Zim Digital Sunday Express
June 18, 2021

Mbuya Nehanda monument is OK. Let’s also discuss how to bring back her skull from the British Museum

I strongly feel that there are some misguided malcontents in our very midst who want to tarnish the country’s image

By Terrence Mwedzi

It is heartening and refreshing to note that Zimbabwe joined the rest of Africa in celebrating the Africa Day on Tuesday-the same day when the Mbuya Nehanda statue was unveiled in Harare CBD at the intersections of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way.

It was a momentous occasion indeed and many people will agree with me.

It is an open secret that Africa Day means a lot to us because it is the day we all celebrate Pan-Africanism, African solidarity, and Unity In Diversity and honour of an organisation that has dedicated itself to securing Africa’s rightful place on the World stage to achieve a much-needed better life for all the people of Africa.

Folks, this week in The Sunday Express l want to share my views about Mbuya Nehanda’s new statue and her crucial history in this fast-growing digital paper.

It is known that Mbuya Nehanda was a great liberation heroine but l hate the senseless noise by my fellow countrymen about the Mbuya Nehanda new and beautiful monument.

What is wrong with it? In the same vein, her heroism should be remembered forever. Am l right? Am l correct? I think so.

 

In sharp contrast, I think the problem with many Zimbabweans is that they are programmed to criticise and mock even our fallen heroes/heroines willy-nilly and for no reason.

They spread half-baked truths because they want them to suit their fading and damaging narratives.

It is totally wrong to mock those who sacrified their lives to free us from the brutal colonial rule.

The efforts of the fallen and living heroes and heroines should be cherished all the time despite our political groupings.

We need patriotic Zimbabweans. I strongly feel that there are some misguided malcontents in our very midst who want to tarnish the country’s image.

Those elements should be exposed, named, and shamed. The law must be tough on them.

Furthermore, our history will tell us that Mbuya Nehanda ‘Charwe Nyakasikana’ was the spirit medium
that was the inspiration behind the 1896-97 first Chimurenga war.

 

She was based in the northern plateau of Mashonaland specifically the Mazowe Valley, and was influential in resisting ‘colonial encroachment’ and she used her religious authority to mobilise the masses against the Europeans.

She was born around 1863 and she died in 1898 after being executed by the colonial authorities in Salisbury. Mbuya Nehanda was hunted down by the British colonial regime due to her widespread influence and her denunciation of colonisation.

It is alleged that she was arrested and was brought to Salisbury (now Harare)for the judgment, and she was convicted without a trial.

It is alleged she was hanged on a tree along and breathed her last.

She was captured in December 1897, and was tied with Sekuru Kaguvi in March 1898 . On 27 April 1898 they were hanged.

 

Surely there is no country without history and statues-if we go to America today we will see many monuments there. That’s not a secret. Then what’s wrong with the Mbuya Nehanda statue?

Zimbabweans should not forget that we are Africans. We are black people. We can’t run away from that.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating or remembering our own heroes/heroines. Idol worshipping and remembering are two different things.

We should not confuse the two.

The Mbuya Nehanda’s statue in Harare is very important to patriotic Zimbabweans and the current government should be applauded for such efforts, but l am not sure if the timing was good or bad.’

In this vein, it is not wise to blame the government for wasting money on an important national monument when some people lost their precious lives to free us. That’s totally wrong if not incorrect. What is important between and money and life? Even money can’t buy or bring back the dead.

 

I urge the current government to do something about the Mbuya Nehanda’s skull which is still in a British Museum.

In August 2015 , the late Robert Mugabe lashed out at Britain for displaying the skulls of Zimbabwe’s liberation war heroes because it is believed that Mbuya Nehanda’s skull is among the remains that are being displayed at the British History Museum as war trophies.

“Surely, keeping decapitated heads as trophies, in this day and age, in a national history museum must rank among the highest forms of racist moral decadence, sadism and human insensitivity,” Mugabe said.

It is time to think deeply as Africans not to fight in former colonisers’ corners.Time to reset our mindsets is now. Let us all follow our genuine African pathways.

 

 

Terrence Mwedzi is a poet and writer. He writes to the Digital Sunday Express in his personal capacity and can be contacted on: +27611370088. Email:moontafadzwa@gmail.com

 

 

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