Facebook 'resurrects' Makamba

ZIMBABWEAN businessman and ex-broadcaster James Makamba is sorely missed by his friends and relatives back home.

Yet the bearded Telecel Zimbabwe chairperson is “home away from home” — at least judging by the way he has conducted himself in the last three weeks in which he has launched a website to keep in touch with his roots.

Through his Facebook page — James Makamba — launched on June 11, the former Bindura mayor, Zanu PF Central Committee member and provincial chairperson, has opened up to admirers both at home and in Diaspora.

Two weeks after launch, close to 20 000 followers are hooked on to JCJ, as Makamba is fondly called.

Makamba is in exile following the slapping of charges of externalising foreign currency, raised against him in 2005 when he was specified. He has been de-specified and the charges have been dropped.

But for more than seven years, the former Joy TV owner lived in silence as rumours about his private and business life persisted leading to anguish and dejection amongst his family.

The frenzied media reporting on his “inevitable return” added fire to an already overheated topic of a man whose political and business “gymnastics” earned him friends and foes.

His family is at the centre of everything he does.

“I emphasised with my children that nature has no room for a vacuum. Never take anything for granted.

“It’s not always the brightest child in the class that gets the best job or the prettiest girl in the school that ends up getting married and having children,” says on his page.

“Too many people moan about what they are not. We all have an opportunity to become someone. We have no control over where we’re born or who our parents are.

“We’re all presented with challenges that are emotionally or financially traumatic.

“What’s important is to stay loyal to yourself; stay focused, and pray that you are given sufficient days on this earth to surprise yourself with what you can achieve.”

His Facebook page is a mixed bag of discussions on business, social and cultural issues. Makamba himself offers a rare insight into his life, from the early days in Kambuzuma, Harare to the years he finally became successful.

In one posting, he sums up his hatred for racism and tribalism.

“Looking back, in my life, in choosing friends and associates, the criteria has always been a man’s strength of character, dependability, loyalty, generosity but not background, creed, tribe, age, gender, race or religion”.

Makamba was a business associate of former British tycoon, Tiny Rowland who was at the helm of Lonrho Zimbabwe.

Many of his colleagues in Zanu PF did not approve of this although they expressed their disapproval privately.

In the years that he has been in exile, Makamba has developed a strong passion to work with the less privileged.

In 2009, Makamba founded the Ibbamo Foundation, registering it in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

It is named after the United States President Barrack Obama and his wife Michelle.

Ibbamo raises funds and establishes projects for improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged South African children.

The foundation’s programmes are focused on academic excellence, leadership, social responsibility, and entrepreneurship — and are a reflection of Makamba’s own philosophy: education is the oxygen of life.

“The greatest challenges we have as African people are to educate ourselves, grow sufficient food, and use wisely the immense resources Africa has.

“I have a lot of experience, in many areas of life, of getting things done. If I can pass on what I know to the younger generation, so that they can accelerate their development and progress, then I will consider my life well-lived.

“God doesn’t give us all the same gifts. Very few of us are able to create wealth.

“When you are given that gift, as I was, and the community and your family have made sacrifices to ensure that you can put it to work, then you have a responsibility to use it to create more wealth,” says Makamba.

Makamba also serves as a trustee of the Bongi Ngema Zuma Foundation which promotes awareness of diabetes.

Ngema Zuma is the wife of South African President, Jacob Zuma.

Last week he explained the reason behind opening his Facebook page.

“We need to inspire each other and build on the skills and strengths that we have as a people. This is the world I know and Zimbabweans are part of that world,” Makamba told the Daily News in Johannesburg last week.

    Comments (3)

    daily news visibility of your website is very poor. I am struggling to read. Hope this is corrected soon. Thank you

    phakama - 27 June 2013

    I noticed the title Dr has not been used in this article...Has he decided to discard the honorary doctorate from the bogus university ??

    Gaba Rinocheka - 27 June 2013

    You are now Helping to resurrect Makamba here...he usually post greeting and nonsense..feel sorry for the business lad...I hv a feeling his involved with BJ..remember he was a Zpf polutibro member

    Bingu - 28 June 2013

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.