there are four others who are willing to donate their time to teaching an instrument. Eventually his plans are to build a staged area for the kids to then put on alcohol and drug free family performances and to set up a small recording studio. To keep the project afloat Matthew wants to buy a communter bus to use part time for the music school and most of its time to hire a driver and join the flock of zimbabwean commuter buses. He also plans to have a chicken rearing program on the land for the pupils to partake in, as well as small sections of farm land.

On my return home I plan to write a grant for this project and do as much fundraising as I can. The benefits of this project are far reaching and it is an amazing opportunity for him to make a difference to the lives of many Zimbabwean kids and subsequently thier families.  If you want to help with this project or at anytime donate money or fundraise send me an email and we can make a plan!

*Names have been changed

By Sophie