WE at The Patriot always emphasise the importance of knowing who we are as Zimbabweans as well as celebrating being Zimbabwean.
We believe Zimbabweans, and the young generation in particular, must be informed, not by the whiteman but by us.
We must have our own narratives and not rely on the whiteman because his stories suit the West in particular.
That is why in this issue we have a story detailing how the name Mount Darwin came about.
Mount Darwin is a territory in Mashonaland Central.
Our children must be informed that before the whiteman invaded our country, Mount Darwin was known as Pfura by the locals.
They must know that it was the so-called hunter and explorer Frederick Courtney Selous who gave Pfura the new name, Mount Darwin.
This man who renamed Pfura, Mount Darwin, was inspired by David Livingstone who renamed Mosi-oa-Tunya, Victoria Falls, after his claims of ‘discovering’ it.
He named it after Queen Victoria of England.
To date, we have a street in Harare called Selous, and in that street you will find a school called David Livingstone.
Isn’t that ironic?
Our children must be taught that this Selous, who named Mount Darwin, was a close friend to Cecil John Rhodes, the chief architect of colonisation.
That is why we have numerous areas called Selous in the country.
They must also know that Selous was recruited as a ‘guide’ for Rhodes’ Pioneer Column that invaded Zimbabwe.
In that regard, they must question whether Selous was a mere hunter and explorer or Rhodes’ spy.
They must be taught that the Pioneer Column, which Selous was part of, also had Father Andrew Hartmann of the Roman Catholic Church in tow.
Today we have a school called Hartmann House in Harare and the Roman Catholic Church has vast tracts of lands countrywide.
The link between Father Hartmann and Selous shows how the Bible and the gun were used in the colonisation of Zimbabwe. It is also worthy noting that all members of the Pioneer Column were rewarded with vast tracts of land and mining claims, among other things.
All this was Rhodes’ doing and he was doing it for the Queen of England.
Indeed, our children must know that it was the same Rhodes who, sleeping in a tent with his ‘partner’ Alexander Starr Jameson, argued whites were the ‘finest flower of civilisation’ and that blacks were nonentities.
The same Jameson who was Rhodes’ ‘partner’, was the first colonial administrator of Rhodesia.
They must know that it was the same Jameson who, between 1893 and 1894, decimated the Matabele and dispossessed them of their cattle in the First Chimurenga/Umvukela.
To date, Jameson lies beside his ‘partner’ Rhodes at our sacred shrine Njelele at Malindidzimu (Matopo Hills).
They desecrated our centre of the Mwali religion, the spiritual centre of Murenga.
As Zimbabweans, we must learn from history and it is such information which will guide our children in future.
All learners countrywide must be informed of past events that have a bearing on their future.
They must be in a position to argue, if we renamed Kimberly Reef, Bindura, what can stop us from reverting Mount Darwin to Pfura?
We were in Mt Darwin, Mashonaland Central, for the country’s 43rd Independence Day celebrations.
It was the first time the main Independence Day celebrations were held in a rural province and as the President said, the venue was befitting as it sits on what became one of the epicentres of the Second Chimurenga.
The President was spot on.
There are so many told and untold stories of the liberation war from Mashonaland Central. Our children must be enlightened.
That way, they will grow up appreciating the independence we celebrate year-in year-out.
That way, they will safeguard Zimbabwe by all means necessary.
But perhaps for now, let us scrap Mount Darwin and go back to Pfura.