27 June 2019

Zimbabwe: Vabati Vajehovha Tackles Child Marriages Through Music

Gospel music ensemble Vabati VaJehovha is using its music to fight the scourge of child marriages prevalent among apostolic groupings in the country.

The group's leader Richard Magaya told The Herald Arts that gospel music has a vital role to play in raising awareness against child marriages.

"The motivation came from the pain of seeing a lot of children and young adults being forced into early marriages and at times being infected with HIV and deprived of health care. We are working on a song that is specifically meant to address the issue of child marriages," he said.

"We are intensifying the fight against child marriages and gender-based violence in white garment churches. We have many strategies and plans, musical influence is our biggest asset. We, therefore, want to partner every willing organisation to spread the message across the country.

"As soon as we get a partner that can provide enough funding, and trained personnel that can deliver the message in a respectful traditional and spiritual way, we will be good to go."

The group has also roped in the late founding member Wiseman Magaya's son, Alvin into this new project.

"We do have lots of projects that we are involved in, including one project that we are working on with Alvin. We also have a surprise collaboration with a South African gospel artiste, including a single that we will do alone," Magaya said.

He said they would perform in South Africa before year-end, with another jaunt in Botswana also on the cards. However, Magaya, said lack of financial resources was a huge handicap to the growth of their music genre, despite its growing popularity.

Early child marriages are rife among apostolic sects countrywide and the Government has been spearheading campaigns to fight child marriages.

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