David Sunny Mungoshi was an award winning Zimbabwean novelist, actor, poet and teacher.

The writer was born 1949 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and was fluent in Shona, Ndebele and English. He learnt Zulu, similar to Ndebele, which at that time was not recognised as a distinct language, at school.

In 1970, he started teaching at St Annes Goto Primary School in Hwedza. He struggled at the start of his writing career, with some believing that he was writing simply because his brother, the then established Charles Mungoshi, was writing, or that his brother had even written them. In 1975, he enrolled for a BA in English and History at the University of Rhodesia. Mungoshi was a teacher for most of his life, and taught at various institutions, including the University of Zimbabwe.

The celebrated author and poet played the role of John Huni in 2011 featuring in the local soap opera Studio 263, as well as the short film, The Postman, and the feature film Secrets.

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He won the 2010 National Arts Merit Awards Outstanding Fiction Book for The Fading Sun. The teacher lived in Gweru after his retirement.

David reportedly died on the 29th of August, 2020, in Harare, Zimbabwe, after battling ill-health for over five years at age 71. His death has been described as a big blow to the Zimbabwean arts sector. 

He was a brother to late renowned author and actor Charles Mungoshi.

Memory Chirere, who worked closely with Mungoshi and David’s late brother, Charles told NewZimbabwe.com it was sad the two writers had passed on within a year of each other.

Charles was also a renowned author and actor.

“The passing on of Mungoshi is a big blow considering he was a prominent writer, actor, teacher, and arts mentor. You will also remember that he has written a lot,” Chirere said.

“We are going to miss him. Once upon a time, he went as far as Rushinga to teach young people how to write. I also joined him at the Chimanimani Arts Festival where we were busy trying to mentor young writers.

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“He was a very powerful mentor,” said Chirere.

“Reading his column in The Herald week in week out would make you feel Mungoshi understood the local musical scene, he was an encyclopedia of Zimbabwean music.

“It is a pity that he has gone without putting those bits and pieces together.

“As we mourn David, we also celebrate his life because he has been in our midst, he was a good friend, joyful, generous, kind, and extremely intelligent. What makes his death more painful is to those of us who know him is that it comes barely a year after the passing on of his brother Charles,” said Chirere.

“We are deeply saddened by passing away of David Mungoshi. Mungoshi was a brilliant writer who was will to share his expertise with upcoming and established writers.

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“As an editor, he help polish a great number of manuscripts that are great pieces of work today because of him.

Mungoshi is also a former lecturer in linguistics at the University of Zimbabwe.

“He knew his values and encouraged other writers to also worth and demand it. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family. David Mungoshi will be missed in the writing community and beyond.”

Rest in peace Mungoshi.

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