Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Bongo death shakes Bulawayo

By Bongani Ndlovu

The  murder of a cross border transporter (umalayitsha), Bongani “Bongo” Ndlovu (42), during a fight outside a popular nightspot in Bulawayo on Saturday night, has shocked many people who knew him.

Murder suspects Adrian Mguni and Michael Ndebele before their court appearance at the Magistrates Courts in Bulawayo
Murder suspects Adrian Mguni and Micheal Ndebele with their lawyer Tanaka Muganyi (left) leave the set down before their court hearing at the Magistrate Courts in Bulawayo yesterday.

Bongo was beaten, according to witnesses and fell on a door railing outside Zarah Lounge and sustained a deep gash on his head. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the United Bulawayo Hospitals.

Described as a gentleman and a man of the people, Bongo’s life touched not only his family but also people in his neighbourhood of Entumbane where he grew up.

His brother, Hillary Ndlovu-Tshuma said as a family they had lost a man with a charming character and a good heart.

“Bongo was a lovely and joyful person that’s why you find that the whole of Bulawayo is interested in what exactly happened. He was easy to interact with and a people’s person. As a socially responsible person, he set up a football team called Cosmos in Entumbane to give the youth something to do,” said Ndlovu-Tshuma.

He said the family was waiting for relatives outside the country to finalise burial arrangements. Mourners are gathered at 32 Hofmeyer Square in North End.

Ndlovu-Tshuma said Bongo, did his primary education at Manyewu Primary School in Entumbane and went for ‘O’ Level at Entumbane High School.

Bongo, he said, took up cross border transporting when he was 25 years old. Those who were part of the now defunct Cosmos FC are also at a loss of words.

The team gave birth to the careers of players such as former Warriors, Highlanders and FC Platinum striker Charles Sibanda, former Zimbabwe Saints and Dynamos FC midfielder Mtshumayeli Moyo, Bulawayo Chiefs head coach Thulani Sibanda, Fortune Ncube (former Bantu Rovers and Lancashire Steel winger), George Majika (Chicken Inn) and Moses Majika (Bulawayo Chiefs).

Charles Sibanda said if it was not for Bongo, no one would have known him as a football player. “If it wasn’t for Bongo my career would’ve long ended. He took my friends and I off the streets at a time we’d given up on football and lured us to play for his team Cosmos FC in Entumbane,” said Sibanda.

“At Cosmos he used to give us allowances and football boots. He was really supportive. Cosmos was a stepping stone for my career because after that I went on to play for Hwange, Highlanders, FC Platinum and How Mine. I even played for the national team.”

For the youth Bongo was a man who was like a big brother in Entumbane and was well respected. Artiste Mzoe 7 who grew up in Entumbane said the neighbourhood would never be the same again as they lost a hero.

“Bongo was a hero for many people in Entumbane. Old, young, rich or poor, everyone knew Bongo. Boys who would play football, he would buy them the equipment such as boots. Bongo was a people’s person. He would take time to sit with people in Entumbane even at the shops when he was around in Zimbabwe. We knew that we couldn’t get up to mischief, because he was like a big brother to everyone. The neighbourhood will never be the same,” he said.

United Kingdom based artiste Sisa Senkosi Mnkandla posted on Facebook describing Bongo as a person who had a kind heart.The Chronicle