|Veteran journalist Hove, man of order|
|Saturday, 30 June 2012 20:49|
Sunday News ReportersTHE late veteran politician and journalist, Mr Mike Masotsha Hove, who died on Monday and was buried yesterday at Lady Stanley Cemetery, was a prepared man who had his coffin made 20 years ago and stored in his Woodville home, Sunday News can exclusively reveal.
His nephew, Reuben Nkulumo Ncube, told mourners that Mr Hove who died last week on Monday at Mater Dei Hospital had his coffin made by his late brother Jorum Hove, in 1992.
“My uncle asked his brother Jorum to make a coffin for him as he was a good carpenter and this was 20 years ago. It was made in Gokwe where he stayed and when it was complete it was transported to Bulawayo where it had been in a storeroom at his Woodville home,” said Mr Ncube.
Mr Ncube said Mr Hove was a man who had his life in order as he also purchased grave space well before his wife’s death in 2006.
“He had everything in order, he purchased grave space before the death of his wife. He knew very well their final resting place,” Mr Ncube said.
Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, who is the Hoves’ son-in-law was among mourners gathered yesterday, together with High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha and president of the Labour Court Justice Selo Nare.
Mr Hove’s firstborn child, Senator Sekai Holland, who is the co-Minister of State for National Healing and Reconciliation, said her father was a great man who represented the diverse culture of Africans.
“He was a great man. He is the true symbol of the complexity of the African genealogical tree. Our grandfather had three wives and all these three families are gathered here together with grand and great grand children,” said Minister Holland.
According to Mr Ncube, Mr Hove was a philanthropic man who dedicated his life to the needy. It is said he requested that no flowers be bought for him when he died.
“Years before he died he told us that he didn’t want flowers or an expensive coffin. He said the money meant for buying flowers and even money from well wishers should be donated to Jairos Jiri or other orphanages,” said Mr Ncube.
He said Mr Hove’s recipe for a long life was based on good friends, family and relatives, thus he died a peaceful and well-lived life. He also led a healthy life, as his late wife was a great cook who was conscious of health needs.
Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe, the vice-chancellor of Midlands State University who is also Mr Hove’s nephew said he was a bitter man for he failed to fulfil one of Mr Hove’s wishes.
“I am a bitter man, I failed to fulfil Hove’s wish of writing his biography while he was still alive. I was too consumed with work at the university such that I failed to do so, but I am happy that Pathisa Nyathi managed to do a sterling job by telling the story of his life as he is a historian and a storyteller,” said Prof Bhebhe.
Mr Hove was born on 15 September 1914 at Mnene in Mberengwa.
He attended Masase School in Mberengwa from 1931 to 1934 and then went on to Mogernster Mission in the then Fort Victoria in 1935. From 1936 to 1938 he trained as a teacher at Umpumulo Institution in Natal, South Africa and upon graduation he returned to Zimbabwe and taught at his old school, Masase from 1939 to 1941.
In 1945 Mr Hove was invited to become the Editor of the Bantu Mirror, the first African weekly newspaper in Zimbabwe, a position he took up in June 1946.
On 15 December 1953, Mr Hove won a parliamentary election, and until 1962 he was the Federal Member of Parliament for the Matabeleland constituency.
Between 1962 to 1963 Mr Hove was posted to Lagos, Nigeria, where he served as the High Commissioner for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
He returned home in 1964 and joined the local Government administration in Bulawayo, first as the Youth Employment Officer and finally as the Regional Superintendent in charge of Bulawayo’s western townships of Luveve, Magwegwe, Pumula and Pelandaba and retired in 1978.
Mr Hove was an executive member of the Luveve Welfare Society, executive member of the Southern Rhodesia Federation of African Welfare Societies and served on the Luveve Advisory Board until its proscription in the 1950s.
He also served on the Jairos Jiri Association and was until 1999 chairman of the Mpilo Hospital Advisory Committee.
Mr Hove also served on the Board of Directors of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe, Central African Building Society (CABS), Lucas Batteries, RM Insurance and the Board of Trustees of the Zimbabwe Project Trust until 1998. He is survived by six children 17 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.