The late Chiedza Brown’s aunt, Tawona Maraire, has spoken of their shock following the death of her niece early this month, saying the family is still in the dark on why she killed herself.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Chiedza, the daughter of late legendary musicians Andy Brown and Chiwoniso Maraire, committed suicide on September 12 in the United States.
Breaking her silence in an exclusive interview with The Standard Style on Friday, Maraire who was staying with the late Chiedza and her elder sister Chengeto in Texas said she was still trying to figure out what happened.
She said she understood that like a teenager she was bound to have her issues but she felt that she had not yet managed to get over losing her mother who passed away two years ago.
“I have been trying to figure that out for the past two weeks. And I don’t have an answer. For the most part, Chiedza has always been a quiet, fun loving, intelligent young lady. She had a smile that would light up any room and she was always smiling,” she said.
“All teenagers have issues and she was no exception to that rule but not enough to make anyone think that she was in so much pain. She lost her mother and I do not think that she ever got over the pain of losing her.”
Tawona said although Chiedza would sleep with her mbira most of the time, lately she had been concentrating on her art work and said she was an excellent artist with amazing drawings and sculptures.
She said the 10th grade student was surrounded by love at school and in the community of Providence, Texas where she lived.
“With teenagers sometimes it’s difficult to know what is going on between their friendships. It’s so complicated. Yes, she had friends. She was surrounded by love at school and in the community,” said Tawona.
“We live in a small upper-middle class town called Providence Village in Texas. She was well-liked within the community, which is why this was such a shock to our community as a whole. Chi [as she was known here] was loved. She uplifted any situation. This situation is heart-breaking.”
Tawona said plans to cremate her body were made from the time of her death by her elder sister Chengeto and she got the support from the Maraires.
She said even the family members involved in the fundraising last week at Alliance Francaise were aware that Chiedza would be cremated from the onset.
“From the time of her death the immediate family had agreed that Chiedza was going to be cremated. This was decided by Chengeto and my brothers,” she said.
“We truly appreciate how people came together to raise money for our beloved child to come home. However, the family members involved in the fundraising event in Zimbabwe were aware from the beginning that Chiedza was to be cremated and that the cremation and services here in Texas had already been funded.”
Tawona said her family including her children, were all gutted by Chiedza’s death, more so that suicide is difficult to understand.
“There are so many unanswered questions. Chiedza had people that loved her dearly in Zimbabwe. She also had a family that loved her more than life itself. This was the second time she had lived with us in the US, so when my sister [Chiwoniso] passed on, she made a decision to come and stay here,” said Tawona.
“As a mother, I am completely broken. I know that in situations like this people have to place blame, because we do not understand how and why. I also do not understand how and why. Chengeto is completely broken. Her cousins that she lived with are in unbearable pain.
“Chiedza was that light for all of us. She will be remembered for the peace she brought to every situation. We will never know why this happened but she would have never wanted people to lose love, friendship and family over this tragic, tragic incident. That’s not what she was about. She was about love. So I pray that everyone respects that and thinks about that when they are dealing with this situation and to always smile like Chi.”