Celebrating new year in style

07 Jan, 2024 - 00:01 0 Views
Celebrating new year in style President Mnangagwa

The Sunday Mail

Sunday Mail Reporter

SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST (SDA) CHURCH elder and businessman Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei held a Celestial Chorus Soiree during the cross-over into the new year, where President Mnangagwa commended the SDA church for contributing to Zimbabwe’s socio-economic development.

Celestial Chorus Soiree, which translates to “Heavenly Chorus Evening”, was held at the Glamis Arena in the capital, marking the beginning of the year.

The black-tie event was attended by distinguished guests, including SDA Church leaders from across Zimbabwe, pastors, members of the Harare City Centre SDA, chaplains from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, the police and prisons, as well as various educators and Mr Tagwirei’s business associates and relatives.

President Mnangagwa, First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda and the regional leader of the SDA Church in the Southern African Indian Division also virtually graced the event.

First Lady Dr Mnangagwa

Attendance at the “unforgettable” crossover celebration into 2024, marked by spiritual ministering and captivating music, was strictly by invitation.

The event — which was also broadcast live on ZBC TV, seven radio stations and various online platforms — was organised by the Bridging Gaps Foundation, a venture led by Mr Tagwirei and his wife Sandra.

In his address, President Mnangagwa said freedom of worship would continue to be guaranteed under the Second Republic.

“I would like to thank the Seventh-Day Adventist community in Zimbabwe; as I have always said to all churches that the freedom of worship is a fundamental right that is deeply enshrined in our Constitution. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church, with more than one million baptised members in Zimbabwe, has significantly contributed in the fields of health, education, social welfare and spiritual guidance, assisting the people of Zimbabwe,” said President Mnangagwa.

General Sibanda

“The church has developed some of the best educational institutions which have contributed to Vision 2030. To this end, I extend my heartfelt message to each of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church members, as well as many others in community of faith — a prosperous new year of 2024. Let us tap into this year, working together around our national mantra: Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, igonamatirwa nevene vayo, igotongwa nevene vayo.”

First Lady Dr Mnangagwa also praised the church, especially the women constituency, for being faithful partners in the country’s development.

“As we celebrate the dawn of 2024, all of us together full of joy and hope with the good tidings the new year is bringing, we want to recognise one of the pillars of the Adventist home, the woman. I wish to applaud all the women in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, powerful women known as ‘Dorcas’ with the great humanitarian work they do in our beautiful country of Zimbabwe. As a nation, we appreciate your hospital visits, cleaning campaigns, feeding schemes, support to orphanages and unwavering collaboration with Angel of Hope Foundation,” said the First Lady.

“Tonight, as a woman and First Lady of Zimbabwe, I wish all the women in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Zimbabwe a happy, prosperous new year. May peace, trust and love reign in your homes and everywhere we take action together for the common good. Happy new year!”

Mr Tagwirei

ZDF Commander General Sibanda was unequivocal in his praise for the role the SDA has played in matters of spirituality and peace.

“The principles embedded in the Adventist family life emphasise the importance of peace and love. As we cross over into 2024, I as Commander of Defence Forces urge all people of various religious beliefs, the Seventh-Day Adventist in particular, to embrace peace, unity and uprightness.

Let us dedicate ourselves to nurturing our spiritual well-being and strive to build a nation founded on mutual respect, peace and love. Let us unite to make 2024 a symbol of our dedication to a country where peace, love and respect are paramount,” he said.

Many described the event as glamorous.

The entrance to the venue was a prelude to the evening’s extravagance.

Guests were welcomed by violinists encased in bubbles, leading to a dinner setup that was “nothing short of magical”.

Upon entry, attendees were offered a unique drink that emerged from the wall.

The dinner, featuring delicacies such as wagyu beef and alcohol-free champagne with 24-carat gold flakes, set a new standard for luxury dining.

 

The main programme commenced with soul-stirring hymnals led by Gcina and friends from South Africa.

A fitting message was delivered by Pastor Blose, who drew upon the story of Joshua in the Bible.

