Zim’s Papa Mike dies in Namibia

Sharon Kavhu

Zimbabwe entrepreneur Mike Nesongano has died in Windhoek, Namibia.

He was 62.

A family spokesperson confirmed the death in a statement yesterday.

Nesongano was born in Rusape, Makoni District, Zimbabwe on May 14, 1955 and he passed on June 8, 2017.

He held a masters degree in Industrial Economics from the University of Babes-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca in Romania. Prior to studying in Romania, he participated in the Zimbabwean liberation struggle.

He was a war veteran and a Zanu-PF cadre. To demonstrate his commitment to the liberation struggle he was instrumental in organising Zimbabwean independence celebrations in Namibia.

After his studies, he returned home in 1983 where he first worked for the Ministry of Industry and Technology from 1984 to 1985 and was later appointed secretary/administrator for Zimbabwe-Mozambique Friendship Association (Zimofa).

Between 1986 and 1993, he worked for the International Labour Organisation in Harare Zimbabwe.

He organised and conducted courses on ILO on how to improve business for trainers for governments, banks, chambers of commerce and industry from Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe before finally settling in Namibia in 1993.

Throughout his early years in Namibia, Nesongano worked for the Northern Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry as the SME advisor. It was also during this period that he wrote the book titled “Managing Your Business Better” and was instrumental in designing and implementing the first ever Northern Namibia Trade Fair, which is now the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF).

He will be remembered for the slogan “Let’s Go North”.

He later moved to Windhoek, where he worked as a development consultant for government institutions such as former Ministry of Trade and Industry; Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry as well as National Planning Commission to mention but a few.

His work also extended to various non-governmental organisations such as SADC Women in Business Network, PACT Namibia, Hawkers Association of Namibia, Kavango Small Business Association, Namibia National Association of Women in Business (NNAWIB), Namibia Music Industry Union and ALAN (Association of Local Authorities in Namibia.

“His last years of work 2011-2017 will be remembered by Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) where he developed materials and facilitated training for middle and senior managers on project management, transformational leadership and team building. He touched hearts and souls of many,” said the statement issued by the family spokesperson.

It said during his spare time, he wrote weekly newspaper articles on entrepreneurship for two years for New Era and Namibia Today

Apart from being a development consultant, he was a motivational speaker on Pan-Africanism, a role for which he made several appearances on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation television (NBC-TV) talk show, “New Season”.

The spokesperson said Nesongano’s greatest passion in life was music.

“He was a keen musician in his own right, but perhaps what was more noticeable was the role he played as a talent scout and manager.”

He was famous for his video, ‘Nesongano’ from his second album which is a combination of Congolese, Zambian, Namibian and Zimbabwean music.

He had two albums: ‘Batanayi One Zimbabwe, One Nation’ and ‘Nesongano’.

He is survived by his wife Christine Nesongano, five children and four grandchildren.

June 2017
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