Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter
This is our third series where we look at some of the famous sons and daughters from Bulawayo’s culturally rich suburbs. Bulawayo is known for its diverse talent and skill which makes it a star-studded city. We have to date looked at Mpopoma and Tshabalala suburbs and as promised, this week we visit Luveve/Gwabalanda suburbs. The two suburbs are intertwined.
Luveve was established in 1935 and has been home to a large pool of famous persons and on the scary side, it has a cemetery, a permanent home to and for anyone, famous or not.
So who are the famous sons and daughters who hail from the twin suburbs, named after Chief Luveve and Chief Gwabalanda? These two suburbs are home to politicians, three judges, three former Highlanders chairmen, an author, a banker, football coaches, sports personalities, media personalities and musicians.
Post-independence Zimbabwe’s first president, the late Canaan Banana, a Methodist Church of Zimbabwe minister too, resided in Luveve. Banana died on November 10, 2003.
Former deputy president of the Senate and a political stalwart, Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu resided in Luveve until his death on May 28, 2017.
Renowned lawyer, businessman, and politician, Welshman Ncube went to Luveve High School for his Form One to Four, walking from Gwabalanda suburb.
Ncube’s younger brother, Supreme Court Judge of Appeal (JA) Justice Nicholas Mathonsi as well as retired judges, Justice Maphios Cheda and Justice Sello Nare are Gwabalanda and Luveve ‘natives’.
“I was at Thokozani Flats first before moving to Luveve in 1975 after leaving teaching and becoming a court interpreter. Colloquially we used to call the place, Kovukakanye because we had geysers which meant once you wake up you go straight to bath instead of first switching on the stove, put a water container and while waiting for it to be hot, go back to sleep,” said Rtd Justice Nare.
Phathisa Nyathi, Bulawayo’s moving encyclopedia and author of repute lives in Gwabalanda.
The trio of former Amahlolanyama supremos, Kennedy Ndebele, Themba Ndlela and the late James Mangwana-Tshuma grew up in Luveve, as did former Bosso committee member, Liqhwa Gama.
Some may not be aware that the famous shops known as Ko J Themba Supermarket and Butchery in Gwabalanda, which opened in 1977, are owned by the late former Highlanders president Jonathan Themba Mhlanga, father to public relations guru, Lenox.
Another Luveve son is a renowned banker and one of the founders of BancABC, Bheki Moyo. Moyo is also a childhood friend of Ndlela hence it was easy for the financial institution to sponsor Highlanders.
Deputy ZRP Officer commanding Masvingo province, Assistant Commissioner Shelton Dube is a Luveve son so is renowned musician, South African-based Oscar Mdlongwa, aka Oskido as well as the late hip hop artist Calvin Nhliziyo aka That Luveve boy, tragically killed in 2020. Matabeleland North Provincial Education Director Jabulani Mpofu is Gwabalanda born.
One thing about Bulawayo suburbs is that in almost all of them you will find a sports person, especially footballers, and media personalities.
Social media influencer Busi Bhebhe, renowned female photographer Resta Chikomo nee Nyamwanza, sports administrator and wife to former Bosso hitman, Mkhokheli, Primrose, Chronicle Online news editor Temba Dube and the late Chronicle Reporter Tito Asani are all associated with these suburbs.
The last coach to lead Bosso to league title glory to date, Methembe Ndlovu comes from Gwabalanda so is the club’s former skipper Thulani Biya Ncube and Zenzo Moyo.
Former Division One championship winning coach Lindile Dube, Botswana based Philani Beefy Ncube, Bosso legends Alexander Maseko, Amini Soma-Phiri, Makwinji Soma-Phiri, Josiah Nxumalo and rugby player, the late Lameck Kasuka who spent 26 years in hospital following a horror injury, all come from Luveve.
Football legend Sunday Chidzambwa was a brief resident of Luveve as a youngster in 1966 when his father was stationed at Luveve Police Station.
We would not have done justice to the article if we do not mention Her Majesty, the shebeen queen, uSis Lindi.
Next week we will take a tour of Entumbane. Anyone famous you know from Entumbane?
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