Tributes are pouring in following the death of senior producer and presenter of Ukhozi FM’s Ezangempelasonto and Abasiki Bebunda, Bongani Mavuso.
He passed away at Umhlanga Hospital, north of Durban on Monday. Mavuso, affectionately known as iQhawe, was instrumental in the preservation of the isiZulu language through literature and poetry.
“There will be branches of trees cover me, with leaves evergreen, and above me will grass whisper, sleep dear one, sleep and rest in peace,” Mavuso reciting a poem by Benedict Vilakazi.
This well-known voice on the airwaves is now silent.
Mavuso has worked for the SABC for 18 years doing what he loved the most, informing the public. Mavuso was a journalist of many talents, who knew no limits. His love for the language and literature was highly felt.
Mavuso also made his mark through poetry sessions on the Jabula Ujule midday show on UKhozi FM. The show’s presenter, Dudu Lady-D Khoza says Mavuso managed to unearth talent through poetry, one of the legacies he is leaving behind.
“uMavuso goes to these sessions underground where there are poems and he is all for developing and up bringing talent, surfacing talent that is not known so we developed a programme called ‘Back to My Root’ here in Jabula Ujule and Mavuso did marvelous work for years. He brought people I thought I would never know, he brought talent, fresh talent that ended up being popularly known and receiving awards left right and centre, all because of Bongani Mavuso,” Khoza says.
One of the talents that Mavuso discovered and supported is well known poet, Siyabonga Mpungose. He says Mavuso taught him everything, including business.
“Bongani Mavuso was everything to me and to us more especially poets. I met Bongani Mavuso on the 4th of December 2010 and my life changed back then. He taught us many things, he was everything to me. I’ve been overseas and everywhere. He was guiding us. He even told me that Siyabonga as a brand you have to behave like this, you have to make people respect your craft, he guided us with many things even to know how to write an invoice, how to write proposals,” says Mpungose.
His line manager at the SABC Dumisani Ndimande says they are devastated as Mavuso was one of his key presenters in critical assignments, including the upcoming coronation of AmaZulu King Misuzulu KaZwelithini.
“Bongani died at a time when we are busy with preparations for the Coronation and he was a key person who was going to lead the team to actually do that broadcast. We thought let just do those plans a month before so that we ensure that we have a smooth broadcast on the 29th. So as it is we are so devastated, the information he had knowledge about, the Zulu culture, he was multitalented.”
The Mavuso family is devastated.
“We are saddened by the departure of Bongani, he was a straight talker. If there were feud in our family he would want that sorted out as soon as possible. He loved everyone in our family actually he was a people’s person,” family spokesperson Majuba Mavuso.
Mavuso is survived by his parents and one brother. He will be laid to rest this coming weekend.
VIDEO: Tributes continue to pour for veteran Ukhozi FM presenter Bongani Mavuso: