Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
The funeral procession of rising Kariba dancehall artiste Edgar Kofi (26), better known as Echodem, who died the weekend, brought the tourist resort to a standstill. True to his wish, expressed through his music, Echodem of the Fatima fame had two-night bashes held in his honour.
He had also said when he died he wished to have his body taken to ZV Hotel where he used to perform or imbibe, for a parade.
Ironically, owing to the huge number of people who turned up at the funeral, body viewing was moved to ZV Hotel after it became impossible to manage those who wanted to view his body.
Echodem is said to have failed to get out of bed before his condition deteriorated further.
His father, Mr Masson Kofi, said Echodem died as they were taking him to Kariba District Hospital.
“We went out as a family on Saturday and returned around 10pm,” he said. “The following day I left home to attend to some business in Heights and his mother went to church.
“I was called by his young sister indicating that Edgar had not waken up since we left and seemed unwell. I had to come back to try and assist. He was prayed for and seemed to have regained his strength before going to bath on his own.
“He was scheduled to hold a show with renowned artistes such as Mambo Dhuterere on June 18.”
One of the producers he worked with, Godknows Ngirichi said the death of Echodem was a great loss to the music fraternity in Kariba. “He was one of the artists we expected to spread his influence beyond Kariba,” he said.
Fans and colleagues in the music industry expressed shock at Echodem’s inclination towards penning songs associated with death.
“If you listen to most of his songs, you realise that the theme of death is prominent, which is quite strange for someone his age,” said one of his promoter Sir Wade (Albert Chakwana).
He said Echodem had a promising music career as he could hold his own among other artistes during live performances.
Hundreds of people thronged the Kofi home in Batonga where the adjacent streets had to be closed off to traffic for three days.
A long procession of cars snaked its way to John Range Cemetery where he was eventually buried.