Tributes pour for Mungoshi

Condolence messages for the late writer Charles Mungoshi, 71 continue to pour from a cross section of people who were inspired by his works.

After publishing 18 books, Mungoshi passed died peaceful at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare on Saturday leaving behind his actress wife Jesesi and five children.

Celebrated writer Virginia Phiri

Charles Mungoshi was a great writer and yet so humble. When Zimbabwe Women Writers was founded in 1990 he was one of the few male writers who welcomed the development. I personally benefited from his wisdom when I was terrified to let anyone evaluate the manuscript of my first book Desperatebecause its topic was a taboo in those days. I braved it and approached Mukoma Mungoshi hoping that he would accept my manuscript. I was relieved he did. I could have easily approached a female writer but the subject matter needed an honest male opinion. I knew that most female writers would have been shocked with my work. I could not believe it when Mukoma Mungoshi said to me in his usual soft voice after several weeks "well you can go ahead and get this manuscript published, it is in order." In disbelief I was numb for a minute. What I found strange was that Mujoma Mungoshi could not take a penny for the evaluation. I finally persuaded him for a lunch and he accepted. That was my opportunity for a good chat. It is not every day that one chats with a famous writer over lunch. Desperate was published in May 2002 and it has been a successful book. Rest in Peace Mukoma Mungoshi.


Playwright Daniel Maphosa

Zimbabwe has lost the grand dad of literature in Charles Mungoshi. His work was diverse, from novels, poetry and poems and scriptwriting, something that is rarely found in many artists. When I was just getting into theatre, we commissioned Charles Mungoshi to write a play for us, Dog Eat Dog in 1996. It is from this play that my star started to shine, it changed my destiny forever. Charles was a master story teller who set the stage alight with simple but well woven storyline as depicted in his various works of literature. Zimbabwe has lost an artistic icon, a master of the pen. We are just happy that in his collection of literature we will engage him, Zimbabwe will engage him and the world will engage him for eternity. 


ZimRights director Okay Machisa

Charles Mungoshi's legacy in written art and culture will always remain a pacesetter to anyone who believes in social science. On behalf of Machena Music, Machisa family and my own behalf I would like to express my deepest condolences to the Mungoshi family and to the nation of Zimbabwe. His written words inspired our music as well as paving way for creativity and innovation. Another Arts Hero taken away from us!


Writer Joyce Jenje Makwenda

Charles Mungoshi played a very important role in my life as an author, he said to me one day when I wrote a novena which I am to publish, I did not understand how I could write such a short book, I said to him; “Charles book iri it seems I can't proceed, I seem to have reached a dead end” and he said tell me the story. I did and he said; “Joyce, bhuku ratopera” and I said; “as short as it is” and he said; “ndiyo inonzi novena, bhuku rikapera Joyce put a full stop. What you are telling me is that this book is telling you kuti zvakwana.” I read the book, yes ranga ratopera and I put a full stop. Since then I know when a book is talking to me kuti rapera, I put a full stop. Charles was my friend, wife Jesesi is my friend as well, we have done so many things together in film and the arts. She was part of those who founded WFOZ (Women Filmakers of Zimbabwe) together with me. I am also friends with Jesesi on a personal level, and our children are also friends. Whenever I visited them with Charles Jesesi would say Charles shamwari yako Joyce yawuya. I will miss Charles, his humour, he made us laugh, and for educating me that; “Joyce kana bhuku rapera, rapera, isa full stop.” Jesesi, thank you for everything; for being there for Charles especially in his last days. Charles has left us a heritage, an amazing heritage!


Arts promoter Biggie Chinoperekwei

After publishing an amazing 18 books, Charles Mungoshi leaves behind a rich legacy in terms of literature. His books, although most came as fiction, touched on social issues and one could easily identify with them as a Zimbabwean. I loved his word power and the fact that he wrote so well in Shona and English. Sadly Mungoshi is leaving us so soon after the death of another arts legend, national hero Oliver Mtukudzi. As we continue to lose our great artistic minds it is also time to make sure that we preserve their works for the generations to come.


ZIFA board member Sugar Chagonda

The passing on of Charles Mungoshi is very sad. The nation has been robbed of a passionate prolific writer whose contribution to the evolution of literature and entertainment will be greatly missed. He had great vision not just good eye sight as portrayed through his legendary writings. Although he is no longer with us today having been promoted to the heavens, his invaluable works shall continue to inspire us and generations to come.

We shall remember Mungoshi as a pacesetter to modern literary techniques especially in African idioms in particular Zimbabwe


Chairperson and founder of Zinest, Takemore Mazuruse

Charles Mungoshi was a torchbearer and pacesetter in the writing industry and we are saddened by his passing on. He is one of the best writers to emerge from Africa and we hope his milestones continue to inspire the new generation. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time and we hope they draw comfort from the fact that he is departing after exerting his all in a trade he so loved.


MISA-Zimbabwe director Tabani Moyo

The arts fraternity has lost a titan in literacy works. Mungoshi and his generation of thinkers such as Marechera, Chenjerai Hove, Ignatius Mabasa, Chinodya and Vera to name but a few changed the face of story-telling in Zimbabwe. They became the key societal instruments, who through the pen continuously examined the country’s realities and mirrored our journey as a nation. Our tears will not dry easily but Mungoshi’s ink on paper is permanent for generations, therefore pushing our societal ethos, myths and realities forward. 

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