2019-08-07 ZIMBABWE

Kizito Blazio Bute

Brother Kizito Blazio “Svondo” Bute passed away to eternal life on Sunday 28 July 2013. Early in the month he suffered a stroke and was hospitalised for a week before being admitted to Nazareth House in Harare. His condition gradually worsened until he breathed his last early in the morning. The funeral takes place in Kutama on Saturday 3rd August.

Kizito was born together with his twin brother at Nyakudya Village, Bindura District. In the absence of records, he knew neither the month nor the year of his birth. It was a Sunday, which is why he was given the name “Svondo”.

He was sent to Chiveso Primary School and was baptized at Makumbi Mission on 14 September 1945. The name recorded was now Blazio and the year of birth was vague: “around 1929”.  When he applied for official documents much later, he submitted 3 June 1932 instead, this being the feast of the Uganda Martyrs. His father sent him to Kutama for Standard 4 (?). This is where he was confirmed on 6 November 1948. All through life he held the Marist pioneers at Kutama in high veneration.

At one stage he showed interest in joining us, which is why his father, who was not yet a Catholic, went to the school to bring him back home. It is said that father and son walked to and fro on the property for quite some time. Blazio eventually convinced him, and his dad returned home alone. What determination in a young man who had not even begun Marist formation! Eventually he was admitted to the Mtendere Novitiate where he made first profession on 2 February 1955 with two others from Zimbabwe who later left us. He was so happy to have the new name “Brother Kizito”.

That year he began his Teacher Training at Kutama and must have taught there for some time, for a gentleman told us lately that he had been taught there by Brother Kizito. In 1961 and 62 he sat for the O Level Cambridge Certificate. In 1963 he was appointed on the teaching staff at Marist Nyanga. In the early 70’s He did further studies at Maynooth, Ireland, and at the “Institut Catholique” in Paris in the early ‘80’s. Over the years he served as a teacher, master of juniors and in the late 70’s as District Superior. He was also Vocation Promoter and it is thanks to his efforts that three of our Brothers from Chishawasha have distinguished themselves in this country. He was also Education Secretary for the Hwange Diocese in the late 90’s. While at Kutama and Dete he was touched by the plight of underfed pupils in the vicinity of our schools and obtained funds to set up feeding schemes for them. In Dete he sourced maize for this purpose and at Kutama he set up a programme relying on local mothers to prepare lunch for those in need. In his spare time he wrote Shona prose and poetry, some of it still in Shona set books. Over the years a number of people turned to him for advice and assistance.

As the years advanced his health began to deteriorate, firstly a prostate problem, then a stiff left knee, and later signs of dementia appeared. His gradual loss of memory complicated his life, putting him in awkward situations at times. Being alone at Kutama when his confreres were at work did not help. In February 2012 he came to Marist House in Harare where he blossomed in a new environment, being more careful about his appearance and having his meals with the community. His witty repartee brought joy to the community. .

“Having known him for close to 58 years, I came to admire him. He persevered in his vocation even when all those who had joined us after him up to the late 70’s left us. In so many ways we [missionaries] retained our foreign culture, which no doubt must have been painful for him. I have been privileged to witness the hand of God in the difficulties he faced over the years. Imperceptibly the Lord saw him through them all and enabled him to mature to an extent no one could have imagined. In the daily communion service we had here he shared his faith in ways that amazed me. Kizito, intercede for us now that you are in such close union with our loving God” (Brother James Langlois).


Here follows a note from Br James Langlois 12 June 2013 concerning our records for Br Kizito:

“It took me quite a while to get these documents re: Kizito. The passport is obviously an old one, and yet the last one Brother had. The date of his birth is unknown. All he knows is that he was born on a Sunday, hence the name Svundo he got. His baptism certificate states simply: date of birth cc 1929, which would have made him 16 years old in 1945, but this too was a guess. He put down 1932 when applying for documents from the State, probably to enable him to attend school, as was often done in the past. When I arrived at Kutama in 1955 he looked young, and yet he would have been 26 according to the Father who baptized him.”


Uma nota do irmão James Langlois recebida em 12 de junho de 2013: James tinha procurado sua documentação:

“Levei muito tempo para obter esses documentos re: Kizito. O passaporte é, obviamente, um velho, e ainda o último que o irmão tinha. A data de seu nascimento é desconhecida. Tudo o que ele sabe é que ele nasceu em um domingo, por isso o nome Svundo que ele tem. Sua certidão de batismo datado 1945 afirma simplesmente: data de nascimento cc de 1929, o que implicava que ele tinha 16 anos em 1945, mas isso também foi um palpite. Largou 1932, quando ele se candidatou para documentos do Estado, provavelmente para capacitá-lo a frequentar a escola, como já foi feito muitas vezes no passado. Quando cheguei ao Kutama em 1955 ele parecia jovem, e ainda assim ele teria sido 26 de acordo com o padre que o batizou.”


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