Heroes Welcome For Zimbabwe's Oscar Winner

Prudence arrived in Bulawayo aboard a South African Airlink flight on Monday afternoon and was met by ululating city residents who included the Bulawayo mayor, Thaba Moyo and Zanu PF politburo member, Joshua Malinga, who is patron of King George VI, where the band Liyana is based.

The band Liyana won the Oscar for a documentary, Music By Prudence, which is on the life of Prudence Mabhena, the lead singer of the group.

The documentary also touches on lives of the other members of the group who all have varying disabilities.

The group Liyana, which was formed in 2005, was noticed in 2006 when they won a national competition for budding musicians, the Music Crossroads in 2006 and since then they have never looked back.

Prudence was whisked from the airport in the mayoral vintage Rolls Royce and a welcome ceremony was held at the steps of the city hall where she addressed the gathered crowd.

“This award is not for me alone, it is for Liyana, it is for King George VI, it is for Bulawayo and it is for Zimbabwe and it is for you and me and I am proud that we as Liyana did the country proud,” Prudence said to cheers from the crowd.

Prudence was rejected by her parents when she was young and was left to the care of her maternal grandmother and took solace in music at a young age.

Prudence told reporters that she was thrilled with her stay in the US and says the highlight of her visit was when she met Oprah Winfrey.

“It was a magic moment and when I was young I also dreamt of meeting Oprah and when I saw her I shouted her name and she came over to where I was and we chatted and I got a couple of photos with her,” she said.

In his welcome speech, Moyo said, the city of Bulawayon was proud of what Liyana had done and said the Oscar the group won was for the whole city.

“Liyana has become true ambassadors for the city, the name has now become synonymous with the city and I would like to congratulate Prudence and Liyana for their perseverance and say you have now become part of the culture of Bulawayo,” Moyo said.