My father was indeed a hero

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By Danmore Kwaedza

MY late father was a liberation war hero. Godfrey Kwaedza, is a typical example of how youthful ideals of fun and merrymaking were traded for the gun and work for the liberation movement. Though he was very young, just in his early teens, he decided to play his part in the struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe from the yoke of bondage and outright racism. He described the courage he felt as overwhelming and as an urge to take his birthright back. The smell of the land, the vegetation, and everything beneath it, was his to possess, but first the slave-masters had to be driven out of the land. “In the jungle nothing else really matters except coming out of it free and without losing site your nation’s aims and objectives,” Kwaedza. Even the smallest of contributions towards the revolution was what kept it moving. If oppression unites the people, then, must freedom not strengthen this unity? Our heroes and heroines must not die in vain. They always mean and meant the best for us. Both dead and living, were and are conscious of the people’s needs. My father fought many battles during the war. Though he was shot and wounded, this did not stop him from fighting. He sacrificed his dreams and left, and was fully conscious of the hardships he was to experience in the war. At school, Mutambara Mission in Chimanimani, he played soccer. May be he even dreamt of playing for a club or the national team. Maybe he could have gone far with school. He was a brilliant student. He had talent, wisdom and courage, but preferred to use his talent, wisdom and courage to free his country. Never afraid, he was aware of the purpose of the war, so we should be aware of the purpose of our sovereignty. “Freedom found is freedom lost in the hands of a fool. “But in the hands of the wise it never ends.” No matter what the price is, in the hand of the united it endures. Today people seem to have forgotten. How will the youth know if they are not told about these and stories of more sacrifices? We deny our history and make it seem as if this country came from nowhere. Accepting our history defines our identity and being Zimbabwean is not just about being born in this geographical location. It is embracing our history, focusing on our strength and moving into the future without fear. People complain daily that their salaries are low, but were our liberation war heroes paid enough for their grim battle to free us. Fighting tooth and nail,with all their sweat, blood and tears till the end. My father used to joke and say “in the jungle we were paid in lice”! It is not a typographical error, yes “Lice!” not rice. Today some of us succumb to the handouts from imperialist through this so-called donor communities. Is your country worth such humiliation? The same people who impose sanctions on us, also want to give us aid . What a sick joke! Is that what your hearts yearn for? My Dad taught me that we should never hide the truth from each other. We must stand firm with the truth and not close our ears when truth is told. Truth is the foundation of peace and security. Truth is the benefit of doubt, the mother of trust and a catalyst to sacrifice. Imagine if the comrades had not trusted each other, would they have sacrificed for us? Freedom is based on trust and you can never be free among strangers. We can never be free if our nation is being run by foreigners. The truth involves an honest day’s work, playing your part on time. Our unity must not be corrupted by dishonesty, greed and malice. It erodes the truth, it erodes the power of unity and the power of sacrifice. What beautiful and enriching prospects and secrets does Zimbabwe have in her bowels. Already, we have shown the world we are peaceful, but we do not want pressure to enhance things alien to us. Misguided elements are rife so we should be wary. They will block us from our promises. My father used to say the revolution was the foundation of this country dug away before the slave master came with his lap-dogs. Lap-dogs he said, never change, they were there before, and there are there today among our communities, even in our Government. They were there during the liberation struggle, lying to the people to impress their masters. They preached democracy, which they themselves do not understand, let alone believe in. They want us to rally and give away our birthright. Beautiful Zimbabwe, some of us died for this nation including my father for us to embrace such beauty. Some lived, but stayed with everlasting pain and were tormented by what was done to them by the slavemasters. They went to taste the promised as much as anyone else. It is high time we stopped pretending to be something we are not. People need to make sacrifices, open their minds and see. My fathers’ contributions to this country have made me realise that we all have a part to play in Zimbabwe. That is what it takes to make Zimbabwe a better nation, so let us unite and raise our nation’s flag higher. 10 THE PATRIOT COLUMN 17 – 23 June 2011 Zimbabweans, young and old, should be given the opportunity to decide their own destiny Through their children’s eyes

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