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Charles Mungoshi undergoes successful operation, speaks for first time in months

LEFT: Mungoshi on Sunday, three days after the operation. RIGHT: Mungoshi being discharged from hospital, April 18, 2017.

Charles Mungoshi is speaking again. In a remarkable journey that led to a medical operation on the eve of Good Friday, Mungoshi said his first words in many months on Saturday. One if his first requests was for a copy of his son’s book, Behind the Wall Everywhere.

His wife was overjoyed. “I cannot be thankful enough that my husband has found a new lease of life. There were times when I thought this day would never come. I am overjoyed today. Thank you Zimbabwe. Thank you to the fund raisers and above all, thank you God,” she said.

The operation was carried out in Harare on Thursday after the doctor decided to move the dates forward. At the family’s request the news was kept hushed for a few days to let Mungoshi recover a little and get some time with family before visits from the public begin.

The well-known Zimbabwean writer had developed a build up of fluid in his skull. This was putting pressure on his brain and had led to him losing his mobility and ability to speak. The operation was a procedure to replace an non-performing shunt that was inserted last year to drain the fluid to his stomach.

This led to a fund raising drive, launched in February 2017 by well wishers and friends of the Mungoshi family. Scores of Zimbabweans responded to the call for support, with some sending their donations via Ecocash, some via an online crowd funding platform and others making direct contributions. Thousands shared the request for support via Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter and at the end of last week all those efforts paid off as Mungoshi was wheeled into theatre for the operation.

Charles Mungoshi being wheeled into theatre on Thursday, April 13, 2017
Charles Mungoshi being wheeled into theatre on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

By Sunday, Mungoshi was speaking; slowly, in a low voice, but these were his first words in many months. His wife told Zimbo Jam, “I met with the Doctor on Saturday. There is a lot she still wants be done on vaMungoshi, but the improvement is tremendous. He asked for Farayi’s Behind the Wall Everywhere to read it. He also surprised me by asking for the book Live Like an Artist and I was wondering where he heard about this very recent book.

“But the Doctor said he was banking a lot of information over the months he could not speak. He just couldn’t bring it out and now it’s time for him to let it all out. She is excited by his recovery.”

Yesterday afternoon, as Zimbabweans celebrated independence day, Mungoshi was discharged from hospital.

Live Like an Artist is a collection of poetry written by David Mungoshi’s, Charles’ brother, and published a week before the operation.

Meanwhile, the fund raising team is still pushing to get money for Mungoshi’s post operation procedures (See GoFundMe campaign). The Doctor emphasized on physio & speech therapy since vaMungoshi’s complete recovery depends on these therapy sessions.

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Fungai Tichawangana
Fungai is a media entrepreneur with a passion for documentation and online technologies. He is the founding editor of www.zimbojam.com and was recently a Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University and a Nieman-Berkman Fellow for Journalism Innovation at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

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