THE recent tour, by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, of the site where Mbuya Nehanda memorial statue will be erected, helped remind us once more how our iconic heroes have shaped, not only our history, but also our ethos as a nation.
Our history would never be complete without acknowledgement of the valiant struggle by heroines, like Mbuya Nehanda, against colonial rule.
We are not alone in this.
To the British, their history is never complete without recognising the role of Winston Churchill in their fight against Nazi Germany.
Even with the Americans, justice would not have been done to their history if we don’t take note of how it was shaped by the gallantry of figures like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, among others, in their war against British colonialism.
American and British history is straight jacketed in that the ideals of their heroes are indeed the ideals of their respective people at large.
Though there might be different political parties, the guiding principles related to patriotism are binding.
But alas, these imperialists tell us that our history has to be dynamic.
We are told not to be guided by the ‘primitive’ ideals of our past heroes who had the guts to challenge whites.
They fear this might be a unifying factor that might derail their plans to divide us, thereby leaving us easy prey to exploitation.
The spirit of Mbuya Nehanda, which guided us both in the First and Second Chimurengas, helped us carve a common identity as we fought against the imperialists.
Subsequent leaders, guided by this spirit, saw us victorious over a well armed foe. It is therefore imperative to let this history be a source of pride to succeeding generations.
We have had most of our history about our victorious liberation struggle written by the vanquished.
There are many who had rich first-hand accounts of the struggle who have gone to their graves with that history untold.
But this should not be the endgame.
Our history of the struggle can be recorded, though belatedly, through construction of memorial sites of those who played prominent roles.
That is why we hail the erection of Mbuya Nehanda memorial statue in the centre of the capital.
This will be a salient reminder of the heroics of this liberation icon.
It is in this vein that we applaud the construction of the Museum of African Liberation.
This helps to immortalise the spirit of of the liberation struggle for posterity. In fact, the statue of Mbuya Nehanda must be erected at many different centres throughout the country.
Other prominent icons, who battled colonial rule, should also have monuments throughout the country.
These include King Lobengula, Sekuru Kaguvi, Chief Chingaira Makoni, Chief Chinengundu, Chief Mapondera and General Mtshana Khumalo of the Battle of Pupu, among others.
Many buildings, schools and roads with names of our erstwhile colonisers should, in fact, be renamed after our liberation icons.
It was was pleasing to hear the President say the remains of colonialists like Allan Wilson should be disinterred from Matopos and reburied where he was defeated by King Lobengula.
The President also wondered why a school in a liberated Zimbabwe should be named after the defeated imperialist.
Like our white colonialists, let the history and ethos of our country be straight jacketed.
The monument of Mbuya Nehanda evokes resistance and resilience, a spirit which today has seen us remain on our feet despite illegal sanctions and the planting of sellouts in our midst.