We all know about the tragic death of the fitness coach, model, actress and brand strategist Michelle ‘Moana’ Amuli. This is what marked the beginning of a weird phase for me. First of all, I never knew Moana except for one or two workout video clips that landed on Twitter. Even at that time, twitter algorithm randomly threw that on my timeline but I didn’t put much thought into it. I thought okay, she can hit it off as the black Elastigirl from The Incredibles movie franchise because her body stretched to grotesque and awe-inspiring positions. Girl had a her knee resting on her cheek and I felt the pain in my pelvic area. Of course I scrolled on and that was long forgotten by the end of the hour.
8 November 2020, on a Sunday morning, my husband woke me up. Social media was buzzing with news of the death of Ginimbi. Businessman-millionaire-socialite who was involved in a car accident and died on the spot. I knew Genius Kadungure, I have met him once and watched his questionable but extremely entertaining vlogs on his IGTV channel. I was in disbelief. Someone on the accident scene was live streaming on Facebook. For someone who had a flair for life and inclination to enjoy every minute of his life, it was difficult to watch his lifeless body lying in the grass by the roadside. (Piss poor social media etiquette to the person who live-streamed his corpse.) It was not an internet death hoax, Ginimbi was dead. I had no idea that the girl who was meters away in the car, burnt to death was about to consume my mind for the next 8 weeks.
3 other people were with him in the car, Moana, Alichia Adams and Karim. All died. While Ginimbi was rescued from his Rolls Royce ( although he died shortly after), his friends were trapped in the car before it exploded within minutes. They were BURNT TO DEATH. I began stalking and reading on the events that accumulated to this tragedy. This was some final destination freak accident. I swear it seemed Hades was setting scores for cheating death at some juncture in their lives. Sitting ducks waiting for their demise.
Moana flew to Zimbabwe from South Africa to celebrate her birthday on 7 November 2020. She had just turned 26 the previous day and celebrations were taking place at Ginimbis nightclub, ‘Dreams‘. Everything leading to the birthday festivities was documented on social media, photos and videos. Moana really came back home from South Africa to die. I watched her prepare for the birthday celebrations. I got bride preparing for wedding vibes and groom unknown to all, Grim the Reaper. Ginimbi hosting a birthday in his nightclub was equivalent to upper westside affluent flamboyance. This was a big deal. It was planned meticulously to the dot, from hair, make-up, dress, cake and all the nightlife Las Vegas flare and panoply.
The last moments on her IG stories is what sucked me in. The excitement for her birthday, glam team at the hotel she was staying, the entourage leaving the hotel with Ginimbi, her gorgeous white enameled dress with detailed embroidery, the vibe in the club, cake, set up to just a few minutes before the accident. Five girls held up neon letters that read MOANA as a cake shaped like her torso made its way to the VIP section. Moana was seen licking the cake and posting on her I.G story with the caption “Moana Anonaka” (Moana is delicious). Oiled and grim shirtless men brought champagne with the Undertaker theme song playing in the background. The Undertaker theme song made this whole story eerie. Scenes of her friend Alichia Adams seen with her pretty blonde wig and little pink dress, as death counted minutes. Alichia posted a video clip of the quadruple leaving the club on her I.G story, captioned ‘We are out my G.’ This was literally minutes before the fatal accident. Alichia also posted a video of them heading to Ginimbis mansion in the Rolls Royce Wraith. Wraith. Literary definition of wraith is a ghost like figure seen shortly after the death of a person. I mean…
She died in her best make-up, hair and dress. A well prepared departure. A beautiful young life with a lot potential abruptly, tragically and painfully taken. She was at her peak and on her come up to a full form. You can see the growth from her first instagram post to the last. A rising star. She had a fierce work ethic and you can tell from her fitness videos she put in the work and the body to show for it. I watched all the videos on Moana’s Tiktok, full of life, hilarious, creative and carefree. I watched her Facebook Live videos, the way her eyes disappeared when she smiled and her cute dimples when her face lit up. She wasn’t embarrassed to post her face without makeup, messy hair or under-wig cornrows. Moana was real, never ashamed of her background and talked about it a lot. She had a tough upbringing. I wanted to know more about her, it was almost compulsive. I needed more material, so I began to stalk her little sister, Tatts and to my relief she posted never before seen unpublished material. I watched it all over and over again. I went back to the videos of her last moments and watched them a thousand times. I don’t know how many times I went up and down her Instagram. I just couldn’t help myself.
I knew her voice, her mannerisms and poise. I even went as far as stalkig her make up artist who did her face before her death, Tsungai Makwanya. I watched Tsungie’s video of Moana as she beamed at herself, satisfied with the make-up. Joe Boy’s song ‘Baby’ became haunting. It played in the Rolls Royce on their way to Dreams and Moana posted the video on her I.G story, vibing to this song captioned, ‘Alichia Adams baby guuuurl.’ I stalked Tatts Facebook to 5years back, her old photos with Moana. Way before she knew that she was going to catch a break and live the life of her dreams. Way before a fateful 8 November. Moana signed up with big brands as brand ambassador for Nash paints, Chicken Hut and Food Icon. She had recently announced her engagement to a secret fiancee. The stars were aligning for her. I was gutted when it turned out that she was 6 months pregnant when she died. There was so much potential.
Followed by the controversy surrounding her burial and the war that ensued between her parents. As the parents fought on who had the right to bury her in courts for two weeks. I thought about the charred girl lying cold and lonely in the mortuary. I felt for her soul as she went through this torment because of selfish individuals. I prayed for a stranger, I prayed that her spirit finds comfort as she waited for burial. Finally when the judge awarded her father to bury Moana in an Islamic fashion. I wondered if she wanted this, after all she lived her last moments as a Christian. My eyes glistened as I watched her corpse wrapped in white cloth touch the bare ground of the grave. I went through it all. I assumed after the burial I might stop obsessing over this girl but no, I succumbed to the compulsive need to watch I.G highlights or a couple of Tiktok videos.
I wished she hadn’t been in that car with Ginimbi, she would be here living her life and I will probably not know of her existence but that is okay. I became vividly aware of this obsession and I knew I needed to leave this dead girl alone. So I blocked her on all social media platforms and left Tatts instagram account so I can check up on her at times. She was just a little girl from the ghetto who had dreams and she made it even if it was for a short while. Moana was versatile, fiesty, happy, an amazing mother, talented actress, an artist robbed from this world but not easily forgotten. Her digital footprint is brilliant because I conjured all this just from social media. It is really important to document your life. She left quite a beautiful legacy that won my heart. I don’t know if I am the only one that went through this weird phase. I am good now but still remember her fondly. Rest easy The Beautiful Beast. Rest in peace Ginimbi, Alichia and Karim.
The nation is at loss. The Zim Dancehall scene will never be the same again. Things could have been different but I guess your time was up. Rest easy Chibaba, Chigunduru, Makuruwani, Mwana waStembeni. It is well with your soul Sauro. Nakadhula Dhaka!!