Mbeya — The father of the late artiste and socialite Agnes Gerald, who was popularly known as Masogange, Mr Gerald Waya, said yesterday that he had not seen his daughter face-to-face for over 12 years. But, now, sad to say, he will finally and for the last time see her in a coffin.
Speaking to The Citizen in Mbalizi District, Mbeya Region, Mr Waya said now that her daughter had died, he had no choice but to bury her near his house in the village - if only to ensure that the two somehow remain close to each other despite the fact that they will no longer be able to talk to one other.
"I have asked for permission from my close relatives to bury my daughter near our house," he said in an exclusive interview.
"This is so that I can always feel that we are near each other, although, in reality, she'll forever be somewhere in the back of beyond as I continue to struggle with life on this side of Heaven.
"For far too long, she stayed very far away from me, and now I don't want us to be separated by distance anymore... until I'm also dead and buried," Mr Waya said, his voice quavering with emotion.
Although he had not seen his beloved daughter for years, the two enjoyed a cordial relationship throughout, the father said, revealing that the late Masogange had phoned him as recently as April 15, and told him that she was planning to visit him soon.
However, this was not to be as the Sisters of Fate cruelly intervened - and mercilessly snatched his daughter away.
"I spent twelve years hoping and waiting, always believing that one day, I would meet my daughter on equal footing. Alas, that never happened, and she will now be coming back home in a coffin," Mr Waya said as he fought back tears welling in his eyes.
Masogange will be buried today in her home village in Mbalizi District.
Masogange reportedly suffered an attack of pneumonia and low blood pressure. She was admitted to Mama Ngoma Hospital in Mwenge, Dar es Salaam, where she died at around 4pm on Friday.
That was four days after being admitted, and before she could visit her father as she had promised over the phone.
Pressed on the matter, Mr Waya said that there had been a "slight" misunderstanding between himself and his daughter - his fourth-born - when she dropped out of school while in Form Two.
"That was when our differences started, and she just as soon thereafter left home. However, in due course of time and events, I forgave her, and we resumed communicating," he added. In fact, the daughter became of great help to her father and close relatives, even building a relatively decent house for him.
When they last spoke by telephone, Mr Waya recalled that she said, "Bye bye, father!" Sadly, that was soon to become true and final.
Yesterday, hundreds of people jammed Leaders' Club grounds in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam, where they paid their last respects to the socialite.
The sombre ceremony was attended by some of the country's top entertainers, friends and relatives, as well as representatives from some government authorities.