THE first black cricketer to play for Zimbabwe will visit Northwood later this month to speak at a charity event in aid of an orphanage in his home country.
Henry Olonga, 33, made his international debut in 1995, becoming the youngest player to represent his country at the age of 18, and helping the African nation to claim its first Test victory.
The bowler, who is exiled from Zimbabwe after protesting against President Robert Mugabe's regime, will talk about his sporting career and his escape from the country.
He will also demonstrate his musical ability as an emerging tenor.
The aim of the event at Emmanuel Church, in High Street, on Saturday, April 17, at 7.30pm, is to raise money for Montgomery Heights Christian Care Centre, a home for orphaned and destitute children in rural northern Zimbabwe.
It has been organised by Leslie Gillott, 64, of Wood End Green Road, Hayes, and Margaret Bunford, a member of the church in Northwood.
Mr Gillot's sister, Elaine, 50, and Mrs Bunford's daughter, Fiona, 46, with Reverend Lesley Marshall, director of the orphanage, have committed their lives to bringing up about 60 children at the centre from birth to 18 years old.
Mr Gillot said: "I left Zimbabwe many years ago, when times were good, leaving my sister, Elaine, behind. I now wish to raise money for the orphanage where staff have devoted themselves to caring for homeless and destitute children in this desperately sad nation."
The event will also feature Mr Gillot's daughter, Jo, 23, a singer/songwriter and guitarist who has been praised by BBC Radio 6 for her 'astonishing voice', and his 15-year-old son, Seb, will play piano.
Mr Gillot added: "I am hoping this rare event of cricket combined with music will inspire a generosity of spirit across the boroughs and inspire the public to join in, in this most worthy cause."
For more information about the event and to make a donation to the orphanage, call Mr Gillot on 07726 302 111 or email email@example.com. * For more information about the Montgomery Heights Christian Care Centre, see www.toumtoum.de .