Pindula:Weekly featured article/March 2015, Week 13

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Jairos Jiri is one of the most celebrated philanthropists in the Zimbabwe. Having started

his philanthropic career during the colonial era, Jairos Jiri was able to gather resources for the less priviledged helping them to attain life skills so that they would be able to fend for themselves.

When Jiri completed his studies at Gokomere, he worked for Rhodesian Africa Rifles as a dishwasher where he encountered many destitutes, the physically challenged living on the streets. These were his first encounters with the less priviledged and from then on Jiri went on to become one of the most outstanding philanthropists ever to come out of Zimbabwe.

Working closely with other prominent figures in colonial Zimbabwe such as Joshua Nkomo and Michael Mawema, Jiri was able to source funding, equipment from church organisations and other charitable organisations to cater for the needs of the physicall challenged. They managed to hold training workshops for the physically challenged. He also formed a music group that was known as Jairos Jiri choir in 1959 which included people such as Paul Matavire and Zexie Manatsa who went on to have successful solo careers.

Although the Jairos Jiri Centre is said to be facing some operational challenges, Jairos Jiri left an enduring legacy.

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