October is a sombre month for the city of Bulawayo and its arts industry as one of its music heroes, Mgcini “Cal_vin” Nhliziyo was gruesomely murdered on 25 October last year in a “hit-and-run” accident.
The Bulawayo hip-hop maestro was given a hero status by the city fathers as he was laid to rest at Lady Stanley cemetery, a place where only citizens who have served the city with distinction are buried.
While it was commendable for the city council to honour Cal_Vin while lying motionless in a casket, at least he could have been honoured while he was still alive.
It is on record that the Mayor of Bulawayo Solomon Mguni expressed his regret over council’s failure to honour artistes in their lifetime and even said it would have been proper for Calvin to have bequeathed his children a stand or a roof over their heads. However, he was also understood by others to have been making a pledge that council would give the family a stand.
In the search for clarity, B-Metro Showbiz had to go to the archives and footage of the Mayor speaking at Cal_Vin’s farewell service held at Bulawayo Amphitheatre was discovered.
“It’s a pity that Cal_Vin died while still staying home at his age. As a city, we have failed to honour or give respect to our artistes by at least giving them a stand so that they are able to leave behind something for their children.
“It was said Cal_Vin left a daughter behind. It would have been better if he left the child with a roof over her head,” said Mguni in his speech.
Since that speech, the late rapper’s mother Sinikiwe Luphahla, said she had been up and down in search of the mayor but he is a “very’ busy man.
The grieving Luphahla said means of trying to find out about the stand proved to be fruitless as Mguni served her with a letter (that B-Metro is in possession of), stating he never promised anyone a stand.
“Dear Ms Luphahla. Thank you for the letter that I received on 13 July 2021. Please be advised that my speech has been misunderstood. I meant it was a pity that the late Cal_Vin was honoured with Lady Stanley Cemetery burial when he could have been offered a stand while he was still alive.
“I said that we should learn to honour artistes when they are still alive. If you are in need of a stand, you are advised to apply in the usual manner,” reads the letter written by Mguni on 16 July 2021.
From all the promises made at the funeral including paying fees for Cal_Vin’s daughter Khloe, Luphahla said it was all buried with his son.
“People made promises to us including the mayor as he pledged to give Cal_Vin’s children a stand. Now he is untouchable and always busy. He served me with a letter saying he was misquoted in his speech.
“There was a list that the organisers (of the funeral services) said was compiled, of people who wanted to help including paying school fees for Khloe, that all hasn’t been done. I pray that one day all this comes to fruition,” said Luphahla.
She said Cal_Vin’s tombstone unveiling will be done next year, two years after his demise.
“We are asking those with long hands to help us gather money for the tombstone unveiling for next year, it will go a long way,” she said.