‘People person, empowerment champion will be missed’ Langton “Power” Magaisa

Africa Moyo-Deputy News Editor

 He was described as a peace-loving person who was committed to supporting the empowerment of young people with a passion for gold mining and farming. 

And so it was told during his funeral.

The people came in their numbers to bury the man who was described as a “people’s person” for helping many despite not being related to them.

His name is Langton “Power” Magaisa.

He was born on December 3, 1971 and died just a day shy of his 52nd birthday.

Magaisa collapsed in Zengeza 1, Chitungwiza, early last week just after playing draughts (tsoro), which he was reportedly good at.

Family members say he was in Zengeza 1 to be with his family, as he operated from Mazowe.

His nephew, Mr Adam Mwanaluna, said Magaisa was a fighter who would brave any situation that confronted him, hence his nickname “Power”.

Former workmates said the nickname arose because Magaisa joined Stories Mine in 1992 as a general hand, but was so thin that many feared he would not be able to push a wheelbarrow full of gold ore.

But to the surprise of many, he pushed it better than some workers who had more muscles than him. 

Said Mr Mwanaluna: “I was phoned by Ambuya (Magaisa’s wife Ms Mauline Ngonyamo) that my uncle had collapsed. I just thought he had taken some beer, so I said they could just take him indoors to rest.

“But I was told he was in a serious condition, and I said they could take him to hospital. His blood pressure was very high but we bought all the medicine prescribed by doctors in the hope that the BP will normalise.

“Family members remained strong, backing him to recover but in the evening of December 2, I received a phone call saying he had passed on.” 

Mr Mwanaluna said he was devastated by the death, as Magaisa had taken care of him and his two siblings from 2003 when their father died.

On Monday this week, the body was moved from Chitungwiza to Mazowe for burial the following day.

People came in their thousands from the mining and farming community of Mazowe and other parts of the country to bid farewell to the “hero of Mazowe”.

Other motorists who were not attending the funeral struggled to use the road from Magaisa’s house up to Stories Cemetery due to the huge numbers of people and vehicles.

At Nduku Business Centre where Magaisa would spend time with friends over the weekends, some of his friends lined-up along the road, and asked for a few minutes to say their goodbyes.

In his graveside address, Councillor Wilford Phiri, saluted Magaisa for his love for peace and for supporting young people.

“I want to thank the people of Wards 22 and 34 for coming in numbers to bury Magaisa,” he said.

 “For all the time I have lived in this area, I have never seen this kind of turnout for a funeral. Such huge gatherings are normally seen at Zanu PF rallies and this shows us that Magaisa was a people’s person.” 

Cllr Phiri challenged mourners to promote peace all the time and called upon the Magaisa family to remain united despite the death.

In an interview, Cde Tichaona Chawana, Zanu PF Mashonaland Central Province’s Secretary for Production said Magaisa inspired many young people.

“Power is someone we grew up with from primary up to secondary school. He was well-known here in Mazowe and even if you take anyone between three  years and 80 years, everyone knows about ‘Power’ Magaisa because he was a people’s person everywhere. 

“He always wanted peace and participated in everything that was done in Mazowe. When we embarked on land reform, he was with the youths who participated to ensure everyone who is now on the farms would be there. 

“Within the ruling party, Zanu PF, he stood firm until now. In fact, his nephew (Mwanaluna) is the vice chairman of the Jumbo District. 

“Magaisa helped many people, especially our small-scale miners. He was also supporting financially to improve the lives of youths and he was the first person to teach young people in Mazowe that if you work hard, everything is possible,” said Cde Chawana. 

Magaisa was the first young man to buy a car during the time he was working at Stories Mine.

“When he bought the car, he left his job and started to do his own things and we were all empowered by him in various ways up to where we are now. He opened up the minds of many people in Mazowe,” said Cde Chawana.

Magaisa’s long-time friend Mr Dunny Sakhula said he knew Magaisa from 1992 when they were employed at Stories Mine.

“We worked together until he left the company. We lived together well from 1992 to 2002. We were good friends and everywhere Magaisa went, he left people happy,” said Mr Sakhula. 

Mr Mwanaluna thanked the people of Mazowe for coming out in numbers to help the family bury Magaisa.

He also thanked the political leadership in Mazowe for their support.

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