The revered Zimbabwean educator and dramatist Joseph Dupute, who died this week at the age of 73 after battling cancer for five years, was laid to rest on Friday.
Dupute died Tuesday at Mpilo General Hospital in Bulawayo and was buried in his rural Matabeleland homestead of Gwambe on Friday.
He was best known for his poems in the Ndebele language which were taught in the country's secondary schools and frequently cropped up in examinations.
He was also a prolific song writer.
Dupute retired as headmaster of Thekwane High School in Matabeland in 2002. Before that he had headed the Madlambudzi and Dombodema high schools.
Family spokesman Hope Tshuma told VOA that the Dupute clan was devastated by his passing. "We loved him. he was a central figure in our family and his death came at a time when we needed him most," Tshuma said.
Difa Dube, a former student of Dupute's at Madlambudzi Secondary School before it was upgraded to high school status, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that Zimbabwe had lost an important figure in education.
"No words can best describe how I feel about his passing," said Dube. "He was an educationist who made me what I am today."
Dupute's poetic works include sonnets such as Ngivumele Nomazulu and Ikhwibi. He also authored Isithomb Sakho and Ingoma Yakho among other works that appear in a compilation of Ndebele poems called Ugqozi Lwezimbongi.