Zimbabwean performing artist, Pretty Xaba, lost her fight to throat cancer, Saturday, in India, where she had been receiving treatment for the past two months. Fellow artists in Zimbabwe and around the world, mourned the loss of the former TV star, who’s role playing mai Muvengwa, in the soap Studio 263, earned her a huge fan base.
Tavonga Mafundikwa, who says he got to know and admire Xaba well after working with her on various projects, expressed shock and disbelief at the news of Xaba’s passing.
“I was really gutted and I really don’t know…but I’m in a state right now, but you know these are things that happen, we don’t have any control over these, we are mere mortals and if the most high has decided that this should be the way, then there’s nothing else that [we can do],”
Mafundikwa coordinated fundraising efforts for Xaba's treatment, through the Let’s Help Pretty Xaba Campaign, which took the shape of benefit concerts with fellow artists at such venues as the Book Café, and a single donation of $18,000 from Prophet Walter Magaya of the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries, which helped expedite Xaba's trip to India.
Several news articles quote Dr. Brighton Chireka, who works for a company that facilitated Xaba’s India trip as saying that Xaba had completed chemotherapy in preparation for surgery, and passed away in the intensive care unit.
Remembering his friend and colleague, Mafundikwa said Xaba was a true professional, with a big heart and talent.
“She was a great actress, I think she put Zimbabwe on the world map in terms of the productions that she worked on, and aside from that, she had a very, very good heart as well."
Mafundikwa said Xaba’s family will announce burial arrangements in due course.