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Robert Mugabe's ex-teacher (99) dies

by Staff reporter
08 Nov 2021 at 19:58hrs | Views
A TEACHER to former President Robert Mugabe, Kennedy Manyika has died.

Manyika, who, after Zimbabwe's independence served as a diplomat, is also the father of opposition leader, Noah Manyika.

Noah Manyika leads the Build Zimbabwe party.

In a statement Monday, the Manyika family described the former educationist as a "gift," who has left a "legacy of a life fully and well lived in the selfless service of God, family, and country."

"A witness and shaper of history, Ambassador Manyika belonged to that vanishing generation that not only witnessed remarkable events in national and world history but selflessly gave their lives to shape them," the statement reads.

"Born four years after the end of the First World War (and a young man of 17 at the start of World War 2), he would graduate as a teacher from Hope Fountain in 1947 under the famed trainer Tennyson Hlabangana, and later return to the Teacher Training Institute as a ‘critic teacher' to tutor future teachers including a young Robert Mugabe who would 31 years later become the first Prime Minister and later President of an independent Zimbabwe.

"After Hope Fountain, Ambassador Manyika would assisted, by his wife Rahab, go on to a three-decade, award-winning teaching career (1947-1981) including winning the prestigious Secretary's Bell twice.

"Banished from teaching in urban schools for organising protests against poor working and living conditions for African workers in the mining town of Selukwe (Shurugwi) in 1964, he would build the neglected and dying rural schools assigned by the Rhodesian government (including Chivizhe and Chakadini in Mashonaland East, Vungu Council School and Munyati in the Midlands) as punishment, only to be expelled to neutralise his influence," the statement added.

Manyika was also a founding member of Zanu in 1963 and was assigned to canvas for support in the Gweru East area.

He was a leading member of the Rhodesian African Teachers Association, which pressed for better working conditions for African teachers and lobbied for more educational opportunities for Africans before independence.

He was also a church leader in the Methodist Church.

"Ambassador Manyika served for over four decades in various leadership lay capacities in the Wesleyan Methodist Church established by the British Methodist Church in 1891.

"He was among the top lay leaders that fought for and steered the local church to indigenous autonomy from the British Methodist Church in 1977."

August 31, 1981, Ambassador Manyika was appointed ambassador to Yugoslavia and later Namibia, a position he held until his retirement in 1991.

"Ambassador Manyika's life prepared him for the critical role he would play as one of Zimbabwe's top diplomats.

In 1982, he was appointed Zimbabwe's first Ambassador to Yugoslavia and in 1989, after Namibia attained its independence, he was reassigned to that country.

The family statement added as Zimbabwe's ambassador to Yugoslavia, Manyika was involved in negotiations that led to the construction of The Sheraton Hotel (now Rainbow Towers), and Zanu (PF) headquarters.

After retirement, Manyika served as a board member of the national carrier, Air Zimbabwe.

The family said Manyika would be at the Mtapa Cemetery, Gweru Saturday.

Source - NewZimbabwe