Lawrence Simbarashe: 'Mdhara Bhonzo' Died a Destitute

Harare - Zimbabweans are mourning the passing on of celebrated television actor and radio personality Lawrence Simbarashe aka Mudhara Bhonzo, aged 69.  

My last encounter with Mudhara Bhonzo was in his home area in St Mary's. When I greeted him, he could not respond - his voice had vanished. The once glamorous figure was a pale shadow of himself.

Alone, he strolled the ghetto admiring the town that had nurtured his talents.  

His death brings to a halt an illustrious career, appearing on television commercials, radio and comical stunts on ZBC television.

Towards the conclusion of his career in 2011, Mdhara Bhonzo became destitute. He was often spotted in the streets of Harare flagging down cars begging for money.

Others saw him with a bible in hand and it was reported that he said the holy book was his only friend.
The Late Lawrence Simbarashe

It was only the help of a group of politicians and business people in Harare that got him back on his feet for a little while as they donated food, clothing and contributed to his medical fees.

The pictures of Mdhara Bhonzo at his abode were tear-jerking, for a person who was a hero to many and even an inspiration to some to take up acting and even comedy. 

This showed that the arts sector in Zimbabwe is ruthless and practitioners should make hay (make money and buy assets) while the sun is shining because winter (when your career is over) is a ruthless season.

Mdhara Bhonzo was one of the most successful artistes in the country as he made money from whatever he was doing. But according to media reports, all the money went down the drain as he drank it all.

During his finals years, his life was filled with misfortune as his house was gutted by fire, leaving him destitute. He later fell ill. As a survival tactic, he tried to bring back the Timmy naBhonzo series two years ago, but it was never the same as it failed to take off.

Even according to media reports, he was not on talking terms with his children from his first marriage Lawrence and Liona who are both overseas. His current wife had reportedly abandoned him with his children from the second marriage Tatenda and John also not on talking terms with their now late father.

It’s really sad that a man whose life brought joy and happiness for many in the country had to end with so much sadness for Mdhara Bhonzo. He died alone and a pale shadow of the once great man he was. - Online Sources

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