Zimbabwe: Jazz Musician On Cancer Awareness Drive

Lung x-ray (file photo).
11 February 2020

Rising jazz musician Brian Nyahuma aka Mukorekore is using his celebrity status to raise awareness on cancer and other social issues.

Nyahuma who plays with The African Pride Band said he is hosting a cancer awareness show on Valentine's Day at Splendor Gardens in Waterfalls. The show comes 10 days after the country commemorated World Cancer Day, on February 4.

Nyahuma said he chose to hold his show on St Valentine's Day to raise awareness to couples.

"It is hard when one's partner is diagnosed with cancer, thus, I want to raise awareness on the issues concerning this chronic disease, so that people can handle such situations better."

"This is the right time to capture couples and single people alike, hence, I took advantage of Valentine's Day," he said.

Nyahuma said there are better ways to package a message so that it can get a better reception from the intended audiences."

"As couples are sharing their love and time together this is the right time to pass my message to them," he said. The musician said he grew up with misconceptions about the disease.

"I thought only women could be diagnosed with cancer, only to realise later that even men as well. Thus, I thought it is right to educate people on cancer," he said.

Nyahuma said people with cancer are stigmatised due to lack of knowledge.

"Some people think that cancer is contaGhana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

"We were happy with the spread even though the entries were by no means evenly distributed as there were more submissions from some countries and fewer from others."

The statement added that a group of readers came up with a long-list of 40 writers before narrowing it down to 21.

"We set up a team of eight readers with the task of drawing up a long-list. The first stage of this process produced 40 entries. However, due to our goal of publishing an anthology, we could only accept about 20 stories. The harder task was whittling the list from 40 to 21.

"In order to do this, we had to apply stricter standards, including appraising the quality of writing and assessing each entry's reflection of the theme. It was a tough process, and it was hard to see some good entries go," read the statement.

Pan is an accomplished writer, poet and filmmaker whose trophy cabinet include three National Arts and Merit Awards (NAMA) gongs, a Caine Prize for African Writing, and a BAA.In 2018 he was nominated for the prestigious African Writer' Awards for his short story "Celestial Incest".

Last year his book "Philthurm 2.0" was translated into Swedish. If he wins, Pan will pocket US$1 000. gious. They fear to get close to people with cancer, which makes cancer patients live uncomfortably," Nyahuma said.

Nyahuma has dedicated his career to issues affecting society. His music tackles different issues, including child marriages.

"I have songs on child marriages which advocates for girls' rights to education, not husbands. In my other tracks there are songs which give people hope when they are faced with various situations," said Nyahuma.

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