HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity, INC.
Music263 initiative to harness power of music as AIDS weapon | HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity, INC (HAZ).
A new venture by HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity, INC (HAZ), has been launched with the aim of harnessing the power of Zimbabwean music as a potent and sustainable weapon in the country’s ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS.
The Executive Director of HAZ, Dr. Joshua Dziba said that the new initiative is multi-pronged, and reflects his organization’s ongoing commitment to becoming a significant player in not only educating others about HIV/AIDS and Zimbabwe, but also in engaging fellow Zimbabweans to be more involved in helping mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans.
“Our goal is to be creative in getting people to engage with the country’s efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS. Last year, we launched our re-envisioned Zimbabwe AIDS Relief campaign with a community engagement expo that was held in Mutare, Zimbabwe. We have opened up the year 2013 with the launch of a revamped Zimbabwe AIDS Relief Marketplace (ZARMarketplace), on our website, as well as Music263, an initiative we are still rolling out to our global audience and supporters. With Music263, we hope that we can get Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, reconnected with the current trends in Zimbabwean music, in all its diverse genres. As they connect with Zimbabwe by purchasing music through Music263, the Diaspora Zimbabweans will also be supporting our charitable efforts in Zimbabwe,” Dr. Dziba explained.
Music263 has been incorporated into HAZ’s ZARMarketplace, an online shop featuring unique products from America to Zimbabwe. HAZ hopes to raise funds for its charity work in Zimbabwe by selling tangible products through ZARMarketplace, and new-release downloadable music through Music263. Dr. Dziba indicated that the organization has bigger ideas and plans in mind for Music263, but would only say that all these ideas would only come to light with the success of Music263 in its current format. HAZ hopes to earn the support of prominent Zimbabwean musicians whom the organization believes can play a critical role in helping sustain the country’s momentum against HIV/AIDS.
Music263 has been designed to also benefit Zimbabwe’s musicians. HAZ will only keep 10% of the royalties from music sold though its website, while participating music artists and promoters will retain the other 90% of royalties.
Founded in 2006, HIV/AIDS|Zimbabwe Charity INC (HAZ) is a unique Zimbabwean non-profit organization in that its staff and volunteers are spread across the globe, with members in the USA, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. The Music263 program will be managed from Zimbabwe by HAZ’s newly appointed Fundraising Director, Ms. Fungai Chakara and her assistant, Mr. Russell Musakusa, an upcoming musician in his own right. The decision to base the direct administration of Music263 operations in Zimbabwe also reflects upon the organization’s efforts to directly connect with Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe, even in its fundraising efforts.
Ms. Fungai Chakara who has prior experience working with upcoming Zimbabwean musicians also previously served as a Zimbabwe Junior Parliamentarian (2000-2003), a Junior Mayor for Mashonaland Central, and also once sat on the Zimbabwe Youth Council (2003 – 2005). Ms. Chakara stated that Music263 will be a platform that will showcase the diversity of music coming from Zimbabwe’s young musicians today. The music will range from Hip-hop, to Gospel, and will even include Traditional tracks. Ms. Chakara and Mr. Musakusa (a.k.a Juss Russ) said they are both excited to be associated with HAZ, especially since this is a new opportunity for them to do what they enjoy doing, while also positively impacting the lives of other Zimbabweans.
Anyone with internet access can listen to samples of available tracks from Music263 by going to music263.net. Music tracks are being sold at an affordable US$0.99 per track.