Former Radio 2 (now Radio Zimbabwe) presenter Gift “The Praying Mantis” Mabhaudhi has died aged 68.
The man synonymous with the high-pitched and piercing voice that drew thousands of listeners to Sunday service and morning prayers died Friday morning.
His son, Rowdy, announced the death of Mabhaudhi in a Twitter post on Friday. Said Rowdy:
My father Mufundisi Mabaudhi, most of you know him from radio programmes, Zvidzidzo Zvebhaiberi, ChiKritsu neTsika, Sunday Morning Service. He is no more. I’m not okay!
The church in Zimbabwe also joined in mourning the influential preacher.
Bishop Eric Ruwona of the Anglican Church in Manicaland and Zimbabwe Council of Churches vice-president described Mabhaudhi as a pioneer of Christian radio broadcasting.
ZCC secretary-general Kenneth Mtata said Mabhaudhi was a highly celebrated indigenous clergyman whose contribution changed and made the Christian message accessible to ordinary people.
Tehillar Christian Network Reverend Sam Malunga described Mabhaudhi’s death as untimely calling him a historic contributor to Christian broadcasting development in Zimbabwe.
Mabhaudhi, then a pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church, turned the programme Zvidzodzo zveBhaibheri into a signature programme every Sunday on the then ZBC Radio 2.
He was with the radio until 2004 when an unfortunate incident silenced his voice. But his passionate voice is silent for good.