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Remembering those who made it possible, our fallen heroes

02 Dec 2020 at 19:31hrs | Views
As the blood of the heroes flows beneath our freedom, reminding us that every expression of joy and every fruit of freedom was watered by the blood of our heroes. It will become history if we do not remind each other. Because of this need to keep our heroes alive in our minds His Excellence the president of Zimbabwe cde Emerson Dambudzo Munangagwa has conferred heroes and instructed the erection of Mbuya Nehanda Statue to honour her.  This will be an everyday sight which should make us take time  to reflect on the lives of the heroes who were not corrupted neither were they overcame by pride but laid down their lives for our freedom. Our youth have quickly sold their souls for the fiction of the world. They have no connection with the men and women who did not have a chance to be ushered in the computer age. They have forgotten that men and women used their bodies to cement the foundation of today's freedom. With the new generation now gracing our land the sweat and blood of our heroes has been weakened in its power. They have forgotten who has been a hero and who has sacrificed for them to be here today.

Who is Mbuya Nehanda
Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana also known as Mbuya Nehanda believed to have been born in 1840 and was cruelly murdered in 1898) Mbuya Nehanda was a svikiro, or spirit medium of the people now known as Zimbabweans. She was a medium of Nehanda, a female Shona mhondoro.(powerful and respected ancestral spirit)As one of the spiritual leaders of the Shona, she was one of the leaders of a revolt, the Chimurenga, against the British South Africa Company's colonisation of Zimbabwe led by Cecil John Rhodes in 1889. She was a MuHera of the Hwata Mufakose Dynasty. She and her allies who included Sekuru Kaguvi were eventually captured and executed by the British.She has been commemorated by Zimbabweans through the building of statues in her name, street names, hospitals, songs, novels, and poems.The legacy of the medium continued to be linked to the theme of resistance, particularly the guerrilla war that began in 1966 Her name became of increasing importance to the nationalist movements in Zimbabwe.

The erection of her statue is the greatest honour bestowed on a heroe. Mbuya Nehanda was a decorated general who waged the war even when she was dead. Not only is Mbuya Nehanda dead but her head is displayed in England Human museum as a trophy. She was murdered decapitated her heard peeled and taken to the UK as a trophy presented before the British King whose body lies peacefully in a Church yard while the head of such an important hero is displayed in a Museum for all to see that a black woman was defeated and then murdered.
It is a shame to let Mbuya Nehanda's head be displayed while we erect a statue with its head. We need to step up the efforts of bringing our fallen heroes home.

Memorial Day and the day we erect the statue will be the day to remember those who've given their lives in service to our country. However, remembering our collective past--and especially those who gave up their futures so that we could enjoy our present--is very important. The erection of the statue is in itself a form of patriotism. For this reason Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa will be blessed. We must keep the blessed memmory of Vachihera  Nehanda. Memory is not always reliable, and it can color our lives in ways we don't even realize. However, remembering our collective past--and especially those who gave up their futures so that we could enjoy our present--is very important
It is important to know that Mbuya Nehanda is a heroin.
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." Nehanda gave her life for our freedom.

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.
It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle."
What must be in knowlledge  is the heritage and background of the people who gave us the freedom and  life we have today. The only country we can call ours in the whole universe is Zimbabwe. We have to hold it dear it is the only country we have and indeed it is ours.
Our heroes are not a myth they graced this land once they breathed they had feelings once. They were indeed here in Zimbabwe.

The legacy of heroes is the memory of great names and the inheritance of a great example. It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. So Nehanda went into the battle and paid the greatest price with her own life. Her life played a great role even in death. She was a symbol of courage and gave the boys and girls a purpose of dying. Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart. It is in our hearts the names of these heroes be engraved. I've never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don't understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now. I do not understand those people who sit and criticise the President for erecting the statue of our heroes. Mbuya Nehanda was greater than all. Her name encouraged all and today we are here. Memories, even bittersweet ones, are better than nothing As a nation we need to honour our heroes in our own way. Shame on detractors.  We must know that the heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this Nehanda's Statue we will manage to endure the burden of the past.So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in our hearts we shall say that life is good. As a nation we have a pride which makes us Zimbabweans. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die. This is what the heroes and they died knowing very well that they are dying for their country. Famous men and women have the whole earth as their memorial.
And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.
Zimbabwe has today decided to honour the brave and this can not be done without putting the icon's statue towering over us and breathes the strength and the courage to build our beloved nation.

