The real superstars - Women of Zimbabwe Arise

Cheryl’s decision to not give Gamu a shot at the live shows was clearly a bad one.  Putting through two wannabe pop stars – in fact the only two of the eight contestants who fluffed their lines – at the expense of excellent singers such as Gamu and TreyC Cohen certainly made no sense to me when I watched the show on Saturday night.  Evidently it also infuriated thousands of other X Factor fans who complained to OfCom.  However as the media today reports, despite outcry at her departure from the show, Gamu may be forced to leave not only the X-Factor but also the country.

Gamu faces a real risk of deportation to Zimbabwe because of issues related to her mother’s visa.   Although there is no indication that Gamu sought asylum here in the UK, she certainly has spoken about the difficulties of life in Zimbabwe.

The situation is certainly bleak in Zimbabwe, truly a world away from the dazzle and razzle of the shiny lights of the X Factor world. There is a high rate of unemployment across the country; most of the country is dependent on humanitarian aid for health facilities and schools and those who dare to defend their human rights are regularly harassed or arrested and detained.

Women of Zimbabwe Arise regularly find themselves being harassed, arrested or detained without lawful reason when they set out to engage in peaceful protests about inadequate living conditions and a failure on the part of the government to uphold basic human rights. 

Just last week 83 WOZA activists were detained after they took part in a peaceful demonstration marking the international day of peace.  They have since been released and one of the co-founders of WOZA was interviewed on Woman’s hour last week where she spoke of the appalling conditions under which she and her fellow activists were held.

If Gamu does head back to Zimbabwe, she can rest assured that she’s in a country with plucky women with indomitable spirits. Far better role models than the songstresses of the pop world.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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