THE Christian fraternity in Zimbabwe expressed a mixture of feelings — mourning and at the same time celebrating the lives of two personalities whose roots lie in gospel music who passed on last week.
News that Olinda Marowa’s husband Michael Ziwenga had passed on after a short illness on Tuesday came as a shock and before he was buried, the daughter of gospel musician Margaret Gahadzikwa, Faith, passed on the following day.
Michael and Faith were an inspiration to the lives of Marowa and Gahadzikwa and the two female musicians testified that they certainly led a life worth celebrating.
Marowa also confirmed the death of her husband in a touching message on Facebook, saying she will always cherish the sweet moments they had together and was in deep pain.
“…10 years of knowing you was the greatest thing I could ever had! Will always love you my hero, husband, friend, mentor and personal pastor. Rest in peace Michael Mufaro Ziwenga”, the message read.
According to the Ziwenga family spokesperson Pastor Muza, the late Michael’s love affair with Olinda begun in 2008, while he was staying in South Africa.
Veteran music producer Lyton Ngolomi, who is close to the Ziwenga family, said it was a very emotional and saddening moment for Olinda when Michael was buried in Chivhu on Thursday.
“We are in Chivhu for the burial and we are saddened my brother. We are hurt… it was just a short illness… She is in pain, I tell you…” he said.
Pastor Muza said after Michael and Olinda’ wedding, the couple went into ministry work under prophet Eubert Angel before starting their own church, which has assemblies in Harare and Gweru.
“The family is still unsettled, but we pray for God to heal the wound created. As of Pastor Olinda, she is so low given the couple was young,” said Pastor Muza.
Pastor Muza, who is also an artist, expressed his appreciation for the support rendered by local artists Pastors Charles and Olivia Charamba, Bethan Pasinawako, Kudzie Nyakudya, Mathias Mhere, Trymore Bande, Baba Machanic Manyeruke, Tyra Chikocho and many others who “have been with them from day one.”
“We have been robbed of a man who had a heart to promote gospel music. He has been working with us everytime opporturnity called for duty,” he said.
Olinda in this column was full of praise for her husband, saying they founded Grace Life Covenant Ministries together and co-owned several businesses in the entertainment, hospitality and clothing industries.
She also paid tribute to her husband for her remarkable transformation into a successful gospel artist, pastor, wife and businesswoman.
“I’m managing by God’s grace and have a very supportive husband who stands by me all the time,” she said then.
“My husband has been very supportive. He is actually the one managing my music career and he is doing quite a great job.
“We have two children, a boy and a girl. The boy, Michael Junior, is four years old and the girl, Michelle, she is two weeks old.”
Meanwhile, Gahadzikwa told The Standard Style that the arrival of her first daughter in the family, Faith, was her biggest miracle, as they had faithfully-waited for seven years for a child.
“We have two lovely daughters, Faith, who is 12 years old and Fayne, who is five years old,” she told me then.
Mai Gahadzikwa said Faith, who was blind and paralysed on her right side, had not been deterred from praising God and also sang the song Ndagutsikana off her latest album Kastep kuTende.
Kastep kuTende is an eight-track album that mixes sungura gospel and the swift rhythm of the traditional beats such as jiti.
In fulfilling her family’s mission to put their Christian faith into song, Mai Gahadzikwa has produced three albums plus a DVD to date.
Comments from social media by other artists:
“A member of team Maranatha, Pastor Olinda, has lost her husband this afternoon after a short illness.
“Tirangarire mhuri yasara [Let’s not forget the family he has left behind] in prayer; their second child is less than six months old. ”
Marowa and other gospel artists feature on Chivaviro’s latest project Maranatha.
“I love your ministration Pastor Olinda. Indeed, through it all, He remains God. Please find comfort in Him, draw strength to go on from Him.
My deepest condolences. Ndarwadziwa hangu ini, apa nemwana mucheche uyoyu anga achangouya muupenyu hwemhuri iyi. Mwari matonga henyu [I am hurt, especially because of the infant that had just joined the family. But God has ruled]. RIP Myk
It was a great shock to me to hear that Pastor Mike had passed away. I had known him for a while now since they moved to Harare from Gweru and I used to attend some of his services. He was a great prophet and powerful preacher and a teacher at the same time. To me, he was like a father and he gave me a prophecy, which will make me remember him even if he is gone.
Pastor Daisy Mukariri
Murume wa Pastor Olinda ko aita sei? [What happened?] Ndakavanzwa paradio [I had him speak on radio] interview some few weeks ago.
It’s really painful. May his soul rest in eternal peace. May the Holy Spirit comfort Pastor Olinda and the rest of the family.
May his soul rest in peace. May you be comforted by the Holy Ghost Pastor Olinda.