HARARE – This past weekend, I had a WhatsApp chat with the late Sharon Netsai Muguwu on a subject she had so much interest in — pageants.
Tongue in cheek, I told her that Tarisai Machakaire and Farayi Machamire (fellow journalists) had invaded her turf. I was, of course, referring to the fact that the two had attended a Miss Tourism Zimbabwe press conference that Sharon would, without doubt, have covered had she not been away bravely battling blood cancer.
In typical Sharon style, she laughed off the matter: “Tell them to stay off my domain. Tell them Mwenewazvo (totem) will deal with them,” she jocularly responded.
Due to her interest in pageants, it is not surprising that she ended up asking me about what had transpired at the press conference and on whether I had heard anything about this year’s edition of Miss Zimbabwe.
Such was Sharon. Always animated whenever pageants and the beauty industry in general popped up.
I think most of her most memorable stories would be in this category.
She wrote one such story, headlined Miss Zimbabwe chaos continues, on June 20, 2015.
In this hard-hitting story, Sharon — like the Mwenewazvo she proudly was — took no prisoners.
She alleged that Miss Zimbabwe Trust chairperson Marry Chiwenga was “running the national pageant like a bull in a China shop.”
No prize for guessing that Marry, who had until then mostly got positive coverage from Sharon, was not amused. But this did not rattle her.
Though she still held Marry in high esteem, she also wanted to give an opportunity to detractors of the Miss Zimbabwe Trust chairperson to say their side of the story.
To her credit, Marry later accepted that Sharon was just professionally discharging her duties and the two smoked the peace pipe.
Sharon also had a passion for writing about upcoming artistes.
Bryan K (when he won the 2012 Starbrite talent search competition) and Takura (when he went solo close to two years ago) were beneficiaries of her penchant for new talent.
Many people will obviously remember different qualities embodied by the late Sharon but for me it was her forthrightness.
You were never in doubt where you stood with her.
She always expressed her views frankly though at times this rubbed some people the wrong way.
But as her immediate supervisor, I appreciated this quality that is also generously abundant in Vasco Chaya with whom she worked on the Daily News entertainment desk.
The outpouring of grief across the country’s media fraternity and among artistes seems to suggest to me that many also appreciated the fact that Sharon was never a pretender; if she didn’t agree with you she would say just that.
Her sudden death at a very young age of 28 is very hard to take for me and more so for Vasco who was undoubtedly one of her best friends.
The Daily News family is now poorer.
Her unassuming nature, the permanent smile, the big heart, the courage to fight on as shown in the battle she lost on Tuesday morning, among others were qualities you could not take away from Sharon.
Queen Mwenewazvo, who always called me by my Mhofu totem, has ascended to higher heavens.
Rest in peace my daughter and sister rolled into one, till we meet again.
Mwari vatonga havo. (God has done his will.)