Talent Chimutambgi and Lawrence Chitumba
Former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation presenter and yesteryear hitmaker Wellington Jonga, also known as Big Zhanje, was left homeless after his house in Hopley was destroyed by heavy rains that pounded the city recently.Big Zhanje became a household name in the 80s with his hit song “Rudo Ndimandivhaidza” and also ventured into poetry before he hit hard times. When The Herald arrived at the scene household goods were still scattered around the yard, Jonga’s children were clearing rubbles from the destroyed house which was reduced to nothing.
Jonga who was in sorrow, however, dismissed claims that his house was destroyed by the rains alleging a suspected plot against him centred on religious disputes with members from his previous church.
“I got up at around 12 midnight with the intention to pray, that is when I heard a strange sound as if a heavy mechanical device was being used to hit my house. I went outside but to my surprise I did not see anything.
“I am suspecting people from an apostolic sect who came here threatening me with death. They came here last Wednesday threatening me because I left their church to join the Johanne Masowe sect, and they are also threatening to uproot their ‘holy tree’ which they planted at my stand,” he said.
A neighbour, Luke Musoka said Mr Jonga’s house was destroyed easily by the downpour because it was constructed using poor quality bricks.
Big Zhanje began his music career in the late 80s with his first album becoming an instant hit and was frequently played on air. To his credit he composed albums like “Dundwe Remazwi”, “Zondo”, “Vaisekwa Amai”, “Zvinobvirakure” and many more.
Big Zhanje worked as a ZBC Radio Zimbabwe presenter before being suspended in January 2012.
He presented programmes such as “Dzemagitare”, “Dzevechidiki”, “Detembai Tinzwe” and “Dzemutambo” .
He also worked at Zimpapers as a Kwayedza reporter between 1992-1994 and used to post his articles to magazines such as Motto published by Mambo Press and Shopper’s Guide.
He said he resigned from his music career because he was frustrated following his dismissal from ZBC.
“I resigned from music because I was deeply affected by the dismissal. I did not know the reason for my dismissal and that is when I began to lend my instruments,” he said.