By Byron Mutingwende
Adiona Chidzonga, the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) Brand Ambassador since January 2018 is an inspiration to the nation.
The ZNFPC is mandated to coordinate, take leadership and support implementation of integrated FP and related SRHR services in Zimbabwe. This includes provision of technical assistance to the family planning (FP) programme; quality control for all public and private sector FP services and the training of all health service providers in FP.
The work also involves demand creation materials (IEC) for FP and related sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues; conducting FP and related SRHR researches as well as the procurement and distribution of contraceptives for the country.
Thus for Adiona, the Ambassadorial work is a mammoth task and is not a walk along the garden path. She had to undergo some training to understand the gist of what the work entails
“I did an induction tour soon after visiting the ZNFPC Headquarters, clinics and youth centres in the eight provinces that we visited. I got to have a clear picture and a vast understanding of what the organisation was all about.
“The staff and service providers I have come across are very hands on and do their jobs to the best of their abilities. I also had conversations with peer educators from the youth centres and heard how passionate they were. It was also refreshing to learn that even the groundskeeper for some of the clinics had a strong knowledge of family planning.,” Adiona said.
She said the only sore point for her personally was the high percentages of teen pregnancies and childhood marriages, which is highest in the Mashonaland Central Province.
“Being the ZNFPC’s voice and face is a platform that will help me make more message songs targeted at this population. Music plays a vital role in society and we as artists interpret people’s lives. We also help to lessen the intensity of the message.
“I also have made appearances at the ZNFPC golf tournament and was part of their team for the agricultural show stand. At the agricultural show I had the opportunity to interact with lots of young people because we had a loud PA system there and we would allow them to show their talents by doing dancing and freestyle dancing competitions as well. While they would come for entertainment they would end up getting services as well,” Adiona said.
The FP Ambassador attended a Fun Day hosted by Auxilia Mnangagwa, the First Lady of Zimbabwe in Mabvuku.
“When the women noticed my presence they were encouraged to come to speak with me. I would encourage them to get our services. Basically, I am honoured to be part of such an important organisation in our country and I am looking forward to a brighter busier future with them. I know as a woman I am uniquely placed and some might wonder why I’m championing this cause by myself, but my husband has been my pillar and whenever I have to make an appearance where my gender might be questioned, he comes along and shows full support.”
Adiona is an award-winning singer who won the African Entertainment Award award on the 21st of October 2017 in the United States of America.
Over the years Adiona has been fully exploring all of the healing aspects of music and uses it as a therapeutic tool in many different ways to help others. Her vocals come from a deep place within her heart and can be felt clearly by any listener.
Her style combines soul sounds with the deep roots of the blues. As a young female Neo- Soul Artist she started performing at the age of 16 at Reps Theatre in Belgravia, Harare before joining African Voice, an all-female Accapella Quintet at 17.
She went on to win the auditions to represent Zimbabwe at the 2008 edition of the MNet Idols East and Southern Africa in Kenya at the age of 19.
When she returned she started her solo career. As a solo artist she worked with artists like Jazz Invitation, Utopia and Wo Calling to name just a few. She currently has a single out called Roaming Angel that is sold on iTunes.
Her second single “All Woman”, a narrative against Gender based violence was chosen as the theme song for Miss Zimbabwe 2012.
In 2014 she recorded a song for world AIDS day celebrations that featured Albert Nyathi, Derek Mpofu and Various artists. In 2015 she joined the same team to produce a song for ZIMPHIA to raise awareness for a nationwide survey on people living with HIV and AIDS.
Adiona is a fast learner. She has a talent for Public Speaking, which is bolstered by her eclectic interpersonal people skills.
Adiona has performed live with a full band or smaller ensemble at performing arts and music venues, music and art festivals and private functions. Adiona’s star continues to shine with a recently released devotional Gospel album entitled “Just As I Am”, which is available on Soundcloud.
She is a proud mother of two boys Pfumai and Diwai and married Munyaradzi Chidzonga in 2012. They have been together since 2008.
“I have one album and a lot of singles. I ventured into acting this year. I am in a production called Harare Working Wives that is on the Internet. I have a strong passion for health and decided to lend my voice to sexual reproductive health because it is a wide net and speaks to a bigger audience.
“I gave birth prematurely to my first born in 2010 and he was just 800 grams at birth and severely premature. I was in and out of hospital for two months before birth and my son stayed for two months in hospital after birth. He was a miracle. After that experience I new my voice was to be used for a worthy cause and ZNFPC came along and I obliged. It has been an amazing experience to be a part of the team helping men and women and youths of Zimbabwe in shaping communities and families is priceless!”
Two months ago she became a radio personality. Teaming up with her husband, they do a drive time show for Alpha Media Holdings’ Heart and Soul online radio.
“It’s a new territory but I love the challenge and I’m happy Munya is doing it with me. I feel it’s therapeutic and is making our relationship stronger and more interesting,” Adiona added.