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In honour of a selfless leader

by Busisani Ncube
17 Apr 2020 at 12:08hrs | Views
On Saturday, Zimbabweans from all corners of the world, are meant to celebrate 40 years of independence!

I say 'meant to celebrate' because, at this stage, there is little to celebrate.

The country regained its sovereignty from British colonial rule on April 18, 1980 after having lost it in September 1890 when the Pioneer Column annexed the territory of what is now Zimbabwe.

What was meant to be Independence has turned into something unpleasant.

The country's economy is in ruins, the health system totally collapsed, and government clueless on how to steer Zimbabwe out of this mess. The list of things that have gone wrong since Independence is never-ending.

Fortunately, the fifth Joshua Nkomo lecture, being organised by the Joshua Nkomo Museum, reminds us of something to celebrate this year – a life well-lived. That of Dr Nkomo, Zimbabwe's most decorated national hero, a towering political giant, an icon, a man of vision, a fountain of wisdom, an inspiration and indeed a man of the people.

The late PF ZAPU stalwart Sydney Malunga's son, Siphosami, a renowned human rights lawyer, is set to deliver this year's lecture via online broadcast at 10AM on Facebook and Twitter.

Thandi Nkomo-Ebrahim, a daughter to the late nationalist, says it is only befitting for Malunga, whose father worked closely with Dr Nkomo, to deliver the lecture.

"His father was very close to Umdala, they shared the same vision, the same values and were all cut from the same cloth – calling a spade a spade.

"They would always be consulting; the families were very close.

"We are really happy because when these lectures are delivered in an academic sense by people who did not know the old man personally, they take a different turn...

"But, it's a joy to have Sipho, who knew him as a father and an uncle, to deliver the lecture," she said.

Nkomo-Ebrahim says they are doing their best to keep their father's memory alive.

"We want the lectures to inspire future generations," she says, adding that the work he put towards Zimbabwe's Independence "has defined this country".

Dr Nkomo was a man of various attributes and occupations, among them magical auctioneer, lay preacher, social worker, politician, farmer, businessman, trade unionist, ZIPRA Commander-in-Chief and Vice President of Zimbabwe.

"He was a visionary who wanted to see peace among indigenous Zimbabweans," she says.
Nkomo-Ebrahim also remembers him as a leader "who cared for the people and did not discriminate whether one was young, old, educated or uneducated".

She says her father believed in economic empowerment, which is the reason he advised ZIPRA cadres to buy properties after the liberation struggle.
"He would always say he wanted equitable distribution of the country's wealth," he said.

Dr Nkomo remains a unifying figure and source of inspiration to many and legacy would not die as he stood for humanity.
One hopes, as Zimbabwe turns 40, it will be a case of "life beginning at the age of 40".

That Zimbabwe will spring to life as Dr Nkomo would have wished.

Source - Busisani Ncube