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Community builders: Mukariri: A wholesome community builder

With Takemore Mazuruse

Dessy Mukariri is a woman of substance and is using her special skills, attributes and calling to empower and inspire her generation.

A businesswoman, gospel musician, life coach, pastor, actress, counselor and educator all rolled into one, Mukariri believes she is duty bound to leave a legacy of generational empowerment. She is happy to give herself in service to others through her pastoral work, the music as well as her business interests.

“I am a pastor with Emmanuel Fellowship Ministries and I lead a branch in St Mary’s, Chitungwiza,” she told Standard Style.

“My music complements my calling very well because it reaches out to those whom I cannot reach physically.

“My calling is more centred on evangelism that’s why you see the messages point out the wrong points people do to Christ.

“I wouldn’t say I moved into music. I believe I was born a musician. The talent started showing during childhood, but I didn’t have the capacity to record back then. My former boss at Credsure Mrs Dorothy Nyahuma financed my first album in 2010.

“From there my husband took up the role of financing production of my music albums and I now have nine albums in my name. I am not stopping at anything musically because I believe music has got the power to preach salvation and inspire this generation towards the right way.”

Of her ministry work as a pastor, Mukariri said the calling was inherent.

“The call to become a Pastor was inborn. I used to pray for other children from Sunday School and when I was in secondary school at Mt St Mary’s High School, I used to lead Christian Life Group,” she said.

“I then enrolled for Bible school after I got married and I was then ordained Pastor in 2012. Ministry completes me and it gives me a better perspective on life and inspires my engagement with the broader community.

“I don’t just get to shape community through the word and prayer but I am also a counselor and have the opportunity to inspire hope even amidst the challenges of life to members of my congregation and the wider community.”

The sure-footed community builder is also an astute businesswoman and has got big dreams to further grow her empire.

“In terms of business, there are a number of businesses that I want to establish,” Mukariri said.

“I have so far established a private school trading as Bright Daisies Christian Institute based in Chitungwiza and catering for ECD up to grade 7.

“I also pioneered a secondary boarding school this year, which will take up to Form 6, but as of now we have Form ones.

“The reason is that I would want to groom a God-fearing generation with academic excellence and nurtured behaviour starting from ECD up to Form 6.

“The long term plan is also to establish a vocational training center in order to empower youths.”

Mukariri’s tele-evangelism work with the national broadcaster ZTV has also broadened her community-building scope and enhanced her reach with the gospel.

“I got into tele-evangelism by God’s design. I was offered the opportunity to present short sermons on ZTV programme Gospel Mix and I have been doing that for over a year now,” she said.

“Tele-evangelism is a very powerful tool in reaching out to people. We may not have the resources to go around the nation preaching the gospel but millions of people watch TV.

“I know that we should be warry of technological developments because social media content can lure people into sin but Christians should also rise to the occasion and push Godly content.”

Being a woman of many talents, Mukariri also got a role as an actress on soap that is airing on ZTV.

“I was offered an opportunity to take up the role of Mai Mufundisi in a soap titled KuChina the Genesis aired on ZTV and I again I took up because of the teaching and community moulding opportunity that it presented,” she said.

“Acting is a wonderful experience, the role complements my calling therefore I do it with joy and it lessens the burden of having to introduce myself when I want to minister to individuals about Christ it becomes easy to engage people as they might already know me from television.”

Mukariri said she grew up with a passion to help people and her many titles carry a common denominator which is the mandate to change lives for the better.

“The titles I carry speak to my desire to serve. I grew up with a passion for people,” she said.

“My father is a headman in Chivhu and we used to have people coming to our home for help, strangers would come and seek shelter as they travelled.

“My father would reconcile couples and I would watch him handling issues in his court. This planted a seed in me.

“I am so passionate about people and I would want to play a part and leave a positive mark in individual lives and communities.

“There are people with marital issues who need counseling and it is my wish to see a zero divorce community and this can be achieved if people are well groomed and nurtured with good morals and values from childhood and this is what I am doing.”

Mukariri said it was still possible to raise a God-fearing and a responsible generation and she is happy to be playing her part.

“A saying goes ‘it’s better build children than repair men’. If we were to take the role to build children then we can reduce the number of those that abuse drugs, we can reduce teenage pregnancies and we can reduce domestic violence and we will have saved communities from crimes,” she said.

“We recently saw the rise of suicidal cases and this is because people fail to see the purpose of life and they can’t confide in someone until they decide to take their lives, which is very sad.

“It is my desire to be someone who is viewed as a cave where people can run to when faced with predicaments. This obviously needs a lot of resources to then assist people to restart their lives but we will get there.”

In spite of the generally challenging economic environment, Mukariri said she was inspired by the hardworking nature of Zimbabweans and encouraged citizens to take advantage of policies from government like land resettlement to venture into agriculture as a way of cushioning themselves from economic challenges.

“I love the hardworking nature of Zimbabweans and I know they can withstand anything. I am happily married to Brighton Mukariri and we have six children,” she said.

“My family is very supportive to the extent that I don’t feel the pressure but of course there is need to plan things and set time to be with the family.

“I am always serving the community especially doing counseling. With the coming of technology, it’s now easy to be connected.

“We have WhatsApp groups where we give each other ideas. I have a group for marriages called Marital Wisdom and we deal with marital issues every day and there are many testimonies of lives changing for the better.”

Mukariri has made several donations to charities, including blankets to Chitungwiza General Hospital.

A total of 11 underprivileged children also have their tuition covered under her Bright Daisies Christian Institute and Mukariri believes no challenge will weaken her resolve.

A firm believer in community-driven and community-owned initiatives, Mukariri used her music to reach out to people especially couples.

“I use music as a tool to reach out to people particularly couples and youths though the main aim is to point people to Christ,” Mukariri said.

“I haven’t been able to push my music brand due to limited technological knowledge but I am working on it.

“I am currently working on videos for the rest of the songs on the current album. I only managed to do a video for the song MaLevels, which is accessible on YouTube,” she said.

Mukariri also challenged Zimbabweans to give their lives to Christ and let him take charge.

“My message is that the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is true,” she said.

“Christianity is not just another religion, it is a fact, it is life and it is the truth. The creator of the heavens and the earth upon which you stand as you read this is true.

“Jehovah loves you and he can give you a new beginning no matter your past. Jesus Christ died for you, he still heals, he still blesses and he will deliver you from all worries and works of the devil. Am not trying to convince you but am just telling you the truth. You need to be saved today. May God bless you.”

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