When Neria arrives at her late husband’s house and tries to unlock the main door, she breaks down after realising her in-laws have changed the keys.
BY GODWIN MUZARI
Clad in her black mourning dress, Neria hopelessly falls down and weeps deeply.
This scene from the film Neria should be vivid in memories of film lovers that watched the touching yesteryear production.
As the scene unfolds, Oliver Mtukudzi’s soundtrack to the film (Mtukudzi was one of the actors) titled Neria plays in the background: “Usaore mwoyo Neria Mwari anewe” [don’t lose heart Neria, God is on your side].
Although she was just doing it for the camera, Jesesi Mungoshi, who played Neria in the film, admits the role was an eye-opener and made her a strong woman in the face of challenges.
Since that production, she has kept the lyrics of Mtukudzi’s soundtrack close to her heart and always knows that God is on her side in real-life.
When her husband and renowned author Charles Mungoshi fell into a coma in 2010, Jesesi saw the hand of God guiding her through the difficult time until he recovered. Now, the family is celebrating the publication of Charles’s latest novel titled Branching Streams Flow in the Dark.
Jesesi says the novel, which Charles started writing in the mid-80s, is a “God-ordained” publication.
“The day before he fell sick my husband told us that God had showed him that he would not die in less than 20 years,” she recalled.
“He was standing at our main door [like Neria in the afore-mentioned film] and he just told us that God had given him 20 more years of life. He is a person who can just say strange statements from nowhere and we understand him.
“We took it as one of his numerous strange statements, but I read its meaning when he fell into a coma the following day.
“We had gone to an all-night prayer with my children when he fell ill. We came back from church and did our daily chores as usual assuming the father of the house was just asleep.”
Jesesi said she only realised that something was wrong when she tried to wake her husband up.
“There he was, just quiet and unmoving. I tried my best to wake him up but I could not. I was not frightened because I knew God was on my side.
“Instead of rushing to seek medical attention, we closed all doors and windows and prayed for about two hours. We knew the solution to our problems would come from God. After prayer, we took him to hospital. It was a trying time but I kept my faith in God.”
Charles recovered after a few months but his current condition has made it difficult for him to resume writing.
However, among the many unpublished books that he has begun writing and some he has completed, the award-winning author told his family to work on the new novel Branching Streams Flow in the Dark.
“There are many other books he was working on, but he told us one day ‘you can now publish that book’ referring to Branching Streams Flow in the Dark.
“He would regularly ask about our progress but we had a tough time because some of the pages were missing. My son Farai had to look for the missing pages and it took us time to put everything together. We only realised that he had already come up with a first edited version after some time and that is how we came up with the new book.”
Jesesi said Charles smiled when he saw the new book and took it to the nearest school to sell with some previous novels. Unfortunately, he could not sell the new book that day but instead sold one copy of Walking Still. He asked his wife to buy him cheese from some of the Walking Still money. Mungoshi is now a happy man as he browses through Branching Streams Flow in the Dark.