Local musicians charm First Lady

FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe on Tuesday said she is charmed by local artistes and listens to their music every morning while she is in the gym.

BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA

First Lady Grace Mugabe speaks at Cde Chinx (seated in a wheelchair)’s house handover ceremony in Sentosa, Harare.

First Lady Grace Mugabe speaks at Cde Chinx (seated in a wheelchair)’s house handover ceremony in Sentosa, Harare.

Grace made the remarks in her address as guest of honour at the handover ceremony of a house built for musician, Dickson “Cde Chinx” Chingaira, by the Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) organisers in recognition of his contribution to local music.

“I know them all (artistes) and I listen to their music every day in the morning when I am in the gym. I want to encourage all of you to listen to them and support them,” she said.

While delivering her speech, Grace identified Edith WeUtonga and Willis Wataffi from the audience, and she later asked WeUtonga to sing along with her.

WeUtonga said she was overwhelmed to be recognised by the First Lady, and also to know that she knew her and likes her music.

“I was shocked to have the First Lady call upon my name. I could not even sing along with her because I was really shocked, but I felt that she has opened a door we actually thought was closed,” she said.

“I am overwhelmed to have witnessed such an occasion and I really feel that Zima has set a great standard, it is such an honour that has been bestowed on Cde Chinx.”

Some musicians, who spoke to NewsDay on the side-lines of the event, applauded Zima for honouring their promise to build a house for Cde Chinx, saying this had set a standard for other awards organisers.

Veteran jazz musician, Bob Nyabinde said Zima’s gesture showed that musicians were being recognised for their work.

“I would like to applaud Zima for such a gesture, honouring one of our music legends with a house. This actually means something and it shows that we are actually recognised for what we do,” he said.

“This is encouraging to those already in the field as well, as the upcoming musicians. Gone are the days where we used to think that music is for people without a vision.”

Willis Wataffi said Zima’s gesture was encouraging for upcoming artistes.

“Honouring Cde Chinx this way as one of our liberators is paving the way for upcoming musicians. This should be just the beginning and not the end,” he said.

Zima honoured the Roger Confirm singer with the Chairman’s Award at the last edition of the awards ceremony, which came along with a four-bedroomed house in the middle class suburb of Mabelreign.