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A tale of two funerals

The angel of death has once again struck — it has paid the nation the all but unfamiliar visit.

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

It is not the visit that surprises many, but it is how it stole from the roll-call of the famous in a space of 24 hours that has sent shivers.

Death, in its design, is an unmissable appointment, it steals when we least expect. But in its design, it levels and equalises all — the rich, famous and otherwise.

In short, all shall be confined to the thin walls of a six-feet-deep grave, but for now why the two?

Last Sunday morning tragedy struck along Borrowdale Road, in a split second, socialite and flamboyant businessman Genius Kadungure passed on in a road accident that claimed the lives of three other “socialites”.

While the nation was still in shock over the demise of Ginimbi, 24 hours later, another popular soul left.

After “surviving” several death hoaxes on social media, famed actor and comedian Lazarus “Gringo” Boora breathed his last at Westview Clinic in Ruwa, succumbing to stomach cancer.

In death the rich and famous met a “beggar” seated on a beach of gold.

Ginimbi, true to his lifestyle, died in the same fashion from the opulence of a luxury Rolls Royce; Gringo, on the other side, died in the care of “Good Samaritans”, all but confirming the stark differences in our showbiz industry.

Even in death and mourning, Ginimbi will enjoy the luxuries while Gringo will, just like he lived, be of fame divorced from fortune.

While many scrambled to meet Ginimbi’s funeral expenses, the Boora family had to extend a begging bowl.

Gringo’s death, unfortunately, has been overshadowed by that of Ginimbi.

With Gringo’s remains interred at his rural home in Rukweza, Manicaland province, on Thursday, it was another story in Domboshava, as the “farewell party” for Ginimbi started.

Ginimbi’s coffin was imported from abroad, mourners travelled from abroad and his was not a funeral, but a send-off of a man who lived in opulence and in the fast lane. The 36-year-old died being surrounded by influential people.

At Zimre Park in Ruwa, Gringo’s funeral was an eye-opener to many.

This was neatly put across by the Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association interim president Johannes Marisa who, in a no-holds barred speech at the funeral wake of the late Gringo, blasted the arts industry for disunity.

“The arts industry has a weakness, it is a profession that has no unity at all. A profession that thinks then I am alright today, and I will not have problems tomorrow. “Let me warn you that medical calamities can befall you anytime,” fumed Marisa.

“You can be involved in an accident today and go, you can have Covid-19 today and depart from us, you can also even have tuberculosis, asthma or stroke and leave us.

“So, why is it that when you want assistance, when we want you to fundraise for your fellow artistes, you are nowhere to be found? You must be united.”

In Domboshava it was a different case. Ginimbi’s colleagues jostled to sponsor all the needs among them food and the Versace coffin that was imported from neighbouring South Africa. The funeral was never short of drama as leading funeral service companies even fought over his corpse.

Drama was also the order of the day in Rukweza as the late Gringo’s relatives fought against an Apostolic sect that claimed the actor belonged to them, hence they would lead the funeral.

As he lay dying, Gringo was converted into the Christian faith and carried a new identity — Madzibaba Gadrose. The Apostolic sect led the funeral and reports from Rukweza indicated that the comedian was buried without a coffin as per the church’s beliefs.

Kadungure left a fleet of luxurious cars worth millions of dollars, a mansion and expensive clothes, while Gringo left a legacy in the arts sector, a wife and seven children.

After all has been said and done, death has a way of humbling us, both the rich and the famous, the powerful and the down-trodden. It is now history. The question is always there — Who is next?

Ginimbi was buried yesterday.

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