Marshal Shonhai pays tribute to Petronella Chindito

Marshal Shonhai has paid tribute to his late friend Petronella Chindito who passed on last week.

Chindito a gender activist had been battling a serious illness for a long time before resting on Friday.

In a lengthy post, Marshall said he is broken adding that Petronella’s death really shook him.

He said:

Today is Monday, our favorite day of the week, its #MondayMotivation but iiiii guys, I do not feel motivated or have I any motivation for you at all. I am crushed, broken 💔 and hurting. If you notice, I haven’t been able to post anything here for the past 3 days. I had to take a moment, I needed it.

I dont even know how I have gone through the last few days, I am numb. The death of Petronella Chindito really shook me to the core. I knew she was not well and I had been to her bedside a number of times in the last weeks of her life. We spoke and we planned. My last conversations with her on WhatsApp still haunt me. She was a brave and strong person but she did admit that the fear of death was cripping in.

I remember on one of the last visits, she asked her sister to allow her “ndimbotaura neshamwari yangu”. Her sister was like “ndadzingwa” and we laughed about it. Petty was in pain but she was putting up a brave face, she even found strength to crack a joke or two.

People die, true, we are all going to die yes but this death i was not ready for.

In February she sent me a message and said “I am at work and I have selected your hood for a work assignment, I would like to pass through and see you”

She came by with her workmates and we had a good time, chatting and catching up. I was however shocked by how frail she had become and I could not hide it, I asked her why she was at work? And her colleagues were like “imbotaurawo neshamwari yako”. Those who know her know that she was stubborn too, she went back to work a few more days and then messaged saying she was getting admitted. I visited but she was quickly discharged. We thought she was getting better.

I kept close contact with her from then and we spoke about her plans, the future, her son whom she loved dearly and how much she wanted to get better.

Nella was so full of life and energy. She had dreams, big dreams seeing her like that was hard.

Again, for those who know, she was a staunch ZANU PF supporter and everyone here knows my political persuasion. We differed sharply on politics, strangely it did not get in the way of our friendship not even a day or a moment. We respected each others views and found a way to co exist.

Magumbo as we affectionately called her, she was a gem she was a woman of many facets. She was many things to many people. She touched many people and this is evident by how social media has been since the news of her passing on broke. To some she was wild and crazy, to some a pastor and a prayerwarrior and intercessor, to some an entrepreneur, to some a charity worker. She was many things and this time she was about to realize one of her dreams to become a broadcaster. To me she way “my pastor”, i took very seriously how she had turned her life around and had become fervent for the things of God. Whatever she did, she did it fully and well, she was committed no matter how wild, wayward or crazy. That’s who she was.

When she got admitted early March, things never really got better, she was hospitalized till the very end.

I am grateful that in these last weeks I was able to be by her side, she was able to come home and now I get it, anga auya kuzowoneka. We were able to talk and say all we had to say to each other. In that I find closure.

I am sad that the one thing she asked for and I promised to get her was never done and its all useless now. It was an act of faith for her to even ask with the state she was in and I promised. I even reassured her the last day I saw her that “I had not forgotten”

I remember the look in her eyes as I left the room, little did I know that was going to be the very last time to see each other.

I have lost family, loved ones, friends and all but this, this cut deep. Really deep. I was shaking for a few days, like literally, I would get a sick feeling in my tummy and begin to shake. I was in shock. Maybe its because of these last few weeks, I don’t know.

Zvamunowona husahwira, hunokunda hukama.

I know we die, I really get that part, I understand. But this death inini hangu I don’t get. So many unanswered questions.

Hatina nguva guys, hatitimborina kana. Most times we act like we are going to be here forever but we live on borrowed time. If we must love, let us love now. If we must do something, let’s do it now because tomorrow is not guaranteed any of us.

Let’s be better people, let’s go easy on each other, let us live well together. Many times we waste time hating and hurting each other. We beef, we fight and we hold grudges. What for? There are much better things to do with our time and lives.

I am writing here some very personal things and I don’t even know if I am making sense or not but one thing I have learnt especially through this death is that we have to find it in us to carry on, we must move on. How? I do not know but carry on we must.

I would love to say Magumbo ran her race and fought the good fight and all those other things but in this case, I honestly can’t. I can not say that because in my eyes and my understanding this is a very young life that has been snuffed out. Yes, I could be wrong, yes it could have been her time but to me, all this does not make sense.

Yes, we will carry on and maybe we will even forget and she will become a very distant memory but for now, right now we are hurting, right now we are broken, right now we are confused and we are questioning everything.

She never called me “iwe”, it was always “imi”even when she was not happy with me. I was listening to a voice note she sent one day when I had stood her up. Hanzi “makuda kundijairira” 🤣🤣🤣🤣

I both laughed and cried reading our chats and voice notes over the years.

The finality of death is the biggest lesson learnt here, you can plan all you want and you can dream all you want but there is no guarantee that we will be here tomorrow. Let us live our best lives right now! Let’s not wait for tomorrow. Petty touched many lives in the 34 years she lived and she made impact in many people’s including the homeless and destitute. I will never forget her excitement last year when she held a party for the kids who live on the streets of Harare. What is your testimony going to be?

It is done, she is gone and we must live on and move on, how? Like I said I do not know how but we must. I am certain she would have wanted that for us. We will have to learn to live knowing she’s no longer here and she will never come back. Death is final!

I don’t have anything to say to her because I told her all and she heard all I had to say and so did she. and again, in that, I find closure.

Rest in peace Magumbo, my friend my crazy pastor.

Fly high 🕊