Tuesday, 8 May 2018

MUDHARA BHONZO : SHUNNED IN LIFE AND DEATH

Only a handful of mourners turned up for the funeral of popular actor Lawrence “Mdara Bhonzo” Simbabarashe  despite the celebrity status hevwas accorded during his life.

Mdara Bhonzo was a popular figure, whose influence and fame cut across the demographic structure, which would have translated to a large number of mourners, as he is laid to rest today.
While social media was awash with condolence messages from various people to Simbarashe family, the situation at house number 544 St Mary’s in Chitungwiza where mourners were gathered was different.

Contrary to his popularity, the turnout of people at his funeral was appalling, much as the life he lived during his last days.

When the Daily News arrived at Simbarashe residence yesterday, there were few mourners despite the fact that social media was exploding with condolence messages and testimonies about the deceased.

The notable artists who were present at the funeral include Mdara Bhonzo’s co-actor Timothy “Timmy” Tapfumaneyi, Charles “Doesmatter” Jackson and Elijah “Bhero” Madzikatire, among a few others.

The development confirms social media has literally taken over traditional culture of attending funerals in physical form.

Simbarashe died on Saturday at a Chitungwiza hospital reportedly due to diabetes and high blood pressure.

The late actor rose to fame through various voice-overs, television adverts and TV skits. He became a charity case after his life made a U-turn and unfortunately died a pauper.

At his peak, Simbarashe lived a decent life but it all went down the drain following a spat of misfortunes that led him to lose his household property after his Chitungwiza house was gutted by fire in 2012.

The house belonged to his parents. The development grievously affected him. Simbarashe made his name in the showbiz through a must-watch television comedy series Bhonzo Nechikwata (Timmy naBhonzo) in 1990s together with equally talented comedian Tapfumaneyi, Heat the Sun television mini-series as well as films such as The Slit (1996), Jit (1993) and Cry Freedom (1987) and Flame (1996) among others.

In 2016, several well-wishers including social media brand ambassador Thomas Chizhanje and politicians including Psychology Maziwisa among others took turns to donate goods to the late Simbarashe.

Mdara Bhonzo’s last production was The Return of Timmy naBonzo drama-comedy released end of 2016. It was a brainchild of Tapfumaneyi.

Some critics blamed Tapfumaneyi for neglecting mdara Bhonzo during his last days.
“I know Zimbabweans they talk too much, the reason why we did that DVD was to ensure that mdara Bonzo gets income. It was my idea and there is no point yatakarasa mdara,” Tapfumaneyi said. Daily News

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