Telling our stories key

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THERE is something interesting I have observed over time.

Our liberation wars narratives are finding space in the media.

This is good especially for those of us who have been afraid that the liberation struggle narrative would be forgotten.

Some might express reservation with the kind of narratives being produced; some of the narratives have glaring distortions.

However, the most important thing is that we are churning out the narratives.

The narratives of the liberation wars have for long been dominated by Rhodesians who continue to write about them, presenting themselves as victors despite being dislodged by the black majority, the owners of the country.

When Rhodesians write about the liberation struggle, their stories are not just about guns and shooting, they are writing about mothers and fathers, sons and daughters as well as specific spots and places of importance to them, they have given the war faces and names down to minute details.

But we cannot blame the Rhodesians or froth over their narratives, which are clearly a misrepresentation. 

We were in the struggle and can produce our stories.

We have been guilty of not writing our stories and our children have had to depend on Rhodesian sources for intimate details of the liberation struggle.

Our stories have been more of general history of these great events that have shaped our country.

While our story has been general, Rhodesians are producing memoirs, biographies even interviews chronicling not just the war but specific battles, raids, bombings and attacks.

Thus when we begin to have in our media space chronicles of intimate details of the struggle we are happy.

We have never claimed to completely own the narrative.

We very much want everyone to write.

Ours was a protracted struggle that claimed thousands of lives. 

It was fought in all corners of the country and many were the participants, for it was a people’s war against colonialism.

Naturally such a struggle will have many voices, thus the more narratives we get, the better.

Our past suffering and ordeals must not be forgotten, most important are the actions that we took to dislodge colonial rule. Thus the narratives, detailed narratives of these all important actors and actresses must be produced to serve as inspiration.

Yes, we also want narratives of the Third Chimurenga because already Rhodies have produced volumes of narratives on this important episode in our country.

If we do not write, the Rhodesian lobby will fill this vacuum.

Our people must begin to write about the Third Chimurenga. 

No doubt, lives have been transformed and fortunes are being created but this success story we hear from sources, some outside the country.

We must not wait for others to tell our story on our behalf.

Chronicling our successes and struggle will ensure that our gains and achievements are never lost.

Our children and future generations need not reinvent the wheel, they must simply have reference points that will guide them.

Struggles never end, for always, the invader will come back again and again to try and regain control and it is through our narratives that our progeny remains alert.

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