Renowned writer Marumo laid to rest

Updated: September 24, 2012

Posted by Chenjenali Baraedi on the Voice on January 13, 2012

At the grave site

Hundreds of people thronged Minestone location in Francistown, to pay their last respects to well-known Ikalanga writer and pioneer of the Domboshaba Cultural Arts, Shadrack Shanganani Marumo who died three days before New Year’s Eve.

48-year-old Marumo died at Nyangabwe Referral Hospital where he was admitted with kidney complications. Marumo who was also a teacher at Pelotshwaana primary school, worked hard to promote his mother tongue through writing books in Ikalanga language and digging deep to know the origins of Bakalanga people and their traditional practices.

A former BDF officer and a member of Mukani Action Campaign and Chedza Writers Association, Marumo also had an Ikalanga column in The Voice Newspapers a few years ago. Marumo also played a part in the translation of the Bible into Ikalanga and was amongst the team that translated the film on the birth and the life of Jesus into Ikalanga language.

Shadrack Marumo

Speakers at his funeral described him as a visionary man who loved and fought hard to ensure that Ikalanga language gets recognition in Botswana.  Ndingo Johwa who represented Domboshaba Cultural Arts Festival, said: “Bakalanga have lost a burgeoning historian and creative thinker who lived to see their mother tongue recognised in Botswana.”

Johwa said although Marumo’s mission to promote Ikalanga language was sometimes mistaken for tribalism, nothing could deter him from his campaign.
“He created many enemies in his fight for the promotion of Ikalanga and other indigenous languages, but he never lost focus of his campaign until death,” he said.

Rev. Mothibi with the author’s works

Reverend Modisaotsile Mothibi from Mukani Action Campaign said he worked on numerous Ikalanga promotional projects together with the late Marumo. He said the renowned writer had various ideas and always tried to strike a balance between fighting for the rights of Bakalanga as a people and fuelling tribalism.

The late Marumo was the author of Zwi zwalo Zwe mbipo, (The wages of Sin) Atshene ndakaziba (Had I known) and an English novel entitled (The burning log.) Working with other Bakalanga writers, Marumo contributed on numerous grammar books like Thendemana, Ngatibaleni Ikalanga and Thawu dze Ikalanga.