Author: Anthanasio Dzadagu
In this book, I try to explore why one section of the Catholic Community connected with the late Archbishop Chakaipa was overtaken by great remorse when he died, while another went into jubilation. This leads me into the examination of what kind of person Archbishop Chakaipa was. I do this in the context of his family background and his priestly and Episcopal ministries. He was of the Unendoro clan, with a history tracing back to Karanga roots. In his Seminary years, he wrote five Shona novels which became very influential in developing Shona literacy. He earned enduring respect across the entire Zimbabwean nation for this achievement. Within Church circles Archbishop Chakaipa’s name is synonymous with the policy of self-reliance, which was his signal achievement in the Archdiocese of Harare. He was determined to see the development of indigenous Zimbabwean writers, frustrated that the world of ideas in Zimbabwe was dominated by Eurogenic (of European origin) missionaries. In his view such Eurogenic intellectual domination undermined Zimbabwean and African independence. In the book, I argue that while Archbishop Chakaipa was a hero, indeed one deserving of canonisation as a Catholic saint, true respect for him should also acknowledge his negative qualities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A book on Archbishop Chakaipa written by Athanasio Dzadagu should make interesting reading for three major reasons. First, the author knew Archbishop Chakaipa personally. At the age of five, he first encountered Archbishop Chakaipa when the latter was his parish priest. Interaction between Athanasio and Archbishop Chakaipa continued until the archbishop’s death in 2003. What adds to the book’s appeal is that Archbishop Chakaipa himself viewed Athanasio Dzadagu as the best person to write a book about him, as communicated courtesy of a Mai (Mrs) Muchada. Secondly, many people in the Archdiocese of Harare in Zimbabwe are keenly awaiting the appearance of the book, including those who have gone into Diaspora. Finally, the book provides an opportunity for indigenous Zimbabweans to express their own opinion of Archbishop Chakaipa, considering the fact that the written commentary after his death covered only Eurogenic opinion. Regardless of having recently left the priesthood, Athanasio Dzadagu is still highly respected among members of the Zimbabwean Catholic Community in England and Wales, which he founded in 2001. There are several among these who have, in the past, urged him to write books as a way of informing an even wider community of people.
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