GWERU: Midlands and the nation at large got into mourning the day you breathed you last. ‘Seeing how you had united and influenced not only family but every sphere you joined professionally, gives me comfort,’ my brother Kudzanai said on the day that we laid you to rest.
Celebrating your life was so overwhelming, just like you had said when we were discussing ‘ITAI’, a poem which had been written by Dumisani ‘Ndlovini’ Ndlovu, one of your many ‘husbands.’
‘Life should be celebrated whilst we are still on this earth,’ you said in acknowledgement to his art! ‘Let the testimonies and good deeds spread like veld fire,’ you also said as we celebrated your fortieth birthday at Kayela Gardens.
I have a basketful of testimonies that would make you burst with laughter as we chat from our now two different worlds. I know you are up there looking down onto us smiling, or maybe ready to laugh to the davita joke we always shared.
By the way, how many husbands did you have? Well, that will be a question for another day though I am sure I was the nyachide (the favourite). We celebrated you as you wished, and to testify, Drury “the spanner boy who defied family tradition and mistakenly found a place in the newsroom” would stand with me on this one, that I was the favourite despite the fact that he too was fighting for the same status.
One sure thing is that anyone who could peep into our chats would probably confirm the same!
I wish you could be replying to all this but unfortunately, the new world you have joined, along with mom and dad makes it impossible. You were a doyen of democracy, a women rights defender, a fine journalist and a hero in her own unique mould -my SHE-RO!
Having my first internship under your able leadership, Amai Mwana as your many husbands affectionately referred to you, was to me a source of inspiration as you gave me incredible mentorship.
You really encouraged me to pursue my chosen career path. Talking of inspiration, I now always imagine how many lives you touched from the several primary schools that you went to including Chamakanda and Senga, to Matinunura and Regina Mundi and even at Harare Poly and later on Midlands State University.
We looked up to you, and the likes of Titos Mangoma, Cornelia Selipiwe, Tobias Saratiel, Munyaiwashe Shumba, Portia Murungu to name just a few, knew they could rely on your guidance and inspiration at any time. To this day, I still have fond memories of your love for family, community and Zimbabwe at large.
To those who knew you, they have testified how you were just a phone call away, even journalists regardless of the fact that you had now committed yourself to fight for women’s rights. You were the antidote many needed to remain committed to their vision.
You surely had everything as a hero but somehow, just like the rest of us, failed to negotiate time. Surely, we are all on borrowed time, but it appears you borrowed yours from a stern lender.
Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation I now reckon. The reality Vimbai is I, and everyone you knew could grieve forever. We will not get over your loss but we will rather learn to live with it.
To mukoma Kudzi, we thank him for being there every step of the way. In your hands Mukoma, Vimbai has bequeathed a rich legacy – as inspiration to us all. May you please keep the flame alive as your heart and soul find peace and comfort.
Your one and only,