Melody Zambuko the director of the Music Crossroads and also a board member of Jeunesses Musicales Internationale (JMI) an organization based in Brussels with 60 plus countries in membership across the globe stood tall amongst world leaders in Kigali, Rwanda on the 9th of December as she received an award on behalf of JM International.
Among the leaders present at the ceremony was President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani – the Emir of Qatar, Hage Geingob, the President of Namibia, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and Gianni Infantino the President of FIFA.
By Plot Mhako
The 2019 winners were Dr Maria Krambia-Kapardis from Cyprus; Dr Alban Koki from Albania won in the scientific research category; Jack Lumuba from the Democratic Republic of Congo; International Youth Musicians Association, Anora Alkanova, and Kenneth Kaunda for the lifetime award.
JMI received an international ACE Award for its Fair Play music program. Fair Play is a global platform for raising awareness around the fight against corruption amongst youth through music and was represented by Melody Zambuko.
Zambuko is an arts and culture manager with 16 years’ experience working in the arts and culture industry of Zimbabwe. She has mainly focused on managing performing arts and training institutions mostly working for dance, music and theatre companies. Melody is the Country Director of the Music Crossroads Zimbabwe Trust aka Jeunesses Musicale Zimbabwe which runs the Music Crossroads Academy.
She is also an arts consultant with many years’ experience curating music programs for festivals like the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA-2007 to 2014), the Protest Arts International Festival (PAIF-2012-2014) and the Italian Embassy in Zimbabwe’s Musica Festival (2015 to 2018). Zambuko also works as a part-time lecturer teaching arts management programs in the theatre department at the University of Zimbabwe.
Melody holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in African Languages and Culture with the Midlands State University (2000-2003) and a Master of Arts and Culture Management degree with the Rome Business School in Italy (2016-2017).
ABOUT THE AWARD
A JMI program called Fair Play is the one that was particularly acknowledged as an amazing effort in using music to fight corruption across the globe.
“It is an honor indeed. We are excited and feel encouraged to do even more.”
“To date the program has an average of 50 countries across the globe participating in this online competition of ours (JMI) called Fair Play and winning this award encourages us to reach out to even more countries. Sometimes our musicians are frustrated by those they expose and it can sometimes be quite unsettling to say the least. However winning this award makes us feel it is indeed worth all the stress and hustle that comes with fighting corruption”, said an elated Zambuko.
“Music Crossroads Zimbabwe is a national member of JMI and therefore also known as JM Zimbabwe. We are proud that JMI has scored this award. To us, it means we are part of a network that means serious business. A network that is upholding the power of music to change lives, transform communities and develop nations.”
“I am very proud to be on the board of JMI. I, however, don’t feel I deserve more simply because i am a woman. I am convinced i am a professional, i have a phenomenal success story as Director of Music Crossroads Zimbabwe and that my femininity is NOT a gateway to promotion and recognition in the workplace.”
Melody urged women to work hard and not only wait for male sympathy. “As women, we should not wait for the world to sympathize with us for being female. we shud just work earnestly towards our career development.”
“Being in the same space with three presidents was phenomenal. It meant a lot to us. We were encouraged that nothing is impossible, there is no limit to ambition and our industry is phenomenal it can gain us access to kings’ courts” added Zambuko.
The award sends a great signal and message to artists who are the mirror of society and who are speaking out against the negative implications of corruption. Zimbabwe is grappling with corruption at different levels of business and society. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is seized with hundreds of corruption cases.
The Fairplay program is proof that music is a tool for communicating topics that are otherwise difficult to address. It also makes it easier to unify masses of people beyond ethnicity, race, language, origin, etc.
“As musicians, we have an added advantage and at JMI we encourage young musicians to use that leverage,” said Zambuko