Zimbabwe: U.S. Ambassador to host concert for Women’s History Month

……Black History Month essay contest winners to be announced at event – Harare: United States Ambassador Charles Ray will host two female musicians on February 29th during a New Generation Event to mark the conclusion of Black History Month (February) and the beginning of Women’s History Month (March).

“When we think about Black History Month and Women’s History Month, we realize that people worldwide have shared similar historical challenges in struggles for equality and dignity,” said Ambassador Ray. “Every year, particularly in February and March, a critical component of our engagement with the people of Zimbabwe is to collectively reflect on the economic, political, and social achievement of those who came before us.  We strive to honor and build on those accomplishments.”

The official theme of Women’s History Month 2012 is “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”, and is based on the premise that every International Women’s Day event held in 2012 addresses girls’ issues and inspires thousands of young women globally. This year marks the 101st remembrance of International Women’s Day (March 8th) and the U.S. Embassy will conduct a series of outreach activities throughout the month including a series of motivational speeches to school-aged girls.  Ambassador Ray will speak to a group of grandmothers in Mbare; he will focus on the importance of respecting and learning from our elders.

At the New Generation Event, American-born mbira songstress Chiwoniso Maraire and praise-and-worship singer Nyaradzo Mashayamombe will provide musical entertainment. The event will also honor the top five winners of the student Black History Month essay contest. The acapella group “Amplified” will open the event.  That group of 20 singers is non-denominational and represents youth from across the socio-economic divide in Harare.

The Embassy hosted a series of activities during February to commemorate Black History Month including discussion sessions in schools and a film series.  28 high school students from 8 provinces around Zimbabwe submitted essays as part of the Black History Month Essay contest.  Each answered the question: “Using inspiration from African and African American achievers, answer this question for yourself and for Zimbabwe…What can I do?” .  Winners will be announced at the event which will be attended by representatives of the winning schools.

New Generation Events are organized by the U.S. Embassy and have in the past featured Zimbabwean and American musicians including jazz artist Victor Kunonga and singer-songwriter Ryan Koriya.