Godwin Muzari Arts Editor
Yesterday marked the 21st anniversary of Leonard Dembo’s death and his mother celebrated her son’s life in a big way after some fans visited her and donated cash and groceries.
The donations come a week after other fans visited Mbuya Dembo’s homestead in Beatrice last week to honour her for bringing up a legend who made a mark in the country.
All the donations came after a story published in The Herald last month when Mbuya Sukai Pasipanodya shared her plight and said she has not led a comfortable life since the death of her son Leonard on April 9, 1996.
Last week, about 30 people went to see Mbuya Dembo and gave her foodstuffs, clothes, a radio, solar panel and blankets among other things.
Touched by the old lady’s plight, other fans also sourced groceries and donated them to Mbuya Dembo yesterday.
The groceries that were donated yesterday came after an initiative from a United States-based fan who worked together with his local friends Gerald Mhondiwa and Terrence Kandima to source the gifts.
Fans from Kwekwe Innocent Chiguzeno and Anthony Mpofu also travelled all the way from the Midlands town to hand over cash to Mbuya Dembo. She danced and ululated as the donations were made.
“I am happy my sons, Leonard has sent you. People have been coming to see me since The Herald published my story and a lot has changed in my life. I want to thank you for remembering an old lady,” she said.
“My grandchildren here are also happy because of what you have done. May the lord bless you for your efforts. I feel like carrying my grandchild here on by back (referring to this writer), he has done a lot for me and I believe Leonard is leading him.
“I am planning to go and settle at the home that Leonard built for me. It is now dilapidated, but I know that you, my grandchildren can take me go back to my home where my son’s grave is.”
Mhondiwa said he comes from the area where Dembo built a home for his mother.
“Leonard bought that stand from my father and I saw the home being constructed. I am his good fan and I would want to see my grandmother here (Leonard’s mother) living happily. I am happy to see her again after many years,” he said.
Mpofu said they had come all the way from Kwekwe to appreciate a woman whose son made a difference in the country’s music.
“We wanted to travel directly to this place and last week we could not make it because we were not sure of the directions. We had to go through Harare to come with other fans and we are happy to be here today. We love his music and we also love his mother,” said Mpofu.