Sylvester Tawonezwi Bgoni

Sylvester Tawonezwi Bgoni

1961 Chairman, Mufakose Branch, NDP.
1962 Secretary, Mufakose Branch, ZAPU.
1963 Salisbury (Harare) District Chairman, PCC
1972 Secretary for Youth Affairs, ANC.
1975 (Sept.) Secretary for Youth, ANC (Nkomo).
1975 (Sept.) Member of Central Committee, ANC {Nkomo).
1976 (Jan.) Secretary for Presidential Affairs, ANC (Nkomo).

Sylvester Bgoni was born on 8 August 1934 in the Chiota Reserve near Salisbury (Harare). He attended Chakadini School in his home area but left without completing his studies.

He first took an interest in politics in the early 1950s,1 when he joined the British African National Voice Association2  He later moved into the re—formed ANCongress and (in 1960) the NDP, becoming Chairman of the Mufakose Branch. When ZAPU was formed he was given the post of Secretary of the same branch. He was a founder member of the Mufakose Civic Association — a useful training ground for workers in the nationalist cause. When the PCC was formed in 1963 he became Chairman of Salisbury (Harare) District.

He was arrested in 1964 and sent to Gonakudzingwa. He was later moved to Wha Wha. On his release in 1970 he again became politically active, joining the ANC on its foundation in December 1971. He was re-arrested in early 1972 and sent to Gwelo (Gweru) Prison. On his release later
in the year he was chosen as Secretary for Youth Affairs with a seat on the Central Committee. After the split in September 1975 he remained loyal to Joshua Nkomo, and was re-elected to the same post at the congress held on 27 and 28 September. He was appointed Secretary for Presidential Affairs on 18 January 1976.

Bgoni, although handicapped initially by his limited formal education, has worked hard. While in restriction he completed both ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels of the General Certificate of Education, and started studying for a law degree. He is a Methodist (married under Christian rites) with a family of six children. All members of his family are keenly interested in mbira dancing (the traditional dance).

1 He was moved by his father’s protests against the Land Husbandry Act.
2 See entry on Benjamin Burombo.