Kezi: Where legends are born, history made The late Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo

Sikhumbuzo Moyo Bulawayo Bureau

KEZI, a district in the heart of Matabeleland South Province, is more than just a district; it is a living testament to resilience and greatness.

The very mention of Kezi invokes a sense of pride among its people, affectionately known as “39ers.”

It’s a community that has not only embraced its rich heritage, but continues to shape the destiny of the nation.

At the heart of Kezi’s allure lies the revered Njelele Shrine, a sacred cave nestled within the Matobo Hills, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This cave holds spiritual significance, a place where generations of Africans communed with the divine. It’s a testament to the deep-rooted spirituality that defines Kezi.

But it’s not just the shrine that makes Kezi special; it’s the luminous souls it has birthed.

Among its cherished sons and daughters, one name stands tall — the late Father Zimbabwe, Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Ka Nyongolo Nkomo.

His legacy transcends Kezi; he was the VP of Zimbabwe from 1990 until his passing on in July 1999.

Kezi also gave rise to Stephen Jeqe Nkomo, a great nationalist in his own right who for years was Matabeleland South Governor.

His contribution to the nation’s history remains indelible.

The late Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo who was Zapu Vice President, hailed from Kezi and made the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for independence.

The late Highlanders patron, Taffi Moyo, described as an ancestor of the liberation struggle, called Kezi home. His passing on in 2014 at 108 marked the end of an era but his legacy endures.

Justice Luke Malaba, the Chief Justice of Zimbabwe, is another proud Kezi son. His judicial wisdom impacts the nation’s legal landscape. Nicholas Ncube, former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe deputy governor, hails from Kezi.

Sikhulile Moyo, the virologist who discovered the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and became a hero in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, is also from Kezi.

Former speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo is anotherl a Kezi son, including the revered juniors coach Ali ‘Baba’ Dube who produced many great footballers, most of whom went on to don the various national team colours.

Highlanders Football Club board members Cosmos Sikhosana and Methuseli Mafu both hail from Kezi and are always bragging about it to anyone who dares to listen.

Former Highlanders player and captain Bekithemba Ndlovu and his younger sibling, an undoubted upcoming national team player, Mbongeni Ndlovu call Kezi their rural area.

Sunday News Assistant Editor Mkhululi Sibanda’s identity documents show that he is from Kezi at a village called Dongwe Tongwe.

Mngani Ncube, who owns one of the leading construction companies in Zimbabwe, Hawkflight Construction is from Kezi.

The area has its fair share of musicians who have produced great songs.

The late Ndumiso Malaba, popularly known as Ndux Malax is from Kezi and so is Modius Chauke although he was born in Tsholotsho he relocated to Kezi.

Themba Boyoyo Mathe of the famed Mokis Connection, Mcebisi Mlilo of Amathonga Amahle as well as and Dumezweni Mazilankatha are also from Kezi.

Both the late businessman Obert Mangombe Dube, owner of Omadu Lodges and the former headmaster of Mzingwane High School, Tapu Vincent Moyo, who shaped many young men who have achieved success in different fields and professions are from Kezi.

One of the first black businesspersons to own a fleet of buses, Benedict Moyo is another proud son of Kezi. Another bus operator Mtshumayeli Ngwenya of Pelandaba Bus Service is also from Kezi as well as Botswana-based businessman and war veteran, Ndodana Ngwenya.

One of the earliest crop of freedom fighters, the late David ‘Sharpshoot’ Moyo, known as uSaDiliza, also hailed from Kezi.

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