Spare a thought for Nesto

By Robert Mukondiwa

It is a bit of a crisis, our society. One which has expert hunters who are on what seems an eternal search for blood on the floor, walls, the nooks and crevices. Because that is what we are; sadly a society that celebrates blood and seldom looks to the good if ever at all.

Ernesto “Nesto” Manandi and Tererai Mugwadi
Ernesto “Nesto” Manandi and Tererai Mugwadi

Which is perhaps why a picture of affable musician Ernesto “Nesto” Manandi alongside his soul mate, which he posted on social media hardly turned any heads and did not get half as much attention, likes or generate as much talk as one Mai Titi, (who obviously needs help and cerebral attention by the way) got when she went off on an awkward tangent.

Neither did Nesto’s picture get the same attention as some so-called Friday wedding between the talented Tytan and the other lady who rants and raves eternally, weeping while she is at it, on social media whatever her name!

And so it was left to a few close friends and the handful of sane followers on social media to wish Nesto and his partner all the best in the treacherous and trying labyrinth that love life can be. They indeed needed the love and attention.

The sum of all statements was said, or rather written, by arguably the best arts writer with the greatest nose for news that our generation has uncovered, Nigel Pfunde, who is on hiatus from active media. Perhaps will remain so until his worth is appreciated and a good enough team with Galacticos can begin to understand what he is really all about and bring him back to the troops. “Loyal to the game,” was all he said. It was a pregnant statement.

But there are many people on social media. It has become a minefield of skits, sassy and sexy comments, fast paced analysis and rib crackers and indeed many pictures of celebrity couples are being thrown around.

Why should Nesto and his belle be celebrated? What is so special about them and their four pictures pasted on a wall with no glue in which they are pledging their love and affection for each other; or rather in which Nesto specifically is doing so?

Well the short answer is that Nesto’s other half and soul mate is Tererai Mugwadi.

Rewind a few months ago and you will get the full and big picture.

Tererai, who seems to be the Calamity Jane of the arts industry, had landed on social media complete with a sexed tape which she recorded with another gringo who happens not to be Nesto in what was obviously both their hour of infantile thinking to put it absolutely lightly.

We argued that what two consenting adults did in the privacy of their own bedrooms was hardly any of our business. In a nation where even the State often wants a front row seat to private intimate spaces, that is a difficult ethos or principle to follow.

Fortunately that all seems to be changing as people worry more about what is in their fridge than what couple A and B are doing behind closed doors.

But that was exactly the problem in Tererai’s instance; the private incident had been leaked into the public domain.

And while many were on ‘celebrating’ the sex tape and feeding the grapevine thanks to a new discussion point, there are always the people behind the scenes who suffer silently in their own spaces.

Add to the pain of the video not being top of the shelf performance while we are at it. The performance was way below par. Not to mention the grainy cinematography that made the video look like it had been shot using a toaster! We are not a perfect people.

We are just a judgmental conglomeration of human beings that think we are perfect and all too ready to make fun of one’s low points. But the most valiant in society is one that many converge around, kick badly while they lie wounded on the ground, yet after that they stand up and soar even higher.

Yet there are others who suffer. The men, women, brothers sisters and friends, however few remaining, that know these characters who are in the eye of the storm suffer badly. The spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend has it even harder.

In this case it was Nesto. That the man in the video was someone he knew and worked with in the industry was salted peroxide onto the open wound.

This story could have ended badly. Very badly.

Matters of the heart are difficult to understand. Some cannot stand the idea of being cheated upon. But to then have a video of an unprotected sexual romp between your partner and another person you know make the rounds on social media; that can kill you.

Guns, knives, spears. They kill the flesh. Betrayal-recorded-kills the spirit. And that is a death worse than flesh.

Nesto could have killed someone. We could have been having a story of domestic violence where an enraged wronged jealous partner turns killer. Where he does not listen to the voice of reason and decides to take matters into his own hands. History in our nation is littered with such tragedies.

At the very least he could have left her.

He went a unique and blessed step further and chose to forgive and announce to the world that both his and Tererai’s heart were not only still beating but beating for each other. Only very, very big men have that gift. But word has it Nesto can be hurt, but he always is the better man. To both family and those he knows and loves. Right down even to those outside his circle.

He didn’t gift us with an Oscar Pistorius Reeva Steenkamp tragedy but has displayed a strength of spirit and soul that many can never fathom exhibiting. We write in the media about bad news. “If it bleeds it leads,” we say.

“Dog bites man is no story but we seek man bites dog,” we say. This is not a sad bloody ending, but perhaps it is time as society and media, we also look at this beautiful stories of forgiveness that breed modern day saints and learn a thing or two from them about the difficult art of being a kind, warm, grounded and forgiving human being.

Out of sadness and anguish, a sweet story can be drawn. One with a happy ending. The Herald