Boniface Chimedza Arts Correspondent
Jah Prayzah has stolen the limelight yet again with his video “My Beautiful Zimbabwe”, produced under the Higherlife Foundation’s national healing initiative, and launched at Zimbali Gardens in Harare’s Greendale last Wednesday.
Produced under the auspices of the Foundation’s “Project Hope”, the video complements the track “My Beautiful Zimbabwe”, which is part of the 16-track album featuring an interesting assortment of different artistes from a variety of genres.
Titled “Hope”, the album will be distributed free of charge to Zimbabweans from all walks of life; to give hope to the hopeless, while promoting peace and tranquillity amongst the populace.
The “My Beautiful Zimbabwe” video, which was officially launched together with the album, is a well-choreographed piece of art, which juxtaposes a cultural portrayal of the hopeful people of Zimbabwe to the meaning and the message of the song.
The video showcases a holistic, captivating grip of the nature and character of Zimbabweans as a people, especially seen through the eyes of a citizen who is based in a foreign land and yearning to come back to the beautiful Zimbabwe.
Great Zimbabwe National Monuments, the source of the country’s name, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO standards in 1986, is showcased in the video together with the characteristic grandeur of the majestic Victoria Falls.
Coincidentally, the video, which was shot long before she was appointed Minister, features the humble Kirsty Coventry triumphantly clasping a bunch of her assorted Olympic Medals, including the ones from the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
The inclusion of Coventry in the video fits perfectly with the mandate which was later on bestowed upon her, particularly that of being the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.
However, some citizens who spoke on condition of anonymity highlighted that while the video reflected Zimbabwean life and culture, it was narrow and limited in terms of its representation of minority ethnic groups and their cultural practices, thereby compromising the national identity portrayed in the video.
Higherlife Foundation co-founder Tsitsi Masiyiwa, who addressed the audience at the launch electronically through a pre-recorded video hailed the universality of the initiative saying it was tailored to encourage and uplift Zimbabweans from all walks of life.
“We embarked on this project with a single goal, to build a sense of hope through music; and what a better way to do this than using young people who are vibrant, who want hope and who live in the hope that the future will be brighter. We want these songs to reach everyone. We want to hear the songs being played everywhere, at work, in the office, in schools and in the kombis,” said Masiyiwa.
Several musicians took part in the Hope project, whose objective was to spread the message of national healing and cultivating a sense of hope within and amongst Zimbabweans at home and abroad.
The album features the likes of Oliver Mutukudzi, Alexio Kawara, Prudence Katomeni, Paula Paloma, Petros Zimuto, Faith Mucharira, Tammy Moyo and many others.
Higherlife Foundation, formerly called Capernaum Trust, is a philanthropic organisation founded in 1996 by Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa. The foundation has been supporting orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa through education and material support.