Two Zim deaths that shook the continent in 2019

THE year 2019 saw Zimbabwe lose two of its national icons, one each from the Political and entertainment front.

These fallen giants are Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi and the late former President Robert Mugabe.

Both men left indelible marks in the country’s history, and their names remain ‘engraved’ in the hall of fame.

Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924 in what was then Rhodesia, a British colony run by the white minority.

He ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, dying September 6, 2019.

During Mugabe’s time in power, international perception about Zimbabwe was at it’s lowest, with Mugabe generally regarded as one of the worst ever dictators the world has hosted – all-powerful, ruling by threats.

Quite a number of critics labelled him as cold-blooded dictator.

He died away from home – bitter, lonely, and humiliated, with the shabbiest of endings.

Mugabe embodied Africa’s struggle against colonialism in all its fury and failings.

He was a courageous politician, imprisoned for daring to defy white-minority rule.

The country he finally led to independence was one of the continent’s most promising and for years, Zimbabwe more or less flourished.

But when the economy faltered, Mugabe lost his nerve. He implemented a catastrophic land reform programme.

Zimbabwe then quickly slid into hyperinflation, isolation, and political chaos.

But in 2017, amid concerns that he was grooming his wife, Grace, as his successor the army – his long-time ally – turned against him, forcing him to step down.

Tuku died Wednesday (January 23) at the Avenues Clinic in Harare.

An international star with a wide fan base across the continent, the Todii hit-maker was mourned at home in Zimbabwe and abroad. around.

After a career that spanned four decades and yielded hits like Huroi, the guitarist and singer was Zimbabwe’s most successful musical export.

Despite global fame and the trouble in his country of birth, Tuku remained in Zimbabwe until he died.

He was also planning to release his 67th studio album this year but unfortunately, he fails to fulfil his wish.