‘Black January’ for Sir Wicknell as tycoon loses mother, ‘godfather’




Black January: Businessman Wicknell Chivayo and his late mother Canisia

THE month of January comes to an end this week and it was not a pleasant one!

Traditionally, it is a month where most people undergo some introspection and dream of brighter days ahead of the new year, tabling new resolutions and game-plan .

This euphoria transcends social classes, colour or creed.

The joy of turning over into a new year signifies an ‘epoch’ – a new beginning.

To give credence to these claims, one can juxtapose how two prominent different social classes in Harare ‘partied’ their way into 2021.

Divided by Samora Machel Avenue and (probably Mukuvisi River!), there was the legion led by  Arnold Kamudyariwa (DJ Fantani) , Tafadzwa Kadzimwe (Levels) and Simbarashe Chinachimwe (Dammer ) who gathered for the Passa Passa on one side.

On the other side was petroleum mogul Kuda Tagwirei, who like many, followed tradition and ‘partied’ into the new  year with fireworks painting the sky and ‘unmasked’ guests eating, drinking and getting merry.

The common denominator was that both camps violated national Covid 19 lockdown regulations and images and visuals of both events went viral on social media!

I digress.

The inspiration behind taking time to punch my keyboard is not how different people across society made their transition to the New Year.

The piece was inspired by my humble observation and empathy on a double blow that businessman and socialite Wicknell Chivayo aka Sir Wicknell faced in the first month of the year, where most  people carry hopes and dreams, while others like him carry ways and means.

In the first week of the month, Sir Wicknell lost his mother Canisia and his mentor and ‘godfather’  Ibrahim Yusuf.

His late mother was said to be close to his wife Sonja, whose images spoiling her mother-in-law with birthday flowers went viral on social media.

Losing his mother was a devastating moment for the businessman as evidenced by the profound   eulogy he penned.

The graphic description of their relationship shows massive attachment.

Wrote Chivayo:

It hasn’t sunk in, I can’t believe you are gone.

“A fighter since day 1 and a survivor till the very end.

“You were my life’s best friend and always put my needs before yours.

“ I’m in a complete state of denial. I wish I had never woken up to see this dawn. You pushed me to be the best I could be and even when life was heaving down on you giving up on me was never an option. You always motivated and supported me at all times. Courage, happiness, smiles and hugs are just a few things that you never had in short supply. Mummy I don’t deserve to be the one to give you a final goodbye. Not all is lost, I know you’ll be watching so I’m picking up the pieces and starting today I’m going to live a life worthy of having had an amazing Mum like you.

‘I am going to make you proud mummy all the way.”

Indeed, like the Arabian proverb says,  “death is like an arrow that is already in flight, and your life lasts only until it reaches you.”

Barely a week after losing his mother, the Angel of Death paid a visit to his mentor Ibrahim Yusuf.

The businessman went on to register his grief on his official Facebook page.

As William Shakespeare put it “brevity is the soul of wit”, the condolence message   was brief, but carried  heavy connotations.

“RIP the biggest boss……my MENTOR,” wrote Chivayo.

Godfather: The late Ibrahim Yusuf , who was described as one of businessman Wicknell Chivayo’s biggest mentor

The late Yusuf was one of Chivayo biggest business partners and mentor, on his own admission.

He was the founder and executive Chairman of the Intratrek Group of companies.

He was the driving force behind the business and ensured that the companies  under the group expanded into new territories.

His complementary roles with Chivayo saw the group growing organically  through strategic acquisitions.

In 2015, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) entered into a contractual agreement with Intratek Zimbabwe under the stewardship of Chivayo and technical partner, Chint Electric Company for the Gwanda solar project which is pegged at almost US$200 million.

The implementation of the project is underway.

Meanwhile, in the same month, the Grim Reaper also took toll on other socialites and celebrities’ parents.

Prophet Passion and late mother

Flamboyant cleric Passion Java ,  stylish rapper Desmond Stunner Chideme lost their  mothers , while youthful rapper King 98 and top coach Norman Mapeza lost their fathers.