Tribute to Gagarin, fearless son of the Struggle

2018-05-17 06:00
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Gagarin Wordsworth Mkhonto, a former MK and SANDF soldier who was laid to rest last Saturday was the epitome of responsibility.

His passing took all by surprise and at that time, and only God knew.

He has departed to the world of his ancestors, including that of his late parents.

A giant in his own right and a great leader; a champion of the revolution and a man who did not fear adversaries.

He fought until the aims of the revolution were achieved in 1994.

We have lost a dear, humble, approachable, assertive and very supportive friend and a man connected with the grassroots:

His was able to part his vast political knowledge with peers and superiors.

He always loved to act in an advisory capacity on issues such as teaching the good values of life.

At times he had to become a central point of convergence because of his nourished, unbiased and good communication skills.

A visionary, a positive individual who possessed a natural instinct for both in his being and language and, became a role model in his community because of his innate leadership qualities.

In his lifetime, he had demonstrated great respect to all, especially to his late parents, his own family and his clan, Tshezi, Tenza as far as Eastern Cape.

He was known for his precision, passion and friendly demeanour.

A man who cherished and valued his culture, to such an extent he detested the use of skin lightening creams like Ambi, and decried this as a way for users to want to be associated with whiteness to demonise their blackness.

He used to remind that we are all special and different from one another and thus, we should love the skins we were in.

He grew no different from other boys; playing amapeka(marbles), iitola(top), iiswords, undize(hide and seek) and swimming at the chemical infested blou dams.

He also owned isgodi or place of charm- where we used to spend hours and days predicting our future. This is the same place where he exhibited an interest in guerilla warfare. Isigodi was the perfect place to catch up with politics, to network or get connected to the world of the African National Congress.

The late General Mxolisi Petani recruited him and others to work as underground operatives of MK’s young lions cells.

Unwittingly, his home and his isgodi became a cell/unit of the ANC. We practically got involved in politics through the guidance Gagarin.

He had other friends too, including the late Naledi who blew a hand grenade defending himself against enemy insurgent, Magamero, Mike, Zim, Abbas, Xolani and Mathemba who were all passionate about Peter Tosh and Bob Marley and the Wailers. These fellows helped him stash caches of weapons for the revolution. The Luyolo centre and White Spurs FC were regarded as institutions that laid the foundation and the development where people like Gagarin learned more about politics and sport from people such as the late Boss Nxu, Justice Gola, Captain and the Mange brothers. Rest in Peace Sandile Gagarine Tshezi, Tenza Mkabela!

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