Albert Nyathi, imbongi, musician and playwright, and iconic musician Lovemore Majaivana, will celebrate their birthdays by shining the spotlight on the elderly in the community. Dubbed ‘The Big Celebration,’ the events will be held in Harare and Bulawayo on the 3rd and 10th of December, 2022, respectively.
Singer-songwriter Lovemore Majaivana was born in Gweru, on 14 December 1952, and turns 70 years of age. His famous uncle, Albert Nyathi, a poet, musician, actor, writer, and philanthropist, was born on 15 November 1962 and turns 60, a milestone worth celebrating.
What most people are unaware of is that the two artists are related. Majaivana’s mother is MaNyathi and that makes him Albert’s nephew, ‘umalume lomzukulu’ in isiNdebele.
The date of Lovemore Majaivana’s birthday holds special significance in that on 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 the International Day of Older Persons.
Speaking on the celebrations, Nyathi says that old people have neither resources nor do they wield any power to earn or guarantee them the love and respect of society and those around them.
“Even though all religious persuasions underline love and respect for the elderly, the hustle and bustle of modern-day society have virtually eliminated the role of the elderly to the periphery of both mainstream economy and faith,” says Nyathi.
“We envisage a different celebration that will involve the elder members of the community to highlight their condition, mainly in the urban setting.
“We plan to hold birthday celebrations in the form of a luncheon for selected elderly people in Highfields and at Ekuphumuleni Geriatric Nursing home in Mzilikazi where we will entertain and provide them with goodies donated by partners and well-wishers. Our intention is to celebrate the elderly, identify their challenges and drum up support for their needs,” Nyathi says.
Speaking about the celebrations, United States-based Lovemore Majaivana still has many fond memories of home.
“Some of my deepest thoughts as I turn 70 are with the elderly citizens of my country, those that can no longer get into the clubs, travel to Emagumeni, to the gigs and living 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,” he says.
He says that if such a day were to be on his birthday, he would feel great and well celebrated even from that far. Majaivana personally can not make it to the celebrations, but locally-based family members will represent him.
Lovemore ‘Majaivana’ Tshuma and Albert Nyathi are legends in their lifetime and their performances are not only unique, but they are also timeless. To top it up, people will be witness to a ‘temporary return’ from the retirement of Maijavana who will record a duet with Albert Nyathi to be released later next year.
The celebrations are distinct in that they are not the kind where people visit, entertain the old folks and abandon them.
“We want to leave a lasting impression, one that with like-minded organisations the Rotarians and Friends of Ekuphumuleni, as well as partners in the corporate sector, will push for the needs of the elderly, not just those under care, but also those aging gracefully in their homes in the community. It’s the least we can do for them, and they deserve it,” Nyathi explains.
There are also events planned for Rushinga with HelpAge Zimbabwe and in Kafusi, Gwanda District, Albert Nyathi’s birthplace, where there will be a small function for the elderly over there.