WITHIN the next few days, Zimbabwe is going to celebrate two holidays, whose value and significance are different.
Next week, on December 22, we are going to celebrate Unity Day which marks the day the Unity Accord between PF ZAPU and ZANU PF was signed.
This is a holiday exclusive to Zimbabwe.
This accord ended hostilities between the two major political parties which had liberated the country through an armed struggle.
The accord confirmed the common ethos and history the people who belonged to these two parties shared and continue to share.
This is a history which included the shedding of blood for the cause of our one country at Mkushi,
Freedom Camp, Nyadzonia and Chimoio.
Thus, the accord obliterated the artificial Ndebele/Shona divide which imperialists were keen to exploit.
The then leaders of ZANU PF and PF ZAPU, Cde Robert Mugabe and Cde Joshua Nkomo, saw through this.
Today Zimbabwe is one of the most peaceful countries in the world
If it were not for the COVID-19 induced curfew, one could safely travel in any part of the country any time.
And as we celebrate on December 22, we must appreciate the peace that was ushered in by the signing of this accord on that day in 1987.
It is a day when, as a nation, we must think with pride of how, as a united people, we defeated a common enemy.
Normally we would be gathering at different venues to celebrate the day in merriment.
However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there won’t be any pomp and fanfare.
But this is not to say the magnitude of this day is diminished in any way.
Just two days after celebrating Unity Day, December 25 comes with another holiday – Christmas Day.
This is supposedly the day Jesus Christ was born.
Unlike our Unity Day, this holiday is, curiously, celebrated worldwide.
Unlike Unity Day, whose origins we are familiar with, Christmas is a holiday introduced to us by colonialists.
This was part of their religious package.
But this is a holiday whose date was picked by the Romans to coincide with a pagan holiday which celebrated one of their gods.
For according to historical evidence, Jesus Christ was not born in December at all.
He must have been born in March.
The significance of Christmas has always been in in the feasting and lavish spending that characterised the Roman pagan holiday.
But surely, drunkenness, over eating and uncontrolled merrymaking are less associated with Jesus Christ, but more with a Roman pagan god.
So, unlike Unity Day where we celebrate from the heart, Christmas is more of blind imitation.
With Christmas, it looks like people are more excited about the lavishness and merriment associated with the Roman pagan god than the birth of Jesus.
It is this excitement which is a cause of concern.
The Christmas holiday tends to be associated with fatal road accidents and other mishaps connected with careless living.
This has to be avoided.
Because of the COVID-19 menace, people have to limit their travelling and family gatherings.
Group merrymaking has to be discouraged.
All the same,we wish our readers an enjoyable Unity Day, a sober Christmas Day and a successful new year!