Thousands of people from all walks of life convened at the Bulawayo Amphitheatre yesterday to say their final goodbyes to the country’s rap king, Mgcini “Cal Vin” Nhliziyo.
It was more like a celebration, rather than a funeral, as Cal Vin was buried like the king he was in the City of Kings and Queens, Bulawayo, with over 5 000 people attending the gathering.
Cal Vin died last week after he was run over by a car that sped away, just a few metres from his home.
He was buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery, an honour bestowed only to luminaries of Bulawayo for their great work in uplifting the city.
Among the many people who gathered were Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe director Nicholas Moyo and Highlanders Football Club chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube.
Fellow artistes — Sandra Ndebele, Babongile Sikhonjwa, Clive Chigubhu, Ntando Van Moyo, Mudiwa, Walter Wanyanya, Aldrian “Beefy” Harrison, Zima awards chairman Reason Sibanda, Trevor Dongo, Asaph, Lee Mc Honey, Gilmore Tee and Novuyo Seagirl — were also in attendance.
The funeral was live-streamed on the CnC live events Facebook page for those who could not make it, while a memorial was held in South Africa by fans across the Limpopo.
It was heart-wrenching to see Cal Vin’s mother, Sinikwe Luphahla, with grief stricken eyes viewing her son’s body in a casket for the last time.
His girlfriend, Michelle Maphosa, who was seated next to Cal Vin’s mother was highly emotional as she saw her lover in his lifeless state.
Cal Vin’s crew from his Kontrol Tribe record label — Mawiza, Mziztoz Mfana Futhi and Tebza — were all distraught.
Their sadness embodied the mood that was in the auditorium.
Seeing Cal Vin in the casket was not for the faint hearted, the gravity of the wounds on his face were a painful reminder that he suffered immensely when he was run over on that tragic Saturday last week.
Representing the Ministry of Youth Sports, Arts and Recreation, chief director, Dr Benson Dube, called for the perpetrator to be swiftly caught.
“Whether it was intentional or not, it’s our desire that justice must be done to the perpetrator,” he said.
“We’ve given the family $50 000 as our contribution to the funeral.”
A staunch supporter of Zimbabwe giants Highlanders Football Club, Cal Vin was given a VIP treatment for his work with the club.
Dube, the Highlanders Football Club CEO, spoke highly of Cal Vin, saying he helped them with some of their projects.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Judith Ncube said it had not been a good week for Bulawayo due to the deaths the city recorded.
“First, it was the Mzilikazi boy who was horrifically run over by a bus at Renkini,” she said.
“Cal Vin followed on Sunday and then on Thursday, Sibonisiwe Sithole from Iyasa passed on.”
Those who never got a chance to watch Cal Vin perform live were also treated to one his performances through music videos which amplified emotions in the auditorium.
On Saturday, Cal Vin’s body was taken around Bulawayo suburbs in a Funeral Services Group hearse.