Gerald Mantseye Ncube, a music promoter and one of the founding members of Radio Bukalanga who succumbed to Covid-19 in South Africa last week was laid to rest on Saturday morning.
Gerry as Ncube was affectionately known in the arts industry, was buried at his rural home at Gwambe village, Bulilima district, Matabeleland South province.
A sombre atmosphere engulfed Gwambe village on Friday evening as the body arrived.
Gerry facilitated development projects in his home area that included building Gwambe Clinic which is almost complete and his death therefore devastated the community.
There was a limited number of mourners in line with the enhanced Level 4 lockdown regulations.
The late Gerry’s coffin which spent the night in the hearse’s trailer was only removed the next day when it was lowered to his final resting place.
Pallbearers lay to rest Gerry at his final resting place a his homestead, Gwambe village, Bulilima district
One of the speakers at the funeral, musician Cde Dingumuzi Phuti who spoke on behalf of friends and artistes said the country and regional music industry had been dealt a huge blow following Gerry’s death.
“This man was worth a send-off of a general. Whenever I travelled to South Africa, I’d stay with him at Yeoville and we’d tour places like Soweto where he promoted lots of artistes.
“We’ve lost an arts lover who started Radio BuKalanga with Difa Wajapi using the internet with their end goal being to uplift the Kalanga community locally and abroad,” said DJ Phuti who is also Bulilima West legislator and Deputy Minister of Information Communication Technologies, Postal and Courier Services.
He said it was heart-breaking that one of the brains behind Radio BuKalanga, a station that is on the verge of being licensed under the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz), will not witness the coming to fruition of the project.
“I’m always in touch with Baz and I’m happy to say that the project which he wished to be a success is in the process of getting a licence to operate.”
DJ Phuthi said he was grateful to Gerry who financed the printing of his posters when he was campaigning to be an MP.
Speaking from the UK, Difa Wajapi said he was pained by the death of his partner and was sad that he could not give him a befitting send off. He also thanked all those who attended the funeral.
“I’m heartbroken as I didn’t attend my friend, brother and colleague’s funeral due to the Covid-19 restrictions. I’m thankful to each and every one who paid their last respects to a luminary in the Bulilima community,” said Difa Wajapi.
Gerry’s love for the arts sector saw him establish LMG Entertainment company whose main thrust was to promote up-and-coming artistes.
A number of musicians including Ndux Junior, Mba Tapela, Zhwane Diamond, Mokis Connection, Gwambe Stars and South Africa’s Freddy Gwala benefitted immensely from his music promotion.
A selfless person, Gerry spent most of his resources helping artistes for free due to his passion for promoting Kalanga [email protected]_mthire