BY KIMBERLY KARIATI
THE late jazz legend Friday Mbirimi (78), who succumbed to colon cancer complications on Tuesday last week, was laid to rest yesterday at Warren Hills cemetery in Warren Park, Harare.
The burial took place in adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and was more like a celebration of his life as people sang and danced to the melodious music played by Masimba Edenga Methodist group.
Only the deceased’s family, close friends and few artistes, among them Bob Nyabinde, Machanic Manyeruke, Hope Masike and National Arts Council of Zimbabwe representatives, attended the burial.
In his graveyard eulogy, Mbirimi’s first-born Nigel described his late father as a humorous person.
“I am not going to pretend to be sad. My father was a musician and street father who was always happy. People were elated with him. I am proud to be part of the Mbirimi family. God’s time is God’s time. He lived his life,” he said.
His brother Clancy described the legendary singer as a humorous and principled man.
“We were talking of doing a song together, but because we were both not in good health, we had to put it on hold. He enormously impacted my life with this jazzy influence from when I was a kid,” he said.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation permanent secretary Thokozile Chitepo said Mbirimi should be remembered for the great impact he made through his talent and being proud of his roots.
“We are here to celebrate the beauty he bought with his talent. He never lost or left where he comes from. His identity was linked to where he comes from, Mbare is the bedrock of culture. He left cultural resources, the things that we are going to pick up on. He was critical in shaping our cultural identity in Zimbabwe,” she said.
The jazz legend is survived by five children, Nigel, Tawanda, Tendai, Fikile and Walter.
- Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari