Tendai Chara

DIANA Makumbe, a former national female boxing champion who has traded boxing gloves for the mbira music instrument, is once again ruing a missed golden opportunity.

A former national bantamweight boxing champion-turned-referee, Makumbe now fronts a traditional music group, The Black Survivors.

Her group was supposed to travel to Wales on a month-long cultural exchange programme this month.

The exchange programme, which was being coordinated by Love Zimbabwe, a charitable organisation which runs the Chinamhora Community Centre in Domboshava, would have resulted in Makumbe’s group performing and educating children in Welsh schools about Zimbabwean culture and music.

Makumbe’s dream of performing live in Europe were dashed after the programme was aborted after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sunday Mail Online recently caught up with Makumbe at Chinamhora Community Centre, where her group was taking part in a Covid-19 awareness campaign programme.

Makumbe, whose scintillating mbira vibes and energetic dance moves kept those in attendance on their toes, said this is not the first time that Lady Luck had deserted her.

“This day reminds me of how unfortunate I have been in matters to do with important foreign trips. According to the schedule that was availed to us before the outbreak of the coronavirus, we were supposed to fly out to Wales today (Wednesday),” the clearly distraught former boxer, who retired in 2016, said.

Makumbe, whose group has, until the outbreak of the coronavirus, been performing at the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe-run Domboshawa Caves, said this is not the first time that she has missed out on a golden opportunity to showcase her talents in Europe.

“When I was still a boxer, I had a fight that been pencilled for the United Kingdom cancelled at short notice and in unclear circumstances. Now we have the coronavirus ruining another life-time opportunity,” mourned Makumbe.

Taurai Sinaro, the Love Zimbabwe projects manager who was behind the group’s tour of Wales comforted Makumbe, advising her group to ignore the setback and concentrate on the fight against the coronavirus.

“This group here was scheduled to fly to Wales today (Wednesday) where they were supposed to showcase mbira music and our culture. However, due to the coronavirus, we are here with them this afternoon, fighting the pandemic. I urge the group to focus on the job at hand,” Sinaro said.