BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
SOUTH AFRICA-BASED Zimbabwean music promoter and businessman Rodger Muzawazi (pictured) has died.
Muzawazi, who had turned his Ekurhuleni Boksburg Hotel into the preferred rendezvous for Zimbabwean music, died in the early hours of yesterday.
A close friend and arts promoter also based in South Africa, Tongai Mbidzo, told NewsDay Life & Style that Muzawazi fell ill last week and was admitted to a health facility in Boksburg on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Monday.
“He was diabetic and fell ill last week,” Mbidzo said.
“He got hospitalised on Monday and I got news of his passing on this [yesterday] morning from one of his family members.”
Mbidzo described Muzawazi as one of a handful of Zimbabweans based in South Africa who had his country’s music at heart.
“He was a rare breed of a music promoter, who wanted to promote Zimbabwean music in South Africa,” he said.
“He brought big and small artistes at his Ekurhuleni Boksburg Hotel.”
Ekurhuleni Boksburg Hotel, formerly Transvaal Hotel, has in the past hosted top Zimbabwean acts.
Late last year, Muzawazi brought Thomas Mapfumo for two concerts at the hotel.
Zimbabwean musicians described the death of Muzawazi as devastating.
“I am still trying to come to terms with Rodger’s death. It’s a difficult time for the music fraternity, especially some of us who have benefited from his benevolence,” mourned sungura musician Alick Macheso.
“Mr R … Where do I even begin? As I write this, tears are rolling down my face. I loved you very much,” said Selmor Mtukudzi.
“You became a father to us when we needed one the most. Stranded in South Africa, you took us from that day we became your children. I owe my career to you.”