According to relatives and literary friends, Chingono died on Sunday evening at Norton Hospital after a short illness.
Irene Staunton of Weaver Press, publishers of Chingono’s story and poetry anthology, Not Another Day in 2006, was the first to express shock to RadioVOP: “He was a star. I cannot believe this. I am shocked. We have lost a dedicated writer whose words were a reminder of how beautiful literature was to him and us his readers.”
Chingono was a board member of Writers’ International Network Zimbabwe (Win-Zimbabwe) and served as a resource person at various local and international authors’ forums, including the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2004.
He worked for most of his life on the mines as a blaster. He had his poetry published in several anthologies of Shona poetry including Nhetembo, Mabvumira eNhetembo and Gwenyambira between 1968 and 1980. His only novel, Chipo Changu, was published in 1978, an award-winning play, Ruvimbo, was published in 1980.His poetry in English has also been published in several South African and Zimbabwean anthologies including Flags of Love (Mireza yerudo) (1983) and Flag of Rags (1996). He has contributed to Poetry International in the Netherlands.
Julius was published in Writing Still (2003), Writing Now (2005) and Laughing Now (2007), Intwasa Poetry (2008) and State of the Nation: Contemporary Zimbabwean Poetry (The Conversation Paperpress, 2009, UK). Chingono, who will be buried today, is survived by his wife, four children and five grandchildren. Mourners are gathered at House Number 12457, Katanga, in Norton.