A ceremony to honour these heroes is important. Yes Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than erecting statues. We honor the dead best by treating the living well. But honouring our dead takes precedence so we need Mbuya Nehand towering over us. Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going. There are people who are lost and they try to rubbish the honour which is being bestowed on our heroes. Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering it is only those men who suffered for others who live names to cherish.
The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering and Mbuya Nehanda did just that. History is a people's memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals. So Zimbabwe has kept in each of our hearts the memory of those who are worthy being remembered.
Who are they?
These are indeed some of our heroes like
Tongogara was born in Selukwe now Shurugwi on 4 February 1938. He was killed on the 26th of December 1979 soon after the Lancaster House Agreement which gave birth to the independent Zimbabwe.

Tongagara grew up in Shurugwi, on a farm which was owned by Ian Smith‘s parents. Tongogara's parents were employed at this farm and subsequently Tongogara also became an employee on that same farm. He was educated up to Standard Six and after failing to be enrolled for secondary education, he left the country for Northern Rhodesia (present-day Zambia) in 1960.

It is believed that the death of Percy, Tongogara's brother, influenced Tongogara to join the nationalist movement, becoming a politician-cum-military genius. Percy drowned in the Kafue River and Tongogara believed that this was a result of political foul play.
Tongogara began his revolutionary activities in 1963 in Zambia, working in ZANU PF's youth wing while waiting to be sent to China to receive military training. After completing his training, he led the first group of people undergoing military training in China, in 1966.
In April 1975, Tongogara was arrested and detained in Zambia. Whilst in prison, he signed the agreement which was forwarding the formation of a joint military force, the Zimbabwe People's Army (ZIPA) which was to be composed of guerrillas from ZANLA and the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), which was the military wing of ZAPU. In 1976, Tongogara was acquitted and he managed to attend the Geneva Conference which was held in the same year.
Ironically the hero who defied guns was to be killed in a car accident. Who ever killed him if indeed it was true will also die one day. But Zimbabwe would never had been free without Tongo.  The hero per excellence.
 Nkomo was born on the June 19, 1917, in Bukalanga or Bulilima, now referred to as Semokwe Reserve, Matabeleland South and was one of eight children. His father, Thomas Nyongolo Letswansto Nkomo, worked as a preacher and a cattle rancher and worked for the London Missionary Society.

After primary school in Southern Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe) he went to South Africa to complete his education in Natal and Johannesburg. Returning home in 1945, he worked for the Rhodesian Railways and by 1951 had become a leader in the trade union of the black Rhodesian railway workers. In 1951 he also obtained an external B.A. degree from the University of South Africa, Johannesburg.
Nkomo became increasingly political, and in 1957 he was elected president of the African National Congress (ANC), the leading Black Nationalist organisation in Rhodesia. When the ANC was banned early in 1959, Nkomo went to England to escape imprisonment. He returned in 1960 and founded the NDP.  In 1961, when the NDP was banned, he founded ZAPU. Nkomo helped lead the guerrilla war against white rule in Rhodesia, but his forces are perceived to have  played a relatively minor role compared with those of Mugabe, who headed ZANU. The two groups were joined in an uneasy alliance known as the Patriotic Front after 1976.

After white-ruled Rhodesia became black-ruled Zimbabwe in 1979–80, Nkomo and ZAPU were increasingly eclipsed by Mugabe's ZANU, whose base of support was the majority Shona people.  ZANU resoundingly defeated Nkomo's ZAPU in the 1980 parliamentary elections. The parties' relationship remained strained, and overt ethnic strife broke out between the Shona and the Ndebele people after Mugabe dismissed Nkomo from the cabinet in 1982. After a complete breach between the two leaders for a few years, they agreed in 1987 to merge their respective parties in order to try to achieve ethnic unity in their country.

In 1990, Nkomo became a vice president under Mugabe. In 1996 Nkomo was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His deteriorating health forced him to retreat from public life, although he continued to hold the title of vice president until his death in 1999.
Joshua Nkomo is also known as "Mdalawethu" and is by far one of the most celebrated fallen heroes and his legacy has endured.

 SALLY MUGABE nee Sarah Francesca Hayfron

Sally was born in 1931 in the Gold Coast now known as Ghana, then a British colony. Sally and her twin sister, Esther, were raised in a political family, which was part of the growing nationalist politics in the colonial Gold Coast. She attended Achimota Secondary School and she went on to university to study before qualifying as a teacher.

Sally Hayfron Mugabe was a trained teacher who asserted her position as an independent political activist and campaigner. She demonstrated this activism as early as 1962 when she was active in mobilising African women to challenge the Rhodesian constitution which resulted in her being charged with sedition and sentenced to five years imprisonment, part of which was suspended.

She had met her future husband, Robert Mugabe, at Takoradi Teacher Training College where they were both teaching.
In 1978 she was elected ZANU deputy secretary for the Women's League. In 1980 she assumed a new, national role as spouse of Zimbabwe's first black Prime Minister. She was elected secretary-general of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) Women's League at the party's congress in 1989. Amai Sally Mugabe founded the Zimbabwe Child Survival Movement and launched the Zimbabwe Women's Co-operative in Britian in 1986.

