LAST week I attended the burial of Professor Sam Moyo, the director of the African Institute of Agrarian Studies.
I knew him personally, through his mother Mavis Moyo, probably the first black woman broadcaster to beam her voice at ZBC Mbare Studios over five decades ago.
Affectionately referred to as Gogo Moyo, now aged 86, she raised seven children included one girl Lindiwe, who is now based in England.
Gogo Moyo is very close to her children and was very proud of her most successful son, Sam, but when he embarked on his trip to India, she said she felt something strange.
“I asked myself whether he was coming back. He had always spent his entire life flying around the world, but I had this strange feeling that he would not return. I also heard a voice ask me what would happen if one of my sons was to die and I calmly responded to the voice that I would give that son to God . . .”
Professor Moyo died on a Friday, two days after his mother had experienced this encounter which I would want to describe as the Holy Spirit that was telling her to prepare for death in the family.
When I heard about his death via a Whatsapp group network, I immediately went to Gogo Moyo’s home in Avonlea, but she had already gone to the late Prof Moyo’s home along Domboshawa Road. I then drove there with a friend and Prof Moyo’s brother Phahla.
We were directed to the bedroom where Gogo Moyo lay on the bed and she immediately raised her head and smiled at me. She was very calm and collected as she greeted me and other people that had also walked in there.
She did not look shaken and all she said was: “My learned son Sam is gone.”
The reason why I have written about this is because I too had a similar encounter three years ago.
In May 2012, I was driving to my younger brother’s house in New Forest Estate and when I was approaching the gate to his house, I heard a voice telling me that I should pray for my brother.
I actually looked around to see if there was anyone who could have said that, but I was alone and the road was deserted.
That voice was so loud and clear, but I just wondered which brother I should pray for because I had three brothers, two who live in England.
I told my niece about this and decided that we would pray for her father, who was apparently in the best of health.
A few days later, I drove again to his house and the same voice repeated the same message as I was driving towards the gate.
I literally panicked.
This is no joke, I told myself. I again told my niece that we pray and fast for her father for two days, but in the meantime I became hysterical as I kept calling my three brothers just to find out if they were fine.
Yes, they were all fine.
Then I made yet another visit to his house again within the same week when the voice came out much stronger and louder and it said: “Your brother will not live in that house.”
My brother was building a massive house and it had reached window level. He had wanted it completed by August 2012 before his second-born daughter, who did not like the cottage they were living in, had graduated from KwaZulu-Natal University in South Africa.
Construction of the house was done in such a speedy manner that even baffled his wife. They had been living comfortably in the neat three-bedroomed cottage which my brother always used to say was comfortable and that he would not build a planned huge four-bedroomed house.
Because of my job, I am used to trying to analyse rationally what goes on in people’s minds. However, this experience challenged my view of how the mind works and its capabilities . . . or was it God talking?
Three days after I had left my brother’s house on a Sunday, he called me on a Tuesday and told me that he had been admitted to West End Hospital with a severe headache. I went to see him straight away. He could hardly open his eyes.
Scans of his head were taken and the results showed that he had a growth in the head called “brain aneurysm”.
He died after three weeks on June 9, 2012 after he had been operated on in the head and never woke up from his coma.
I only remembered about these voices about six months later and I wondered what I should have done to avert this disaster.
I am sure there are people out there that have gone through such experiences.
My late brother and I were the best of friends and when the rest of the family decided to go to the Diaspora, we decided to stay in Zimbabwe.
We had a strong bond from childhood . . . and that voice actually alerted me that he would die, but I somehow “disputed the message” because he was as fit as a fiddle, just like Professor Moyo, who died suddenly in an accident.
I would be grateful indeed to hear from readers who have run into this because this was a real and live testimony of a warning or alert of an impending death.
In his tribute to Professor Moyo, Alex Magaisa, an academic, described Prof Moyo as “a person who carried a wealthy CV – it seemed like he had seen and done it all. But this learned man was not just defined by his academic prowess. He had a remarkable personality, a charming character. He was an amiable man who made everyone feel at home in his company.”
Indeed he was. I danced with him Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba at Gogo Moyo’s 80th birthday bash where he had invited close family and friends.
My deepest sympathy goes to Beatrice Mtetwa, the human rights defender and lawyer, who had brought so much joy to this illustrious son of the soil.
Rest in peace brother Sam, Tarai Victor and all those that died under similar circumstances.
Let’s learn to listen to what the inner voice tells us, and the loud voices that come crushing into our ears. Or even dreams and visions that warn us what will happen.
Believe me they are real.