AN agile young man in a hoodie walks confidently into the room. It is a cold night in Harare’s plush Glen Lorne suburb where the city’s who is who from a golden young generation are assembling for a house party.
It’s still early and the talk is still quiet chatter and murmurs from people familiar with each other. They still have their heads on and their calm is still on. The drinks have only just started flowing so no mischief is afoot: yet!
The cicadas can be heard buzzing outside on the green and brown lawn. The winter is letting go of her strangle on the plants and they have started greening again in Harare. And yet even the orchestra of cicadas is not yet a full complement; some of the insects are evidently still too cold to sing.
Like that legendary line; it indeed is too cold outside for angels to fly.
Yet some angels are daring and they come in suave and skimpy evening wear. Who doesn’t want to flaunt a luscious body when they still have it? Firm in all the right places. The young men are classy yet many in line with the all black dress code.
The young man in charge of the house party politely greets people. Sometimes verbally. Sometimes with the bob of the head. A warm little creature in spite of his rather tall and athletic look.
It is Chatunga Bellarmine Mugabe. Son of the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. The former first family. Now son of the first pensioner. While the former Zim One is now P One (pensioner one) enjoying his retirement, life goes on for the former first son.
Today he is no longer son of the Commander-in-Chief. Instead, it is he who has become a commander of sorts. The entertainer in chief as he now runs things with his Triplife Entertainment that has organised this exclusive house party.
Things get hot and heavy, the night explodes. The little gods of class are here. King ‘98, Enzo Ishall, Irvine Davies. All looking like royalty. The drinks flow, the passion explodes and before you know it, it is the end of what has been an explosive night in which the host has topped it all by hosting people at the decks where the music belted out madly!
And still, there has been no mischief as one would expect from the myth of the ‘troublesome’ Mugabe boys.
“I’m not mischievous,” Chatunga Bellarmine later says in a one on one chat as the week progresses. “It’s a myth created and one which I am comfortably ignoring,” he adds.
Today he is laid back. Close cropped hair and light winter wear.
Unlike in the past, he does not have strange men in black sunglasses and ill-fitting suits looking over his shoulders as he used to in the past when he was the first son. The spooks are gone and he has the ‘freedom’ to hang out with his friends around the city.
It is a freedom many take for granted. His father is exuding the same. Pictured wearing Adidas signature apparel; dumping the confines of the suit, Bellarmine has also dumped the stringent security etiquette which was obviously suffocating him.
You can tell that the 22-year-old is enjoying what appears to him to be a fresh new life.
He smiles a lot. Laughs a lot and speaks freely with confidence. A far cry from the old Bellz, as his friends affectionately call him.
The only people who look happier than Bellarmine Chatunga are probably those care-free men, women and boys who appear on the Jehovah’s Witnesses pamphlets. Except they have had to die to enjoy hugging lions and each other. Bellarmine has just had to kill his old self and enjoy his new reality.
“We need to get things out there. We are working as Triplife to change the game in the arts industry which is my passion. We have King ’98 we want to work with, Enzo Ishall as well and many other people we want to bring to the top of the game,” he says. There is something on him you can smell. Ok, it’s the expensive designer fragrance. But there is that other smell oozing from him. It is called confidence!
“I can’t keep following the narrative of people who don’t know me and yet want to judge me. Instead I have parents to please and a life to live. I have their confidence and I have dreams. That is what I am chasing,” he asserts.
He is in good hands. Triplife has always had the kissing cousins relationship with the Max Mugaba run Entertainment Republic and Max is in the loop to make the next steps for Triplife mean nothing short of business and success.
“We have a lot to achieve and Bellz is on point. He has had the media try to rope him into issues that have nothing to do with him. It sells newspapers but he is human and can be affected. Nobody takes into cognisance that he is human and also has feelings. What shocks me is how he has now managed to ignore the noise and focus on the dream we are pursuing,” says Max.
Which is why Bellarmine has resorted to not responding when accosted. He is busy trying to make money and a living for himself. After all the legendary Winky D says mari haidi noise. Money is not attracted to noise at all!
During another meeting at the end of the week, Bellarmine sits at the wheel at Borrowdale Village in his trademark hoodies. He is smiling. Give the man a Bellz as his moniker suggests!
“We are heading for South Africa. Things are on course my guy. Triplife is changing the game!” he declares.
He has assembled an army of the entertainment industry elite and they are about to conquer the world with the sweet violence of his genius. After all, his name has a violent streak. Named after Italian Jesuit Saint Robert Bellarmine by his devoted Catholic father; his name Bellarmine actually means “combative, belligerent man”, which in turn derives from the Late Latin “bellum”, meaning “war, conflict”.
His army stands behind him. Behold the Commander-in-Chief of the Triplife entertainment revolution.