Windhoek – Zimbabwean liberation war veteran and entrepreneur Mike Nesongano, who died here on 8 June, will be buried at his home village in Mafukidze, Gutu in Masvingo Province, on Sunday 19, his widow Christine Nesongano has said.
A veteran of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, Nesongano died at the age of 62. His hero status was not clear at the time of writing, but his body was expected to be taken to Zimbabwe on Friday.
In an interview with The Southern Times ahead of his memorial service on Thursday, Christine described her husband as a hero, educator, entrepreneur and a life partner. She said it was her late husband’s wish to be buried at his rural home.
“Where he is going to be buried is supposed to be our retirement home that we started building in 2015. By the way, we had two alternatives, one was to be buried in Harare but because of philosophy that unless we go down to our own community and change them, those communities will remain the same. So we decided to go and build our home at our village he comes from,” she said.
“One lesson we learnt when providing training to individuals and institutions is that we can facilitate things to people but we cannot translate it into our own life. So we managed to come up with our own mission, vision, and core values that would guide us through our lives,” she said.
She said Nesongano set a good foundation and it was now up to their children to continue to build it because his wish was that they must continue developing it so that one day it would become “a rest camp and then a lodge”.
“But now God has judged. He is the one with the master plan of our lives. Of course, we all dream of retiring together, but now God taken him and I believe he has taken him for a good reason. One thing that I wish to promise the world is that his legacy will remain,” she said, holding back tears.
“Anything which he started or we started together, we will carry it to another level. If not me then the kids will do so because he invested in them and has been involving them in all the family plans.”
She dedicated a hymn titled “God be with you till we meet again” as well as a song by Oliver Mtukudzi, “Ndakarongadondo”. Nesongano was a musician as well as a music promoter.
Christine said she would remember her husband in to ways, as a professional partner and as a husband.
“We use to train and facilitate together. Some people used to say we looked alike because we used to do things together always. People always asked us how we managed because it’s always rare to find husband and wife doing business together without fight,” she said.
“For us, it was different because we recognised our strengths and weaknesses and when we facilitated and training, it would be based on the two strengths.
“As a husband, I will remember him for the moments when we planned together. There are moments when we defined our own vision as a family, and he was a life partner. Of course, there is no perfect marriage but for ours, with time, we manage to shape it to the point that I feel like I have lost a brother, a very close friend.”
She said Mike was very passionate about music.
“He had a good voice and he could dance. I think dancing was just in his family genes because his grandmother was a good dancer as well. On his free time, he would play his guitar or compose songs. His guitar is still lying in our bedroom. When I look at it, it really reminds me of him,” she said.
“His greatest passion in life, however, has always been music. He was a keen musician in his own right, but perhaps what was more noticeable is the role he played as a talent scout and manager. I think he summed up his passions very well when he said, ‘as Papa Mike, I want to contribute to Pan-Africanism through music, so that we liberate ourselves from mental colonisation and genuinely develop Africa for the benefit of its own people’.”
Christine also described her late husband as a good communicator who had a large network and liked things to be in order.