Ministry of Youth, Passion Java Records partner in anti-drug abuse campaign

By Justin Mahlahla

Youths in Chitungwiza were last Friday treated to free music courtesy of a collaboration between the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and Passion Java Records to educate youths on drug abuse.

Chitungwiza, the largest district in Zimbabwe and home to some of the country’s most followed youth-based local music artists, hosted the concert from 12pm until 5pm, with top notch performances from Roki, Miss V Candy, DJ Fantan, Levels, Abisha Palmer, Jah Master, Ndunge Yut and Puma Cool, and a guest appearance by Leon Lee from South Africa.

Running under the theme, “One Youth One Voice – Zero Tolerace To Drug Abuse”, the anti-drugs edu-tainment campaign was meant to raise awareness on illicit drug and substance abuse among youths, a menace which has wreaked havoc in society.

The Provincial Coordinator within the Ministy of Youth Harare Metropolitan Province, Memory Kanyati said the event was a success.

“All age groups in the youth range attended and that was a positive as it made sure that all the youths were catered for. The event was interactive as artists such as Dhadza D, who is from Chitungwiza, performed – giving a sense of entitlement to the youths. It was a plus as he performed his song titled “Mhofela”, which has a message of encouraging the youths to abstain from drug and substance abuse. The message connected well with the youths as many related to the theme and the awareness campaign as they spoke in one voice of abstaining from drugs and substance abuse,” she said.

“As a ministry, we continue to harness the youth demographic dividend for sustainable development.”

She emphasised the role of the Ministry in ensuring the reduction of the proliferation of drugs and illegal substances, through awareness and promotional campaigns.

“We have engaged Passion Java Records as a capable implementation partner within the local music and entertainment space, and the Ministry of Youth strongly believes that young people in Zimbabwe should be involved in designing their programmes, have leadership roles in running them, be involved in monitoring and evaluating programme effectiveness and even redesigning it as needed,” she added.

The Provincial Provincial Director Harare Province in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Mr Authur Mudarikwa, expressed satisfaction with his team members’ effort in planning and coordinating the event.

“Our collaboration with Passion Java Records under One Youth One Voice is one of the many programmes that the Government, through the Ministry of Youth, showcases its willingness to work with young people. The One Youth, One Voice outreach and edu-tainment programme for and by young people is flexible in its design and delivery, and we are convinced that the Ministry will continue to rope in more stakeholders as we seek to intensify youth programming efforts in our quest to reduce drug and substance abuse among young people in Zimbabwe,” noted Mudarikwa.

Project Director at Passion Java Records, Boss Lashan was happy with the line up of the perfomers, adding their role was to educate youths about the dangers of abusing drugs.

He said, “Under the One Youth, One Voice – Zero Tolerance to Drug and Substance Abuse initiative, we want to give local youth-based music artistes a role not just as musicians, but also educators, to convey the drug abuse educational messages to our target group.”

The music concert is one of the many initiatives that the Government of Zimbabwe has undertaken to fight the scourge of drug abuse.

The vice, which has permeated every facet of society and affected children as young as eight years, has seen government set up the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Substance and Drug Abuse in Zimbabwe to engage various stakeholders in tackling drug, alcohol and substance abuse countrywide.