More to Chitungwiza than meets the eye
By Simbarashe Musaki.
THE story of Chitungwiza can be likened to the “what good can come out of Nazareth?” narrative, as the town is mostly infamous for poor service delivery that has exposed residents to preventable and curable diseases.
Popular as the home of famous spirit medium Sekuru Chaminuka, the town has been overshadowed by corruption and other social ills. Land barons salivate whenever they see desperate home seekers.
Residential stands are created at any space or wetland including recreational places and water drainages.
Council’s head office has been mockingly renamed “PaChiadzwa”, where one gets a quick buck as if they are digging for gems in Chiadzwa.
The organized corruption syndicates are run by smartly dressed people who roam the vicinity of council offices as agents of land barons, councilors and other senior officials.
However, the city also has a well-documented record of producing and housing a myriad number of successful people ranging from politicians, athletes, entertainers spiritual and traditional healers, who became prominent through hard work, talent and legal means.
Chitungwiza is the home to a number of the country’s finest footballers and most decorated coaches such as Callisto Pasuwa, Lloyd Mutasa, Norman Mapeza, Kaitano Tembo, Wellington Shangiwa, the late Misheck Chidzambwa, Murape Charles Murape, Alois Bunjira, Gift Muzadzi, Jonathan ‘Seke Express’ Chigwinya, and referee Tichaona Chapfika (late), among others.
When it comes to spiritual deliverance, the dormitory town is well known for being the residence of famous spiritual healers such as Madzibaba Godfrey Nzira, Madzibaba Sanders, Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa, Madzibaba Rammy, Archi – Bishop Loveless Manhanga, the late Evangelist P.D Chiweshe and traditional healers, Sekuru Kafera and Mbuya Taita.
Footprints of many successful deceased musicians such as Leonard Dembo, John Chibadura, System Tazvida, David ‘Mr Bulk’ Chiyangwa, Cephas Mashakada, Mkoma Ketai Muchawaya, Cde Chinx Chingaira, Cde Marko Sibanda, Paul Mpofu, Marshall Munhumumwe and Aaron Chinamira Chakanyuka are traceable in Chitungwiza.
The town’s musical living legends include, Nicholas Zakaria, Baba Mechanic Manyeruke, Knowledge Kunenyati, Alick Macheso, Last Chiyangwa (Tambaoga) Carol Mujokoro-Chiwenga and Amanda Sagonda.
Urban Grooves pioneers, who have a Chitungwiza background, comprise Alishias Musimbe (Maskiri), Slice Band, music producers Djs Tony Fresh, Russo and Zim Dancehall empress Lady Squander.
Drama and comedy, the city did its part by producing veteran actors such as Mdhara Gweshegweshe (William Matenga) of the popular Gringo drama, Lawrence Simbarashe ‘Bhonzo’ of Timmy naBhonzo comedy, Dudzai Mtomba ‘Baba VaShupy’ of comic news aired on Radio 2 in 1990’s, Noel Marerwa of Ganyau Express, Nelissah Maisiri who acts as Christine Carter in ZTV’s Estate Blues and Jabulani Sigauke also known as Sekuru Zvambu.
When it comes to journalists, radio and television presenters, Chitungwiza has the likes of former Radio 2 DJs the late Joe Panganai Mukaronda, Sam Sibanda, veteran sportswriter Robson Sharuko, former The Herald Chief Editor Caesar Zvayi, former NewsDay sub-editor Paidamoyo Muzulu, former Daily News political reporter and political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya, former Sunday Mail Business Reporter Tafadzwa Chiremba, Star FM’s Owen Madondo ‘Ollah 7’, and ZBC sign language presenter Susan Masona, to name just, but a few.
Politically, when it comes to respected politicians, Chitungwiza has produced ZANU PF Politburo member and former City Mayor Joseph Macheka, who is highly respected by residents and regarded as the manual of good leadership and service delivery.
Other former councilors who are worth mentioning due to their servant leadership include, ZANU PF trio of Lazarus Mhurushomana, Alderman Thompson Karigwindi (late) and businessman cum politician Cde Christopher Chigumba (late), who later became Chitungwiza South MP and is remembered for the houses he built for the less privileged residents in Unit L.
Opposition MDC has popular names such as former Mayor Misheck Shoko, one of the opposition pioneers and former Chitungwiza North MP Fidelis Mhashu (late), respected for being allergic to corruption and outspoken Zengeza West MP, Job Sikhala.
The list of Chitungwiza role models is endless, and some of the celebrities who resides in the dormitory town include, yesteryear boxer Arigoma Chiponda, popular public transport operators Mathias Mhiripiri and Bertha Matika of Berthyl Taxis, National FM correspondent Washington Marimira aka Bhozhongora and Harare’s First Street entertainer and magician popularly known as Wasu who used to entertain people with his magical antics, walking and sleeping on a wire.
Not forgetting traditionalists, Maungira eNharira leader, Wilfred MaAfrica (Nyamasvisva) and Nyau guru Abel Suwani as well as a multi-talented artist Wellington Jonga (Big Zhanje).