By Mr. Shingi Mavima (CLUBHOUSE International Director)

Sentiments on the 2015 CLUBHOUSE Festival

‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”- Mark Twain

I have always felt I owed an overwhelming debt to Dangamvura, the (subjectively) idyllic Mutare neighborhood in which I grew up. An upbringing that heavily emphasized philanthropy and an opportunity at travel and education that allowed me to witness a more holistic spectrum of suffering as well as continuously garner ideas for the uplift of our people only added to said debt.  At the tail end of 2011, as I sat up in my college apartment, I decided it was time to begin repaying. Countless hours of writing, delirium-inducing discussion, and innumerable phone calls and e-mails later, CLUBHOUSE International was born.

Hoisted by the most incredible co-founders (spread between Southern Africa and the USA), we fundraised and, by 2012, were giving scholarships to 11 students from two Dangamvura primary schools Sheni and Rujeko, a tradition that has continued annually since then. The following year, we introduced the annual CLUBHOUSE Festival, which celebrates the community service that our students do throughout the year as well as pitting the two schools in a football match.

If the first year of the festival was a success, the second one (2014) was a masterful celebration that brought together even high-ranking government officials.

I had never been to the CLUBHOUSE Festival.

Two years since its inception, opportunity and resources had never risen enough to permit me to attend this incredible brainchild of mine and a few others. My role thus far had been limited to fundraising and administering from afar (USA), while the work on the ground had been the burden of the unmatched Mr. Nyasha Matavire.  

Mr. Matavire gives the opening remarks

As life ever so conspires, the opportunity came this year, and I was able to attend the 2015 CLUBHOUSE Festival. I have lived a storied life in my few years upon this rock, and June 30th shall remain one of the happiest days of my life. I shook the hand of every CLUBHOUSE scholar and ambassador, and let them know how proud we are of them. Teachers who took me through primary school were there to see their very own handiwork at play. I shared a word or two about the importance of balancing our humility and pride as we endeavor to build our society.  Family and friends came out en masse and celebrated this event.

            The football match, by now a staple of the community, has been between the two boys’ teams the past two years. This year, in line with annual theme dedicated to the girls, the girls’ teams played instead, captivating the crowd in a game that went to penalties.

We cried; we laughed; we hugged; we cheered.

‘Kandiro kanoenda kunobva kamwe’ – Shona proverb (one good turn begets another)

That we are born, and born into the communities we are is no accident. That life would conspire, of all possibilities, to place you in a specific place, is a universal masterstroke. Fortunately, we are all able to see that first important day of our lives. The second though, however, is one that many never get to see. I have been blessed enough to live through the day that I realize why I was born, not once, but time and again: each time I shake the hand of a student who has been serving his community; each time I watch the video of an appreciative mother; each time people start similar initiatives to help their own communities; each time my teammates at CLUBHOUSE encourage me to keep going, even when the clouds get dark and the vision of our purpose is impaired.

My life in two important days; the second one lived over and over again.

For, as a wise man once said

“”But men must know, that in this theatre of man’s life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on.”- Francis Bacon


(Special thanks to: Target- Norton Shores (MI); Sigma Lambda Beta (Alumni Network of West Michigan); Mr Timothy Ziegler; Mr Bernard Moore; GVSU Delta Phi Lambda Sorority and all those whose donations made our festival possible!)

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