A tale of two Marabhas and the nine lives of a cat Charles “Marabha” Merisi

Remember Deketeke Arts reporter

One Marabha dies in Chegutu and fans quickly conclude that it is the popular actor in Epworth, who uses the same moniker.

For Marabha, the popular drama king, this is the umpteenth time he has been “declared” dead.

Was it not the legendary playwright William Shakespeare who said “Cowards die many times before their actual death”?

And, surely Marabha is no coward, but the valiant who has tasted death, more than once!

On four occasions the talented Zimbabwean artiste has been said to be dead.

Of course, each time it turned out to be false.

Suffice it to say, the artiste, whose real name is Charles Milisi, has been ill for some time.

Last week Tuesday, a sombre atmosphere engulfed the arts fraternity, albeit short-lived, following reports that Marabha had died. It later emerged that it was another person, who goes by the same moniker, who had died.

The man, popularly known as Marabha from Chegutu, sliced his stomach, leaving his intestines protruding. He later died in hospital on Tuesday night.

Witnesses, who sought to intervene and stop him, were all threatened by his violent conduct while he kept shouting that he does not want to be disturbed as he was removing something from his stomach.

Although he was later overpowered and handcuffed before being ferried to the hospital, the damage had already been done.

A witness, who recorded the scary incident, said: “Anyone who was trying to dissuade him was threatened with  a knife.”

“He was very violent to such an extent that no one could get close to him. Someone came from behind and held his hands before he was handcuffed.”

While it was Marabha from Chegutu who had died, it is now the fourth time that fans have circulated false reports that Milisi has died.

There are online publications, dating from July 2019 to last Tuesday, announcing his death several times.

Famous for his missing front teeth, Marabha rose to fame together with Kapfupi, real name Freddy Manjalima, under the street theatre banner.

They launched their careers through several dramas they would stage at Pamupuranga, Domboramwari, in Epworth and different schools before moving to First Street in 1998.

Street Theatre paved the way for Marabha and Kapfupi alongside other actors such as Rumbidzai “Regina” Vingirai and Jeffrey “Aphiri” Chikwesere, whose productions were screened on ZBC-TV.

Kapfupi and Marabha went on to release several productions among them “Magariro”, “Notorious Kapfupi “(Part 1-6), “What Goes Around Comes Around” and “Wrong Bag”.

In an interview with an online publication, Marabha revealed that he was alive but very sick. Marabha said his health condition could have fuelled death rumours.

“I heard the rumours through my brother that I was dead and I had to tell the people that I am alive but very sick,” he said.

“Those rumours are being spread by people who are attention seekers. It scares me that there are some people who would want me dead”.

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