WE, at The Patriot, never tire of writing on how Christianity played a role in the occupation of Zimbabwe, and later on in the execution of our Chimurenga/Umvukela heroes and heroines.
When we talk about how Christianity was used to brainwash blacks, we are often criticised by the same blacks who have forgotten their roots.
Indeed, the tragedy we face is that many of us have been hoodwinked to the extent of forgetting who we are.
Today, our children are being taught to sing that ‘Jerusalem is their home’ yet they know nothing about it.
In fact, many have never been there.
That Christianity played a leading role in colonisation is not a secret and the letter from King Leopold II to the first missionaries in Africa in the Belgian Congo in 1883 is quite revealing.
This is the same man who murdered millions of Congolese without compunction and remains celebrated in Belgium to date.
Apparently, King Leopold II’s letter was exposed by one Moukouani Bukoko after he bought a secondhand Bible from a Belgian priest who had forgotten the letter in the Bible.
That was in 1935.
Part of it reads:
“Your principal objective in our mission in the Congo is never to teach the niggers to know God, this they know already.
They speak and submit to a Mungu, one Nzambi, one Nzakomba, and what else I don’t know.
They know that to kill, to sleep with someone else’s wife, to lie and to insult is bad.
Have courage to admit it; you are not going to teach them what they know already.
Your essential role is to facilitate the task of administrators and industrials, which means you will go to interpret the gospel in the way it will be the best to protect your interests in that part of the world.
For these things, you have to keep watch on disinteresting our savages from the richness that is plenty in their underground.
Your knowledge of the gospel will allow you to find texts ordering and encouraging your followers to love poverty, like: ‘Happier are the poor because they will inherit heaven’, and: ‘It’s very difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God’.
Your action will be directed essentially to the younger ones, for they won’t revolt when the recommendation of the priest is contradictory to their parents’ teachings.”
It is such information that our former colonisers do not want us to remember.
They want us to forget their transgressions.
To date, many blacks, and Zimbabweans in particular, have completely abandoned their indigenous ways.
They dismiss their culture, values and norms as archaic while others have completely forgotten about their ancestors.
They have forgotten who they are.
It is, therefore, imperative for all of us to dig deeper into our history in order to understand who we are.
It’s only then that we can raise a generation that defends our culture as black people; a generation that knows that being black is a blessing and not a punishment from God.