Zimbabwe's Nehanda Radio recently reported that young Gamuchirai (Gamu) Nhengu's dream of winning the UK's talent show, The X-Factor, is hanging in the balance because her mother's application to extend her visa in the UK has been refused. The report states that Gamu passport has been seized by the UK immigration authorities and will not be released to her unless her mother's appeal against the visa refusal is successful. This for me, however, is not the real story..
Gamu is tipped by bookmakers as one of the forerunners to win the ITV talent show, after she wowed the crowd at the Glasgow auditions a while ago with her rendition of Katrina and the Waves hit, 'Walking on Sunshine'. I'd heard people talk about this Zimbabwean teenager, but had not heard her sing until this evening when I stumbled upon the X-Factor show on television, although, frankly, watching X-Factor is not something I would normally be doing with myself on a Sunday evening. Gamu came on, sang and I was totally captivated..
I have since learned that Gamu's mum, Nokuthula, 38, left Zimbabwe eight years ago and settled in Tilicoultry, Clackmannanshire, Scotland with her daughter and her two sons, Milton, 12 and Marty, 10. She is in Scotland under a work-permit visa, which also covers her children as her dependants.
Gamu was just three when her dad died in Zimbabwe and her mum struggled financially to bring up her children. Mum Nokuthula eventually made the heartbreaking decision to leave the children behind in Zimbabwe and travel to the UK to study for a degree at Stirling University. Three years later the family were reunited in Scotland and Gamu told the X-Factor audition audience in Glasgow that she just wanted to give something back to her mum. Gamu has dedicated her success in the show to the people of Scotland, without whose help she says, "it would not have been possible.. I regard myself as a Scottish contestant, because this country has been so good to me. I have loads of great friends and loads of good people around me. It has been great.."
Here Gamu is singing jazz at "Learning at BBC Scotland"..
And here at the Praise Gathering Concert at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh..