Ward 6 residents turned out in droves to the burial of one of its longest serving community leaders, Mr Velempini Mbotshwa Tshuma on 7th August, 2014. Mr Tshuma died a week earlier after a long illness. Born in 1938 in Gala, Mr Tshuma led an exemplary life as an educator and chief aide to the local headman, Mr Manguba. He taught in various schools across the country including a primary school in Llewellyn Barracks just outside Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo.

Mourners gathered at the Tshuma homestead from the day his death was announced and held daily and nightly vigils right up to the day of the burial. Typical of a close knit community, Gala residents played a very supportive role to the family of Mr Tshuma by fetching firewood and drinking water to sustain the crowd that had gathered. The women of the community played a pivotal role in consoling the surviving members of the Tshuma family as well as cooking for the crowds. Local businessman from Ntoli and Gala donated soft drinks and other food items.

Some of the luminaries who attended the funeral were, Mr John Brown Ncube, the CEO of Bulilima East District, Mrs Ethel Moyo, Bulilima East District Administrator and Mr Sifanekiso Ndlovu, Ward 6 councilor. In her eulogy, Mrs Moyo delivered a highly emotional speech in which she challenged the people to emulate the life of Mr Velempini Mbotshwa Tshuma. Speaking in her native Kalanga, Mrs Moyo reminded the Ward 6 residents of the life of service to his community that Mr Tshuma led.

The body of Mr Tshuma was laid to rest before 2.00pm in accordance with Kalanga customs and traditions. He is survived by his wife and four children, one of whom, Mrs Bo Sebele had driven all the way from Cape Town, South Africa.

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