The Sunday Mail
ROY T BENNETT is considered as the gold standard for inspirational speakers and authors, with his book “Light in the Heart” now the stuff of legends.
It’s also the source of over seven thousand quotable quotes currently doing rounds on the internet, gift cards and motivational pamphlets.
Upon the sudden passing of Prosper Mugariwa, a fellow bodybuilding colleague and friend, one particular quote came to mind.
“Live the life of your dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.”
But no words ever uttered have come close to describing this lost general. He was a great athlete who had so much enthusiasm, humility, determination and focus.
Mugariwa was blessed with huge physique and hailed from the Midlands province, which is known for dominating bodybuilding and fitness in Zimbabwe.
Hailing from the same province we have Givemore Marume, Champion Chienderamwano, Isaac Chimuchenga, Victor Hungwe, Simbarashe Fero, Godwin Simbarashe Mhaka, Paul Goredema, Nigel Maphosa, Edward Mutero, Munashe Michael Matandirotya, Upenyu “Big life” Mahlaulo, Last Sithole, Samson Mapuranga and Muchineripi Katena.
Born on the 29th of August 1987 in Chirumanzu, Mugariwa started lifting weights at a very young age.
His brother Enock actually competed earlier, with the closest he came to being champion being a runner-up at the Midlands Grand Prix 2014.
Prosper then followed his brother’s footsteps and was known for his eagerness to learn.
He died on August 3, 2019 and is survived by wife Privilege Mapika and children Milton (9) and Meleen (3).
He was laid to rest on the 5th of August at Amaveni Cemetry in Kwekwe.
I could go on and on about the treasure he was and could possibly take up an entire page, but I would rather share some of the kind words said by those who knew him well.
“Prosper’s death will definitely have a negative impact on the fitness industry. He was working so hard to try and convince businessmen in Kwekwe to partner Ironman and give back to his home province,” said Kenneth Murugweni, the NFZBBF executive president.
“He was always calling us, assuring the executive that one day, Ironman will be hosted in Kwekwe. He wanted Kwekwe business people to appreciate bodybuilding. He was willing to do whatever it takes.
“He was a true ambassador of the sport. We have lost someone who was more than just an athlete. He also viewed career progression as a process.
“I vividly remember when I met him at Bulawayo Rainbow on the eve of Ironman 2017. He expressed his eagerness to learn more,” said Murugweni.
Mugariwa went on to participate in that competition and came fourth behind winner Blessing Saunyama, first runner up Lovemore Munyamana and second runner up Ndumiso Dlodlo.
During the same year, he came second at the Marume Classic.
Last year, he came third at the Zim Nationals.
Isaac Chimuchenga had this to say,”Just two days before his last breath, he called me assuring me that he was going to compete and would continue to seek guidance from other bodybuilding veterans. He believed in learning from others. We have lost a star.”
Said Mark Anthony Vasilatos: “I was looking forward to being on stage with him. It was going to be interesting.”
Tarirai Chirume said Mugariwa’s death is a big loss to the industry, while Charmaine Chitate echoed the same sentiments.
“He was obviously going to do well at the Nationals,” said Lovemore Mupfukwa. Champion Chienderamwano said Mugariwa was a great athlete, adding that he had been helping him with preparations for the competition.
Thabo Ngulube said he still shocked by Mugariwa’s death.
“As Marume Classic family, we are deeply saddened because he was going to bring competition on Saturday,” said Givemore Marume.
More condolence messages are still coming from various stakeholders in the fitness industry.
May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.