‘Every revolution must have heirs’

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IT is a tragedy we lost General Josiah Tongogara towards the end of our liberation struggle.
There are also so many others we lost in our living memory.
We lost Cde Solomon ‘Rex Nhongo’ Mujuru, Cde Zororo Duri, Cde Alexander Kanengoni and Cde Felix Muchemwa, among many, many others.
We lost so many it is not possible to recount all the names on the Roll of Honour.
Indeed, Zimbabwe is gold-studded with special sons and daughters – our very best who gave Zimbabwe their all and bequeathed an unparalleled legacy which we must defend with our everything.
Although the pain will never go away, wise words come from Mbuya Nehanda: “For how long shall you mourn?
I left you a legacy.
My bones shall rise.
They shall, always will!
Take up your arms and do me proud.
Look all around, the bones are rising.
Where are you looking at that you cannot see them?”
Indeed where are we looking?
Why do we look aside when we see Zimbabwe’s heirs grasping at the legacy, seeking their rightful position as defenders and builders of the Great Zimbabwe?
Why and how do we miss them when Mbuya Nehanda continually points them out to us?
Why do we fail to see them in the light that shines in the eyes of each child of Zimbabwe when you talk to them about the liberation struggle, especially when you tell them boys and girls of all ages left home to fight and free the country?
Why do we not see Mbuya Nehanda’s bones in one Ethan when he sings, “Heroes’ Acre, ndiyo nzvimbo inovigwa magamba eZimbabwe…,” so beautifully, so sweetly.
Don’t you think those who lie at Heroes Acre and so many other shrines — known and unknown — smile at Ethan with gladness and joy!
Why do we not see them in the three-year-old who insists he wants to go to crèche so that he can sing, ‘Simudzai Mureza wedu weZimbabwe’!
Why did we never think this would be the most popular song for our children?
Attending a reburial at Heroes’ Acre for the first time, this little boy would not rest until he understood how someone ‘white’ would attend the occasion in the company of his family.
Still smoking from the gunpowder of the heart of the struggle, he was disturbed that this ‘white’ person seemed so much at home among his own until he deduced she was not white, only looked so.
He was right.
The person was Chinese.
Later, this same youngster told his little sister who was busy showing off she could speak English through the nose because she was now at an affluent school: “There is nothing so special about speaking English.
“After all, English is spoken in our land because we have given permission that the whiteman’s language should continue to be spoken in our land.”
He was not confused about who he was.
Born in the heart of the struggle, the revolutionary fervour had left an indelible mark on his soul.
He was crystal clear about who the whiteman was, nothing more than a vanquished foe.
Fast-forward to date, this youngster is a grown man now.
Did we harvest his revolutionary fervour.
Each revolution must have heirs or else it dies because counter-revolutionaries are ruthless.
For generations, we have let Chindunduma lie idle.
We have disensconsed our children from the legacy of the liberation struggle, which is their destiny to cherish, pursue and protect.
I was pondering why it has taken me more than a year to visit Tinashe at Inyazura High School. Tinashe, who pleaded with me at last year’s Zimbabwe International Book Fair: “Please visit us at our school and tell us about the liberation struggle and education with production.”
This is the same Tinashe who apologetically said to me: “Unfortunately, we do not do African History, we still do European history.”
Indeed, it’s unfortunate children in our schools are still being taught European history.
They are being taught about Napoleon Bonaparte and Benito Mussolini, among others.
Closer to home, are our children being taught the truth about how Europeans colonised Africa?
Are they taught how Cecil John Rhodes looked down upon MaDzimbahwe because he believed whites were the ‘finest flower of civilisation’?
Are they taught that Europeans financed and armed the retrograde Ian Smith, before Zimbabweans rose to fight and dislodge the brutal Smith regime.
At times I don’t want to think about the treachery and hypocrisy of the Europeans.
It is intolerable.
They stole from blacks before murdering them.
In fact, the whiteman was prepared to annihilate the black race but Mbuya Nehanda vowed before she was hanged that ‘her bones would rise’.
They did rise, as gallant sons and daughters of the soil took up arms to dislodge the colonial system that was in place.
Such information must continuously be fed to our children because they are the future and heirs of Zimbabwe.

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