By Brian Mutembedza

Driving on a Wednesday morning to Harare’s Central Business District (CBD), a song on radio drew my attention. Since I’m into old school music, I’m not easily moved by the music which is currently hitting the airwaves. At first, I ignored the song but later on I had to humble myself and listen to the rich lyrics it carried. The song was done by Tocky Vibes and is entitled Kenduru.

I was touched by the part which says, “Ndichamira sekenduru rinozvipisa kuti muwane chiedza henyu. Nekudaro handidi menduru, Jehovah ndimi ka mugove wangu…” I will assume the role of a candle which gives in to the heat for people to have light. I do not yearn for a medal, Jehovah is my reward.

The lyrics carry more weight than we have imagined. This year’s Independence celebrations coincide with Easter or Passover, the time when churches commemorate the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some churches start gathering as early as a week before Easter. These two commemorations are characterised by selflessness. The liberation of Zimbabwe came about as a result of the sacrifice of the gallant sons and daughters of this great nation who lost their lives and some were maimed in the process.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLVWA) Spokesperson, Cde Douglas Mahiya emphasised the need for people to forgo their quest for political power and embrace commitment and loyalty for the general development of the country. “Women and children died for political independence, therefore, we must come up with social and economic policies which are conducive for the well-being of the general populace,” he said.

He acknowledged that Jesus Christ paid supreme sacrifice for the emancipation of His people, therefore, these two commemorations: Independence and Easter, have significance to our society.

Jesus Christ lost His life for the salvation of many. He had a life to live but He chose to die for people so that they could live forever. This, essentially, means that the tenets and foundations of Christianity and that of Zimbabwe are built on selflessness.

Selflessness as a cherished virtue seems to be vanishing into thin air as evidenced by events which unfold on a daily basis. As we commemorate Independence and Easter, it is the time once again for the nation to reflect on the basics that make us a people who have a strong and envied moral fibre.

These special days have come at a time when Zimbabweans are demonstrating the spirit of oneness in standing together with those who were affected by Tropical Cyclone Idai. If the same spirit of selflessness which was demonstrated by Jesus Christ who is remembered during Easter and by the liberation war heroes who are celebrated on Independence Day is natured, the nation will realise success.

This does not start at national level but individuals, who make groups, have a critical role to play. The main challenge the country seems to have is lack of sacrificial urge for the sake of others. The first question is: What will I get out of what I’m expected to do? Recently, an elderly woman from Harare walked from Mbare to Highlands to donate to Cyclone Idai survivors – sacrifice precedes reward. She was not looking for any ‘medal’ for her sacrifice but the same God who sees the heart rewarded her.

Soul searching is of paramount importance this week as we commemorate the great acts of sacrifice. Mr Marongwe Banda of Highfield recalls how difficult it was during the liberation struggle. “Being associated with the fight for freedom was tantamount to signing one’s own burial order since enemies of the struggle for independence sought for such. Despite the threats and dangers that loomed, our people remained resilient even to death.”

All Zimbabweans from different political and social divide will converge at the National Sports Stadium today (the 18th of April) to celebrate the 39th Independence. A number of entertainment activities are lined up for all those who will attend.

Churches will gather in different areas of the country this weekend to celebrate the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Bishop Shame Gudyanga of Ancient Word Ministries International which is situated in Glen Norah reiterated the significance of this year’s Easter in that it also coincides with Independence Day. “A physically oppressed person is normally prone to spiritual oppression. Zimbabwe’s independence brought about freedom of worship and freedom of association among a host of other benefits”, said Bishop Gudyanga.

He said the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was necessary for the restoration of life which was snatched away from Adam and he called on all Christians around the world to emulate the sacrifice which Jesus rendered for the salvation of the world.

The country gained official independence as Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980. The government held its first independence celebrations in Rufaro stadium in the then Salisbury. Easter is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary.

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