By Panganai Nzira and Forget Tsododo


Knowledge is power and to attain power there is need to seek wisdom.

And for children, parents are the reservoirs of that wisdom which is passed to them genetically. The family unit is the socialisation medium that imparts knowledge and wisdom to generations for posterity.


The custodians of societal values are the elders, while the beneficiaries of those values and cultural identities are the future generations.


And the umbilical cord that ties these units should never be tempered with, lest the status of the elders and the destiny of the future generation be eroded.


nehanda.jpgWhile Zimbabwe may boast of the highest literacy rate in Africa with almost everyone, including Haruna and Harupindi, able to read and write, the question that lingers is what are we literate about?


To many, being literate is synonymous with the power to read and write.


Whilst it might seem that literacy is confined to the aspect of communication, there is need for the so-called literate populace to go a step further and hunt for literacy in development and technological advancement of their being.


This needs self introspection as one seeks to be literate in societal values and knowledge underpinned by one’s historical background.


A Zimbabwean should ask himself what he is able to write and read about, whether he is literate in the writings of William

Shakespeare or Ignatius Tirivangani Mabasa or both.


How much do you know of ideals and values of Christopher Columbus versus those of Nehanda, David Livingston or Chaminuka, Chief Chingaira versus the Pope?


In Zimbabwe, there those who claim to be highly literate, yet they can’t even mention the names and surnames of the seven heroes that started the armed guerrilla warfare on 26 April 1966, let alone the battle site.


It is only those that have been conditioned to be literate on the Eurocentric conceptualisation of African liberation values who are willing accomplices in the deconstruction of African ethos, to the extent of committing literary treason of calling Nehanda a Mbuya (grandmother).


That is distortion manufactured from the anti-Christ and one world empire stretching from the Vatican and its auxiliary proxies in the United States, using widely accepted but unholy brands such as the Rockefeller, Rothschild, Oppenheimer and queen of England.


Nehanda is a spirit. Mbuya Nehanda is a creation of borrowed literacy! Nyakasikana is a medium. Nyakasikana was the medium that conveyed the spirit of Nehanda, hence spirit medium.


Tradition states that a spirit is always masculine, hence the phrase ‘asekuru’ (grandfather), even when the spirit manifests through a female medium.


christopher-columbus.jpgThus, the assertion that when Nyakasikana was used as a vessel of the spirit of Nehanda her name changed overnight to Mbuya Nehanda is a misnomer in as much as it is a distortion and misconceptualisation of Zimbabwean tradition and shows the extent to which literacy can be illiteracy when juxtaposed from different ideals and interpretations.


It is only when we use not only borrowed lenses, but blinkers, that we swallow the reference of Nehanda as Mbuya Nehanda.


Nehanda is Nehanda.


When the British came to Zimbabwe under the pretext of civilisation, they used illegal tactics to conquer and manipulate the people of Africa. In the process, they also butchered millions of Africans and institutionalised racism.


The unelected, and therefore undemocratic and despotic England monarch led by Queen Elizabeth, was and is still a willing accomplice as the colonialists were parcelling out the lands of Africa to themselves and trampling on the God-given rights of Africans.queen-elizabeth-ii.jpg


Even the Pope and his whole troop of cardinals were silent as white settlers trampled on the human rights of people in Africa.


This queen is supposed to be the head of the Church of England, christened the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe and other so-called Commonwealth countries.


The same queen showed brazen ignorance and arrogance as Africans were butchered by white racists, yet Christian virtues say ‘thou shall not kill’. Is she a real Christian or a hypocrite?


This queen conferred knighthood to the former President of Botswana, Seretse Khama, who was christened ‘Sir’.


The British queen also extended this knighthood to President Robert Mugabe who was later defrocked for what they termed disrespect of commonwealth values.


Trhodes.jpgo those schooled in Eurocentric literacy, it would have passed as an embarrassment to him, but to those literate about Zimbabwe and the Pan African ideals, it was a cultural as well as symbolic victory against neo colonial badges and the antics of the queen to perpetuate her hegemony on former colonies by using cultural phrases that denote British values and recognise national heroes of the British queendom.


David Coltart’s drive to revamp the education curriculum will be a national catastrophe if subjects on Pan African history and the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe are relegated to optional subjects rather than compulsory for every Zimbabwean.


Indeed, a nation without power is a nation in bondage and the drive to attain knowledge should never be hijacked by foreigners, for wisdom cometh through understanding of one’s identity.


And for a Zimbabwean to be called literate he must understand the historical and liberation struggle values that underpin the nation of Zimbabwe rather than use borrowed lenses.


That way the future generations are guaranteed of a better life where the nation comes before self and self is a reflection of the nation’s aspirations.


Next time you call yourself literate tell us which and whose software you are using to measure your level of literacy.



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