Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Gift was simply a gift to the journalism profession… Luke Tamborinyoka in tribute to the late Gift Phiri

By Luke Tamborinyoka

It is with sadness that I learnt of the passing on of one of the finest journalists of our time, Gift Phiri. For me he was a brother, a friend and a colleague, indeed one of the finest scribes of our time.

Gift Phiri in the Daily News newsroom in Harare
Gift Phiri in the Daily News newsroom in Harare

I had the privilege to work with him both at The Daily News and briefly in the then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Communications team at The Prime Minister’s Newsletter, where he carved out a reputation for himself as a wordsmith and one of the gifted pen-warriors of his generation.

Gift just could write, was witty and had a knack for big words and a good turn-of-phrase.

Put simply, Gift had a gift to write.

Journalism is all the more poorer with the loss of such a great man, who never misrepresented anyone and sought to give balance in his stories.

He sought always to exhibit nothing but ethical journalism in his work. When he interviewed me you, he would give you space to and time to fully express yourself.

He made his interviewees to feel at ease and would quickly seek clarification on issues he was unclear about, as any journalist worth his salt would do.

He was passionate about, freedom of the press, democracy and media reform. 

Gift was averse to sunshine journalism and played his own part in the development of brave journalism, particularly in the wake of repressive media laws and a government that is allergic to truth-telling.

Gift spoke truth to power. Indeed, this great scribe of our time will be sorely missed. Gift was simply a gift to the journalism profession. May his dear soul rest in peace.

Go well, pen warrior.

Luke Tamborinyoka, MDC Alliance Deputy National Spokesperson