THERE are many among us who believe Mbuya Nehanda should be accorded a befitting loftier national status that will awaken all to take note of her role in the struggle against colonial oppression. 

The part she played in resisting white colonial rule until her death on April 27 1898 did a lot to shape the history of our country.

Her last words as she was led to the slaughter were not only a bold defiance of the imperialists but also a prediction of things to come.

“My bones will rise again,” were words which became the inspiration to the liberation war fighters as they battled white capital.

The Second Chimurenga, marked by the Chinhoyi Battle of 1966, brought meaning to Mbuya Nehanda’s prediction that her bones would rise again.

By assassinating Mbuya Nehanda, the colonialists thought they had quashed the resistance of the indigenes for good.

Chinhoyi proved them wrong.

When the next stage of the onslaught was launched on the north-eastern front at Altena Farm on December 21 1972, whites must have scampered to archives to find out who this Mbuya Nehanda was.

They must have grudgingly acknowledged the influence of the spirit of the woman whose bones they thought had rotted with time. 

Out of the war of liberation emerged our own heroes like Herbert Chitepo, Nikita Mangena, Josiah Tongogara and Jason Ziyapapa Moyo, just to mention a few.

There are many more.

Indeed, they were a personification of the rising bones of Mbuya Nehanda.

And surely her role towards our liberation should be immortalised.

Yes, she might be mentioned here and there in history books, but this is not enough for such an iconic figure.

Why can’t everything come to a standstill on April 27 every year by declaring the day a public holiday!

This way, even those with scanty knowledge of this great heroine would want to know why she is honoured that much.

That is why our white oppressors had the temerity to declare two days of holidays in July to honour Cecil John Rhodes for colonising us.

The problem arising from colonial mentality is that our heroes are dictated to us by our oppressors as we are denied ownership of our own history.

Instead, names like Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Franklin Roosevelt and Benito Mussolini are well known for their imperialist war of 1940 to 1945.

The other day, a well-educated young blackman was surprised by the picture of Nikita Mangena which we carried in Issue 399 of The Patriot.

He had no idea how this gallant liberation icon looked like, let alone his role in the liberation struggle.

He is not alone.

And this is not limited to liberation icons only.

Because of this colonial moulding, you find blacks with names of their white idols — be it in sport, especially football or artistes at their finger tips.

Their black counterparts are ignored.

In the same way, we have our own national symbols that define our history and identity, just like our former colonisers.

That is why the MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa was heavily criticised for denigrating the Zimbabwe Bird, which is linked to our ancestors and Mwari.

Chamisa probably wanted to curry favour with our erstwhile colonisers who regard belief in such linkages as primitive.


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