The Herald (Harare)

12 January 2008

Zimbabwe: Nicholas Zakaria's Son Commits Suicide

Harare — Madzibaba Nicholas Zakaria's first born, Simbarashe, has died at the age of 27. Simbarashe was also manager of the Khiama Boys, his father's backing band.

He committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree branch in Chiweshe on Monday under unclear circumstances and was buried on Wednesday. Madzibaba Zakaria described the death of Simbarashe as major blow to Khiama Boys as he passed away at a time his services were still needed.

"I am still in a state of shock and I didn't expect Simbarashe to take his own life this way. "Two weeks ago, he requested some leave to go to Chiweshe and we granted him permission as he was complaining of a sore throat. "But it was not critical and we thought it was one of those small problems. "The major shock came on Monday when we were told that Simbarashe had taken his life.

"It would have been better if he had written a note to inform us on why he took away his life that way. "To be honest, the young man still had plenty of years ahead and if he had communicated to us what was eating him, I think we could have helped him because he was hard-working."

Madzibaba said they had suspended shows this weekend to mourn the passing of Simbarashe. "We can't hold shows this weekend because we need to mourn our band member. "We will only resume shows next week as the band members are still in a state of shock and I am now leaving everything to God," he added. The death of Simbarashe has come at a time when a number of Madzibaba's Christmas and New Year shows failed to take place due to contractual disagreements with some promoters -- issues that would have involved the late Simbarashe.

On New Year's Eve, Madzibaba was supposed to embark on a tour of Manicaland, but it was cancelled as the promoter failed to provide them with fuel to travel of the Eastern Highlands. The gifted left-handed lead guitarist also promised to beef up his frontline, saying he had since identified several talented young dancers.

Despite starting the year on a bad note, Madzibaba was upbeat that 2008 would bring positive changes to his group.

He also pledged to work with a number of upcoming artistes as one of his resolutions for the year.

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