ALECK Chigwawu, winner of The CHASE competition under Harare province in the music category and now a Creative Reproductive health Arts for Transformation (CRAFT) festival contestant, says his upbringing and desire to be someone respectable and of a bigger social stature are what continue to inspire him as he heads to the finals slated for 22 October 2022 in Harare.
CRAFT simple refers to the creativity that young people imbed in their products as they seek to influence positive behaviors in their respective communities for purposes of transforming the same into gender-based violence free societies as well as SRH conscious communities.
Like The CHASE competition, CRAFT is running under the theme “Amplifying Young People’s Voices on Sexual Reproductive Health and Gender Based Violence through Art”.
Brought up by his single mother and grandmother after his father fled barely two months after his birth, Chigwawu made it to The CRAFT finals courtesy of a splendid performance of his own Mwanasikana at the first edition of the CHASE competition held at the SAYWHAT’s Studio of Choice in May this year.
“When I was born, just after a month and two weeks my dad decided to run away, leaving me with my mother and grandmother,”said Chigwawu.
“I am not proud of this but whenever I think about it I know I want to be something, somebody in life.
“My dad is out there, he knows me but there is nothing he can do, he is out there enjoying his life. My mother and grandmother are the ones who would pay my fees and see to it that I have eaten.”
Chigwawu, a versatile artiste who can do Sungura, Urban Grooves, Dancehall and other genres told ZTN that his music was inspired by continued abuse of the girl child and failure to respect their basic rights.
“There used to be an elderly man who stayed in our area with his daughters, he would beat them so badly even for issues that would not require that.
“At one point he uprooted a pole to beat them up, he even attempted to assault his wife, their mother after she confronted him on the matter,” he added.
With the finals on at Harare Gardens on October 22, Chigwawu is already itching to go for it.
An excerpt of a song he is yet to perform touches on the plight of a girl raped by an uncle, denied help with no hope for a better life.
“He has always been talented, I would see it at church even at road shows. Some of his songs even touched me,”said Chigwawu’s mother.
“I wish him well and hope his music will get him to a better place and space in life.”
All provincial champions around Zimbabwe will converge in Harare to battle for honors at the CRAFT festival from four disciplines namely drama, music, poetry and public speaking.
The show seeks to give young people “an opportunity to showcase their talents through generation and dissemination of messages on young people’s sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and Gender Based Violence (GBV).”