Flamboyant lifestyle,mesmerizing character, who doesn’t remember Tongai Moyo?

Life  epitomizes a novel in that it is  structured in chapters and  complex  phrases that takes time to  grasp them .
The introduction itself  might seem boring and simple  yet the insatiable appetite is creates for one to keep on flipping through  the pages is so overwhelming.
Each chapter furnishes you with a glimps of  what the novel  is all about.  Although the  inner chapters  are important  in revealing the  theme or the gist of the novel, the introduction and history around it  cannot be easily  ignored as  doing that  gives a half baked view based on  myopia.
  It is therefore  plausible  to  allow history to be the escort  in understanding  how  someone’s life has been developed through the years.

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Image from Google.

It is now five years since the death of Tongai’murozvi mukuru’ dhewa Moyo whose Flamboyant dressings left tongues wagging each time he stepped into the  public.
Talking about the history of sungura music  now without mentioning the name Tongai Moyo,  is  again being myopic.
Sungara music in Zimbabwe is one of  the oldest  genres that is still surving to date . Many legends who made their names in the tightly contested genre  have different stories to tell, but most of them are dead.

Tongai Moyo’s life is best understood from his background .
Born on the 12th of March 1968 , Tongai Moyo  has been a resident of  kwekwe, the small town outside Harare  which did  played a pivotal role in moulding Tongai to be the  exceptional character that people still talk about today.
He dressed flamboyantly,his taste of fashion  plays the magic on the general populace  who  couldn’t resist his charm, but  ended up liking him apart from his music career .
Long coats that had’talking’ colors  such as white, gold, yellow and red were his favorites especially on stage.
The band members obviously did follow suit by looking good both on and off the stage.
Tongai Moyo also  had a mesmerizing character and each time he conducted his shows, he was a crowd puller who drived his fans  into frenzy with well choreographed dances and lyrics.
Surely, he was  a force to reckon with.

His music career   began in 1988 , where he played in numerous bands  before  joining Shirichena Jazz Band  ,he  served as a session musician. Like many other artists Tongai affectionately known as ‘muchina muhombe’ or dhewa came  face to face with hardships but being a vocalist, songwriter and guitarist  he had  a greater advantage  that propelled him up  from the small town into being a national, regional and international artist.

The early 1990s saw him forming his own band and was able to release his first ever solo album  titled’Vimbo’ in 1996.
He also released other successful hits like ‘Samanyemba and Mudzimu weshiri’, these hits  helped him earn a name for himself  in the  dog-eat-dog  industry of Sungura music which was well dominated by big names like  Alick Macheso, ‘senior lecturer’ Nicholas Zakaria, chamunorwa Nebeta and the late  Leonard’musorowenyoka’Dembo who  by that time was late, but his music was  still a living testimony  that he was an exceptional talent to reckon with too.

Tongai  Moyo  had 14 albums to his name and the album’Naye’ saw him scooping two Zimbabwe Music Awards (ZIMA) in 2005.
‘Muchina muhombe’ also won other awards such as  National Music Awards (NAMA) and he  came first on the Top100  ZBC End of year  music competitions numerous times.
Unlike other artists, Tongai Moyo’s music career was consistent  and many still believe  he and Alick Macheso   ushered in a new competition in the genre  that cannot be easily forgotten.
By the time he passed on, he had just released his 14th album in 2010  titled ‘Toita Basa’.
Peter Moyo his son swiftly rode on the  limelight that his father had  left and is still enjoying that privilege.
Up to date fans are still dancing to hits such as’Naye, Muchina muhombe, and Toita basa’

Tongai Moyo died in 2011 after battling with hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer at  St Annes hospital.
Apart from his music career, he had a controversial character too which  saw  him undergoing an HIV test in public to bury rumors that he was HIV positive due to his deteriorating health.  It is however noted that he tested HIV negative .
After his death numerous women  made  headlines  confessing to be his wives. The official number of his children by the time of his death was six.
Although when he died many artists including Alick Macheso  wept, the live battle between the two was never solved amid that they tried to bury the feud each time they shared the stage .

Tongai Moyo’s music career clearly depicts that, legends  are created, if they were born, I doubt nobody would have strived for excellency!

Young citizens need civics education, its their right.

