Mambazo car 5

Mambazoa��s car DOWN IN FLAMES

Bruce Ndlovu
Siyaya Arts founder Saimon Mambazo Phiria��s vehicle was last week gutted by a sudden and mysterious fire behind TM Pick n Pay Supermarket in Bulawayo.

Although the much respected arts entrepreneur and choreographer came out unscathed from the blaze, his red VW Golf 4 was burnt beyond repair.

While many had seen the blaze that torched the car on Thursday afternoon, few knew the vehicle belonged to one of the citya��s most influential arts figures.

At the time of the incident, Phiri had been travelling alongside colleague Javas Sibanda.

Veteran musician Jeys Marabini let the cat out of the bag on Friday evening at the Bulawayo Theatre during Nomathamsanqa a�?Nkwalia�? Mkhwananzia��s album launch, as he alluded to a similar accident that claimed the lives of his own parents.

Marabinia��s parents were killed in an accident in 2012 after their vehicle, which Marabini had provided for their use, caught fire.

a�?My sympathies go to one of our colleagues Mambazo, who lost a vehicle to a fire yesterday. I too lost a car and both my parents to a similar fire so I sympathise with him. Luckily no lives were lost in this accident,a�? he said.

Phiri went on his Facebook page to reveal details of the accident, saying he and Sibanda had done everything they could to salvage the vehicle from the inferno.

a�?Good evening. Thanks for the many messages of support. To answer in short, I dona��t know what happened. The fire just started when we were driving with Javas Sibanda. I stopped and we tried everything; removed battery etc and got up to 10 fire extinguishers. Fire brigade though 30 minutes or so later tried but could not save car,a�? he wrote.

Phiri added that he was grateful no one was hurt, while he was also looking forward to putting the incident behind him.

a�?No-one was hurt but ita��s a sad occurrence. I suppose we have to dust ourselves off and move on.A� Ita��s just a car I keep reminding myself but cana��t comprehend the freakiness of it all. Thank you again for your concerns,a�? he wrote.

A few years ago Phiri was hijacked along the N1 road in South Africa while travelling with family. Their car, a Toyota SUV, was not recovered. It was a bad experience as the robbers dumped them at a game park in the early hours of the morning.