Tawanda Marwizi Arts Correspondent
He is known for courting controversy whenever he gets a chance to be naughty. Many people remember the story of how First Farai was alleged to have abused condolence contributions collected at the late Cephas Mashakada’s funeral, which extremely angered fellow musician Hosiah Chipanga. That was six years ago and First Farai still denies the accusations.
But it seems the musician is capable of anything when it comes to disrespecting the dead. The musician has brewed a shocker that is likely to leave movie writers green with envy. In a move that borders on being a conman and extortionist, the musician last week announced to the world that his mother had passed on before well-wishers collected $300 condolence money with an aim of assisting him. Armed with a “funeral video” that he was purporting to have been taken at his mother’s funeral, the singer announced on social media group that his mother had died.
But someone raised a red flag before condolence money could be delivered to First Farai as it emerged that the musician could be lying. Investigations carried by The Herald Entertainment showed that it was indeed a hoax because his mother died when he was in Grade Three. After being contacted for comment, the bulky musician visited The Herald newsroom shedding tears and insisting that his mother had died a “few weeks ago”.
“Last time I was accused at Mashakada’s funeral now it’s about my mother, why me? I have even sold property so as to give my mother a decent send off. I am still to recover what I lost but people are having a smear campaign against me. I am not happy at all. If this continues, I am going to commit suicide. I cannot stand this, it is better to die,” he said as he sobbed uncontrollably. After his visit and exhibition of grief, The Herald Entertainment travelled to Chinhoyi to meet the musician’s relatives and get further details. In Chinhoyi, his brother Tanyaradzwa Mwanambo Batanai was surprised when he heard the story. He seemed unsure about what was happening to his brother.
“Maybe he was drunk because our mother died long back and we grew up without parents. Of course we have a distant relative that died in Mhangura recently but I am not sure if he attended the funeral,” he said. Tanyaradzwa said he would not say much about the matter.
“Try to talk to him again. He is the best person to explain what is happening to him,” he said. After the Chinhoyi visit, we contacted First Farai again and he became evasive.
“Family issues are private issues. Let us just let this issue pass. Families have their secrets and you might not understand it. Yes, Tanyaradzwa is my brother, but the issue about biological mothers is a family secret,” he said.
“I did not steal from anyone. I did not receive anything from anyone, so I do not see my crime here. I do not think this is even a story worth publishing in a newspaper.” Narrating how First Farai tried to “extort” them, a member of a social media group where First Farai “broke” the news of his mother’s death said they had sympathised with him until he became evasive when people wanted information of the funeral wake. Innocent Shito said First Farai posted pictures of a funeral wake and a video announcing his mother’s “death”.
“Many people sympathised with him and we collected $300 intending to assist. We sent him condolence messages and promised to be with him in grief. However, when someone wanted directions to go to the funeral, First Farai did not respond,” said Shito.
“Someone alerted us that the musician could be lying and, after we made further enquiries, he exited the group. However, after a few days he approached the person who was collecting condolence money saying he wanted financial assistance because he had used a lot of money during the purported funeral. We were already suspicious and he was not given anything.”