Chenjerai Hove, one of Zimbabwe’s leading novelists and poet, who died in Oslo, Norway, recently at the age 59 of liver failure, will be buried in Sanyati on Saturday.
Hove, who was living in exile since 2001, is an icon of modern Zimbabwean literature having published a number novels including his 1988 book “Bones” that won him a Zimbabwe Literary Award and a Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.
Family spokesman Ray Mawerera said plans to repatriate his body to Harare were at an advanced stage.
“Everything seems to be on track,” said Mawerera. “His wife, Tecla, who was by his side when he died in Norway, is already here and now we wait to receive his body Thursday in time for burial in his rural home Saturday.”
A funeral service would be held at a local funeral parlour Friday before his body is taken to his birthplace for burial.
Mawerera said the family is heartened by the outpouring of love that is being given to the family by Zimbabweans mourning the death of a literary icon.
“His death has devastated the family and many in Zimbabwe have been mourning with us,” said Mawerera.
“It has been great to realize how Zimbabweans so highly regarded Chenjerai Hove. Our wish is that people in this country continue to cherish the work he did, his ideals, his humour and candour in telling the Zimbabwean story in a way that only he could.”
Hove, who has since 2001 lived in exile in the US, France and Norway, was seen by many as a voice for the voiceless.
While in exile, he continued to write poems about his country, depicting the pain of separation and related issues.
He also contributed a play and proverbs to the BBC.
“It is sad that we are today talking about Chenjerai Hove the great writer, novelist, poet and playwright in the past tense. This is gone too soon for sure,” said Mawerera.
“We are happy at least that we will be able to say goodbye to him on Sunday as his family and ordinary Zimbabweans who have loved him and his work over the years. His legacy is there for all to see.”