Makhativi Guduza was born on 10 May 1927 near Marula in the Plumtree District. His father, who came
from Bulawayo, was a headman who joined the army during World War 1.
Guduza attended Bubude School and Mate School between 1937 and 1941, completing his primary education at the latter. Subsequently, he travelled to Johannesburg and was employed there from 1944 to early 1964. He worked at a hotel for four years and then went to the Chamber of Mines as a chef – a post he held for 10 years.
In 1950 he joined the S.A. African National Congress and came greatly under the influence of Sisulu, Mandela, Dr Moroka, Chief Luthuli and Bram Fisher. Returning to Southern Rhodesia on holiday in January 1964 he “found that (his) leave ended up in Gonakudzingwa”. Here he met Joshua Nkomo for the first time and “was happy to see that my national leader was above tribalism”.
He remained in restriction (at Gonakudzingwa, Wha Wha and Que Que) until June 1970. On his release he went to Bulawayo where he became, in his own words, “a peasant farmer”. He remained a staunch supporter of Joshua Nkomo and attended the congress held at Gwanzura Stadium in September 1975. At the congress he was elected Secretary for Youth.
He was arrested and served with a detention order on 20 July 1976. He was, however, released later in the year.
Makhativi Guduza is married. He and his wife (whose name is Poppy Lotter) have five sons and five daughters). He describes himself as “not an Africanist or tribalist but a human being who loves all people in the world”.