Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Presidential scholarship for teen star

By Leroy Dzenga

Rising teenage music sensation Herman Makombe yesterday did not only charm his peers, but also won admiration from President Mnangagwa after a stellar performance at the Independence Children’s Party at State House, prompting the First Citizen to reward him with a scholarship covering his tuition up to university.

President Mnangagwa and First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa meet young singer Herman Mukombe after the Gwinyayi Primary School grade 7 learner delivered a spectacular performance at the 2021 Independence Day Children's Party hosted by the First Family at State House in Harare. - Picture: Believe Nyakudjara
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa meet young singer Herman Mukombe after the Gwinyayi Primary School grade 7 learner delivered a spectacular performance at the 2021 Independence Day Children’s Party hosted by the First Family at State House in Harare. – Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

The 14-year-old Grade Seven learner at Gwinyai Primary School in Mbare delivered a classy performance at the event.

One song into his set, President Mnangagwa asked that the sultry-voiced muso stop playing and summoned the director of ceremonies, after which he whispered into his ear.

“I have just been told by the President that the First Family will gift Herman Mukombe with a scholarship up until university,” the director of ceremonies said.

The President called Herman to the stage and gave him a warm embrace.

This gesture was met by applause from the audience made up of 50 learners from the country`s ten provinces.

Herman could barely contain himself upon hearing the news.

He subsequently composed himself and finished the rest of his well-choreographed set.

The young musician told The Sunday Mail that yesterday was the best day of his life.

“I never thought I could be considered worthy to perform in front of our President. I am really grateful for the opportunity to showcase my talent in front of the father and mother of the country,” he said.

“I want to thank the President for deciding to give me a scholarship. I will work hard in school and I will also continue to make music; there is something I am working on.

“My dream is to one day be able to help young singers who are new to the industry.”

The rising star was in the company of his father, Mr Mugeni Mukunda.

The proud father said he was humbled by the President’s magnanimity.

“I don’t know how I can explain this; the gesture came to us as a surprise. All his life he has been into music, but I never thought it would get to this level.”

A Zimbabwean of Congolese descent, Herman is one of the new crop of artistes who emerged during the lockdown.

His song “Zvandofarira”, in addition to prominently featuring on national radio, has garnered more than two million views on YouTube.

His ability to sing in Shona, French, Swahili and English makes his music appealing.

Currently, Herman works under the tutelage of gospel musician William Aberioh and is affiliated to Chillspot Records. The Sunday Mail

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