|Tim Chigodo: God takes back his gift|
|Thursday, 17 May 2012 00:00|
preserve for whites using the power of the Press to perpetuate oppressive rule.
But no! Tim Chigodo made his way to Zambia where, in Lusaka in the early 1970s he teamed up at the Times of Zambia with Zimbabwean exiles who had fled the brunt of white racism in their captive country. These included William Saidi, this writer, Albert Mvula alias Farai Munyuki who were joined later by the late Tonic Sakaike (Mbewe) whose Zambian parents lived in this country and who studied at the University College of Rhodesia.
The working environment in Zambia at that time — with the armed freedom struggle heating up in rebel Rhodesia, apartheid South Africa and South West Africa (Namibia) — was inhospitable.
cities instead of going home to liberate their country from white oppressive regimes in order also to protect Zambia’s own independence and security.
Unlike other residents from this country, Chigodo did not pretend he was a Zambian so he could protect his job and family. But even if he had tried to do so, his name, accent and idiosyncrasy might have betrayed his true nationality. Hard work has always endeared Zimbabweans well to foreign nations where they reside and work.
He had an impeachable loyalty to the host country as well as an almost ritualistic celebration of his noble profession with his pen, carved a niche for him in the fraternity of Zambian journalists along with other dedicated foreign workers, as also essential partner in Zambia’s national, developmental initiatives.
More of that stuff given the nod at afternoon editorial conferences sent exhausted editors home and to blissful nights with their spouses, knowing that they had a good product to inform, educate and entertain the readership and in the process rope in the gees (advertisers) to sent publishers smiling all the way to the bank.
He was a man with the proverbial nose for news, which qualified him for coverage of difficult and more prestigious assignments — something that any upcoming journalist dreamt of as a mark of having come of age journalistically. To those not so familiar with him, Chigodo struck you as a mild-mannered soft-spoken writer.
Yet he was no one’s pussy cat.
That, you might call human depravity! Yes but Tim was just as human, like you (yes, you) and me after all.
Herald House became our point of departure in moving away from a white racist-inspired journalism that was at best vindictive of and at worst callous against black new Zimbabwean leaders and some institutions under their control such as the army, the police, not to mention their former liberation parties.
Thus Chigodo and his black journalistic cadre colleagues embarked unstintingly on a journey as proponents of developmental journalism.
upholding “civilised standards” set by white rulers before them.
Maruziva, now one of the gurus of journalism in Zimbabwe, mourned Chigodo’s passing on this week in words of remembrance of the man so succinct they painted on your mind an indelible picture of Chigodo the person, his character and a steward of his profession in this country, and previously, abroad.
“He was a solid and dependable journalist who could be relied upon to get a job done well because of his vast experience.”
What a brave soldier, Tim Chigodo was to those of us who rubbed shoulders and bruises and smiles with him!