Story by Fairstars Mukungurutse
A memorial service for the late Yasha Mafidi Mnangagwa was held this saturday in Helensville, Harare.
Family and friends came out in their numbers this Saturday to celebrate the life of the late Yasha, who was President Emmerson Mnangagwa and First Lady, Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa’s grandson.
Yasha died of respiratory complications in October last year at the age of five.
He was Shawn and Varaidzo Mnangagwa’s son.
President Mnangagwa, flanked by First Lady, Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, his children, grandchildren, relatives and friends, paid tribute to his grandson, acknowledging his untimely passing was the will of God.
He further expressed gratitude to all who were in attendance for their support.
The President referred to Luke 18 verse 16 which reads: “Let the little ones come to me and do not hinder them for the Kingdom of God is theirs.”
“Indeed that sums up why we are gathered here in recognition of this living word of God. Kids at this age have no sin and the Lord above says let them come to me. Unfortunately, we grandparents and parents sometimes do not agree with the word of God.
“We would want it the other way, but we have no choice. We would want to see our children grow up and fulfil their wishes and their talents in life but of course, as the word of God says he gives and he takes and we have no authority over that,” said the President.
“The question of who goes first and goes last is not in our hands. It is in the hands of the Lord above. I thank you all for this day that we have come together. To Tafadzwa (Sean), his wife, relatives and the entire family i say this did not start with you, it is part and parcel of life. It is also the law of God that we all have to accept.
“Today it is in the Mnangagwa family, tomorrow it is elsewhere but we must accept that God has done as he wishes. These young children, the friends he played with may not understand. They still ask as to where their colleague went. However, as time passes I think they will accept that he went to God and I believe my daughters-in-law-their mothers, try to teach them so. I didn’t know we were going to have such a large crowd, when we were arranging this with his grandmother.
“Yasha loved his grandmother more than me. Each time he would come home, he would go to his grandmother first even when we are seated together the two of us. I felt jealous, but I said when he grew up he would know where the power lies. All these jokes are now gone. That is how we enjoyed life with him around. I am so touched about what the school he attended did. They have managed to send someone to speak and I am very grateful that you have been able to come over to the family and convey the message you have conveyed. We are very grateful. Having said that I would like to conclude by thanking you all in your individual or collective capacities that it has been an honour for us as a family that you have been able to come. When we arranged this we thought we would just be a family quietly with a few friends,” said the President.
Yasha’s uncle Emmerson Junior and family members delivered emotional messages of remembrance.
“We are gathered here today in loving memory of Yasha Mafidi Mnangagwa. Yasha to us had many names. I used to call him Fidi, Mafidi, General, Commander. He had so many names. He had such a beautiful loving spirit. Each time he would visit his grandfather’s place with his brothers and sisters you would see them playing together. Fidi would command how things would be going and who is playing with what and what time we start and what time we finish and who is going to eat first and who is going to eat last.
“At such a young age he had a very brotherly spirit with his sisters especially. We used to watch him playing well with his peers. Indeed it’s a very sad moment for the family, for all of us. His passing left a huge hole in our hearts. But through scripture and through prayers from our pastors here and all your prayers and the small memories we have of him, I feel sooner or later the hole will slowly fill up. To my Yasha, i want to say you are not alone, we are all here for you. There was a lot of sadness in this house following his death, but today i see smiles because you have all come to comfort us. I would like to thank everybody for your prayers. Let us keep the memories and love,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Yasha’s teacher Mrs Natasha Herbst, head Silver Linings School, Mrs Nix Grant described Yasha as an outstanding student.
The ceremony was presided over by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Chaplain Christine Phiri.
Boys of thunder from the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe provided entertainment through song and dance.
Among those who were in attendance include Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Martin Rushwaya and Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Honourable Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri.