Journalists based in the Midlands province were yesterday plunged into the mourning as they woke up to the sad news that their colleague, Tinashe Rupende had passed on.

He was 38.

Rupende died while on the eve of February 7 while on admission at Gweru Provincial Hospital battling kidney complications.

He joined the ZBC in 2008 as a junior cameraman and rose through the ranks to Bureau Cameraman until the time of his death.

Affectionately known as ‘Big Tee’ by his colleagues due to his imposing stature, Rupende will be missed by the media fraternity for his hard work.

Said Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) executive member, Michael Magoronga, “As an association, we are poorer without one of our own. The fraternity was richer with his experience and losing such is like losing gold to us.”

“When I came to Midlands, I was a rookie reporter who would work with the late Big Tee. He would help me with who to interview and how to do my stories, especially the political ones,” added Courage Bushe.

Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Senator Larry Mavhima visited the Rupende family to pay condolences and described the late Rupende as a hard-working man.

“I worked with the young man from way back before I even became a Minister. He loved his work. Even during his last days, he would come and do his work without complaining. You would tell that the young man is not well but he would soldier on,” Sen Mavhima said.

Rupende will be buried at his rural home in Mt Darwin on Thursday.

He is survived by his wife Primrose Mashegede and two daughters Anashe and Anopaishe.