From hurting lives to touching lives

08 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
From hurting lives to touching lives Mr Itai "Mabhobho" Kariparire

The ManicaPost


Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

THE mere mention of the name Mabhobho in any given part of the eastern border city of Mutare sends shivers down the spines of those who have either heard or seen the colossal light skinned man unleashing an orgy of violence.

By his own admission, violence was just part of his DNA!

Among countless incidents of scary acts of violence, those who were there when a nasty brawl broke out at the then Little Swallow on a windy September night of 1999 will attest this.

On that night, a youthful Mabhobho released a breath-taking round kick that floored a feared security officer who regained consciousness after almost an hour.

Fifty-year-old Mabhobho, whose real name is Mr Itai Kariparire, regrettably said violence was part of his life.

“When I finished Form Four in 1989, I was a nice and fully tuned up karateka. However, discipline failed me and I became a street fighter, thank God I never killed anyone. I passed my O-Level, but I never thought of doing anything except pursuing power survival and all that goes with it.

“I worked for Tenda Transport briefly before joining Mupfumi Commuters where I spent almost 17 years. Violence was part of my life and it was in my DNA. That was so bad. I was arrested uncountable times for grievous bodily harm and common assault. Most people ‘respected’ me out of fear,” said Mabhobho.

But how did he get into the underworld of violent acts?

“Most of my youth I was selling various products at Sakubva Musika Bus Terminus with my mother from 1979 up to 1990. When I was in Grade Seven, I started training martial arts with the late Master Lawrence Kagonegone. Since I would spend most of my time in Sakubva, that is when I decided to find a martial arts club in Sakubva and I joined D and B led by Master Pension Gwinyai.

“There was also the Speed and Timing which had the likes of the late Master Washington Zvingowanise, Master Charles ‘Mhondoro’ Sambare, the late Master Cletus Mubaiwa, Master Shupi, Master Solo, Master Eddy, Master Tsveru, Master Lucky, Master Never, Master William Van Damme, the late Master Jimmy Mabate, the late Master Mushoriwa, Master Juma Wasiri and many more,” narrated Mabhobho.

But as they say, when a child can be brought to tears, and not from fear of punishment, but from repentance, he needs no chastisement.

When the tears begin to flow from the grief of their conduct, you can be sure that there is an angel nestling in their heart.

Born in a family of five, with Kariparire being the only male child, time came for Mabhobho to start mending his ways.

“I started mending my ways when I started going to church and became a human rights defender. I also thank my prayerful wife for always being there for me, otherwise she would have left me way back. I worked with ZimRights, Zimcet, NCA, CCJP, Amnesty International and many others.

“I started pursuing my education and I am now a holder of a Diploma in Human Rights and Theatre for Development. At the moment, I am doing a Degree in Good Governance.

“I am currently leading two apolitical organisations, Mutare Informal Traders Association (MITA) and Touch A Life Movement (TALM). Violence pulls life back and I regret all the years I wasted,” said the repentant Mabhobho.

Only recently, charitable organisation – TALM – donated foodstuffs to needy children at Chengetai Special School in Mutare and the elderly at Zororai Old People’s Home.

The foodstuffs donated at Chengetai Special School include maize- meal, rice, sugar and chicken.

Other items comprised of laundry and bath soap, as well as sanitary pads, among others.

The items came from TALM members who make monthly contributions for donations towards selected beneficiaries.

The organisation also donated blankets to three elderly people in Chikanga last week on Thursday to cushion them from the current cold spell.

With Mabhobho as one of the founding members, TALM is a group of selfless residents of Mutare who came together to uplift the lives of various vulnerable members of the community.

It is not only the outside world around Mabhodho that sees the changes in him, even his wife still thinks that the peaceful days they are enjoying are one long dream she will one day wake up from.

Mabhobho got married to Mrs Maseline Kariparire in 2002 and wedded on March 28, 2003.

The couple is blessed with two kids – Theophany and Theophelous.

The boys are in Form Five and Form One, respectively
“I still cannot believe that he is a changed man. Yes, I have seen the change and I am extremely happy about it, but when I think of the bad old days, I somehow think this is a dream that one day will end.

“I saw a lot and went through a lot that would need the whole day to narrate, but I can only thank God that I am here with him and we are now living a peaceful life with our kids,” said his wife of 20 years – Mrs Maseline.


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