The event was officially opened by Keisha Mlalazi, who introduced her father Everton Mlalazi, who not only captivated the audience with his singing but also adeptly fulfilled the role of anchor and director of ceremony.

The spiritual ambiance was further elevated by SDA hymnal songs.

Kudaira Tagwirei

Artistes, including Janet Manyowa, Rudo Madindi, Dumi Mkotstad, Canaan Nyathi, Ayanda Ntanzi, Lebo Sekgobela, Maka Manzi Orchestra, Mpumi Mtsweni, Peniel and Munashe, serenaded the guests.

Further, 14-year-old Natasha Mlalazi also captivated the audience with her rendition of the hymn “Tenzi Nditungamirei”.

The Celestial Chorus Soiree not only served as a celebration to welcome the new year but also a platform for inspiring and mobilising the community towards national progress and spiritual growth.

Speaking on behalf of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Chaplain-General Reverend Jeremiah Doyce lauded the Adventist community for its crucial role in enhancing mental and social health, as well as contributing to the reduction of crime.

SDA regional leader Dr Harrington Akombwa urged members to remain steadfast in the Lord.

Mr Tagwirei’s children — Taonanyasha, Zachary and Kudaira — were also in the lineup as they each brought a unique element of the church’s teachings to life for the guests.

Taonanyasha focused on the virtue of giving, Zachary on the principle of forgiveness and Kudaira delved into the foundational Ten Commandments.

This incorporation of personal and doctrinal elements ensured that the Celestial Chorus Soiree was not just a showcase of cultural and religious grandeur but also a platform for personal reflection and spiritual learning.

Taonanyasha Tagwirei

Mr Tagwirei also shared his personal testimony with the audience, where he divulged the inspiration behind choosing to celebrate life at this event with friends, relatives and church members.

“When I was sick, my wife, together with my sister and many others, were praying for me, but I know the wounds of their prayers because today she still has the testimony on her knees. If you look at her, she is light, but her knees are still black from the prayers she was giving,” he said.

“That experience taught me to recognise friends that were there to support our children and also to support her to be with me all the time. I also recognised the importance of the church — there were people who were praying for me far and wide, and one of the most critical things is that I cannot make it alone.

“I needed you to be there while I was down and I didn’t know what was happening. You were there for me, so today we are celebrating that event together because you were there for me. I need you and you need me, so I thank God for you,” said Mr Tagwirei.

The businessman’s mother also gave a testimony.

She sang the first stanza of hymn 131 and shared with guests how the song served as a source of comfort and strength during the challenging period when her son was fighting for his life.

To cap the evening, there was a display of fireworks that lit up the night sky.

Bridging Gaps Foundation was founded by Mr Tagwirei and his wife, who said she was committed to helping those who need assistance.

“Bridging gaps is what Christ did for us by sacrificing His life so that we could live. He repaired the bridge that separated us from God. As His disciples, we accept His call to help others ‘kuti vayambuke’ from issues of poverty, disability, illness, lack of education and so many of the ills of this life that beset us. Matthew 25:40 is our inspiration,” she said.

Bridging Gaps Foundation executive director Dr Blessing Nyahuma emphasised their commitment to enhancing education, health and wellness, as well as food and nutrition.

He said responding to national disasters and building capacity in primary and secondary schools and universities for various faiths and people was also a priority.

Arundel Hospital, a renowned institution offering world-class health services free of charge, is part of Bridging Gaps Foundation.

The hospital has so far treated 225 312 patients at no charge since 2020.

One of the invited guests, Ms Charity Mavhunduke, described the crossover experience as heavenly.

Several attendees expressed desire for the Celestial Chorus Soiree to be turned into an annual event.

Through the event, Mr Tagwirei wanted to share what he and his family experience when they go on holiday. Everything from the food to how the tables were set was reminiscent of the businessman’s typical holiday.

The event was so huge that it created more than 700 temporary jobs for waiters, musicians and those who managed the stage.

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