Obituary: Ginimbi died wearing a US$690 sweater. He died as he lived – in the fast lane

Legendary Brooklyn hustler Rocafella died of Aids when it was first becoming an epidemic in the black community and that was the end of his chapter.

The Rolls Royce he was driving is known for its safety but it hit a tree and caught fire.

The car that he flaunted on social media is the one which was the conduit to his Maker.

Popularly known by his moniker, Ginimbi, his chapter on earth was well lived – he worked hard and played hard!

I cannot claim to know the late Ginimbi like how Prophet Makandiwa knows his word.

But I can put it to you gentle reader that I enjoyed cordial relations with the late Ginimbi for close to a decade and his untimely death was devastating.

He was a free spirited and easy going fella who mingled with anyone with ease.

You Live Only Once (Yolo), it has been said.

I first met Ginimbi in 2011 through a brother, Mtulisi Mafa.

I had intercepted images of his first all-white party birthday celebration held somewhere in Highlands or Greystone Park if my memory serves me well.

I sometimes have selective amnesia especially at this time when the dwindling economy has triggered mental health problems.

So there was drama at the party and I had in my possession images of two prominent women fighting for Ginimbi.

Minutes later, I got a call from Mtulisi and he said I must meet some guys to explain intricate details of the party.

There I was to meet two metro-sexual guys who were dressed to kill.

One of the guys (Genius), had a familiar face because he used to rent a small place in Sunningdale 2 where my uncle used to stay.

The two introduced themselves as Genius and Kit Kat.

The agenda of the meeting was simple. The guys were responding to a call I had made to their lady friend.

They said they wanted to provide more glamorous pictures of the party and the cost thereof.

The party had gobbled US$17 000.

H-Metro, where I was working at the time, being a tabloid, we decided to go with the story of the bling.

With the razzmatazz that headlined the party that was the ideal story for a tabloid and my then editor mkoma Larry Moyo gave me a perfect angle and boom, the paper sold like hot cakes.

That was to be Ginimbi’s first newspaper article.

He was to call me the next week to his New Ardbennie offices for a chat and a beginning of a new relationship.

The chat was interrupted by a call and interestingly, I recognized the voice of the caller on the other end, it was my friend Mudiwa Hood.

I apologised for being nosy and asked him if it was Mudiwa on the other end.

He simply laughed and said yes he is my brother.

“Is he your cousin,” I asked.

He said where he comes from a brother is a brother and not this ‘cousins’ jeeborish.

I would also offer my proposals especially in his entertainment ventures – some he agreed and some he turned down.

He was an astute entrepreneur who saw opportunities and grabbed them.

I was reading somewhere that he was in the habit of snatching married women.

On that, I can’t vouch for him but what I witnessed are only two incidents. The first being his clash with a former Cabinet minister over a lady called Memory.

The second was with another former deputy minister and it was over a very vivacious model (name withheld) who now runs an events company.

Naturally, in Africa when a man gets wealthy, he attracts women like a magnet and who was Ginimbi to resist?

In fact, I know of several wealthy men in the corporate world who portray a squeaky clean image but are masters of philandering.

Ginimbi did not part with money easily, one had to offer him a service and get paid.

His famous line was: “Taurai maprice ekutya Mwari.”

I guess that is why he was wealthy because money goes to where it is appreciated.

I have been in a passenger in Ginimbi’s car several times and he was a speed freak.

I vividly recall the other day we drove from Traverse to Chez Ntemba, he was speeding like Nigel Mansel and and I held my breadth.

Ginimbi was known for flaunting his wealth, but very few knew about his philanthropic side.

I stumbled upon this information from a lady friend who was a temporary teacher there and when I asked him he said it was true but not for public consumption.

“Pfunde zvimwe izvi hazvisi zvemapepa, kungochairawo varikutambura,” he said in his husky voice.

He never called me by my first name.

So when I posted my condolence message on my WhatsApp status, some callous people bombarded my inbox asking nonsensical questions.

“Wakambodya kana cent rake here zvaunomuisa on your status,” asked one cousin.

Sometimes it’s about Ubuntuisim, principle and brotherhood more than the money.

Relationships are nurtured that way. There is life after my media practice and these relationships will carry my back I told him.

I rudely quipped that was I supposed to climb on top of Mt Nyangani to announce that ‘we have done this and that consultancy deal with Ginimbi and I got paid this much?’

He asked for cease fire and I complied.

Did I tell you Ginimbi was generous? On the New Year’s eve of 2015, Ginimbi gave me a surprise call.

I was waiting by Jameson Hotel for my young brother and his friend to come pick me up for a visit to my late grandfather in Wedza.

He asked of my location and came in the company of Kit Kat.

He gave me US$1 000 and exclaimed it was a New Year gift.

So how can I not mourn such a kind and generous person.

My cousins Ba Ryan Chuma and Robert Chinhengo were shocked and since then they spoke glowingly about him.

He had an excellent sense of humour too and an excellent taste of fashion: he died wearing a multi-coloured sweater that cost a cool US$690!

I last met him at his Domboshava mansion about two months ago where he spoke of having deposited money for another car.

I had travelled to Domboshava for personal reasons and when I called him, he invited me over to his place where we discussed several issues

He had a dream to conquer Africa in the business world.

That was the last time I met him although we regularly communicated over the phone.

Well, in a rent seeking economy entrepreneurs ride with the flow and capitalize on viable avenues.

So yes apart from his gas business, he ventured into other things like any logical entrepreneur in Zimbabwe in the here and now.

May memories of him give his family the strength they need to proceed and may the work of his hands be well kept to maintain a legacy.

Nine years ago when we first met, seems like yesterday, today we are here tomorrow we are gone.

Sleep easy Ginimbi.

Until we meet again!-ZIMMORNINGPOST