Makanaka forms trust

HARARE - Former Star Kidz presenter Makanaka Wakatama, who at the age of 17 was both a mother of two and a divorcee, has set up a trust that will campaign against child marriages.

Makanaka, who married businessman Obvious Sambadzi when she was just 15 in a union that did not last three years, has named her initiative Makanaka Trust.

“I was inspired by my personal experience to come up with this initiative,” said Makanaka who is now 24.

“My life story is an open book. As you are aware I got married at the age of 15 and I can tell you that I went through a very traumatising experience.

“I want to use my personal experience to stop children from getting into these untimely marriages.”

The former television presenter told the Daily News that her trust, which is headquartered in Mabelreign, Harare, began operations a month ago.

“The Trust’s main area of concern is to help those who entered into matrimony very early and are no longer into these marriages either out of choice or through divorce,” said Makanaka.

“The Makanaka Trust will help them to move on because I understand how traumatising it is emotionally or physically.

“I have been there myself and I know how hard it is to pick up the pieces after such an experience.”

The mother of two added that a number of projects have already been lined up.

“The main project is a conference against child marriages to be held in mid-September that will feature various stakeholders including the Zimbabwe Republic Police, chiefs, headmen and church leaders.

“The aim of the conference is to come up with policy recommendations around the area of child marriages,” she said.

Interestingly, Makanaka insisted that she had no regrets about the way her life has evolved.

“To be honest the word ‘regret’ does not exist in my vocabulary. All these unfortunate things happened but the key thing for me is to ensure that other girls don’t go through what I went through.

“We all make mistakes but what is important is to do the necessary corrective measures,” she said.

The 24-year-old attributed her misfortunes to attaining fame at a tender age.

“We are affected by different situations in our lives. For me it was the fame. Being on the Star Kids television programme made me very popular.

“I was a big brand and everyone was talking about Makanaka.

“In the end, I became pregnant at 15 and gave birth and got married at that tender age. But in less than three years I was a divorcee.

“I got a lot of useful lessons from that. After the marriage, picking up the pieces and moving on was not easy.

“I know there is a girl out there in the same situation.

“In my case I was very strong but what about her?

“That is why I am saying let’s help them. Let us counsel them, let us set up rehabilitation centres and other projects that will help them get their lives back on track,” she said.

Comments (3)

thank you Makanaka for helping out some other girls who might be affected somewhere somehow by this patriarchal abusive society..Keep up the good work and God bless you

Tapiwa - 16 October 2014

keep on doing the great work.God bless u

adelaide - 15 December 2015

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