When Dereck Mpofu first came to the scene in 2012 as an almost unknown African Environmentalist, all we knew about him was he was the young man behind the voice that brought us ‘Chisikana Changu Zimbabwe’, and was appointed the Green Ambassador by the Harare City Council.
It was his song Tisarase Marara that caught the attention of the country, where he challenged people not to throw litter everywhere as environmental pollution was a resultant factor and we assumed that he would end there. We were somewhat surprised when the Green Ambassador re-appeared on our radar with a historical move that got the attention of clergymen all around Zimbabwe. A man that would not waver his views on the limitations of growth that we had imposed on ourselves as a resultant of our actions and how we were jeopardizing the future of generations to meet their own needs.
His solution, was simple and so he engaged the communities to repair their own degraded environments and empower themselves through knowledge .The Green Ambassador’s Foundation became a nation’s beacon of hope, community regeneration and a footstool of a generation hungry for change . His hunger for change and cleaner air led him to the one place that we all turn to for hope –the church. Dereck Mpofu always had an affinity for the environment, music and God .Earlier this year in an effort to start a revolution and Green the churches he coordinated church choirs to raise public awareness on the subject of waste and refuse management.
However prior to the historical gathering of churches for one cause, all participants will jointly participate in a massive clean-up operation of the Harare central Business District. Mpofu, in an effort to raise awareness of waste management, will also clean on the stated date .His not-for-profit Green Ambassador’s Foundation which works hand in hand with PanAfrika and the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, has partnered with several organizations Go Green, Low Carbon South and Environment Africa to start a green movement in schools towards raising an environmental aware generation. The churches running under the theme ‘back to Eden’ have adopted streets in the central business district to maintain and ensure that they have trash cans put in place .The Environmental Church Council which includes the Roman Catholic, Anglican, United Methodist just to name a few are all eager to create a cleaner and safer environment for their fellow countrymen . The churches will hit the streets on the 30th of July for their first clean-up campaign and unveiling the ‘back-to-Eden’ campaign.
The Green Student Competition began on the 4th of June and spreading the idea that ‘Green Students be heard’ not only comes easily to the Green Ambassador but also to the Green Team that comprises a team of ethically and culturally diverse young people . The Green Team comprising of Tanyaradzwa who is the Schools coordinator and liaison , Ancillar the corporate relations coordinator, Gibson the schools coordinator, Mercy K the church coordinator and point of contact , Clive the in-house graphic designer and Charlene the Environmental manager are not only encouraging schools to participate and work towards sustainability but also serve as an example of how to live more sustainably for our young people ;as we all can be advocates.
In an effort to engage people on all levels to participate in the Green movement, this year the Green festival will be a 3-day event featuring schools night ,clash of the corporates choir and clash of the church choirs . It is slated to be the biggest environmental festival in the capital being likened to the Harare international festival of the arts by organizers. This event will not only be a family filled event but an educational experience for the whole family and to encourage embracing the ‘green culture’ wherever they go. The Green Festival will act as a prelude to the Green Awards set for October where corporates and churches will be recognized for their work in contributing to the Green Movement.
Currently he has been elevated to national level as the Ministry of Environment’s official Ambassador appointed by Hon OCZ Muchinguri Kashiri. His star continues to shine brighter than before and as we move towards a cleaner city, an eco-friendly Zimbabwe and an environmental aware generation.