The first round of a campaign to raise funds for Charles Mungoshi to get a brain operation has been successful and the iconic writer has his operation set to happen in the next few weeks.
Earlier today, the writer underwent a number of tests in Harare ahead of the upcoming operation.
The campaign, with an initial target of US$9000, raised $12,100 from various contributors, including a final lump sum surprise from a donor who asked to remain anonymous.
Scores of Zimbabweans came forward, making donations via Ecocash and then about 40 others donated via the GoFundMe campaign set up for the cause. Even more shared the article and the donation details. The initial article, published on February 17, was shared over 800 times and this is important, because in the end someone saw that article and called Jesesi Mungoshi just over two weeks ago to tell her they would pay for the full operation and that they wanted to remain anonymous.
Then, recently, they deposited the full US$9,094.00 into the account of the surgery doing the operation. Mai Mungoshi was especially relieved, because there were so many other costs that were coming up regarding the operation, including a barrage of tests that needed to be done. There was much joy among those who had helped push the fund raising cause and we hope, if you were a part of this process in any way, you can share this joy with the Mungoshi family today.
The Mungoshi family and fund raising team said they were thrilled that they had overshot the target because there were other bills for tests that came up and they still seek to raise money to ensure that Mungoshi can get the all-important post-operative care; an additional US$5,000.
$1,900 of this is already in place from the current fund raising efforts.
“Last time he got operated on, we needed to send him for physiotherapy, but there was no money so this resulted in the ineffectiveness of his left hand,” explained his wife Jesesi Mungoshi.
Mai Mungoshi, who has been fighting for her husband to get well since his stroke in 2010, said she was filled with gratitude. The hospital visits and doctors appointments over the years have taken a toll on the family finances and she felt stranded when they were hit with the figures for the operation.
“In Shona they say ‘Rume rimwe harikombi churu.’ I really am thankful for a job well done. As a wife I have mostly been concentrating on caring for vaMungoshi. I don’t think we would have managed without the support of the fund raising team. When this fundraising kicked off, it was like lifting a log that was pinning me down. VaChirere, Lawrence Hoba, Fungisai Siggins, the Zimbo Jam team, all others who played a part and those who gave so generously, may you continue to shine. This should be a landmark in the history of artists. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
One of Mungoshi’s children, Farayi, who recently won a NAMA for his collection of short stories titled ‘Behind the Wall Everywhere,’ also expressed his immense gratitude. “I just want to thank everyone that’s been involved in this fight. Indeed it is a fight because the road hasn’t been easy. With your help we have managed to accomplish in less than a month something we have been struggling with for a year. Thank you once again and may we continue to push hard and God bless you all.”
After a stroke in 2010, Mungoshi developed a condition where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was building up in his brain, causing it to to compress against the skull and resulting in a number of neurological challenges for the writer. He lost a lot of his mobility, his speech became slurred and difficult and, could no longer read or write.
An operation was done last year to insert a shunt into his brain to drain the excess fluid, but the shunt is not serving its purpose. A private doctor advised that a ‘VP Shunt Replacement’ operation would be needed, costing US$9,000 and this led to the fund raising campaign.