JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwean businessman and Diaspora leader of the people of Mthwakazi, Western Zimbabwe, Chief Albert Zwelibanzi Gumede – who died two weeks ago, was laid to rest in Nasrec, Johannesburg Saturday.
Hundreds of multi-class mourners gathered in Houghton earlier on the day to pay their last respects before the burial.
The funeral service and burial were attended by Thulani Zulu, heir to the Zulu throne, veteran Zimbabwean actor Ernest Phosa Ndlovu, Highlanders football club legends Alexander Maseko, Douglas “British” Mloyi, Amin Soma-Phiri, founding Mthwakazi Republic Party President Fidelis “Nandinandi” Ncube and several Zulu chiefs, among others.
Beside his love and sponsorship of Ndebele cultural events, Gumede was also a founding member of the secessionist MLF political party. Many of the mourners said he would be remembered for his great works in raising cultural awareness and pride to the legion of Ndebeles, especially those based in neighbouring South Africa.
His love for his Ndebele culture and his nation saw him get ordained Ndebele-Diaspora chief in 2014. The new role made him very popular in Kwazulu Natal, where he visited King Goodwill Zwelithini many times.
Chief Ndwandwe of KwaZulu-Natal urged the people of Matabeleland to remain in touch with their Zulu counterparts, adding the passing-on of Chief Gumede shouldn’t be the end of their relationship.
Gumede, originally from Umzingwane district in Zimbabwe, succumbed to a short illness on March 5, at the age of 65 years. He is survived by his wife uMakhoza and five children.