Singer and Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) brand ambassador Adiona Chidzonga uses her musical talent to disseminate information on family planning and sexual reproductive health to her fans.
Chidzonga [pictured right], a jazz artiste, told The Standard Style during a Population Services Zimbabwe and ZNFPC family planning workshop for journalists in Kadoma that her passion to educate people on issues of contraception and family planning began a few years ago when she gave birth to a premature baby.
"As an artiste I feel I should give back to society more so since my music appeals to both the youth and older generation. I started my advocacy work through discussing the issue with my fans on social media and radio interviews," Chidzonga said.
"I am pro-health, and sexual reproductive health happened in my life when I was in a maternity ward and I had given birth to my son prematurely resulting in us staying in hospital for four months while he was in an incubator."
Chidzonga said in the hospital ward she shared reproductive health issues with other women including family planning and contraception.
"I then decided to incorporate issues of family planning in my art to the extent that whenever I do musical shows, I take ZNFPC banners showing different contraceptives and this way I create demand for the services. To me, family planning is important because it reduces maternal mortality, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases," she said.
The artiste said music has a big role to change perceptions, attitudes and behaviour, especially among the youth.
"As a ZNFPC ambassador, I feel music has a role to play to teach the youths to abstain from sex, and to be responsible in their sexual behaviour. Youths are indulging in sex, getting pregnant and marrying at an early age because of poverty," she said.
"The first time I did my ZNFPC advocacy work, I travelled to Mashonaland West where 31% of youths aged 15 to 19 years are said to be already mothers. I shed tears as I heard sad tales of poverty and how it was forcing some of them into early child marriages. I feel edutainment is imperative in rural areas because there is no entertainment and the youths end up indulging in early sex."
Chidzonga said artistes and radio show hosts should be active and play a big role in reducing teenage pregnancies.