Last month, Afro-Fusion songstress, Prudence Mabhena, took to Twitter to ask her fans and followers for assistance with the replacement of her 10-year-old electric wheelchair that is currently beyond repairs, rendering her incapacitated.
The musician and motivational speaker who won an Oscar Award in 2013 for her documentary Music by Prudence, was born with Arthrogryposis - a rare condition that causes stiff joints and abnormally developed muscles. Her condition has led to the amputation of her legs because they were severely twisted.
“I’ve also had multiple hip and spine surgeries to enable me to sit up straight and breathe properly,” she tweeted.
With her tweets reaching over 5 000 retweets, twitter user @stella_grooves helped set up a GoFundMe campaign where the public can donate towards the new wheelchair. Prudence also urged her fans to hire her to sing at their events; be it weddings, church or corporate, and all the money raised will go towards her new wheelchair
Zimbolebs caught up with Gugu Mpofu, Prudence’s manager, to get an update on the campaign thus far.
“We got a quotation to from Michelle Naidoo of mrwheelchair.co.za in Durban of R15 000. Stella Harris in the UK was wonderful enough to set up the GoFundMe. Amount is equivalent to £8,490. So far (as at 10 July) we have raised £695, $50 and $50 Ecocash," she said.
Mpofu further explained that the reason the wheelchair is expensive is because it has to be custom-made to suit Prudence’s ability to use the controls.
Currently, the team is working on a fundraiser concert in Bulawayo, and Mpofu has promised to share the details of that event on social media as soon as they are ready. Multi award winning play-wright, author and cultural activist, Raisedon Baya has also enquired about the campaign and offered to assist.
“I think we might need to go a gear up. Retweeting, commenting and liking your plea might not be enough. It might be time for small actions that could bring that wheelchair to you,” he tweeted.
To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/a-wheelchair-for-prudence
Those in Zimbabwe may Ecocash to 0773144050