Barely two weeks after the passing of Hohodza Band’s Mbira player, musician and composer Simba Mudzingwa, Zimbabwe’s Arts have suffered yet another blow. Freedom Tichaona Nyamubaya is no more. She is reported to have collapsed at her farm in Mhangura and was rushed to Mhangura Hospital. There, she was referred to Chinhoyi Hospital where she passed away on Sunday, the 5th of July, the same day South Africa’s mbaqanga group Soul Brothers lost their lead singer and co-founder David Masondo.
She joined the liberation struggle in 1975 after finishing her form two. Before she joined the war, she wrote a book, Tambudzai. While she was imprisoned during the war, she carried on writing poetry and songs. She was a published poet, a prolific writer and a rural development activist. She founded an NGO, MOSTRUD (Management Outreach Training Services for Rural Development). MOSTRUD developes and nurtures talent in youth in the rural areas in a bid to curb prostitution and poverty in rural areas among many things.
On the Road Again is Freedom’s first anthology. It was published by Zimbabwe Publishing House (ZPH) in 1985. 10 years later in 1995, her second anthology Dusk of Dawn was published by the College Press.
Extracts from Dusk of Dawn:
Amai *I wanted to write you a letter to say;
I now can speak many languages
Chipo is at Osthisa pregnant
Theresa is now a commander
Anna lost her leg In the battle
They beat me the first day I arrived at Tembwe
I was raped by the security commander
Jim lost his big toe from the Jigger fleas
Many died at Nyadzonya from hunger
I have got a new Afrikan name now
You probably know about all these things
Last but not least I wanted to tell you
That I love you very much.
A Different Kind of Love
Some people loved this country so much
That they died for it
Their skeletons are scattered all over Zimbabwe
The skeletons are still dying for this country
As they turn into useful manure
The survivors do not seem to love
this country at all
Zimbabwe is dying
On their behalf
Who loves Zimbabwe to save it from dying for us?
Nyamubaya is survived by 19-year-old son Naishe. Mourners are gathered at 9110 Ruwimbo Phase Two in Chinhoyi. She will be buried on Saturday at 2pm at her Mhangura farm.