Sunday Mail Reporter
VETERAN journalist Sandra Nyaira, who succumbed to Covid-19 on Tuesday, was laid to rest at Warren Hills Cemetery in Harare yesterday, with tributes pouring in from home and abroad.
At the time of her death, Nyaira was working as communications expert at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
She was 46.
Speaking at the burial, Sandra’s sister Ms Caroline Nyaira described her as a pillar of the family.
“She would fit into any situation. Although she did not have any child of her own, she had a big family and made sure everyone in the extended family was taken care of.”
In an interview yesterday, head of communications at the African Union (AU) Mrs Wynne Musabayana, who worked with Nyaira in Addis Ababa, said a virtual ceremony to celebrate the late journalist’s life will be held today.
“Sandra embodied excellence, compassion and generosity. Zimbabwean women in the media will be celebrating her life and work on the 18th of July at 7pm local time. The ceremony will be broadcast on YouTube and on Facebook on the Zimbabwe Women Journalists’ channel. We would like to invite all the friends of Sandra to join us in celebrating an extraordinary achiever, mentor and philanthropist.”
Editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, Faith Zaba, described her as a warrior who broke the glass ceiling in the journalism fraternity.
“I worked with Sandra at Ziana (Zimbabwe Inter-Africa News Agency) from 1996 to 1999 before joining Daily News. She was a very prolific writer and a good journalist. She made us proud as female journalists. Our profession is dominated by men and in many cases it is often referred to as the boys club, but she managed to conquer,” she said.
Fellow journalist and friend to Sandra, Eunice Mafundikwa, said she had lost a dear sister who was loving, caring, compassionate and selfless.
“I have so many happy memories of Sandra as a friend and professional colleague. She was always so helpful anytime anyone reached out. If she didn’t have a solution, which was very few times, she would go out of her way to be sure she finds someone or other resources to address your issue.
“All this she would do with all her heart. She was sincere and genuine.”
Journalist and HIV activist Catherine Murombedzi said: “Some people are born great, some people achieve greatness through their deeds which leave an indelible mark on humanity.
‘‘One such girl from humble beginnings in the high-density suburb of Glen Norah, Zimbabwe, who worked her way up, endearing herself to all she met, has bade the physical world goodbye.”