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Alcohol galore at Cal Vin’s funeral

By Langalakhe Mabena

While many were mourning the king of Bulawayo hip-hop, Mgcini “Cal Vin” Nhliziyo, some saw the funeral wake on Saturday as an opportunity to make money.
Following a road show that was held in the high density suburbs in Bulawayo on Saturday afternoon, Cal Vin’s body being paraded for the last time in front of thousands of people, alcohol dealers decided to pounce on the Nhliziyo home in the evening.

This was after noticing the high appetite for alcohol during the parade. A number of dealers were selling alcohol from the boots of their cars outside Cal Vin’s home in Luveve 5.

Brands which were on demand included Gordons Dry Gin, Best Whiskey, spirits like Double Punch, Star Cane and lagers.

Ingwebu Breweries had initially donated a full tank of traditional beer for the mourners to drink for free. However, by around 10pm the tank was empty as some selfish people poured the beer into 20-litre containers and took it to their homes.

“This tank was full and it was reserved for everyone, but as you can see, it’s now empty and the night is still young for us to mourn Mgcini. The people who’re distributing beer are the ones with the problem because they’re allowing people to fill 20-litre containers,” said a mourner who identified himself as Aleck on Saturday night.

This situation is what forced people to fork out money and buy alcohol which was being sold in the cars outside.

“We’re selling different kinds of alcohol, but it seems people prefer Gordons and Best Whiskey. We started selling a bottle of Gordons for US$5 but due to the demand, we’ve raised the price to US$7 and people are still buying,” said Angela Ncube who was among the sellers.

Another seller who decided to open a makeshift shebeen said: “This is what Mgcini loved (alcohol) and people are celebrating his life tonight drinking beer. Brown quarts are selling for US$1,50 while the green bottle (Zambezi) is going for US$2.

“This is a temporary thing because I just came with the initiative to just serve people only this night.”

Yesterday at Cal Vin’s funeral service at the Amphitheatre, it was the same story as alcohol was sold in the arena.

One woman who was selling quarts in a cooler box was shouted at by people after she caused commotion with her business disturbing the speakers. She did not take the backlash lightly and defended herself saying: “Laye uCal Vin ubenjalo (Cal Vin was like that, he loved alcohol).”

Her actions saw Cal Vin’s friend and former advisor, Babongile Sikhonjwa forcing the woman out of the arena.

However, most of Cal Vin’s close friends brought in alcohol and cooler boxes into the venue and were imbibing throughout the service. At first, it seemed queer but in no time, more and more people started passing around the drinks and it became more of a celebration of Cal Vin’s life.

Those who knew Cal Vin knew that he loved alcohol to an extent that his doctor once advised him to take it easy on the drinks.

“I know Cal Vin is so proud of us. This is so him, he’d have joined us (in being merry) if he were here,” said one of his close associates as he shed a tear.

Cal Vin was buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery yesterday afternoon. The Chronicle