become synonymous with opulence, swag and revellery, says he’s done with clubbing and partying.
Many people know Mhaka as a party animal who is usually surrounded by beautiful women in a manner akin to the way groupies besiege Hollywood’s jet-set stars. He is also a “philanthropist” of sorts, throwing wads of greenbacks to revellers at the many wild parties he attends in Harare.
But all that is set to change.
Saturday Lifestyle caught up with Mhaka, who goes by the name Chief or Sheikh in some circles, and spoke to him about his new lifestyle.
“I am now a born-again believer and a member of House of Worship Evangelical Church founded by Pastor Badza. I really want to thank him for bringing me to Christ,” he said.
Asked what had caused the change of heart, the Sheikh referred to the Holy Bible, quoting 1 Timothy 1:15 and 16 which say: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.
“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”
So does this mean we will no longer see him in his distinctive Arabic dress, particularly the thawb/suriyah, an ankle length garment usually with long sleeves similar to a robe?
It was this dressing, which he wore to all-white parties along with the headgear commonly known as the kufiya (a square of fabric folded into a triangle and worn with one point on each shoulder and one down the back), that made him stand out on Harare’s social scene.
His response: “I have many Arab friends as well as business associates and from time to time I travel to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, China and India. I am a Christian but I appreciate Arab dressing which is why I got lots of these garments.”
Sheikh literally means “elder” and carries the meaning “leader and/or governor” and is commonly used as an official title in Arab-speaking countries. They are often wealthy men who wield great power, and in Mhaka’s case the title is apt as he runs Cedar Petroleum, haulage trucks and imports fuel from Mozambique for resale in the DRC.
The Sheikh also dispelled talk that he is a player, saying he is happily married to his wife of 10 years Ruby Rose, with whom he has four children.
“The women you saw me with in pictures are just people who were fascinated by my dressing. I am not a flirt and that’s not my character,” he said.
Asked to comment on allegations that he was involved in a banking scam in the United Kingdom — the ill-gotten gains of which are said to be the source of his money — Sheikh denied any contact saying he knew at least 11 Zimbabweans in that country who were using the same name.