By Richmore Tera and Wallace Mawire.
Harare, Zimbabwe. (News Of The South) – TALENTED urban contemporary musician Trevor Dongo has been appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador of the Beat Aids Project Zimbabwe (BAPZ).
The organisation is the brainchild of prominent United States physician and HIV and Aids researcher Gary Blick.
It seeks to raise awareness on HIV and Aids issues among people, especially youths.
Last year, the organisation held a successful HIV and Aids awareness music outreach festival in Victoria as part of the World Aids Day campaigns, in conjunction with its various partners like the National Aids Council.
It was after the success story that BAPZ wrote during the Victoria Falls event that authorities at the National Aids Council requested them to hold a similar concert in Harare and the result is a music festival to be held this Saturday at the Mbare Netball Complex.
The music fiesta will start at 9 am and end around 6pm.
Dongo – will be joined by fellow musicians Killah T of the “Ngoma Ndaimba” hit album while other sure-fire artistes, Winky D, BaShupi and Kinnah will also preach to the youths on the importance of getting tested.
According to Blick, who is also the chief medical officer and founder of World Health Clinicians under whose umbrella Beat Aids Project Zimbabwe and the “HIV Equal” initiative falls, the festival in Mbare was aimed at reducing the prevalence of the HIV virus and Aids among youths.
He hasted to add that they targeted communities where little information on the virus was often relayed.
Blick said by engaging Dongo as their Goodwill Ambassador, they hoped to use music as a way of enticing youths to come and get tested to ascertain their HIV and Aids status.
“Trevor Dongo, who has just been married and is one of the best young musicians in Zimbabwe, will be a good model to the youths. He will be wearing his HIV Equal T-Shirt during the festival. It is also a great honour for us to be here in Zimbabwe and be welcomed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the National Aids Council and the Population Services International.
“We decided to come up with the music festival as a way of raising awareness among people, especially youths. In the United States, the younger generation doesn’t believe that HIV exists. At the festival, we are also going to tell people that everybody chooses their own status, and whether they are positive or negative, the fact is that we are all equal in the eyes of God,” explained Blick.
Concurred Dongo: “We are also not just going to perform and entertain people but we are also going to educate youths on issues to do with HIV and Aids. I am going to be the spokesperson for the youths and also use my music to tell them about how important it is to get tested. My main aim is to attract them (youths) since most of the infections are taking place mostly among the youths.”
Trust Govere, the communications officer with the National Aids Council, said: “We realised that there are people whop are different to get hold of, but with music, it is easy to capture them, and the National Aids Council requested BAPZ (Beat Aids Project Zimbabwe) to have a concert in Harare targeting youths since most of the new HIV infections are occurring since they are the most sexually active group.
“We chose Mbare Netball Complex because it is located in a suburb that has recorded one of the highest HIV and Aids infections not only in Harare but in Zimbabwe as a whole. Trevor Dongo the Goodwill Ambassador of BAPZ will join hands with his fellow musicians like Killah T, Kinnah and BaShupi attract youths for free HIV counselling and testing services.”
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