Author is lots of help for Africa

CITY author Alexander McCall Smith has hosted an auction sale of first editions of his books to raise money for community projects in Zimbabwe.

The creator of the highly-popular No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency talked about his work at the event which raised more than 2000 from the auction and donations.

Mr McCall Smith was born in Zimbabwe and his novels, featuring the character Mma Ramotswe, are set in Botswana.

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There was a performance by the Zimbabwean Singers, led by Edinburgh-based mother and daughter Jennifer Zindoga and Cynthia Gentle, while Mr McCall Smith also joined the orchestra.

Joan Weir, a member of the Scotland Zimbabwe Group, which organised the fundraiser, said: "They played a version of the Zimbabwean national anthem with Sandy playing his bassoon. It was a fantastic evening."

The event in the St Stephen’s Centre benefited the Murambinda Hospital in Buhera, which has an outreach programme for children affected by HIV/Aids, and the Nhimbe Trust, a community arts project for unemployed young people in the Bulawayo area.