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Death has robbed Meadowlands Zone 5 residents of a true and dedicated elder of integrity and good standing.
Mackson Mzamane Vuma, who was affectionately known as “General”, died at his home last Sunday at 3am, after a long battle with diabetes. He was 86.
The well-known and highly distinguished Vuma was among the first black inspectors at the then General Post Office in the 1970s.
While some called him “mfundisi” (priest) or “ntate” (father), others called him “General” because of his upright, no- nonsense approach.
A true disciplinarian and committed father, Vuma died on his birthday. He had been in and out of hospital. When a fleet of cars parked outside his house on the same Sunday, some mistook the gathering for his birthday celebration. Since he was an elder at Roman Catholic Church in Meadowlands Zone 4, others thought the throng of people were fellow congregants who came to pray and wish ntate Vuma a speedy recovery.
Little did they know the people had come to offer their condolences to the Vuma family.
Vuma had made a mid-week request to his family to spend quality time with him on Sunday to celebrate his 86th birthday.
His son, Lawrence “Lolly” Vuma, said: “General oresiyile” (The General is no more).
“He requested my mom to cook a special African dish to mark his birthday celebration on Sunday.”
Vuma was a master of all trades, especially in social and spiritual matters. He gave free advice to residents, and always quoted from the Bible’s Matthew 10:8: “Freely ye have received, freely give.”
He was a loving father with a sense of humour. Ntate Vuma had always celebrated his birthday quietly with his family. Although he neither drank nor a smoke, he would jokingly ask those who drink liquor: “Where is mine?”
He was not afraid to speak his mind, especially on community issues. He was a community builder in his own right because young and old looked up to him for advice and guidance especially on family-related matters.
Vuma is survived by his wife Victoria, twins Lolly and Isabella, and grandchildren.
The funeral service will be held tomorrow at the Catholic Church in Zone 4 Meadowlands from 8am and the funeral cortege proceeds to Lenasia Cemetery at 11am.