The drama that followed the late Lazarus “Gringo” Boora during his acting days continues to haunt him even in death after sharp disagreements over his memorial service led to the event being held during the night on Saturday.
Gringo’s widow, Netsai Meki, had already stirred controversy by accusing family members of not respecting her as the last woman to have been with him.
The memorial service in Nyazura on Saturday was supposed to start in the afternoon, but Gringo’s eldest son Taurai kept telling the gathering that he was going to pitch up after attending a wedding.
The memorial service could not continue without his presence since he is the eldest son.
Then there were also members of Gringo’s apostolic sect who insisted that the function could only start at night in accordance with their beliefs.
The Herald Arts was present at the Boora homestead when the family started squabbling in an attempt to find a lasting solution to how the memorial service would be conducted. Work on Gringo’s grave for the memorial service was being carried out by members of the apostolic sect, who seemed to have assumed the leading role in the programme.
At the edge of the homestead was a parked commuter omnibus full of police officers whom village herd Mr Alec Zunidza had summoned to be on stand-by just in case their services would be required during the event.
It was clear that Mr Zunidza and other villagers were anticipating trouble at the memorial service, considering similar experiences that occurred during Gringo’s funeral.
“We had chaos during the funeral,” said Mr Zunidza. “There were a lot of people who caused chaos and it was difficult to control them. We were not prepared at that time, but now we have planned ahead.
“I am told that they are waiting for their son Taurai to start the event, but for now as per custom we managed prepare the grave at the graveyard. Gringo was a nice, happy fellow.”
A family source said Taurai wanted the memorial service to be conducted a week earlier on December 5, but disagreements arose over the date.
“My brother, I think the family should now go and see the chief because this is getting out of hand,” said a villager who refused to be named. “It seems Taurai wants to fix the family members, including Netsai.
“Imagine, the small boy had the audacity to attend a wedding while everyone is waiting for him here. His father was not like that, maybe there is someone who is telling him to do that, but it is wrong.”
Gringo’s aunt Esther Manheya, who was in the company of her sister Kroria Chaipa, confirmed the programme had been stalled by Taurai’s absence.
“Taurai said he had a wedding to attend today, but he was going to pitch up later,” she said. “So, we are waiting for him. We are a peaceful family and please just know that people talk a lot. We are surprised with the news that there is war among us.
“I just want my grandchildren to benefit equally as you can see they are all here. Netsai should take the house in Rusape, as for the car in question, I only heard it belongs to Gringo’s former boss.” Netsai said she was not at liberty to talk much, but was hurt.
“Today I think you can talk to other family members,” she said. “The story is interesting by day, with new issues to be discussed. Let this be over so I can look after my children in peace.”
Gringo’s children from his divorced three wives were present at the memorial service.
Effort to get a comment from Taurai were fruitless as his mobile phone was off up to yesterday.
After the memorial service on Saturday night, Gringo’s property, mainly his clothes were shared yesterday, with his children getting most of them. Netsai did not get the Rusape house as proposed by Manheya, which was left to be accessed by any member of the family.
The controversial Isuzu KB250, which Netsai claimed belonged to Gringo’s boss, was not discussed to enable the supposed owner to come forward and make his claim.