Three million people, says the U.N., may not get through the severe drought and famine that’s bringing hunger, sickness and death to Zimbabwe’s poor and a Bedford Saxophone workshop wants to help them.
‘Sax’s Cool’ will be presenting a concert to help provide food for some thousands through the Zimbabwe Victims’ Support Fund. Every penny raised will be used for this purpose as all the work here and the distribution, directly to those in need across Matabeleland, will be done by known and trusted volunteers.
90% of Zimbabwe’s population is unemployed and therefore most people have no money to buy maize meal for sadza, the staple food. We hear that the Government has made no allowance in its budget this year to buy in maize. Most families grow just enough around their homes to feed the children, but by February the harvest, which should be gathered now in April, had withered away. Rivers dried up, dammed reservoirs reduced to a puddle, wildlife and cattle are dying, fruit trees have shrivelled and people are sick. At times like this, people die from malnutrition, diarrhoea and cholera. Each week graves are being dug ready for the days ahead.
We hear little of the poverty and brutality in Zimbabwe because western reporters are not permitted to enter, but we hear from personal contacts that in the last sixteen years between three and four thousand commercial farms have been destroyed along with the agricultural industry with them. Houses have been bulldozed, companies have disintegrated, the economy collapsed, very few doctors or drugs are available and thousands have died….. even though the wealthy are having a good life…
So there’s a serious purpose for this enjoyable evening of music. Over a dozen saxophones, a couple of guitars, bass and drums, under the conductor Caroline Barlow, will bring a varied programme, including some popular pre-war favourites, to Priory Methodist Church, Newnham Avenue, on 30th April, 7.30pm. The hope is that, at only £5 a ticket, (available from 01234 353523 or 359930) a good number of folk will be able to come to the concert to give a bit of support to many suffering people, who may not otherwise survive. Please join us if you can.