Nyaradzo Funeral Assurance Company attained its 18th year in business on March 1 and Newsday (ND) reporter Vanessa Gonye spoke to Nyaradzo group chief executive officer, Philip Mataranyika (PM).
During the interview, Mataranyika explained why he personally drove the hearse that carried the body of late national hero Oliver Mtukudzi.
Below is an excerpt of the interview:
ND: You recently sparked controversy when you personally drove and offered services at the late music icon and national hero, Oliver Mtukudzi’s funeral, with some accusing you of wanting to steal the limelight. How can you explain your actions?
PM: It was Maiguru Daisy [the late Mtukudzi’s wife] and the Mtukudzi family that chose Willowvale service centre as the venue of his chapel service ahead of our Hebert Chitepo Avenue branch due to its location, a stone’s throw away from Highfield where he was born and bred.
Thirty-nine years after our independence, in his death, Mukoma Tuku becomes the first national hero to be laid to rest with full services provided by Nyaradzo Funeral Services.
Given the many years of our friendship and brotherhood in which I was privileged to tap into his wisdom, inspiration and rare talent, I could not delegate the undertaking duties to our staff. For me personally, it was time to honour another of the unwritten contracts between brothers.
Tuku had a unique relationship with Nyaradzo, built on our firm foundation of friendship, brotherly love and mutual respect dating back to our days as boys dzeku Fiyo.
I have done this countless times, though. Some notable funerals where I personally offered services include Tobias Musariri, Paul Chingoka and Charles Mungoshi, among others. Even to date, I still go to our 120 Herbert Chitepo branch and they give me overnight assignments in any part of the country.