A dark cloud hangs over the music fraternity while knells sound in every Zimbabwean’s ears as people come to terms with the death of Tongai Moyo on Saturday evening.
It was during a time when everyone — friend or foe — attested they were praying for Dhewa to recover, but God had it otherwise.
Dhewa succumbed to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the blood he had been battling since 2008.
In recent months the media has been awash with varied reports of his illness as the nation waited patiently for positive news which was never to be.
Speaking in an interview with NewsDay, family spokesperson Knowledge Chosa said Dhewa died at 1830hrs at St Anne’s Hospital in Harare.
He said the doctor’s report stated the sungura maestro’s condition had worsened with the cancer having spread to various organs of the body making it difficult to administer medication.
Rituxmab, the new drug that was administered, had in some instances to be delayed as his body was too weak to withstand the medication.
His immune system had also been weakened by the chemotherapy sessions that he had to take week in week out.
Speaking in a separate interview, music promoter Patson Chimbodza, aka Chipaz, expressed grief over Dhewa’s death.
He said the music fraternity had lost a true hero of the industry.
“We have lost a true hero of the local music industry. For me it is even worse as he is someone that I had worked with in all the years that I have been involved in music promotions.
The pain is just too intense,” said Chipaz.
Speaking at the same occasion, Suluman Chimbetu said Zimbabwean music had been forced into a corner.
“Our industry is just never going to be the same. It is God’s plan though; but we had hope that he was going to come out victorious. It is just so painful,” said Sulu.
Another close friend, First Farai, said he drew strength from Dhewa.
“He was my pillar of strength. I do not know what will become of the situation. I am all alone now,” said Farai.
Another music promoter, Joseph Munyebvu, who announced his arrival on the scene with Dhewa’s comeback show earlier this year, said he had lost a close friend.
“Although, I might be new to music promotions I am one person who has been following his music for so long and it hurts me a lot that now my icon is gone,” he said.
Biggie Chinoperekwei of City Sports Bar said it was disappointing that Dhewa had failed to make it.
“After all the efforts we all expected positive results. It is disappointing that he has succumbed to the condition. Death is not anything that we would get used to so you can imagine what the nation is going through,” he said Dhewa was born on March 12, 1968 as the last born in a family of three in Kwekwe.
His elder brother Vanhuvaone is now late and only his sister Baisai is surviving.
His body was expected to be taken to Kwekwe yesterday afternoon where it would stay in a mortuary before being taken to Zhombe, his rural home, later today.
He is expected to be buried tomorrow.
Meanwhile, various interactive social platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been inundated with condolence messages from people from varied distant places in the Diaspora.