THE death of popular events consultant and emcee, Emmanuel Manyika, famed for mimicking former President Robert Mugabe, has plunged the nation into mourning.
BY ANESU MUSHAWATU/
Manyika, who was affectionately known as The Only ISO Certified MC, died yesterday morning at the age of 59 on his way to West End Hospital in Harare after a short illness.
He is survived by wife Christina and four children. Mourners are gathered at Number 1390 Munhondo Close in Houghton Park, Harare.
Family spokesperson Pastor Agri described his younger brother’s death as a “short notice”.
“Emmanuel was a master of ceremony at an event in Victoria Falls and he came back yesterday (Wednesday) and at midnight, he felt unwell.
He was having difficulties in breathing, so we took him to a 24-hour facility in Waterfalls, where they took blood tests and put him on a drip and they later claimed he was fine.
At around 4am, they said he should go to West End for an X-ray and, unfortunately, he died along the way,” he said.
“For now, we are awaiting a post-mortem to determine the cause of the death since it is the procedure if someone dies outside the hospital and after the post-mortem, we will know the arrangements later.”
Agri said his brother was likely to be buried in Harare.
Yesterday, social media was awash with condolence messages from fellow emcees and people across the divide, for his role in bringing reverence to the popular director of ceremonies.
A consultant and events planner at Tangerine Company, Zillah Chilowa, who claimed to have worked with Manyika for about 15 years, described him as a giant and amazing director of ceremonies.
“He always used to joke and say he was the only ISO Certified Master of Ceremony in the world and many young and upcoming masters of ceremonies learnt a lot from him. We want his memory to be kept alive,” she said.
“We actually wanted to hire him for an event this weekend and this is a huge loss for us in the industry.”
Television personality and popular emcee Maimba Mapuranga descried Manyika as his mentor, whom he said laid the foundation and paved the way for the current crop of emcees.
“I always wanted to be like him. Through Manyika, I learnt that in order to make it, each man has to be his own and acknowledge that there are generals above them,” he said.
“He (Manyika) was one of my generals. I called him the godfather of professional emceeing, the epitome of grandeur in emceeing. A paragon of all events.
The only ISO Certified MC in Zimbabwe! Unmatched, unequalled, the general of our time.”
Arts promoter Benjamin Nyandoro said the industry had lost a talented master of ceremony, who had changed the directing of ceremonies with his skills.
“There are times you fear that the emcee may be out of sync with the event of the day.
That was never with Emmanuel.
It confirms why he took pole position when it came to high-profile events.
It is a sad loss for Zimbabwe. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.