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For quiet a long time, the law in our countries have been known to protect the rich and the powerful. In a scenario like this, it’s really difficult to talk about equality and justice as the law stiffles the poor while safeguarding the affluent.
It is from this background that  the general populace now need to  understand that  Young people are not citizens  in the making, neither are they leaders of tomorrow . This misconception if not  addressed will  continue to  stifle young people’s desire to meaningful participate in politics, law  and other issues that  does matter to them  .
Civics education  is the study of what it means to be a citizen  in a particular country, it covers a wide range of  issues from law to governance and being knowledgeable in civics education gives one lobbying power.
As a young  citizen of  Zimbabwe   I would like to believe that there is very little  civics education going on in my country as evidenced by fear associated with discussing about the government , the term civics  is definitely new to many citizens of my age.  I will therefore  share my views in this blog on  why  civics education  is important to young citizens.

To begin with, I believe in knowledge simply because it is power . If you are not knowledgeable, you cannot be in a better position to stand and  defend your rights ,  getting others to support you also becomes difficult.
Civics education however equips young people with knowledge about their modern day politics  and how to influence government as a citizen , It also  teaches  young people how their participation is important  and most importantly  educates them about their political rights.
As I have mentioned earlier that  , young people are not citizens in the making neither are they leaders of tomorrow, because they are here today means they are part and parcel of everything happening now, they are not exceptional . This means they have the right to know what’s going on and how is it going to affect them.  Those  who meet  the requirements needed to  vote, need to understand  why  their vote is important and how  their future will be affected  if they decide not to . Young people can only get to know about  all these issues through civics education, hence its importance .

I was tempted to write about this topic, I really was . This year’s  United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was held under the theme ”  The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World”. The theme itself  is  a driving factor in making member states  commit to the agreements made.
However  it’s been a year now since  Sustainable Development Goals  were adopted, but very few young people understand or have heard about them. This is making me  afraid that  if young people  are not meaningfully engaged in making SDGs a success  through educating them about what SDGs are and why  their country prioritized certain goals  leaving others out, or making sure that their issues are  being addressed in these SDGs , my generation surely will  be doomed as failures .
After  fifteen years most of the people who are advocating now will no longer be young people and sad enough many  of the leaders  who  have helped put up structures that  does little in encouraging  young people’s participation in matters that affect them  will be dead, hence in the absence of  open door policies that accomodate young citizens ,  civics education  for  now  stands as the only powerful tool in making the younger generation conscious about their  political rights, so they can be able to rightfully  demand their space without fear or doubt.

Furthermore, a research conducted by Dr James Arvanitakis et al  titled ” Putting the political back into politics :young people and democracy in Australia”  noted that  young people see a lack of genuine opportunities in formal politics which they feel is dominated by an ‘old guard’ . It is also highlighted that many of the  opportunities are seen through consultative committees that exist to fulfil formal obligation and policies, rather than providing  any real prospect to influence  political decision-making or structures. Therefore  making sure young people have access to civics education   helps them to be fully aware of the political systems that are there  so they can  meaningfully  engage ,  and stay  abreast with  the status quo  and equips them with knowledge on how to exhaust all the available channels  to penetrate and influence their decisions .
If young people are to wait for consultative committees or side events to push their agendas,the strategy is not going to work as all these are tokenistic  and highly controlled, as an aftermath young people’s opinions  have no influence and sad enough  won’t do much to change agendas.

Moreso, I believe that when we are no longer able to change  a situation, we are rather challenged to change ourselves, but how?
Margaret Stimmann Branson  an Associate Director  centre for civic education   highlighted that  ” democracies are sustained by citizens who have a requisite knowledge, skills and disposition. She also pointed out that in the absence  of a reasoned commitment on the part of its citizens to  the fundamental values and principles of democracy, a free  and open society  cannot succeed. “. I guess this has answered  how we as young citizens ought to challenge ourselves  to change. Civics education is the  only way we can use to influence, carry out checks and balances on  on our governments  from an informed point of view because it is impossible to engage or comment on something you have little or no knowledge about.

Furthermore, Fidel Castro   the Cuban president  known to many   both as a dictator and an icon  for certain reasons once noted that ” give me a child and he will be a communist for life”. This stresses out the importance of educating someone  from a very younger age, they grasp the concepts easily and won’t depart  easily from them.
Likewise, civics education helps instill  positive  values and habits  amongst young citizens so that they will be  able to hold their governments accountable,  and being responsible  citizens too who take note of their political situations.
I would love to see a generation that is knowledgeable about their government  and  won’t be deterred by  rigid structures that  usually  repel young people from  actively engaging and influencing their  government .