THE late veteran journalist Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu has been described as a rare breed of journalists whose skills where developed and sharpened by the liberation struggle.
Ndlovu died at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) on Friday morning following a heart ailment.
Ndlovu was 87 years old.
Before joining the main media stream, Ndlovu was the Director of Publicity and Information of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) between 1964 and 1978.
He was also the founding editor of a magazine that was published by the party.
In 1972, Ndlovu was sent to the Soviet Union by Zapu for military training.
Ndlovu and some of the Zapu cadres also undergone a leadership training in the Soviet Union.
Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (ZINEF) National Coordinator, Njabulo Ncube described the late Ndlovu as both a liberator and a par excellent journalist.
“It is with sadness that we have learnt of the passing on of a liberator and veteran journalist. Our condolences to the family, friends and the nation. It is our hope that the authorities will accord him the necessary recognition as one of the liberators of Zimbabwe. My his soul rest in peace, our liberator and colleague,” said Ncube.
Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) Board member Tapfuma Machakaire described the late Ndlovu as a groomer who trained several journalists soon after independence.
“Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu alongside journalists such as Bill Saidi (late), David Ncube (Late) Jonathan Maphenduka, Davison Maruziva, Stanford Mukasa, Walter Mapango (late), Stephen Mpofu where among the veteran journalists we found at Zimpapers Bulawayo branch in the early eighties. They had the difficult task of grooming young journalists who had undergone crash training programmes to fill in the gap that had been left through the exist of white reporters at the advent of independence in 1980,” said Machakaire who also worked with Ndlovu at Zimpapers Bulawayo branch.
The VMCZ board member said Ndlovu was a patient person.
“In mentoring the youngsters, Ndlovu would not be as crude as his colleagues in guiding the youngsters. He was specifically good at leading by example in writing stories of challenges that the communities in the rural areas were facing. One could hardly tell that he had held such a high profile position in Director of Information and Publicity ZAPU during the liberation struggle,” said Machakaire.
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) regional and Zimbabwe Chapter chairperson Golden Maunganidze also described Ndlovu as a rear breed of yesteryear journalists who contributed immensely towards the liberation struggle through journalism as well as political activism.
“The role played by our departed father figure for the liberation of this country is well documented. He was both a fine journalist as well as a politician in his own right. As MISA we would like to our convey our condolences to the his family, colleagues in the media as well as the nation,” said Maunganidze.
The late Ndlovu worked for The Chronicle, The Sunday News before joining Munn Publishing Company where he was the contributing editor and regional manager responsible for Matebeleland , the Midlands , Masvingo , Botswana and Zambia.
He left Munn in 1987 and joined Lonrho Zimbabwe as a Public Relations Executive.
He also worked for the Daily News.
Burial arrangements are still to be announced.
Ndlovu is survived by wife, Caroline, five children and eight grandchildren.