Mystery over 'Bring Chiedza Home' funds

HARARE - Mystery surrounds the $4 000 that was raised by artistes towards the repatriation to Zimbabwe of the body of Chiedza Brown — the daughter of Chiwoniso Maraire and Andy Brown — who reportedly committed suicide last September in the US.

Artistes who included Jah Prayzah, Alexio Kawara, Victor Kunonga, Cynthia Mare and Hope Masike gathered at short notice on a Tuesday evening and reportedly raised $4 000 after it had been announced that Chiedza would be buried in Mberengwa.

After some reported conflict among the late Chiedza’s relatives, the youngster’s body was eventually cremated in the USA but since then, nobody has disclosed the fate of the money raised by the artistes.

The Daily News’ efforts to establish what happened to the money have continually hit a brick wall with several of Chiedza’s relatives pleading for privacy.

Ammara Brown asked the reporter to send a message — which she did not reply.

In a previous interaction with her in October regarding burial arrangements, Ammara said: “I had to consult with the family. They have asked for privacy at this time and will not be releasing any further information about Chiedza’s burial.”

At around that same time, Andy Brown’s sister, Queen Mashie, who is also a musician said, “We have decided to keep this information to the family. We don’t want any media involved.”

Some musicians, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was sad to see their efforts being taken for granted.

“Lack of transparency is just a bad thing. Just like the “Bring Chiedza Home” concert was publicised, we should have also been told how the money was used.

“Remember, the show was arranged at short notice and we gladly performed because it was for a good cause. It’s sad when people take you for a ride. I don’t know maybe we are thinking the worst of them, but we are left with no choice,” said one musician.

Zimbabwean artistes are very helpful when it comes to charity benefit concerts. Whenever one of them falls on hard times, they are always there to lend a helping hand by performing for free.

Last month, Tedious Matsito’s benefit concert flopped after it raised just $38 though various artistes took part.


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