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Zimbabwean parish choir director becomes the “new face” of the Anglican Communion

Posted on: July 12, 2019 2:46 PM
Chipo Madondo, the choir director from a parish in Zimbabwe, was photographed playing drums during the opening service of the 16th Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka, Zambia, in April 2016. The photo has now been used in a new map depicting the state of the Anglican Communion in 2019.
Photo Credit: ACNS
Related Categories: Africa, Central Africa

Zimbabwean choir director Chipo Madondo loves music. She was snapped while playing the drums at an Anglican Communion event and has become the smiling face of the new Anglican Communion map poster. Rachel Farmer talked to her about life in Zimbabwe.

Chipo (33) grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe where they reared cattle, goats and chickens. She is the second eldest child in her family and she has two sisters and three brothers.

“I was born into a big family that includes extended family and siblings,” Chipo said. “In my family there are seven children, but unfortunately, I lost my eldest sister last month. She was aged 46 and succumbed to high blood pressure.”

Before taking up farming, Chipo’s father was in the Zimbabwe National Army. She explained, “On the farm we grow maize, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, tobacco and sorghum. My mother wasn’t employed, but she did used to buy and sell used clothes.  Living in a rural area meant I used to walk about 5km to school every day and that shaped who am I today. At school I really liked sporting activities, music and grooming.”

Chipo said God has been part of her life for as long as she can remember. “I grew up in a family of believers so being a Christian was natural and I really love being a Christian. I’ve always loved singing since primary level and I used to sing in the school choir. But I didn’t stop singing when I left school.  I sing in the church choir and I am a choir director at parish level as well as at diocese level. I love music to my core!”

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Chipo is a member of the Avondale Anglican Parish, in the Diocese of Harare, which has about 300 members. After leaving school she worked as a receptionist at her church at the same time as studying hospitality. She now works as an administrator at a guest house.

She said, “I love Zimbabwe because the people are so friendly. If you come here you will see amazing views and we have freedom of worship here, so it is not really hard to be a Christian in Zimbabwe. I don't know much about the Anglican Communion except that it is a family of churches in more than 165 countries, was founded by Archbishop Charles Longely in 1867 in England, and now has 85 million members. It’s good to be part of this international family.”

  • Click here to download the new map for printing in various sizes and displaying on websites.