The late filmmaker and actor, Watson Chidzomba, has been hailed as a humble artist who left an indelible mark in the creative sector.
Chidzomba died on Thursday last week aged 61.
He was buried yesterday at West Bank Cemetery in Norton.
Fellow players in the film and theatre industry said the nation had lost a creative genius who believed in young talent.
Veteran playwright, Aaron Chiundura-Moyo described Chidzomba’s death as a loss to the creative sector.
“We have lost a creative genius who was humble and yet talented.
“I first watched him on television in the film ‘I Need A Child’ before we later met and worked together.
“He was good at grasping the script and he would go the extra mile once he got on the set.”
“I am proud to have worked with him and he left a legacy set to be cherished for years,” he said.
Chiundura-Moyo said Chidzomba deserved to be honoured for his hard work.
“It’s very unfortunate that for all his prowess as an actor and filmmaker, Chidzomba did not have an award.
“Sometimes you wonder what these people like NAMA organisers consider when choosing their winners.
“We all know what Chidzomba has done for the industry and all the plays that he featured in with distinction,” he said.
He urged Chidzomba’s kids to keep the family legacy intact.
“I am glad to note that Chidzomba’s son Watson Junior is also pursuing acting like what his father did.
“Of course he has established himself as an artist, but it’s nice to note that he is also making inroads in film,” he added.
Fellow actor Timothy Tapfumaneyi, who made his name in “Timmy naBonzo”, expressed his shock following the death of Chidzomba.
“We never heard about his illness and this came as a shock to us when we were told that he is no more.
“He was a down-to-earth person who loved his job as an actor, script writer and director.”
“He was complete in every aspect of film-making.”
“Losing such great minds in film-making is a huge loss to us.”
“The nation has been robbed of a humble person who used to light up the small screen,” he said.
Savanna Trust director and actor, Daniel Maposa, hailed the late filmmaker for his willingness to work with young people.
“Despite all his fame, he loved to impart the same knowledge he had to young people.
“In my case, I have learnt to be humbled no matter how famous we become. In his case, he remained grounded and I have never heard a single day when he was caught offside.
“He was well-groomed and genuinely loved his work as a filmmaker and script-writer,” he said.
Musician and family friend, Eunice “Magumbo” Kapandura said they were still to come to terms with Chidzomba’s death.
“We used to watch him on television and later got to meet and know him in person.
“He remains one of the finest actors and film-makers Zimbabwe has ever heard.
“It’s quite unfortunate that he died when we still needed his service.”
“The film industry is now poorer without him. Such great minds are irreplaceable,” she said.
Magumbo urged the family to remain united without their father.
“It’s hard losing a father who was a unifier and counsellor.
“The family should simply put into practice the positive stuff which he used to teach them,” she said.
Rising arts administrator Eugene Museredza who worked closely with Chidzomba at Pakare Paye, said: “Chidzomba worked for Pakare Paye for a long time before Tuku’s death and, sadly, we have lost a respected arts practitioner.
“I used to meet him at Pakare Paye where he taught and groomed young talents.
“Of course, he was more into administration but you could see that he had a passion for what he did in the sector.”
Meanwhile, mourners came in numbers to pay their last respects for Chidzomba.
Pakare Paye’s new operations manager, Trymore Mupingiza, was among the mourners along with Government representatives and fellow actors and actresses who worked with Chidzomba.
A befitting send-off, scores of people from all walks of life came to commiserate with the late filmmaker.
Chidzomba is survived by his widow Christine Fero and three children – two girls and a boy.