UK: Sombre service held for geologist who died suddenly after returning from Zim for wife’s funeral

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By UK Correspondent

LEEDS: “I don’t know how I’m going to cope without her,” Nyasha Chiwanga told a relative shortly after returning to the United Kingdom from Zimbabwe where he gone for the burial of his wife.

As it turned out, the 70-year-old former mining geologist, only managed to carry on for seven days before dying suddenly at the home of a relative in the Knottingley of Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Dozens of friends, family and well-wishers attended a funeral service for Chiwanga who died on the 30th of April, about a week after returning from Zimbabwe on the 21st.

The solemn send-off was held Saturday at at St Agnes Church in the Harehills area of Leeds and organised by the Zimbabwe Leeds Community (ZLC) with the support of Diaspora Insurance company which provides a cash-based funeral insurance scheme to diaspora communities and now has operations not just in the UK but more then African countries.


Chiwanga, who is survived by four sons, will be laid to rest in Harare on the 27th of May.

Meanwhile, choking with emotion, family members and friends related how they had last talked to Nyasha while he was in Africa to organise the repatriation and burial of his wife who had died in Botswana on the 11th of March.

Zimbabwe Leeds Community chairman Chris Goshomi commended the support provided by Diaspora Insurance

“I talked to him when he was in Botswana asking when he would be back in the UK so that I could go and see him to pay my condolences,” said niece Selina Nyakudita.

“He said I will let you know when I get back, and the next thing I heard was that he had passed on.

“As a family we are in great pain, he has left a hole in our hearts that will never heal. Sekuru loved his relatives; he would always phone or send a text message checking on all of us.”

“The last time I visited him, he said there is so many of us here in the UK. I want to organise a day and hire a hall so we can all come and spend some time together.

“And looking back now I’m just left questioning whether this is the gathering he had in mind.”

Long-time friend John Mvududu related how he first met Nyasha when they were in their 20s back in Zimbabwe.

“I knew Nyasha when we were in our 20s and first met him in the Honde Valley area of Manicaland when he was a temporary teacher before he later left for the UK where he studied geology,” said Mvududu.

John Mvududu talks about his friend Nyasha Chivasa

“We would then meet again much later in Shurugwi when he was a mining geologist for ZIMASCO and I was a manager with the same company.

“We would again go our separate ways only to meet again here in the UK when he was in Leeds and I was based in Wakefield.

The last time I talked to him was when he was in Botswana and I wanted to know when he would return so I could visit him to pass my condolences.

“He said bamboo, we always called each other bamboo, I’ll let you know when I get back. And then the next thing I heard was that he had passed on.

“I have lost a great friend and a colleague of my age, a person with whom I could share the same stories and enjoy the same jokes.

“God has made his choice and there is nothing we can do; my deepest sympathies to his family.”

Zimbabwe Leeds Community (ZLC) chairman Chris Goshomi said Chwanga was one of the pioneers of the organisation which brings together members of the diaspora community based in the West Yorkshire area.

He expressed his gratitude to Diaspora Insurance for supporting the service and commended the company’s work with the diaspora communities across the UK.

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