The Sunday Mail
WRITER, poet and musician Albert Nyathi will join hands with fellow musician Lovemore Majaivana to celebrate their birthdays by shining the spotlight on the elderly.
The days will be marked by a number of events in what is dubbed “The Big Celebration”. The events will take place in Harare and Bulawayo on December 3 and December 10.
Majaivana was born in Gweru on December 14, 1952.
He turns 70 this year.
His equally famous uncle, Nyathi, was born on November 15, 1962, and has since turned 60.
Nyathi and the “Umoya Wami” hitmaker are related, with Majaivana’s mother being a MaNyathi, making him the “Senzeni Na?” singer’s nephew.
In Ndebele, the two are “umalume lomzukulu”.
Majaivana’s birthday is of special significance in that it was on December 14, 1990, when the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons.
Nyathi says elderly people have neither resources nor power to earn them the love and respect of society.
“Even though all religious persuasions underline love and respect for the elderly, the hustle and bustle of modern-day society has virtually eliminated the role of the elderly to the periphery of both the mainstream economy and faith,” reckons Nyathi.
The birthday celebrations, he said, will be held in the form of luncheons for selected elderly people in Highfield, Harare, and at Ekuphumuleni Geriatric Nursing Home in Mzilikazi, Bulawayo.
Nyathi and some members of Majaivana’s family will entertain the elderly and provide them with goodies donated by partners and well-wishers.
The United States-based Majaivana, who will not be around during the events, has fond memories of home.
“Some of my deepest thoughts, as I turn 70, are with the elderly citizens of my country – those who can no longer get into clubs or travel to Emagumeni for gigs, and lively spaces of life.
“I ask myself, if it is possible, in whatever small way, to remember and honour them; to put that rare smile on their faces just for a day,” Majaivana said.
Majaivana and Nyathi are living legends; their performances are not only unique but also timeless.
To put the icing on the cake, Majaivana will make a “temporary return” from retirement, as he is set to record a duet with Nyathi.
The song will be released in 2023.
“We want to leave a lasting impression. With like-minded organisations such as the Rotarians and Friends of Ekuphumuleni, as well as our partners in the corporate sector, we will push for the needs of the elderly.
“Not only the elderly who are under our care but also those ageing gracefully in their homes in the community. This is the least that we can do for them, and they deserve it,” explained Nyathi.
There are also events that are planned for Rushinga by HelpAge Zimbabwe, as well as Kafusi in Gwanda District, which is Nyathi’s birthplace.