Zimbabwe: Kariba Zimdancehall Artist Echodem Dies, Causes Stir

The funeral procession of rising Kariba Zimdancehall artiste Edgar Kofi (26), better known as Echodem who died a the weekend brought the tourist resort to a standstill.

True to his wish, expressed through his music, Echodem of the "Fatima" fame had two-night bashes held in his honour.

He had also said when he dies he wished to have his body taken to ZV Hotel where he used to perform or imbibe for a parade.

Ironically, owing to the huge number of people who turned up at the funeral, body viewing was moved to ZV Hotel after it became impossible to manage those who wanted to view his body.

Echodem is said to have failed to get out of bed before his condition deteriorated further resulting in him going mute.

His father Mr Masson Kofi said his son must have died as they were taking him to Kariba District Hospital.

"We went out as a family on Saturday and returned around 10pm. The following day I left home to attend to some business in Heights and his mother went to church.

"I was called by his young sister indicating that Edgar had not woken up since we left and seemed unwell. I had to come back to try and assist. He was prayed for and seemed to have regained his strength before going to bath on his own," said Mr Kofi.

He was scheduled to hold a show with renowned artistes such as Mambo Dhuterere on June 18.

One of the producers he worked with RSK, Godknows Ngirichi said the death of Echodem was a great loss to the music fraternity in Kariba.

"He was one of the artistes we expected to spread his influence beyond Kariba," he said.

However, fans and colleagues in the fraternity expressed shock at Echodem's inclination toward penning songs associated with death.

"If you listen to most of his songs you realise that the theme of death is prominent which is quite strange for someone his age," said one of his promoters Sir Wade, Mr Albert Chakwana adding that Echodem had a promising music career as he could hold his own among other artistes during live performances.

Hundreds of people thronged the Kofi home in Batonga where an adjacent street had to be closed off to traffic for three days.

A long procession of cars snaked its way to John Range Cemetery.

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