Zimbabwe: UK-Based Philanthropists Cheer Epworth Man

By Talent Bope
A United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean entrepreneur and businessperson Nyaradzo Zvinokona and her friend only identified as Stembiso recently cheered up the “Epworth white man” and his family by donating food hampers.

Ms Zvinokona who is into fuel transportation and holiday accommodation services was touched by Mr Petrus Maggeridge’s life following an article published in The Herald last month. The philanthropist is into various humanitarian work mostly in Epworth. She also supports Matthew Rusike Children’s Home, where Petrus was raised.

“I came across Petrus’ video while planning a trip to Epworth with some groceries for another family in need, and that’s how Stembiso and I teamed up to try and assist Petrus with his immediate needs and also look into long term solutions,” said Ms Zvinokona

“We aim to start tracing his extended family in the UK and Europe, as there are a lot of ancestry databases with extensive family trees and information,” she said.

Ms Zvinokona is involved in various philanthropic work in Zimbabwe and other countries.

“I also work with the Old Bonda Girls Association of which I’m a part, and we have done various initiatives over the years ranging from assisting peers to set up businesses, relocate where needed and for their general upkeep,” she said.

“In the UK I do charity work with the BBC Children in Need, The Ellen McCarthur Foundation, and volunteering at children’s charity shops such as Giggles which supports initiatives in Romania and Zimbabwe (Mpilo Hospital),”.

“Petrus’ situation is a unique challenge to us as he lives in our area of interest and we want to endeavor to use knowledge and networks created through living in the diaspora, to see how best he can get assistance to re-establish himself, including tracing of his extended family in Germany,” said Ms Zvinokona.

Mr Muggeridge thanked Ms Zvinokana and her friend Stembiso for the gesture and re-narrated his ordeal. He was born to parents of German origin who later died when he was nine and he found himself at the Rhodesian Children’s Home now Harare Children’s Home.

“I relocated here in Epworth seven years ago from Hatfield where we were renting. The rentals were too high and we contemplated buying a stand, so I bought this small stand.

“It was a hard decision, but such is life,” he says, holding back tears.

Mr Muggeridge religiously attends the Anglican Church in Queensdale, Harare. He stays with his children, Alexandar (24), Annalee (13) and Ken (10).

“My wife Charmaine succumbed to high blood pressure a few years ago, after being arrested for alleged drug dealing. She was not into drugs but there is a lot of drug dealing here so she was caught in between.

“She probably failed to accept the arrest. It is a sad story for me. But I accept it as God’s will.”

He does menial jobs and at times fixes cars along Kaguvi Street in town as he is a self-taught mechanic.

“I’m a self-taught mechanic, but not a professional one. I don’t have papers that prove my job, but I can fix cars. This how I earn a living through doing piece jobs.

“Two weeks ago I was involved in a car accident while I was on my way to the CBD, but I want to thank God because the injury was not severe. I’m recuperating well and I hope next week I will be back to my job,” said Mr Muggeridge.

To add on to his woes, his daughter committed suicide about two years ago. The suicide story was published in The Herald.

“My daughter committed suicide, but I’m no longer aware of the year. It remained an unanswered question to all of us because we do not know the reasons that led her to take that decision.”

When asked where his siblings are, he answered: “We were born in a family of three, myself, my brother who moved to New Zealand and died there after committing suicide. My sister who is in the United Kingdom does not communicate with me. I don’t have links with her since we last communicated decades ago.

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