By Fungayi Sox Charlestone Trust Primary School’s choir has been nominated for the African Children of Year Awards (ACOTYA), which are to be held on November 17 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Charlestone Trust Primary School is a private learning institution located in Nkulumane, Bulawayo and has an enrolment of 327 learners. The school’s choir was formed in 2021 with the sole mandate of empowering kids using contemporary music.
Founded in 2018, the ACOTYA is the most important initiative of The Stacey Fru Foundation. During the awards ceremony, The Stacey Fru Foundation and its partners recognise children aged between seven and 13 years across Africa, who are contributing positively to their community, country and the continent.
The first ceremony was held in November 2018, months after the awards custodian, Stacey Fru, dedicated a portion of her life to promote and celebrate children from Cape to Cairo. The awards have been well received by parents, public and partners. Previous honourees include Zimbabwean motor cross star Tanyaradzwa Muzinda.
Charlestonians are certainly builders of narratives for they have become the youngest group of students to be featured on this column and I consider their latest nomination to be an inspiring milestone accomplishment for both the arts and culture sector and the country at large. I believe that they are certainly headed for greater heights if their consistency and determination is anything to go by.
The mission statement for the self-professed Charlestonians is to have their dreams coloured bright.
The school aims to groom students who have knowledge, attitude and skills to be successful in an ever-changing world.
The choir’s recent offering titled Son of Africa has opened multiple doors including invitations to perform at this year’s edition of Let Them Trust School’s Arts Festival to be held in Domboshava on July 30.
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Commenting on the latest development, the school’s principal Karen Mpofu stated that: “The nomination was a confirmation of their commitment to the development of arts and culture as the school’s cornerstones revolved around four pillars ranging from academics, sports, cultural development as well as retreat.”
“The nomination was testament to the fact that their efforts were now being recognised across Africa.”
Choir director Trevor Mawaka could not hide his joy following the nomination.
“I’m impressed that someone has seen the value in what we have always aimed at and that is going beyond the ordinary,” Mawaka said.
“We are on the right course and I would like to render my gratitude to Ms Mukamuri and Ms Phiri for being part of the team coaching the children.
“We are all excited and pleased with the choir’s progress and extend our appreciation to the school and parents for their unwavering support.”
Mawaka is a holder of a BSc Honours Degree in Music and Musicology from the Midlands State University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education from Lupane State University.
The school’s choir has so far recorded three songs and three videos, which are all available on YouTube.
The first one was titled Colour of My Dreams while the second one is titled Smile and features popular actor Zenzo Nyathi of the Amakorokoza fame.
- Fungayi Antony Sox works at TisuMazwi — a social enterprise which specialises in book publishing and storytelling projects including book editing and printing, autobiographies, ghost-writing, content creation and digital media. He writes in his personal capacity. For feedback contact him on 0776 030 949, follow him on Twitter @AntonySox, or connect with him on LinkedIn on Fungayi Antony Sox