By Muchadeyi Ashton Masunda
It was with great shock and profound sadness that I learnt that Conway Nkumbuzo Tutani passed away suddenly at his home in Harare on Monday, 2 August, 2021.
On behalf of the Alpha Media Holdings Editorial Advisory Board of Trustees and on behalf of my family, I would like to extend our heartfelt and deepest condolences to his wife, Isabel, and their four children, especially Nonhlanhla who is affectionately known as “Miss V Candy” or “uMaDhlamini”.
He was a rare breed of a journalist who was endowed with a keen eye for detail as well as a phenomenally retentive memory.
It was in no small measure because of these attributes that he became a proofreader and sub-editor par excellence.
During his 40-year stint as an integral part of the proverbial Fourth Estate, one of the hallowed pillars of good governance, he carved out a niche for himself as a respected columnist with an enviably large contingent of followers on the leader page of the Friday editions of NewsDay.
On a more personal note, I first met him just over 52 years ago in Gweru when I was doing my ‘A’ Levels at Fletcher High School.
He was my junior by two or three years. He also went to school with my wife, Fikile, at Thekwane Mission near Plumtree.
I later linked up with him again in July 1998 when I served as the inaugural chairman of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), the publishers of the original Daily News, whose founding editor-in-chief was the legendary and irrepressible Geoffrey Nyarota.
He played a pivotal role as one of the senior proofreaders amongst what was quite a formidable pack of seasoned journalists who included, in addition to Nyarota, the likes of Davison Smiler Maruziva and the now late William (Bill) Sylvester Saidi, Tagwirei William Bango, Thomas Deve and Innocent Muchemwa Kurwa.
Besides the abiding passion which I shared with him, particularly regarding quality control issues in newspaper stories and articles, we both had strong Xhosa genes in our respective DNAs — in his case because of his father and in my case because of my mother.
As we would say in isiXhosa, “lala ngoxolo mfondini usugqibile umsebenzi wakho kweli hlabathi”.
- Muchadeyi Ashton Masunda is chairman of the AMH Editorial Advisory Board of Trustees