HomeOld_PostsWho missed Trabablas in Esigodini?

Who missed Trabablas in Esigodini?

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By Knowledge Teya

Recently in Esigodini

UMZINGWANE HIGH SCHOOL in Esigodini, Matabeleland South, was the venue for this year’s 17th ZANU PF Annual National People’s Conference.

It was a colourful event held from December 10 to 15. 

Some of the conference resolutions included; reaffirmation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose nom-de-guerre was ‘Trabablas Dzokerai Mabhunu’, as ZANU PF’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections; zero tolerance to corruption; allocating war veterans farmland; resuming the National Youth Service Programme; establishment of a liberation war museum; and promotion of productions documenting the liberation heritage, among others. 

But then there was a unique exhibition at the conference, so priceless every delegate should have visited, especially youths, considering they are the future leaders of Zimbabwe. 

It would be unfortunate if there is any delegate who missed this exhibition, considering the fact that President Mnagagwa himself took time to tour, reliving the struggles encountered by blacks in order to break the shackles of colonialism and imperialism.

Set-up by the Beverly Pullen-led Friends of Joshua Trust (FJT) and dubbed ‘Trabablas Aluta Continua’, the exhibition not only chronicled President Mnangagwa’s liberation war history, but was fraught with invaluable history on heroes and heroines of both Zimbabwe and Africa who sacrificed their lives to emancipate Africa.  

From such exhibitions, Zimbabweans will know that at Gonakudzingwa Restriction Camp, there were the likes of the late Father Zimbabwe Joshua Nkomo, Stanislaus Marembo, Joseph Kapenta, Vote Moyo, Innocent Choga, Elias ‘Seven Fingers’ Hananda, Edward Khumalo and Sikhanyiso Duke Ndlovu, among other notables.

Sikhombela former restrictees included former President Robert Mugabe, Joseph Shasha, the late Vice-President Simon Muzenda, Samson Maphosa, Amos Maziki, Nesbert Maketsi and Moses Mvenge, to mention a few.

And how many know about this touching, yet inspiring letter from Eddison Zvobgo (Snr) to Eddison Zvobgo (Jnr) written from Sikhombela Prison in 1966? 

It reads: 

“To my dearest son.

It’s six my son and time to rise. 

The sun has shot through the darkness and the long day spreads before you like a kaross. 

Start now dear son, the journey is long. 

There will be thunder and hailstorms although the weather appears calm. 

For the moment, beware of shelters offered you. 

Rather, brave it and be a man. 

Should you fail, rise with grace and without turning to see who sees. 

Continue on your road precisely as if nothing has ever happened.”

There was more at the exhibition from the iconic Mbuya Nehanda and King Lobengula to the legendary ‘Africa’s Che Guevara’, Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara, who, pertaining to women, once said: “Comrades there is no true social revolution without the liberation of women. 

May my eyes never see and my feet never take me to a society where half of the people are held in silence. 

I hear the roar of women’s silence. 

I sense the rumble of their storm and feel the fury of their revolt.”

The Patriot spoke to FJT creative director Dr Rayban Sengwayo who emphasised the importance of documenting our liberation war heritage. 

“We set up this exhibition in order for people to understand where we came from in order for us to be free, not just as Zimbabweans, but as Africans,” he said. 

“There are also many unsung heroes, past and present, who sacrificed their lives to liberate Zimbabwe who must be celebrated and this is one way of doing so. 

“Youths, in particular, must understand our revolution in order for them to safeguard this country for the benefit of future generations.” 

Masvingo-based war veteran Lovemore Sibanda, who is also the chairman of KwaVaMuzenda Community reiterated that political orientation was crucial, especially for all youths, not only in ZANU PF but the nation at large. 

The Chitepo Ideological College, he said, must take the leading role in decolonising the minds of Zimbabweans.

“How can our young take over the revolution when they don’t appreciate that Zimbabwe did not come on a silver platter?” he said. 

“Political orientation is important.    

“I went to war in 1976; we attained independence and now we are in 2018, but I feel the Party needs to do more to support initiatives from institutions like FJT in order to preserve our liberation war heritage. 

“In Masvingo, we also have KwaVaMuzenda at R36 Zimuto Street, Mucheke. 

“It’s now a monument and it’s crucial for schools to tour the place in order for students to appreciate many things about the liberation struggle.”

There is no doubt Pullen, Sengwayo and Sibanda, through their seemingly small but invaluable exhibition, made the Esigodini conference one to remember, especially to those who paid them a visit. 

As alluded earlier, President Mnangagwa visited the exhibition, but who didn’t?

After all, it was free to all the over 

6 000 delegates who attended.

Who missed Trabablas in Esigodini, remains the question?                

We ask because, for people to gather in that peaceful environment, about 43km south of Bulawayo and mapping the way forward for the country and ZANU PF, it’s because of the exploits of characters and events chronicled at the FJT’s Trabablas Aluta Continua exhibition that was situated a few metres from the main tent.

Certainly the late Alexander Kanengoni, George Rutanhire and even Justice Mbiza wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

They were patriots – real patriots — not those fly-by-night individuals who say: “Hatidye ideology.”

Whoever missed Trabablas in Esigodini has a lot of self-introspection to do.

We must prioritise our history.

After all, it defines who we are!

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