The Sunday Mail
Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa
ON November 15, last life flickered out of my frail mother’s body. She had been in deep pain and suffering in the last four years. Moreso of a body which fought off a severe stroke in 2000. I am the first of her seven children. My brother Forbes Mutsvangwa is late, as of 2021. He was followed by Florence Matsika, a teacher, late Alice, Mationesa, director at ZimStat, Dadirai and Lewis.
She had many grandchildren of which Neville is the eldest.
I owe my mother an invaluable gratitude. She gave me that visionary and sharp intellect of mind, importance of education, intense self-pride and confidence, a sense of total dedication to principle and duty as well as that appreciation of sheer hard work.
She had a deep abiding love of both the nuclear and extended family. She would tour the far-flung relatives in the spread-out wards of Mhondoro and the many suburbs of Harare. All done to check on the well-being of the relations she so much cared for.
This task she shouldered as her siblings passed on. She always took on the role of Shona custom surrogate Mother — Sara pavana — to all the bereaved offspring.
In the colonial era, she did not shy away from walking on foot to discharge this assignment of love and duty. Later on, she would request for and go with my driver. That way she knitted us to strong family bonds and the virtue of mutual care. My mother had the attitude of stoic defiance in adversity and a moral uprightness.
The greatest joy of her life was in 1980, when I came back from the war with my life. She clearly savoured her luck that was missed by many other mothers who lost their loved ones in the lottery of life that was the Chimurenga II national liberation war. Her joy was amplified when I introduced my comrade wife and Neville, her first grandson born in Maputo.
The two women would spend the next 42 years in the closest of bonds that went beyond the filial to the “sisterly”. In her judgement of people, she also searched for beauty of soul and sincerity of heart. No wonder both women had so much mutual empathy.
I feel such a deep sense of loss. No more of her wise counsel and tempering advice. No more wisdom from the cherished fountain of motherly love. I will miss her fierce and dependable protection from outside forces, even when I may have been remiss.
Gone is my earthly guardian angel. Such is the way of life.
May her dear soul rest in eternal peace.