I want to know who k!lled me!
The words from the soft-spoken tall dark man sent shivers down the spine of a security guard at Zimpapers Bulawayo Branch last Friday.
He looked normal but the guard definitely not being a qualified psychiatrist to assess the man’s mental faculties, did not want to take chances.
He called the acting_ Editor, who immediately recognised the man from a picture in a story in the Chronicle the previous day which stated the man had committed suicide after allegedly attempting to set his girlfriend’s home on fire in Nkulumane suburb.
Melodramatic reactions could have ensued but the “d3ad man’s” composed calm, swatted them away.
You could have heard a feather drop, like a ton of lead when the man repeated to confused journalists in the B-Metro newsroom: “I am Usuf Banda from Mzilikazi suburb, I have come here to find out who k!lled me.”
He was asked to explain himself.
He had a tale worthy of an unpredictable best-selling movie script.
It turns out his picture was erroneously used in a story about a man, Thabo Dube, who allegedly committed suicide after a fight with his girlfriend.
“People are running away from me in my neighbourhood. They think I’m a ghost. They think I’m d3ad,” said the crestfallen Banda.
“People have been calling on my cellphone even from outside the country thinking I’m d3ad. Most of them hang up, I suppose in shock when I answer. May I know who brought this dark cloud into my life? How did I end up in that story?” he asked in the same calm manner.
Banda said even the police were uneasy when he went to report the matter as they appeared to know the story and could have been thinking he was “a walking dead” like in the famous series of the same name.
“I was given a compassionate off-day at work to sort out this mess. Who k!lled me?” he asked once again.
“From that story, my wife now thinks I have girlfriends while my landlord is also acting strangely. It has turned my world topsy-turvy.
He said the picture used in the story was cropped from a group photo that he had taken with friends on a weekend outing the previous week.
When he heard that his picture had been circulating with a voice note on social media that said he had k!lled his girlfriend and committed suicide, days before the story was written, he said he thought one of his friends could have decided to be mischievous in a joke gone horribly wrong.
I reported this to the police and I have spoken to Chronicle and they assured me that this will be rectified,” said Mr Banda.
“Please, don’t run away from me. I am alive. It was a mistake and mistakes happen. Even my wife was now thinking that I have girlfriends. This isn’t true, I am alive, I wasn’t involved in this case.”
The family of the late Dube distanced themselves from the debacle and asked reporters to respect them as they mourned his passing. The girlfiend’s family also did not want to talk about the issue.
Eventually, after coming to the newsroom several times, Banda said he had made peace with the issue and was okay with not knowing who had “k!lled him.”