Heroes never die!


STONE upon stone,
Our lovely house is built; The house of stone
There, within the Great Zimbabwe enclosure, a story is carved in blood and tears on every patch of ground
A story that bore us this freedom
A story with some chapters
Befittingly captured at the Heroes’ Acre
Where enshrined memories are as sour as salted lemon
Yet from those sour memories, the freedom flower is rooted
Hooray to freedom, today is their day!
Do you remember comrade?
When we used to dream of freedom from the cold embrace of servitude in colonial manacles
The Chimurenga songs we sang
Being the only melody that kept the dream in sight?
Proclaiming our loyalty to the cause through rhythm and rhymes
Taking our lives to the extreme edges of survival
Of what use is life without the privilege of freedom?
I know of men and women
Who stood in the way of a fired bullet
With a mere bow and arrow; black pride their shield
Standing firm and resolute in defiance of oppression
Freedom fighters; heroes of the land
Men who broke the colonial cage
To write the freedom story on an African page
Today is their day;
Men and women of valour
Whose names I can’t spell on a poetry page
Men who traced the strength of Nehoreka
To find it lingering embedded in the blackness of their being
Women who found a melody in Nehanda’s prophecy
And yielded to the bloody dance of Chimurenga chiming bells
In gunshots and detonating bombs
Men and women who dared the jungle bare footed
Putting out a ferocious flame with their own blood
Among them boys
Who, instead of dancing to the irresistible melodies
of jerusarema in the African villages
Took after their fathers in chasing the oppressor from the turf
Men and women who tasted bile
To serve this freedom so sweet
I can’t resist to share the taste in poetry verses
Among them girls
Who took their chastity to the battlefield
To labour with fellow comrades the birth of this freedom hard-won
Men and women who walked the narrow of life
Fighting a system that gave us boundaries in our own town
Cde Tongogara was among them,
Men who rose beyond heights for a human cause; Heroes
Hooray to freedom!
As we sing ‘Simudzai Mureza weZimbabwe’
Today is their day, lest we forget the heroes of the land
Who pledged their dear lives
To ignite the fight for freedom,
Who served jail terms
In restoration of national pride and dignity
Men and women of valour, freedom fighters
Who tended to the national call
In vigil of the sacrosanct walls; Masvingo eDzimbabwe
Upon which they were to hoist the freedom flag
Men and women massacred at Chimoio and Nyadzonia
Whose strewn blood watered the freedom flower to blossom
Men who rose above fear
To become themselves the currency of what the nation wanted
I know of some, whose bones are highly honoured at the Heroes’ Acre
I know of some, who saw the entrance to the battlefield
But never the exit, even when the battle was won
I know of some, who are still nursing
The wounds they sustained in battle
How can we forget!
We see their faces and worth on the colours of the national flag
We sing them everyday in that sacred hymn;
‘Simudzai mureza wedu weZimbabwe’
How can we forget, again I ask!
They lived a purposeful life
That casted an everlasting shadow upon the land
They taught us to rise above fear
And today I sing their names with pride
What they became out of what they believed; Heroes
Let the freedom flag wave peacefully upon the house of stone
That was their warring urge,
Their desired will and wish
We can only honour them that way
Today is their day, Heroes’ Day!

By Edward Dzonze


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