Bornwell Chakaodza, rest in peace

Feb 14, 2012

The Zimbabwe Review would like to join in the many accolades to the late Bornwell Chakaodza, well-known Zimbabwean journalist, who died of stomach cancer at age 60 on January 24, 2012.
Among the best and most touching tributes to him have been those by his contemporaries and former work colleagues, journalists Desmond Kumbuka and David Maruziva. One couldn’t help but smile at Maruziva’s recollection of a trademark Chakaodza expression in conversation: ‘precisely, precisely my brother,’ usually said with a chuckle. Kumbuka also reminded of Chakaodza’s endearing quality of considering almost anybody as ‘my brother.’

Reading both Kumbuka and Maruziva’s well written, soulful and elegant articles, one wondered why these two gentlemen don’t write a lot more often. Zimbabwe journalism would be much better for it.

Those who knew Chakaodza well have done justice to recording his many contributions to Zimbabwe journalism in particular and to the country’s public discourse in general. Even when you didn’t agree with an opinion of his, his expansive human warmth and his impassioned love for Zimbabwe came through loud and clear in his writing.

It has been said how devoted he remained until the very end, even when his stomach cancer was eating away at him, to his last public gig; his frequent freelance column in the Financial Gazette. Kumbuka mentioned how just days before his death, he expressed the hope that he would be quickly let out of hospital so that he could go and write the next installment of the column.

Given his prominence as a contributor to the paper, and his obvious and reported devotion to his column, it seemed very strange that long after ‘rival’ papers had given prominence to the news of Chakaodza’s death on their websites, the Financial Gazette’s site did not feature the story. Nor did it appear for days after. Even if the paper did eventually feature the story, it would not have made up for the puzzling, unfortunate delay in doing so. What is going on at the once great Financial Gazette?

Bornwell, thank you for running a good race, and for an example of a life well lived. May your soul rest in peace.

The Zimbabwe Review


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