Fanwell Sibanda Dies
30 June 2023
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Fare Thee Well Fanwell Sibanda: We Lost A Patriotic Journalist

By Dr. Masimba Mavaza | Fanwell Sibanda, a journalist par excellence, has left a void that will be hard to fill. His illustrious career and unwavering dedication to the field of journalism made him a highly sought-after professional in the industry. After more than four decades in daily journalism, Fanwell bid farewell to the world on June 25th, 2023, in Harare. As we reflect on his life, it becomes clear that he was not only a good man but also a major influence on the careers of many journalists in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Fanwell Sibanda….

Fanwell Sibanda was more than just a journalist; he was a mentor to a newsroom filled with both experienced veterans and aspiring newcomers. His presence alone brought pride to the news agencies he worked for, as he consistently achieved his own goals while helping others to reach theirs. Fanwell possessed a rare ability to uplift those around him, constantly inspiring and empowering his colleagues to grow and realize their potential. He never hesitated to recognize and give recognition to those who were previously unknown or unacknowledged, making Zimbabwe forever grateful for his tireless efforts and unwavering dedication.

A country’s strength lies in the presence of strong journalists, and Fanwell was undoubtedly one of the most influential and impactful scribes Zimbabwe has ever seen. He fearlessly embraced challenges, never shying away from difficult tasks, and constantly pushed the boundaries of his own capabilities. His unyielding positivity, unwavering dedication, and steadfast work ethics set him apart as an exceptional team player, a trait that will be cherished and missed by all who had the privilege of working with him.

In my own journey as a journalist, I found solace and guidance in Fanwell’s presence. He was not only a great journalist but also a tough taskmaster and a supportive boss. I often had the opportunity to sit with him in my office, witnessing firsthand the numerous calls he received from journalists across the country, seeking his counsel and support in their careers. Fanwell possessed a brilliant intellect and a sensitive nature, capable of taking any piece of writing and making it better. He was not just an editor; he was a source of life lessons and wisdom from his writing office.

The work of great editors often goes unnoticed, taking place behind the scenes. Yet, the impact of an editor’s efforts can be seen in the final product. Fanwell inspired countless journalists to strive for excellence, a testament to his exceptional leadership qualities. It is only fitting to honor him with a farewell wake, a social practice that acknowledges his invaluable contributions.

There is a saying that “it’s the people who make a place great,” and I can confidently say that we were the fortunate ones to have shared our lives with Fanwell. For those who were blessed to know him, words are unnecessary to describe the incredible person he was. Farewell to our hero, who has played his final game. Though the club may never be the same without him, his legacy will endure in ink and paper. He was always gracious in both victory and defeat, a remarkable feat that earned him the title of the club’s best and fairest eight times. Heroes come and go, and eventually, time catches up with us all. However, Fanwell Sibanda will forever remain a credit to the code of journalism and a true testament to his unwavering commitment to his country and its people.

Today, we bid farewell to a hero, a man as rare as they come. Though his physical presence may be gone, his fame as the country’s greatest writer will live on.

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