THOHOYANDOU - The well-known reggae artist, Colbert Mukwevho of Harley and the Rasta Family, released a hot new album Mulovha, Namusi na Matshelo last Friday.
The album has been produced in collaboration with Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Program (TVEP). It features the TVEP song, which he wrote in protest against the high levels of women and child abuse in the area.
In addition to promoting a zero-tolerance message, the song also serves to inform the community of the support and empowerment services provided by the Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme. The TVEP have been given 1 000 copies to use at their awareness campaigns. A series of concerts have been planned for the New Year to launch both the lead song and the album.
Colbert Mukwevho is one of the most talented and prolific reggae artists in South Africa. His voice has frequently been mistaken for Bob Marley’s and it is even rumored that Rita Marley wanted Colbert to visit Jamaica in honour of her husband. Mukwevho has written and produced more than 20 albums under prestigious recording companies such as CCP, the South African branch of EMI.
In 1997, his album ‘Harley and the Rasta Family’ on which he worked with the legendary Sly and Robbie, henchmen of Peter Tosh and Marley, won the much-coveted title of Best Reggae album at the South African Music awards.
Mukwevho has performed with internationally renowned artists such as the late Brenda Fassi, but he has also given his advice and support to local Venda artists such as Khakhathi and Friends. A loyal Venda man, Colbert Mukwevho frequently sings in Tshivenda and many of his songs have become Venda anthems.
His close relationship with TVEP began in 2003 when he agreed to judge a song competition for the organisation. He became very concerned when he learned of the horrendous statistics for rape in Thohoyandou, where 42 cases of rape are reported every month, of which more than half are children.
According to the CEO of the TVEP, Ms Fiona Nicholson, the TVEP is a non-profit and non-governmental organization, with the objective of creating a supportive environment for the victims of sexual abuse and family violence.
“A crucial aspect of Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Program’s work is the support given at the family violence and sexual abuse trauma centers located in two local hospitals, where survivors can receive counseling and medical treatment, and open a case if they so wish. At each trauma center, HIV post- exposure treatment is administered when applicable,” said Ms Nicholson.
She said that the TVEP also employs court chaperones and case monitors to provide support and advice for survivors throughout the traumatic legal process. “Its Break the Silence team runs educational campaigns in schools, churches, and other community groups to educate the community about rage, domestic violence, child abuse and HIV/Aids,” added Ms Nicholson.
Date:24 December 2004 - By: Godfrey Mandiwana