Relatives of performing artist Pretty Xaba, who succumbed to throat cancer Saturday after seeking treatment in India for the past two months, are appealing for donations to repatriate her body back home for burial.
Ruth Xaba, Pretty’s sister-in-law, says the family needs to raise $4,500 to repatriate the body, adding that an additional $2,000 will also be needed to assist with the funeral arrangements in Zimbabwe.
Pretty passed away at the BLK Super Specialty Hospital in New Delhi in India where she was being treated for cancer of the esophagus.
Mrs. Xaba says mourners are gathered at her home, at number 42 Rayamm Road in Eastlea, Harare, although some close relatives are still coming from both local and international destinations.
"Pretty is survived by her two daughters, we as a family have accepted her passing because she was in a lot of pain in the final days," said Mrs. Xaba, noting that efforts of raising the funds have already started but they are looking for donors to help reach their target.
Some of Pretty Xaba's former colleagues and female groups like Dandaro Remadzimai Anhasi were very instrumental in raising funds for her treatment in India.
Taonga Mafundikwa, who led some of her fundraising campaigns, says the performing arts community has lost a very talented actress and make-up artist who will be difficult to replace.
Mafundikwa says he and others will continue to support efforts to fundraise for the repatriation of Xaba's body but the family is leading the campaign.
"Pretty had a funeral policy with Nyaradzo (Funeral Services) and they say they will give us all the services that the family will need including a coffin, and a bus but we will need additional money to be used for other expenses," said Mrs. Xaba.
Mrs. Xaba says they will let the public know in due course on funeral arrangements but those who would like to contribute to the fund raising efforts can reach her on Eco-cash number +263772913455.
Some critics are, however, calling on the government to ensure that health services in the country improve to make sure that highly skilled cancer operations can be done in the country in future.
Efforts to get comment from the Health Ministry were not successful as top officials were not answering their mobile phones.