Obituary: Muchadeyi A Masunda
I am very sorry to learn about the death of Absolom Sikhosana, who I got to know quite well in my formative years in Bulawayo during the late 1950s right through the 1960s.
Although he was about four or so years older than me, we were contemporaries at Lozikeyi Primary School in Nguboyenja township and Mzilikazi High School in Mzilikazi township.
I used to fondly call him a “true blue Ndebele warrior”. He used to take immense pride in his genealogical background as did most individuals who had the good fortune of bearing a surname like Sikhosana as well as others such as Khumalo, Dlodlo, Ndiweni, Mkhwananzi, Gumede, Dlamini, Mabhena, Masuku, Gwebu, Hlabangana and Mthimkhulu because they were regarded as part of the “Ndebele/Zulu royalty” in Bulawayo.
I have two enduring memories about my deceased schoolmate. First, in 1962, he and I represented Lozikeyi Primary School in an audition that was conducted by the then Federal Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) throughout all the primary schools in Bulawayo to choose the two best readers in isiNdebele/isiZulu.
In the face of fierce competition, I came first and he came second. That earned us a two-year stint from 1962-1964 doing live plays on radio under the auspices of Abancane Qha! and we got paid quite handsomely.
On reflection, it must have been quite intriguing to many Ndebele-speaking people to listen to someone with a name and surname like “Muchadeyi Masunda” speaking their language as flawlessly as I used to when I was 10 years old!
Second, in later life, Saviour Kasukuwere, who served as deputy secretary for youth in Zanu PF under the now late Sikhosana, used to tease his immediate boss mercilessly by saying to him in my presence: “Mayor Masunda, in the whole of Zimbabwe, you are the only person who serves as a point of reference for my boss in terms of people with whom he went to school.”
Sikhosana will probably go down in history as arguably the longest serving and oldest as well as fiercely loyal youth league secretary of any nationalistic party in Africa.
My sincere condolences go to his widow, children and grandchildren.
Lala Ngoxolo Mfowethu!