Zimbabwe Benefit Night



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Friday 12th October at the Spailpin Fanac in Cork
Re-live the moments in a series of 30 second video clips at the bottom of the page
click on the links to view - needs Quicktime
Harry J and The Conspiracy sound check
Alfred taking the entrance fee
& selling raffle tickets at the door
Labour TD Ciarán Lynch addresses the
audience before the show
Niwel Tsumbu and friends from the Blue Sky Ensemble
Harry J & The Conspiracy now there's a club full of people
(Photo © Stas Bernasinski)
Stevie G and Harry J draw the raffle tickets
(Photo © Stas Bernasinski)
(in chronological order)
needs Quicktime
18.09 Setting up the sound system video clip
19.35 Harry J & Conspiracy sound check  Video clip
20.30 Phil B plays the Four Brothers & Jim does the visuals video clip
21.50 Ciaran Lynch addresses the audience video clip
22.05 Surprise Tibetan musician video clip
22.20 Stevie G intros the band video clip
22.30 Niwel & friends perform video clip
22.40 Niwel & friends perform 2 video clip
23.05 Harry J & The Conspiracy perform 1 video clip
23.30 Harry J & The Conspiracy perform 2 video clip
23.55 Harry J & The Conspiracy perform 3 video clip
00.10 Harry J & The Conspiracy perform 4 video clip
Stevie G, Denise Hall (our chief campaigner)
Harry J and TD Ciarán Lynch 
(Photo © Stas Bernasinski)

The Inspiration

It was just before Christmas last when I interviewed Beatrice Karimanzira for the Irish Examiner.   She told me how someone from her organisation ZWAAPV (Zimbabwe Women Against Aids, Poverty and Violence) had just discovered a seven year old girl alone in the bush, a child who, since the death of her mother, had recently become the sole carer of two younger siblings and was attempting to feed them as best she could on roots and berries. All three were cold, hungry, sick and very much alone.   Hearing the shock in my voice, Beatrice explained quietly   that unfortunately, this was not all that unusual.

Meanwhile in town, the Christmas preparations were in full swing. Lights twinkled, tinsel shimmered and unconvincing Santa’s in tightly fitting red felt costumes and lumpy cotton-wool beards prowled outside the shops on Patrick Street, ringing bells and collecting for numerous worthy causes. But I couldn’t forget about that girl child, or stop wondering what, if anything, she and her brothers would be eating on Christmas Day.

A few of my colleagues felt the same way. We made a small collection and sent the money we raised direct to ZWAAPV. By this time, I already knew that Beatrice Karimanzira was no ordinary woman, able somehow able to withstand the daily despair and difficulties she faced as she tried to compensate for the lack of medicines, food, and an ever-growing number of orphans as AIDS and deprivation took its deadly toll.  We all agreed that more could be done

Luckily, Phil Bergan of Feile Africa agreed. When we asked him to help organise a World Music night he immediately said yes,  and along with Nora Hickey, went on to conscript  not just DJ’s but live bands,  a  great venue and much more.

The night was a huge success. If you were not fortunate enough to have been there, check out the video links to see what you missed. Great music, fantastic vibes and a real sense of a community coming together to support the hard- pressed people of Zimbabwe. Local TD Ciaran Lynch made an appeal, Red FM DJ Steve G MC’d the proceedings, Jim Conway put together a stunning collection of visuals from Zimbabwe, SIPTU covered our modest overheads and businesses and individuals, too numerous to mention  here, gave us prizes for the raffle

It was special and somehow humbling to remember  what a difference we can make when we come together to give a hand to those we may never meet but whose needs are  no less real for all that.

Denise Hall  - The Irish Examiner


The Night

At eight o’clock the doors opened and the night started with DJ Phil Bs selection of famous old-school Zimbabwean bands with tunes from The Four Brothers, John Chibadura, Aleck Macheso, Albert Nyathi, Andy Brown, Oliver Mtukudzi, The Bhundu Boys, Thomas Mapfumo, Dorothy Masuka …. Many of whom we have toured around Ireland in the past or have taken part in FeileAfrica events.

At 9.45 Red FM DJ Stevie G opened the proceedings and introduced Cairan Lynch TD, our local member of the Irish Parliament representing The Labour party. Ciaran addressed the audience and informed them about the reasons why we should be raising money for the ZWAAPV and thanked everyone for their contributions. This was followed by a surprise performance of a Tibetan Musician, Lobsang, who just turned up on the night with his instrument; Lobsang was accompanied by a variety of Cork musicians.

At 10.20 Niwel Tsumbu and his friends, many of whom are part of his Blue Sky Ensemble, took to the stage and played a very interesting and entertaining extract from their Big Bang Symphony.

At 10.50 Harry J and his newly formed ‘Conspiracy’ band had the whole place rocking  with their very exciting mix of conscious Reggae/Soul/Ragga and Ska, they played until just after midnight when DJ Fiasco took over and finished the night off with a storming selection of Zim club music and Kwaito floorfillers.

The whole night was illuminated by a fantastic display of projections and a moving collage of images dedicated to Zimbabwe and summoned up by VJ Jim Conway on his laptop. See: Phil B plays the Four Brothers & Jim does the visuals

Altogether the night raised €2,116 Euros and everyone had a great time. P.B.


Thank you letter from Beatrice

Greetings and thank you so much for the wonderful fundraising event you organised for us. We had a preview of the photos and from what we saw, the night sure was lively and successful. May God richly bless you and all those who made the event possible.

Profound thanks once again and have a bright day. God Bless
Beatrice (Z.W.A.A.P.V.)


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Last modified: 02/23/11