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‘It’s been a year of mourning’. . . Moana’s mother reflects on daughter’s death anniversary

IT IS said time is a healer but for Yolanda Kuvaoga, the past 12 months have brought unbearable pain following the tragic death of her daughter Mitchell “Moana” Amuli. 

Moana, a rising fitness trainer and model, perished in a tragic car crash along Borrowdale Road in the capital on November 8 last year after celebrating her 26th birthday at Dreams Nightclub. 

The accident occurred when Dream’s proprietor Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure’s Rolls Royce Wraith coupe crashed head-on with a Honda Fit before veering off the road and slamming into a tree before bursting into flames. 

Ginimbi died after he had been pulled out of the car by the early responders before it burst into flames. Unfortunately for Moana as well as Alichia Adams and Karim Limumba, who were also travelling with Ginimbi, they were trapped in the wreckage and were burnt beyond recognition. 

It needed the assistance of DNA tests before the families of the trio could bury their loved ones due to the huge degree of burns, they suffered following the blaze.   

For Kuvaoga, the trauma she suffered during the entire ordeal was excruciating considering everything which transpired after her daughter’s death. 

Besides the delay caused by the DNA tests, Moana’s burial was also delayed by several weeks following a court battle between Kuvaoga and the video vixen’s father Ishmael Amuli. Kuvaoga wanted her daughter to be buried under Christian norms at Zororo Memorial Park while Amuli pushed for an Islamic burial. 

In the end, the court ruled in Amuli’s favour and Moana was buried according to Islamic customs at Warren Hills Cemetery. 

For the past 12 months, Kuvaoga has been shunning watching TV, reading newspapers or listening to the radio as she grieved her daughter. 

She told the Daily News on Sunday that she gave up on all things entertainment following Moana’s death as she sought ample time to reflect on everything that happened in the late daughter’s life. 

“For the past year, we were restricting ourselves from partying and listening to the radio,” she said. 

“We wanted to give ourselves adequate time to mourn our beloved Moana. Personally, I only started listening to the radio on November 9 this year.” 

While most people thought Kuvaoga and her family would hold a lavish memorial service for Moana, the first anniversary of her death came and went by without any ceremony. 

“We were aware that her friends and followers were expecting a befitting memorial service for her on November 8 but failed to do so due to culture. November is a sacred month. However, as a family, we remember Moana every day,” Kuvaoga added. 

She said despite all the kerfuffle that ensued between Kuvaoga and Amuli following Moana’s death, she has since moved on and does not hold any grudges against her ex.  

“All I wanted was to bury my daughter at a place that I would also be buried when I finally die. She was buried in the Muslim section. 

“As for me, I am not a Muslim hence it would be impossible for me to be buried next to her.  Anyway, it’s now water under the bridge. I have accepted it. Oftentimes, I visit the gravesite and I am now beginning to appreciate the place. 

“It’s a nice and beautiful place. It is well taken care of,” Kuvaoga said of the court battle. 

Moana left behind her young daughter Tyra, who was in infant school then. 

“Tyra is now staying with her grandmother. A lot has changed since November 8 last year,” Kuvaoga said. Tyra has transferred from Heritage College. She is now attending another private school here in Harare. It’s been some months since I saw her,” she said.