7 July 2008

Zimbabwe: Mbuya Mlambo Dies

Harare — VETERAN broadcaster Ambuya "Chirambakusakara" Miriam Mlambo has died. She was 84. Ambuya Mlambo, who was popular for various children's programmes on radio, died at the Avenues Clinic in the early hours of yesterday following a long battle with cancer.

Ambuya Mlambo's first-born son, Mr Marshall Mlambo, expressed deep regret over the death of his mother whom he described as having been a pillar of unity in the family. "Ambuya, who is my mother, had been ill for some time and was hospitalised at the Avenues Clinic. She was a hard worker who devoted most of her time to building a good family. "Over the period, she managed to send all of us her children to study overseas," he said. Mr Mlambo said the body of the late Ambuya Mlambo would be taken to her home in Mbare today where it will spend the night before burial.

Arguably the best presenter for children's programmes, Ambuya Mlambo started her career as a radio announcer at the then Federal Broadcasting of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in August 1956. A fighter in her on right, Ambuya Mlambo fought colonial inequalities to graduate with a teaching diploma and later a diploma in nursing. This was after she had distinguished herself, as one of the few women who excelled in education despite racism and sexism that were rampant during that time. Some of her shows on radio and TV included Farai Vana Vadiki, Potonjere, Look and Learn, and Crystal Sweets Corner. The shows were in both Shona and English. Ambuya Mlambo is survived by five children, 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Mourners are gathered at Number 4 Vito Street in Mbare. Burial is expected tomorrow at Warren Hills Cemetery.

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