19 February 2019

Zimbabwe: ED Consoles Mungoshi, Chapoto Families

Photo: The Herald
Zimbabwean author and actor Charles Mungoshi.

President Mnangagwa has sent condolence messages to the Mungoshi and Chapoto families following the death of prolific writer Charles Lovemore Mungoshi and Chief Chapoto of Kanyemba in Mashonaland Central Province.

Dr Mungoshi died last Saturday after battling ill health for nearly a decade while Chief Chapoto, born Peter Enock, succumbed to prostate cancer at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals last Monday.

President Mnangagwa said the death of Dr Mungoshi came as a heavy blow to the arts industry and to the nation as a whole.

He said Zimbabwe today stands tall as a literary nation because of prolific writers like Dr Mungoshi.

"The death of our prominent writer, Dr Charles Mungoshi, barely a couple of weeks after we lost Dr Oliver Mtukudzi has come as a heavy blow to the Arts industry and to our nation as a whole," he said.

"The late Dr Mungoshi ranks high among a pioneering generation of national writers who used their pen to creatively engage the national question especially in colonial days when issues of decolonisation and African cultural self-expression and self-assertion ranked high.

"What put the late Mungoshi in a league of his own was his use of both, this mother tongue, Shona, and the foreign English language to express himself, thus shaping a broad, bilingual, literary tradition for our nation.

"Unlike in other regions of our continent where the language debate in relation to creative work raged inconclusively, in the late Mungoshi this vexing identity question found easy resolution in this bilingual creative approach which he skilfully employed to dramatise the conflicted African condition under the white settler colonialism."

President Mnangagwa said Dr Mungoshi would be remembered through his novels, plays and poems which continue to feature as set books for schools.

He said the late Dr Mungoshi played an important role in mentoring budding writers.

"As we mourn and lay to rest Mungoshi, we relish and we will forever treasure his timeless gift to our nation by way of the many novels, plays and poems which can be penned and published, a good many of which continue to feature as set books for schools and college examinations in our country, our region and on the African continent," he said.

He added, "We, too, thank him for his outstanding role in the mentoring young writers during his days as a writer-in residence at the University of Zimbabwe, and a founder-participant in the Zimbabwe International Book Fair.

"We owe it to the prominent writers like the late Charles Mungoshi that Zimbabwe today stands tall as a literary nation. On behalf of our nation, Government and on my behalf, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the Mungoshi family, and in particular, to Amai Jesesi Mungoshi and the children, on this their saddest loss.

"In Charles, they have lost a dear husband, a loving father, a caring guardian and a creative mentor who greatly inspired and gently nursed and nudged creative talent in the big artistic Mungoshi family, and in the fraternity of writers by whom he will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in eternal peace."

President Mnangagwa said Chief Chapoto's death was a great loss as Government relied on him to mobilise the community for various projects which the new dispensation has embarked on in the transformation of Kanyemba community.

He said his untimely demise should spur everyone to work even harder to transform Kanyemba and many such border communities.

"I learnt with deep sadness of the death of Chief Chapoto last week after a long illness. An enlightened traditional leader, the late Chief Chapoto worked closely with Government and my wife, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, in transforming the long neglected Kanyemba community whose huge opportunities are just beginning to be realised now.

"Government relied on the late chief to mobilise the community for the various projects which the New Dispensation has embarked on. We can only thank him and pay lasting tribute to his enlightened leadership through the vast agricultural project very close to his heart which we have planned for his area and through other landmark investments which will soon take shape along the Zambezi River," he said.

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