Indeed, when criminals own the dictionary


I HOPE Silicon Valley editor Mawuna Remarque Koutonin will understand my borrowing the title of one of his enlightening piece on the significance of naming and names after all kakara kununa hudya kamwe.
In an eye opening piece Mawuna draws attention to the use of titles and names in defining ourselves as Africans.
Today Africa finds itself agreeing to the title and defining endorsed by the colonisers.
Many countries in Africa still carry the names of their oppressors either as monuments or things like street signs.
I thought about all this as l passed by the area where the Mbuya Nehanda Tree used to be along Tongogara Street and I noticed gone are the traces that once were.
Whether it’s a myth or not we do not have Mbuya Nehanda’s grave and that tree was a shrine or a memorabilia if you will call it.
It was our ‘wailing wall’ where the nation could be reminded of the sacrifice that has taken us this far.
A vivid reminder for us to never forget.
Our spaces and shrines are commemorative and important in identifying who we are.
They are statements of our identity just like our Heroes Acre.
Every nation has places they hold sacred.
We wrote about it recently that nothing is happening to preserve the spot, the ’sealing’ of that place is an indication that we do not care about our past, it does not mean much. We are obliterating an important past and history of this country.
The street name Tongogara might as well be changed to some other name.
We are definitely erasing our identity.
Yet we have kept names such as KGVI a convenient acronym that means King George VI.
You might ask what is in a name.
But Western powers have clung to the names of their ancestors, why.
Our names ndicho chivanhu chedu.
It seems we are not proud of who we are and are in total agreement that others, are of a superior breed than us.
These past few weeks have seen students at the University of Cape Town throwing excrement on the statue of terrorist and murderer Cecil John Rhodes.
Those who want to hold on to the colonial nostalgia are outraged.
They are talking about Africans not being grateful for the aid parceled to them over the years like the Rhodes fund.
Yet no one seems to look at how they got their monies, the money came from the black man who was displaced, murdered and robbed only for his children to be told they
are supposed to be grateful for the morsels handed to them by the children of the same criminal.
It is just like how the same plunderer, Rhodes, decided that of all places he could have been buried he wanted it to be at the very heart of Matopos a place where the spirits of our land resided.
This downright profanity is like taking the remains of Nehanda to the Buckingham Palace courtyard.
Imagine the outcry, even some reading this may think it is ridiculous because the palace is their symbol of power, well so was Matopo.
I conclude with the words of Mawuna who says our history books should not call our aggressors “colonisers”, but terrorists and criminals, which is what they were.
We should therefore reject the notion of calling ourselves colonised as a woman raped does not call herself ‘raped woman’.


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