Independence Day: A heritage we must all value

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I HAD the opportunity the other day to have a live twitter conference with different people from the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector.
It was the usual jargon around rights etcetera and the need for a better Zimbabwe and how there is no reason to continue celebrating independence since it had just become like any other normal day.
That it had lost its value given the economic situation in the country.
This conversation took me aback as I thought in my mind just how ill informed these people were.
How do we begin to even say that Independence Day has become meaningless? Is it not amazing how every year we hear of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence?
Even when the violence continues to erupt, we actually continue soldiering on hoping that such a commemoration will rekindle the passion and fire around the subject.
Not only that, but we also commemorate World Aids Day, Human Rights Day, the Day of the African Child, World Disability Day, the list is endless.
Now, after all is said and done, we then sit and say in our warm and cosy offices that celebrating Independence Day in Zimbabwe is useless?
Really, I ask and to this I can only say how hypocritical.
If you did not know let me explain to you that the donors fund the commemorations of the other days that I mentioned above.
A lot of money is poured in to commemorate Human Rights Day as an example.
This money is splashed on t-shirts, hotels, food, dramas and all the festivities that you can think of.
The question that boggles my mind then is why it is a crime for another Zimbabwean to celebrate independence.
The day when we finally broke free from the chains of racial oppression?
Is this not being two-faced I ask?
The surprising thing is that every embassy that is here in Zimbabwe celebrates its national day; the most common one being America’s July 4.
You will see all these Zimbabweans clamouring for attention at these national day celebrations.
They will even be holding the American flag and singing the US national anthem. Surprisingly, these same Zimbabweans when their own national anthem is sung, they cannot even go beyond singing the first chorus yet they can sing the whole American anthem!
You even find some of them having their hands resting on their chests as a sign of patriotism to the American cause!
That to me is disgusting.
How does one justify knowing the full anthem of another country and not their own?
How does one justify celebrating another country’s independence; the same country that was in support of their own country’s oppression?
How do they sleep at night knowing well that they are failing to plead allegiance to their own state?
Look, the ideology of being a patriot does not necessarily mean subscribing to the same political party.
However, being patriotic means owning and aligning ones’ self to their heritage and culture and embracing it in its totality with a critical lens of shifting paradigms where needs be.
Knowing one’s national anthem is at the heart of patriotism.
Of course, as usual as we have learnt over the years since this column started, the long and short story of things is that, those who go to the American national days and who sing the anthem over their own are doing so as a way of getting more funding.
By showing the donor that you love their country and if fate had had it, you would rather have been born in their country, is definitely a one way ticket towards receiving more funding.
Coming to our own Independence, yes lest we forget the fact that people fought for Zimbabwe to be free and that colonialism did happen will forever be written on the palms of our hands.
Shall we stop celebrating Independence because currently things are not the best for us financially?
Utterly and in no circumstances No!
We continue celebrating and remembering that which was fought for and acquired and that is the land.
Not only the land but even the power that these NGOs now have, they seem to forget that long ago those jobs were only for white people and that it was through the same independence that they now shun, that they are now able to sit in those big fancy office chairs and call the shots!
Isn’t it amazing how we are so quick to forget?
“Kukanganwa chazuro nehope!”
Come on Zimbabweans!
Let us unite as we celebrate our past and our heritage.
This is who we are and today I am singing the national anthem and holding my head high as I celebrate Independence Day.
Happy Independence Zimbabwe; I love you!

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