Tribute to a passionate banker

18 Mar, 2012 - 22:03 0 Views

The Herald

through some difficult and trying times in the financial sector. He was a passionate banker who was articulate in projecting the way he viewed varying situations.
Outside his demanding banking routine, Hatendi also served as the national secretary of the Rhodes Trust in Zimbabwe arranging the selection of Rhodes Scholars for Oxford University. He found this work very stimulating as it brought him into contact with young people who shared his aspiration of continuous learning throughout life. Hatendi was born and grew up in Marondera, the only son of his father, Frederick, and mother, Joyce.
He lost his father when he was only 14 and adored his mother who shouldered the burden of bringing him up and his sisters, Suzan and Mary, on her own. Their lives were centred on shared values of faith, discipline and application.
Hatendi’s mother taught home skills to the community. He believed that acquiring skills and knowledge gave immense selfworth and confidence to the less privileged and he carried this simple ethic throughout his life. His own path displayed this too.
He was enrolled at Springvale and later Peterhouse College from where he graduated in 1972. He loved sports, playing rugby and had an enduring love for cricket. Entering the University of Zimbabwe, he studied economics and political history.
Hatendi completed his studies in 1975 and was accepted as a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford University in 1977 where he studied and gained a doctorate in politics.
His ability to empathise and understand people enabled him to gain a wide and enduring circle of friends that crossed political and different social classes.
His academic ability was undoubted. He joined Morgan Grenfell London before being selected by the World Bank for the Young Professional Programme.
His postings took him not only to the United States but also South East Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Kenya. He gained experience in large development and infrastructure projects.
Hatendi, though, always wanted to return to Zimbabwe and in 1990, he returned to a senior position at MBCA.
There followed appointments as CEO at MBCA and subsequently at NMB where he was called upon to provide stability to NMB Bank during a period of difficult economic times. When this role was accomplished, David returned to his preferred business of investment and advising in the firm which bears his name.
Hatendi’s love of the arts and particularly the intrigue of Shakespeare gained an outlet as a Trustee for Hifa from its inception in 1998.
He was not given to boasting of his many accomplishments but the most intriguing was his membership of Whites, an historical establishment Gentlemans Club in London. Very quietly in his deep baritone, David, when asked, would indicate that he was the only black member of “Whites”. Such was the contrast of David Hatendi, a man who could cross so many lines of endeavour, yet retain his integrity and humility.
David is survived by his wife Angelina, his two sons, Nyasha and Sarayi and daughter, Natasha. A true “mwana wevhu”, au revoir “Humba Makombe”, we will miss you.
Part of the Rhodes Trust dedication to David published on their website: “The Rhodes community is shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death overnight of Dr David Hatendi (Rhodesia & University College 1977), the National Secretary to the Rhodes Trust for Zimbabwe.”
The Warden of Rhodes House, Oxford, Dr Donald Markwell, said: “David was dedicated and discerning national secretary whose contribution to the Rhodes Scholarship was deeply appreciated.
“His was a generous spirit and a powerful mind. He was a lively and entertaining companion, and an immensely warm host. David and Angelina were always a delight to see, both in Oxford and in Harare.”


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