By Shingirai Vambe
Rusape – Thousands of people the young and the old traveled over 220km from Harare and thronged Rukweza Village to bid Lazarus Boora farewell on Thursday afternoon.
Boora popularly known as ‘Gringo’ died Tuesday morning in Harare where he was receiving treatment.
Boora (47) died of blood cancer and is survived by wife Netsai and seven children.
Zolile Makeleni also known as ‘Tsotsi’ told Post On Sunday that the arts industry in Zimbabwe has failed it artistes especially those not protected from piracy.
“Artists in Zimbabwe die poor, especially actors, look how Gringo’s life ended, it is miserable, we die poor yet we bring joy and laughter including guidance and counselling to all Zimbabweans through arts”,Zolile said.
“Artists in Zimbabwe die in a sorry state, we die broke, famous and broke. People don’t really appreciate arts, and I am making a clarion call to our Minister Kirsty Coventry and Hon Machakaire to put policies in place that protects artist” he added.
Netsai Meki, the late Boora’s wife thanked Dr Johannes Marisa and other doctors who came on board to assist Boora free of charge during his last days.
She told this publication that before Gringo’s health deteriorated they used to rent a 3 roomed house in Hatfield, and then later reduced the number of rooms to one as they could not afford 3 rooms rental.
She also said amongst the seven children, two were still school going age and she has been facing challenges to fend for them since Boora was the sole bread winner.
Her older son Taura Boora (21) is said to be getting into his father’s feet, acting and at times hired as a master of ceremony on various events and functions.
Appreciating the character portrayed by Boora, and recognising the challenges in the arts industry, Nyaradzo Group also made a donation to bury Boora without any payment while the Deputy minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation Deputy Minister Tinoda Machakaire donated food and fuel.
Machakaire told moaners in Rukweza that he was going to make sure Boora’s family needs were met.
Mourners across the political and business divide described Gringo as man who was humble, patient and respectful.
Chief Rukweza gave his speech at the funeral and narrated his last moment with Gringo which he described as the last moments indeed.
Nicholas Moyo, National Arts Council Of Zimbabwe (NACZ) Director, described Gringo as a peculiar person who made ZBC TV to be fame especially during the popular drama, “Gringo Mari Iripi”
Known as Mdara Gweshe Gweshe, Kapfupi among others could not say much as tears were flowing down their cheeks throughout the program.