Mbuya Janet Madondo (77), wife of Gutu’s most famous pre and post-independence businessman, the late Elias Dzimba Madondo has died.
Mbuya Madondo suddenly died last Thursday at Muelmed Hospital in Pretoria in South Africa after undergoing an operation to correct dislocated discs in her spine.
She will be buried alongside her late husband at Madondo Farm which is 5km from Mpandawana along Mpandawana – Chatsworth Road on Saturday.
Farai Madondo, one of Mbuya Madondo’s sons confirmed the death in a telephone interview with The Mirror.
Dzimba Madondo was one of the earliest businessmen at Mpandawana and he ran the famous Tafara Madondo Hotel of the 70s and late 80s. He had a sprawling business empire with shops, buses, butcheries, bars and farms dotted all over Gutu District.
The body will be repatriated from South Africa today (Thursday) and mourners are gathered at Madondo homestead in Mpandawana.
Farai said that his mother’s death came as a shock because she had gone to South Africa for routine check-up following an operation she had in that country a few years back. The only thing she was complaining about was a nagging pain in the leg.
“We are shocked by the sudden death. The only thing she complained about when she left for South Africa was a pain in her leg. However, after a scan doctors realized that discs in her spine had moved and they wanted to do an operation to correct the dislocation.
“The operation was successfully carried out on December 4, 2019 and she was taken into a ward for observation. She had recovered so much from the operation that she was already doing physiotherapy but on Thursday morning her condition suddenly changed and we hear that there were leakages in her spine.
“The next thing she was dead,” said Farai.
Mbuya Madondo was born at Chibi Hospital to the Mudamburi family. She went to Mutema Primary School in Nerupiri Gutu and trained as a teacher at Umtali Teachers College. She taught at several schools in Masvingo urban and rural areas including Chikato Primary School where she met her husband Elias Dzimba Madondo.
She got married in 1968 and she and her husband then concentrated on building their business empire.
She was blessed with nine children.
She was a member of the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe.