Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
UNITED Kingdom-based Zimbabwean journalist and former Chronicle News Editor, Brian Moyo, has died.
He was 65.
Moyo worked at The Chronicle in the 1980s before he moved to the UK in 1988 where he worked for various newspapers and magazines in London before setting up his own website, Touch Base Africa.
He also worked as a consultant editor.
A Masters graduate in Media Studies with vast experience in journalism straddling daily newspapers, corporate publications, business magazines, wire services and Intranet, Moyo died in the UK on June 2 after a long battle with lung cancer.
His brother, Mr Samuel Moyo, said his brother died at London University Hospital after battling lung cancer for a long time.
“He was a keen writer from his youthful days that we proudly watched him grow through his career in journalism. His love and devotion to his family was the foundation of his actions. For anyone in the family who needed simple advice, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, Brian was always there,” said Mr Moyo.
He said as a family, they were grateful that his sibling was able to come home in December 2018 and spent time with all family members. “He went back to the UK end of March for further treatment until fate decided. As a dedicated writer, Brian has a number of books to his name, including fairy stories for school children,” said Mr Moyo.
Former Chronicle Editor Mr Geoffrey Nyarota said he was saddened by Moyo’s death, adding that he was a good journalist, whose departure from the country in the 1980s affected the journalism profession.
“He was a solid pillar of professional journalism. It was a sad loss to the newspaper when he joined the irreversible exodus of his compatriots into the diaspora. The departure of journalists of Brian’s calibre negatively affected the quality of journalism in Zimbabwe. May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace,” said Mr Nyarota.
Mr Stephen Mpofu, another former Chronicle Editor, described Moyo as a brilliant journalist and author.
“I didn’t communicate with him until about three months ago when he came to my house in Killarney and gave me two books which he wrote,” said Mr Mpofu.
“We’ve lost one of our greatest journalists. Having worked with him I know how brilliant he was but I was pleased when he informed me that he had written books.”
His former workmate and veteran cartoonist, Mr Boyd Maliki said through his writing, Moyo played a significant role in the 1980s in giving Zimbabwean musicians and artistes’ exposure in the UK.
“He was a brilliant reporter who rose quickly to the News Editor post at The Chronicle. I worked with him in the 1980s when he was a features reporter.
“We were good friends and one thing we had in common was that we were both avid readers of comic books. He was trained and worked in the UK before working for a few years in Zimbabwe and returning to London,” said Mr Maliki.
He said Moyo helped publicise a lot of Zimbabwean music bands and artistes by giving them positive coverage in the UK, including the late national hero, Oliver Mtukudzi.
“At some point I was invited to participate in a venture involving publications featuring cartoonists in the UK after my name was nominated by Moyo. The Thunderboots cartoonist Sipho Masina was also discovered by him. He was a sociable person who loved his family. Recently, we met in Bulawayo after so many years. We were both carrying our books, which we exchanged. It was like we were meant to meet,” said Mr Maliki.
At the time of his death, Moyo was administrator and director of Touch Base Africa website in the UK.
Born in Luveve, Bulawayo, the fourth child in a family of eight, Moyo did his primary education at Mbizo School and his secondary education at Luveve Technical College.
He worked for the Caribbean Times in London as a trainee reporter from 1981 to 1982 before graduating with a certificate in print and radio journalism at the Polytechnic of Central London in 1984.
Moyo worked at The Chronicle from 1985 to 1988 before joining African Times, Hansib Publications, in London from 1989 to 1991, where he worked as the Editor.
From 1991 to 1995, he worked for West Africa magazine in London as Business Editor, before joining the Lloyds List (Public Ledger), where he worked as Commodities Editor from 1995 to 1997.
He then moved to Metal Bulletin in London as the Fast Track Editor.
From 2000 to 2001, Moyo joined the Children’s Publishing Company ZIMERIT as managing director, while he also worked as part time editor for The Guardian Education section.
He moved to Kensington Publications Ltd in London where he worked as Commonwealth Editor from June 2001 to 2003, before joining Commonwealth Business Publications as Managing Editor.
In 2004, Brian was Consultant Business Development Manager for Kurdistan Development Corporation in London. He leaves behind his wife, four children – two daughters and two sons – and five grandchildren.
His body is yet to be repatriated but he will be buried on June 22 at Umvutshwa Cemetery.