She died of kidney failure on the 27th of January 1992 in Harare. Sally Mugabe left behind the legacy of a nation's mother figure who had passionate care for the less privileged with a particular focus on women and children. Due to her commendable work through the Child Survival Movement initiative, Sally was posthumously honoured with a Zimbabwe Postage stamp in her honour. A school in Harare was also named after her due to her role as the mother-figure of the nation who had compassion for the less privileged. A residential area in Harare was also named Sally Mugabe Heights due to her commitment towards the empowerment of women particularly widows and single mothers.

There are many more people that helped Zimbabwe achieve independence many of whom we may never know and the work and lives of these fallen heroes and heroines whether highly celebrated or unsung in the public space is appreciated and reflected on Heroes' Day and it is only fitting that every Zimbabwean know a little bit more about them.
Solomon Mujuru

Solomon Mujuru (born Solomon Tapfumaneyi Mutusva; 5 May 1945 – 15 August 2011), also known by his nom-de-guerre, Rex Nhongo, was a Zimbabwean military officer and politician who led Robert Mugabe's guerrilla forces during the Rhodesian Bush War. In post-independence Zimbabwe, he went on to become army chief before leaving government service in 1995. After leaving his post in the Zimbabwe National Army, he got into politics becoming Member of Parliament for Chikomba on a Zanu PF ticket. He was generally regarded as one of the most feared men in Zimbabwe. His wife, Joice Mujuru, became Vice-President of Zimbabwe in 2004 and was later fired for wanting to topple Mugabe.
Rex Nhongo was burnt while in his sleep at his farm in Beatrice. The cause of the fire is still a mystery but one day our children will bust the mystery. Heroes do not die they just rest.

Tapfumaneyi Maurice Nyagumbo Mhofu ye mukono (12 December 1924 – 28 April 1989) was a Zimbabwean politician.
Nyagumbo was born in Makoni near Rusape, and had his primary education at St Faith Anglican Mission and St Augustine's Penhalonga. Working in South Africa in the 1940s, he joined the South African Communist Party.In 1955 he became a founding member of the Zimbabwe Youth League. In 1959 he joined the African National Congress and later that year he was detained. He spent most of the subsequent years until 1979 in prison in Rhodesia. During his time in detention he wrote a book, With the People: An Autobiography From the Zimbabwe Struggle, which was published soon after independence (Allison & Busby, 1979). He associated with Joshua Nkomo and James Chikerema, and they were arrested together in 1964.
Nyagumbo was elected to the House of Assembly in 1980. He was a ZANU (the Zimbabwe African National Union) representative in the 1985 talks to merge ZANU and Nkomo's ZAPU.[2] Nyagumbo was later was appointed Minister of Mines, and then was Minister of Political Affairs until 1988, when he became Senior Minister of State for Political Affairs. He resigned from his ministerial post and his post as administrative secretary of the governing party on 13 April 1989, in the wake of a report investigating corruption involving the sale of vehicles on the black market by Willowvale Motor Industries.
Nyagumbo committed suicide in 1989, aged 64, by drinking rat poison after being charged with perjury during so-called Willowgate scandal,ashamed of his role in the Willowvale scandal and that he had betrayed the trust of the people he had fought so hard to liberate. Nobody ever carried such trust. Nyagumbo did not value his life he paid for the shame. That was a heroic stance. We remember Mhofu Nyagumbo forever.

Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo

(1927–1977) was founder of the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA).
Jason was born in Plumtree to a Kalanga family.[1] Having trained as a builder Jason became an active trade unionist in Bulawayo, joining the African Artisans Union there.
The JZ Moyo High School was named after him.

Edgar Zivanai Tekere (1 April 1937 – 7 June 2011), nicknamed "2 Boy",was a Zimbabwean politician. He was the second and last Secretary General of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) who organised the party during the Lancaster House talks and served in government before his popularity as a potential rival to Robert Mugabe caused their estrangement.

Joseph Luke Culverwell, was a Zimbabwean liberation fighter,psychologist and Former Minister of State in the President's Office responsible for National Scholarships and Former Deputy Minister of Education and Culture. He passed on in 1993. He was active in getting Zimbabwe to accept the threat of HIV and Aids, especially for the young population.
Herbert Wiltshire Pfumaindini Chitepo (15 June 1923 – 18 March 1975) led the Zimbabwe African National Union until he was assassinated on March 1975. Although his murderer remains unidentified, the Rhodesian author Peter Stiff says that a former British SAS soldier, Hugh Hind was responsible.
We are here because someone was there before us. Someone died for us. This is the time we must ask our selves what can we do to make our country better. What can I do for my country. Blood was spilled now we sit down and remember in great honour those who died for us.
Congratulations Zimbabwe long live the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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