Farewell Fred, Godspeed great one

''Life is very brief. Lets make the most of our time together'' Fred Magwera

You will be fondly remembered, dearly missed

Fred, today we lay you to rest. I couldn't let this opportunity go without letting you know how I feel.

Losing a close friend is a traumatic and sad situation. So it is no surprise that as I write this, my mind is torn between wanting to believe that this is all some bad dream that will go away and the sad reality that my best buddy, Fred Magwera, is no more and life will never be the same again.



The knowledge of losing anyone to death is made worse by the knowledge that death is very permanent. That I will not see you again, nor talk to you nor share moments of joy with you.

Fred, you are a very naughty boy! You've thrown a curve ball at me and I will never have the chance to tell you that I love you very much.

I will never have the chance to share those beautiful moments with you and family. I will never have that security that comes with knowing that my guy is there and has my back.

A few weeks ago, we were grieving over the passing away of our friend Anopa Makaka. Your words are now haunting me: 'life is short, let's meet up while we can!' you said.

And so we got together two weeks ago. Little did I know it would be the last time. We commited to meet at your house for dinner, with families. I didnt make it. If there is one lesson you have taught me this time, it’s got to be that: never leave till tomorrow what you can do today. I lost out on an opportunity to talk to you once more. I am now left with memories, and the hope that we will find each other in the after-life and find that eternal happiness that the original script promised.

You made my visits to Zimbabwe very special and worthwhile. You offered all, but none better than the love and selflessness that had become Fred 'catfish' Magwera. 

Fred, you are very naughty indeed. And you have broken my heart.

You touched our lives in ways that only Fred Magwera could master.  

We knew each other from Kadoma, grew up in the most challenging of environments. But you made us believe that we could change our circumstances.

Even in those early days you combined an outstanding sense of humor, empathy, wit and care that made you an instant favourite amongst friends. The party would begin when 'catfish' arrived. You brought the best out of us, with great charm and determination.

And your grace and camaraderie was outstanding. When when we went out to meet girls, I knew that I would always lose the girl to Fred, and made my peace with that!

But you were gracious and made sure I stayed in the game!

At school you were exemplary. Yes, we were competitive. But we never degrared our friendship. 

Your grasp of the arts and sciences was amazing. In high school debates, you were most articulate. And later in life, those who had discussions with you on politics (poli-tricks as you called it) would know how sophisticated and refreshing your understanding of politics was.

Fred you are naughty indeed. A big part of me has been ripped out from the inside and taken away. You have taken away an important compass in our life and with this loss comes so many layers of heartache. 

Muriel, I can't imagine the pain you are feeling right now and if there was a way to take it away, we would. I know how much Fred loved you. You were his source of strength, motivation and direction. He was always confident, knowing you had his back. He will want to see you push on.

Ropafadzo and the boys - your dad was proud of you and wanted nothing better than to see you guys succeed. Over the years, I have admired how much he has worked hard to shape his boys for the future. I have no doubt you will make a raving success of the legacy that your dad left you.

Tendai, Winnie, Shingi and rest of family: we have lost an extraordinary brother and human being. To him, you were always first.

And to all who knew and loved Fred: Catfish has reminded us once again how brief this life is. He motivated us in good times and drew a smile and supported us in bad. We owe him an eternal debt of gratitude...

Fred would want us to honour his legacy as best he would have done himself: by putting, as he did, our hearts and minds in the things that matter the most, our families, our relatives, our friendships.

We are all trying to find our way home. Fred's journey on this planet has come to an abrupt end. But he has left us a gift that death will not take away; 

fond memories of his cute character, his wit, his motivation, his outstanding humor and above all his sense of care and empathy for fellow human beings. 

And that my friends is all we can be whilst we are still on this planet.

Godspeed Fred Magwera. God bless you. I will always love you Fred.

Maxwell Gomera