Charles Mungoshi seriously ill, unable to talk
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His wife Jesesi Mungoshi, in a wide-ranging interview with a local publication, Jewel Magazine, in December told the magazine:
". . . my husband went into a coma on the 1st of May 2010 for about two months. Three years later, he can't talk. Yes, you can hear one word here and another there. He struggles to walk, but he can go a distance, he is very determined."
Jesesi rose to fame in the movie "Neria" and television dramas "Ndabvezera and "Njakenjake".
Charles Mungoshi is considered one of Zimbabwe's best writers. His book "Stories from a Shona Childhood" is listed alongside Meshack Asare in the 100 Best Books list, as one of the four best books in literature for children.
He has won two International P.E.N. awards and the Noma prize in 1992.
Born in 1947 near Chivhu, Mungoshi has published two collections of children's stories: "Stories from a Shona Childhood" (Baobab 1989), which received an Honourable Mention from Noma in 1990 and "One Day Long Ago – More stories from a Shona Childhood" (Baobab Books) which was joint winner of the Noma Award for publishing in Africa in 1992.
He won the African region Commonwealth Writers Prize for "Walking Still" and "The Setting Sun" and "The Rolling World" was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1989.
The couple met at Jesesi's sister's home in Highfield soon after she had finished her O-Levels. They married shortly afterwards and have five children — four boys and one girl.
Most of Mungoshi children are involved in the arts in one way or another. The eldest is a scriptwriter, and wrote the script for a film called "Profane".
Charles Junior, the youngest, is a chip off the old block. He is the author of a book titled "Candlelight Thoughts".
Mrs Mungoshi also speaks at length about how her own career in the arts was to a large extent influenced by her husband of 40 years.
"As a young girl I actually wanted to be a musician . . . but I ended up as an actress because of the nature of my husband's business. So I happened to become one of the actresses in the local television drama called ‘Inongova Njake Njake'," Jesesi says.
Asked what challenges she had faced as an actress, Mrs Mungshi told her interviewer:
"People need to be educated about drama because some people (cannot) differentiate between fiction and reality."
She cites an incident in which an unidentified man threatened to beat her up for daring to ask her screen husband to help her with household chores. "You want me to wash nappies? Who do you think you are?", the man reportedly asked her while she ran for cover.
On "Neria", she says her in-laws took her to task for allegedly going to bed with another man. So what next for "Neria"?
She told the magazine that although her husband's illness had derailed he career, her love for the arts had not diminished.
She is currently working on two projects - one a low-budget movie Nollywood-style as well as a human rights-themed film, "Profane".
In the long term and funds permitting, Jesesi has set her sights on building an arts centre - the Mungoshi Arts Centre - in honour of her husband's contribution to the arts sector.
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