Biography: Johanna Tshinakaho Mudzielwana

Written by Moudy Mudzielwana

On Jan 16, 2020

Saturday 11 January 2020 will go a long way in our box of memories. It seemed to be a usual day from the morning, birds singing their melodies and the wild continuing with their lives. The winds of change where to be off, change that is permanent, a permanent loss to the family of Mudzielwana and the community at large. It was least expected and when the late hours of the day approaches, a dark cloud confirmed the legend, the icon and the leader has departed. Tears of confusion went down on the whole clan, no one could do anything, and everyone rightfully started to grieve yet in peace, because the life she lived has a bigger meaningful impact to the people and the community at large. That is Vho Tshinakaho Johanna Mudzielwana. She passed on at the age of 100 plus 7 days, just a few days after her birthday.

Born on the 3rd of January 1920, Vho Tshinakaho Mudzielwana lived her life to fullest and she was clear of what she wants to achieve in life. A hard-natural loving hard worker who hails from Phungoni and moved to Tshiavha. She was married to Jan Mudzielwana and lately moved to Tshiwisa and lastly settled at Tshixwadza. A mother to James Ratshibvumo Mudzielwana, Phillemon Mmbengeni Mudzielwana, Agnes Ntshavheni Mudzielwana, Livhuwani Mudzielwana and Mashudu Mudzielwana. They all articulate how she strictly put them to line and know the role of a parent to their future. An advocate for unity and ethic of love in her family. This is evident through the lives lived by her children and approximately 39 of her grandchildren and 79 of her great-grandchildren who remained committed to the vision of unity even when she could no longer utter a word.

The full extent of the reach and impact of the unique “Agents of Change” like Vho Tshinakaho whose leadership has proven to be the core to futuristic thinking. She deserves to be honoured even when the impact to the community is not visible for all to see. Her compositions are not recorded and performed on stages with admiring fans singing along having learnt the songs word for word. The visible part of Vho Tshinakaho is the success of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren have been a defining feature of community of Tshixwadza and Rambuda at large for close to 50 years now.

She could easily have stopped at making a success of herself and her children and grandchildren through her pioneering personal acumen. She instead chose to use her stardom to fulfil an unpaid role to the nation. Her contribution has been invaluable. Having an encounter with her has been a blessing and her journey has been that of someone who is not selfish

Vho Tshinakaho was unbelievably compassionate. Her heart and her generosity knew no bounds. Her door was always open – literally. She rarely locked it. You could just walk in and people often did. Neighbours, friends, immediate family and relatives, cousins would leave their work to visit and stay for a few minutes, a few hours or for a few days, to enjoy her hospitality, her generosity and her infamous strict guidance without compromise. She was happiest puttering in and around her home, and she took great pride in her love for farming. She loved working hard and she never stopped working even when she could no longer walk. She is indeed a Ray of Light for the
community. The life she lived is incomparable and serves as a reference to humility and someone whose shoes to fill to make an impact over her humanity.

By Moudy Mudzielwana

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