‘Uncle’ Peter Banga is no more

The Journalism and Mass Communication fraternity has been left poorer

By John Masuku

It was so devastating to hear early Friday morning that Mr Peter Banga the Head of the Department of Mass Communication at Harare Polytechnic, my former ZBC workmate, fellow Broadcast Journalism trainer for many years had died.

My last WhatsApp chat with Peter on was on 7th November 2021 at 1722hrs responding to my message of two days earlier. I was sharing with him a new opportunity about a US Journalism mentorship programme which could benefit his students.

On Thursday he reportedly presented a paper on disability and the media at the University of Zimbabwe.

In the ZBC News Department, Peter a graduate of Political Science,Public Administration and Political Communication from the University of Zimbabwe will be remembered for producing and presenting Newsbeat on Radio 3 (Power FM) and Radio Newsreel and The World This Week on Radio One (Classic 263) with the likes of Robson Mhandu, Eshila Kanyisai Maravanyika, Maria Pangidzwa (nee Gazis) and the late Carol Gombakomba.

He featured quite frequently with another radio broadcaster-cum-trainer and his neighbour Petros Masakara on the then department’s television programme “Insight” done along the lines of “The Nation” whose 1980s pioneer presenter was the late Godfrey Majonga, produced by Mabel Mundondo (Ikpo) among others and whose signature tune was “PaChimoio…paNyadzonia kani” (pakadewukira ropa rakawanda) by the late musician Flavian Nyati.

Peter Banga worked so hard to highlight the plight of people living with disabilities like him through his regular reports and featurettes on local and international media including VOA Studio 7 in Washington DC where he was a freelance reporter.

My most sincere condolences to the Banga family, Harare Polytechnic Principal Dr Tafadzwa Mudondo, staff and Peter’s closest long time journalism training colleagues at Mass Communication department Terrence Antonio Terry Antonio DaSilva , Admire Masuku as well as Dr Wellington Gadzikwa who moved to the University of Zimbabwe and Alexander Rusero who is now with Africa University.

At the invitation of Peter and staff I as a media trainer and founder of BES School of Journalism in Bulawayo have only been a guest lecturer, mentor and Zimdef examinations assessor for mass communication broadcasting courses.

Of course I shall not forget many Journalism and Mass Communications students who passed through Peter Banga affectionately known as ‘Uncle’ because of always being a father figure to the youngsters around him, learners and lecturers alike.

John Masuku is a media consultant/trainer and Peter Banga’s former ZBC workmate.