effort.jpgBy Effort Magoso

The journey to giving birth is a thorny one and more forthright mothers will tell you, babies do not come on a silver platter, but the product is a revelation and gift to the world, the kind that is received with ululations and even teasers of ecstasy.

 

 

To children, childbirth might seem ordinary, but to a mother it is a process of pain and excitement laced with emotional outbursts. Mothers until they taste freedom remain loyal to their expectant price as such become symbols of courage and honour.

 

The same is the story of our liberation war heroes who are the mothers that gave birth to this country through the barrels of their guns. While our mothers are our natural heroines at childbirth, our freedom fighters became our second mothers as they gave birth through their blood to the country we call home.

I thought I should spare a moment in honour of these mothers of our nation.  

 

The urge to add on to the vast yet vital literature on the need to recognise our heroes came naturally and aptly as the nation celebrates the lives of the sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice to liberate this country, some at the cost of their lives.

 

This supplication to encourage citizens to remember and honor their heroes should never be viewed as a gambit meant to credit one political party against another. Yes, I am not going to celebrate names of political parties, but men and women, young and old who selflessly sacrificed their lives for the liberation of this country.

This is not to say I’m rendering these not important because it would be madness to talk of this country’s liberation without including the story of the National Democratic Party, the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) or the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU).

Imagine talking about Christianity and being asked to exclude Jesus Christ, or let alone of education without books, teachers or schools.  I’m intelligently not going to make that mistake.

 

The world over, revolutions are conceptualized, organised and managed by political movements, who upon attaining their goals deserve credit.

 

Kenyan African National Union (KANU) of Kenya, African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa and the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) of Namibia are some of the political parties credited with overseeing the liberation of their countries.

As such ZANU-PF is not an exception; it ought to be acknowledged for freeing this country from colonial bondage. We must always be frank to ourselves to venerate those who dug the well we are drinking from.

 

If the now forgotten Rhodesia had the guts to honor Cecil John Rhodes and his filthy legacy by having holidays such as the 5th and 6th of July Rhodes’ Day and Founders’ Day respectively, it will make little sense to listen to the Rhodesians and their converts when they try preach to us a dry gospel themed “how to forget a black hero.” I shun this gospel with the contempt it deserves.

 

If India honors Mahatma Gandhi, South America reveres Che Guevara as the Major of the Cuban revolution, South Africa recognizes Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani and Steve Biko, America holds in high regard George Washington, Kenya respects Jomo Kenyatta, Haile Selassie is seen as a god in Ethiopia and Mao Tse Tung is revered in China, then who are we to forget the veteran trade unionist Benjamin Burombo, the first black barrister in Rhodesia Herbert Chitepo, father of this nation Joshua Nkomo or Tongogara the liberator?

Only a healthily ignorant character would make that mistake or encourage others to follow the wisdom of their lunacy.

 

The independence of this country signed on bedrock of an armed struggle, has its roots in men and women of courage in the stature of Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi who themselves became the manifestation and embodiments of the initial resistance.

 

The struggle was inherited by early nationalists like Benjamin Burombo and later perfected and wholly executed by Cde Josiah Tongogara, Cde Robert Mugabe, Cde Joshua Nkomo and many others who courageously formed political movements that delivered the Promised Land, and is currently in the hands of a politically conscious yet externally threatened revolutionary movement. 

 

As we celebrate this year’s Heroes Day, it will be only at the peril of our nation if we forget the contributions of these political movements, men who took up the arms, the villagers who helped ‘vanamukoma’, the countries that gave us logistical support and the courageous men and women who have made it their mandate to defend the gains of that struggle against incessant adversary.

 

I hear and laugh, when some half-cooked and wholly uncooked zealots say they do not recognise the Heroes Day because they have reservations on the way national heroes’ status is conferred in this country, a classic case of atheists lecturing Christians on good moral values.

 

I will not waste much energy on these highly ignorant people, but it must be made clear that heroes are not only those who are interred at the National Heroes Acre, but the masses that supported the fighters, the countless unknown men and women who were massacred by an unrepentant Rhodesian force under General Walls and others at Nyadzonia, Chimoio, Tembwe and the vast plains of the country and obviously the survivors of that struggle.

 

Whatever feelings we may have about it - I will not hide it, i have made it a doctrine to religiously revere the heroes of all our struggles. 

 

After seeing in grief the fate that befell the likes of Gikonyo, Mugo or Kihika in the African novel “A great of wheat” by Kenyan writer Chinua Achebe, I have always asked myself if would have gone to the war had I been born at the time of the liberation struggle.

 

Though I keep gallivanting with no definite answer staying in my mind long enough, I have learnt to unquestionably respect those made that sacrifice which was both unpredictable and sadly looked impossible. 

 

Perhaps a Hall of Fame or the equivalent of the Romans and Greeks Pantheon of Legends must be created in honor of the heroes of both the First and the Second Chimurenga. This will prevent our rich history from being washed way by the rushing tide of western indoctrination.

 

I’m sure history will not bring food to the table but it will certainly keep a nation from perishing or again the same history will record us cruelly as a nation that demised for failure to learn from it.

 

A word to wise should suffice, it is only a lunatic who fails to recognize those who dug the well he drinks from.

 

Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.