The day Jackie Madondo died, the people were waiting for her at the then Harare International Conference Centre at the Sheraton Hotel.
It was in the afternoon of November 17 2004 and the Ivy Kombo-initiative; Nguva Yakwana Gospel Show had just kicked off.
I had also just joined The Herald and was standing outside the venue together with Jackie’s uncle, former librarian, Alywn Bizure.
He received the call, spoke briefly and then looked at me before saying: “I can’t believe this.”
I asked him what it was and he said, “Jackie has just had an accident.”
I stared at him and asked him, “Is she dead?”
At that time, he was already walking into the venue to break the news to the organisers of the show.
Just when I was about to follow him, one of the sub-editors called me and repeated the terrible news. He told me that Jackie had been seriously injured and that she had been taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital.
I managed to get more details later. Her Nissan Sunny sedan car collided with an army truck along Enterprise Road killing her one-month old baby and injuring her two sisters.
A week later after her death, a childhood friend, Panevanhu Dominic Kaseke, who was also admitted at Parirenyatwa with head injuries told me that he had seen Jackie being brought into the hospital and that he saw her die.
“She died right there before my eyes,” he told me.
Born Jacqueline Orleen Vivian Madondo in 1980, the gospel artist died at a tender age of 24 leaving an unfinished career that had just taken off.
At the time, her album Mazuva Acho was still doing well. Jackie’s beat that has a soulful flavour stands out from the rest of Zimbabwean gospel that has gone the sungura way.
Backed by the group, Vessels of Honour, Jackie also released a second album called Achadzoka.
She started singing in church with her young sister Marbel as the Madondo Sisters before assuming the name Vision. In 2001, the group evolved into Vessels of Honour with Jackie, Marbel, Lindarose Chinogureyi and Shylet Mudzamiri as members. There was only one man – Kudzai Ndoro - in the group.
Her other song, Rutiziro still is a very inspirational song that has a fresh catch to it.
Jackie was a member of the Ruvhuvhute Sisters that released the song Come to Victoria Falls song together with Plaxedes Wenyika, Ivy Kombo and the Flame actress Fortunate Matenga.
She also had a stint in EGEA gospel train, a Zaoga choir put together by Pastor Admire Kasi and fronted by Ivy Kombo and Carol Munjokoro in 1997.
Later she would back-up Ivy Kombo on her album My Shepherd.
Her sister, Marbel has since released a 15-track album titled The Return (Praise and Worship) that carries a Jackie composition called Tichitenda Mwari Baba.
Today, the Vessels of Honour consist of Pride Priestly, Pamela Ndoro, Mudzamiri and Marbel.
There is also another album called Faithful and Just done by Marbel dedicated to Jackie.
“Jackie was a wonderful sister whose life became my inspiration. It was hard at first to even sing her songs and it took me seven years to come up with this project, which I believe will go a long way in the music industry.
“We sang together in the group Vessels of Honour and I did the intro part on the hit song Mazuva Acho. We also held shows together,” Marbel said when the album was released.