ROHR’s first National fundraising event for 2016 took place on Saturday 30th April 2016, starting at 4 pm and lasting well into the night. The event was a spectacular evening held at Centrala, 4 Minerva Works, in Birmingham and was themed “Independence Ball”. The Independence Ball symbolised the hope of Zimbabweans in the diaspora for a free and democratic nation devoid of corruption and political rivalry at the hands of Mugabe’s Zanu PF regime.
The fundraiser, from the beginning, took on a relaxed atmosphere with an encouraging, “Call to Action” opening speech which was given by special guest of honour, ROHR Founder and President, Ephraim Tapa. His speech was greeted with applause and welcomed with unanimous declarations that “Mugabe Must Go” and human rights liberties should be restored. Ephraim Tapa spoke about the importance of Zimbabweans uniting and working together to achieve a common goal and break free from the chains of bondage which currently enslave the people of Zimbabwe and more importantly rid our beloved Zimbabwe from a dictatorial government.
It was a night full of togetherness and guests indulging in delicious African and Caribbean cuisine, having drinks, enjoying electrifying music from DJ Percy, which filled the entire venue, and entertained the crowd, a modelling contest, raffle draw, quiz segment and most importantly fun.
The fundraiser presented the perfect platform where people could come and gather together, eat and drink, and listen to uplifting music and dance. The modelling contest was the main focus for the Independence Ball, with contestants dressed in their best African or traditional dress with the spirit of paying homage to our African culture. Once the winners for the modelling contest were announced, the raffle draw followed with a good assortment of prizes to be won which encouraged guests to purchase more tickets in support of funding projects in Zimbabwe.
Many found the fundraising to be transformational rather than transactional, as the fundraising did not primarily focus on entertainment to secure a one-time donation, but rather was educating, and this turned guests into long-term supporters. By the end of the event, guests were better able to understand the organisation, its cause and the reasons why they should care about it.
All in all, the organisers of the fundraiser with the help of the National team did an amazing job and everyone at the event enjoyed themselves. The food was delicious, the DJ was entertaining, and the guests looked incredible. Special thanks goes out to the following branches who attended the fundraiser and added to the events success: Central London, Bedford, Slough, Southampton, Northampton, Coventry, Reading and Middlesbrough – reminding us all that ‘Together We Can’!
Salani Sally Mutseyami
ROHR National Head of Publicity and Advocacy Department
Restoration of Human Rights [ROHR] Zimbabwe International