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Zimbabweans crowdfund for Figtree widower raising 10-month-old son

The plight of a Figtree man who lost his wife during childbirth and was left to raise four children including a 10-month-old son touched many people on social media who donated over ZWL$42 000 including foodstuffs and baby clothes.

The 61-year-old man, identified as Phumuza Gumede, from Garikai village in Figtree, who is unemployed has been surviving on menial jobs to take care of his family.

Sinqobile Tesa, a farmer based in Figtree, met Gumede when he had come to do some job at their farm and learnt of his situation.

This prompted her to post his pictures on her Twitter platform appealing for assistance with foodstuffs.

The crowdfunding initiative yielded an overwhelming response as people donated foodstuffs, money and clothes for the baby.

Speaking to CITE, Tesa narrated her encounter with Gumede.  

“I met Phumuza Gumede in our farm as he came to do some work unfortunately or fortunately he came pushing a  10-month-year-old baby in a wheelbarrow, That is how I got to meet him,” said Tesa.

“He told us that is what he does, he moves around with his baby doing piece jobs in the nearby areas because at times there will be no one to look after the baby, that is how I got to put the issue on Twitter trying to help him.”

Tesa said since her appeal, the local councillor intervened in the situation and took the baby to stay with him. 

“Gumede has received some donations and as of yesterday, he had received almost ZWL$25 000 through Eco Cash including food, but more is still coming. 

“The 10 months old baby was again taken to the local councillor’s homestead through the social welfare, they said they want him to be in a homely environment until a lasting proper solution is found,” she said. 

Contacted for a comment, Gumede expressed gratitude to everyone who assisted him.

“ I am very grateful to those who have helped me. My wife passed on during home delivery, she did deliver well, I don’t know how everything got complicated. I have been taking care of my children together with the youngest one who is 10 months old since then,” said Gumede.

“I used to give him cow milk and sometimes porridge, thus how I managed the situation. His other siblings are 14-year-old, four years old and three years old. 

Gumede said he survives on menial jobs in neighbouring homesteads. 

“I am self-employed, I go around building houses for other villagers and any other small jobs that I find, most of the time I used to go with my child to these menial jobs since there will be no one to take care of him,” he said. 

Those willing to help Gumede can use the Ecocash number 0776 444 157 or 0771 635 091. 

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