Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
THE late Vice-President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo was a heat, generous and sort-hearted man who virtually adopted his late brother, Sihle’s small children subsequent his loss of life in 1996, his niece Ms Susan Nkomo has said.
On his brother’s death, the veteran nationalist created it a place that his brother’s kids did not go to mattress on vacant stomachs.
He would more often than not pay a visit to them at their homestead in Kezi in Matobo District to look at on them.
Dr Nkomo appeared soon after his brother’s youngsters till they were aged enough to fend for on their own.
In an interview at her dwelling in Old Magwegwe suburb yesterday as section of commemorating 23 several years of the demise of the veteran nationalist and liberation battle stalwart, Ms Nkomo (74) said considering the fact that working day a single of the dying of their father, Dr Nkomo assumed the part of father and pledged to choose care of them.
“When our father passed on in 1996, our uncle, Dr Nkomo assumed the obligation of a father and vowed to get care of us, that is myself, my only brother, Thomas and two sisters Emma and Elizabeth.
He would make it a point that we do not go hungry and would also buy us garments,” she mentioned.
“He treated us exactly the same way he dealt with his very own little ones.
To him, our effectively-currently being was something that he treasured most and that is why even up to this, I get psychological just about every time, we commemorate his dying on July 1,” she said.
Ms Nkomo who was privileged to get the job done intently with Dr Nkomo, also opened up on how her uncle afterwards invited her to keep with him at his official residence in Harare.
She stayed with her uncle as his exclusive cook dinner.
Ms Nkomo mentioned her bond with Dr Nkomo ongoing to increase from the time she went to remain with him in Harare shortly after independence until eventually he breathed his previous on July 1, 1999.
Ms Nkomo was amid the very last men and women to take a look at Dr Nkomo on his deathbed at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and very first to be notified on his death.
“I stayed with Dr Nkomo as his specific cook and I recall all through his last times, he never recognized foodstuff from any individual other than what I would have geared up.
We stayed collectively in Harare from the time he resided at Highfields up to the time he moved to Mandara suburb,” she reported.
“I was 1 of his helpers and my responsibilities incorporated cooking his meals.
He beloved regular meals these kinds of as isitshwala samabele (inyawuti), millet and dried greens and groundnuts and I would cook dinner people dishes for him.”
Ms Nkomo stated the duties of two other helpers at his property were being confined to carrying out laundry perform and dressing him up which includes cleaning the home.
She claimed when on his deathbed, Dr Nkomo urged her to keep on doing work in the Point out Residences right after his demise.
“He called me on the early morning previous his loss of life and encouraged me that even if he dies, I should proceed functioning and I did accurately that.
I didn’t retire till I attained retirement age in 2008,” she mentioned.
Ms Nkomo reported all over the 30 decades she worked with Dr Nkomo, she observed that he was an open up minded and listening individual who interacted with everyone.
“Dr Nkomo was a father figure, incredibly pleasant and approachable.
Folks from all walks of daily life would stop by him at his household and he would freely interact with them these that even the people would get amazed at his gesture,” she mentioned.
She also witnessed the restriction of the nationalist to her parents’ homestead in Kezi in Matobo District in September 1962 with Rhodesian forces pitching camp in the location to intimidate villagers.
Popularly recognized as Father Zimbabwe, the fearless flexibility fighter, experienced just returned dwelling from exile in September 1962 when Rhodesian protection brokers intercepted him, minutes soon after landing at the then Salisbury Worldwide Airport (Robert Gabriel Mugabe Global Airport) in Harare.
He was subsequently bundled into a police automobile and taken on a lengthy road journey to Bulawayo.
He was detained at Bulawayo Central Police Station prior to remaining transferred to Kezi Police Station and afterwards to his homestead where he put in 4 months underneath a restriction purchase.
During that interval, Dr Nkomo was only permitted to go out of the homestead for a radius of not extra than 3km underneath police escort.
In the course of his restriction, the undeterred Dr Nkomo exhibited bravery, zeal and resolve to liberate the state from the repressive colonial governing administration.
Dr Nkomo succumbed to prostate most cancers on July 1, 1999 at the age of 82, and was buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.
He applied trade unionism as a stepping stone to politics to oppose white settler domination in Southern Rhodesia.–@mashnets