9 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Obituary: George - Great Motivator, Administrator

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of George Takundwa. Takundwa, who hailed from Mufakose, was a dedicated City of Harare Health Department employee for over 35 years.

But most will remember the contribution Takundwa made to the sport of bodybuilding and fitness in Zimbabwe.

He began in this industry as an athlete, first competing on stage in 1972.

Through a successful career in this sport, he succeeded in being a seven-time Mr Ironman, five-time Mr. Rhodesia and Mr. Zimbabwe.

Takundwa also competed in the Mr Universe bodybuilding contest in South Africa in 1980 and the World Championships in Egypt in 1982.

After his retirement from the stage, he continued to serve the sport in an administrative capacity.

Takundwa took over the ZNBBWA (Zimbabwe National Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Association) and further qualified as an international IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) judge.

He groomed many athletes in the sport, with his work beginning at grassroots level.

With the help of his ZNNBWA deputy Kays Rushike, Takundwa held many successful Mr Novice, Mr Ironman and Mr. Zimbabwe contests for young athletes for many years.

In 2008, when the Sports Commission separated bodybuilding and weightlifting, Takundwa took on the weightlifting portfolio and formed the Zimbabwe Weightlifting Association with Otis Goredema as his deputy. He began to groom young male and female athletes to compete in the 2012 Olympics, but lack of funding prevented the team from being ready in time for the Games.

However, Takundwa remained undeterred until the very end in efforts to continue to source equipment and training for the athletes for the 2016 Games.

Takundwa was renowned as a great motivator and administrator. He was soft-spoken and calm under pressure, able to improvise even in the most difficult circumstances.

He was also a God-fearing and religious man, dedicated to his faith and his family. He succumbed to stroke late December 2012 and sadly passed away on January 6 2013. Mourners are gathered at 4 Rosedean Gardens, Ashdown Park, Harare.

His burial will be at Nharira in Chivhu this afternoon.

He is survived by his wife Irene and three children - Keith, Innocent and Linda - and five grandchildren.

He was 58.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

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