Mnangagwa grants Cont Mhlanga state-assisted funeral

Mnangagwa grants Cont Mhlanga state-assisted funeral

Late Zimbabwe arts icon Cont Mhlanga has been granted a state-assisted funeral by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Judith Ncube conveyed the message to family and mourners gathered at the family home in Bulawayo’s Nguboyenja suburb.

“I’m here with our deepest respects as the nation of Zimbabwe. Mhlanga has been accorded a State-assisted funeral by the President.

“Also, as part of the State-assisted funeral, the family will be given $2.5 million to help the funeral to run smoothly,” Ncube said, while acknowledging Mhlanga’s immense contribution to the Bulawayo and Zimbabwe Arts industry.

In his official condolence message conveyed through Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, Mnangagwa said the country has lost an internationally acclaimed playwright, filmmaker and creative director who came as a trailblazer in the country’s creative and cultural industries.

“Only recently, the late departed had been appointed as a member of the national team for the creation of a strategy for the Zimbabwe Film Sector,” read the statement.

“On behalf of the office of the President and Cabinet and indeed on my behalf, I wish foremost, to express my deepest condolences to the Mhlanga family who have lost a beloved father and breadwinner and to the cultural and creative arts community in general, who are the poorer with the demise of one of Zimbabwe’s most respected icons the arts sector has ever produced. May his departed soul rest in eternal peace.”

The Amakhosi founder and film producer succumbed to pneumonia aged 64 at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) where he had been admitted for 10 days.

Mhlanga will be buried in his rural Lupane home on Saturday, a day after his memorial service at the iconic Amakhosi Cultural Centre from 8AM.

He joins a growing list of prominent arts personalities who have in recent years been honoured with hero statuses and state-assisted funerals.

Among some of the artistes who have received the honour are late Zimbabwe music icon Oliver Mtukudzi, who was granted national hero status in 2018, Chinx Chingaira, boxing legend Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago and Zimdancehall sensation Souljah Love were accorded provincial hero status.

Former Studio 263 actress Ann Nhira was accorded state assisted funerals.

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