The lives of heroes shed a genial ray of greatness from which the present generation of debased mortals is apt to borrow from
By Stephen Linjesa
Every country has a rich storehouse of glorious deeds performed by mighty heroes and heroines who have come and gone leaving their fingerprints on the faded fabric of civilization. Our great country is no exception.
The first-President-to-be of Zimbabwe, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe predicted, “Genuine independence can only come out of the barrel of a gun.” Nearly 20 000 cadres lost their lives throwing off the crushing weight of oppression and left their footprints on the sands of time.
What was the purpose of the bloody liberation struggle? Did these valiant sons and daughters of the soil perish in vain? What was the significance, if any, of their contribution to present-day Zimbabwe?
Martin Luther King Jr once said, “If a man is not willing to die for something he is not fit to live.” To which I add the voice of German poet Goethe who said, “He who does nothing for others does nothing for himself.”
We need only look at the likes of Josiah Tongogara, Herbert Chitepo, Jason Moyo and Leopold Takawira to approach the answer.
These indomitable spirits believed that the quest for personal freedom was meaningful only as a moment in a greater struggle against the burden of injustice.
We need only imagine the Herculean force of character behind the late Father Zimbabwe -Comrade Joshua Nquabuko Nkomo- who was the leader of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1957 to be sure.
The resilient spirit of this remarkable man -a legend in his own life- acted as a lever to lift the bondage of colonial oppression.
I can adduce the following reasons to explain why heroes collectively deserve so well of the public to have a whole statue dedicated to them as preservers of the nation.
It is my humble submission that the lives of heroes shed a genial ray of greatness from which the present generation of debased mortals is apt to borrow from.
Man can learn from man to become immortal. Indeed the whole nation must engage in a settled intercourse with all the true examples of grandeur in order to feel and relish what is right. Our hearts, frequently warmed in this manner by contact with those we wish to emulate will undoubtedly catch something of their way of thinking and their spirit of patriotism shalll remain with us.
History tells us that our forebearers were forced to take meaner things, because only meaner things were within their reach.
The vast black majority was forced to give up, of necessity, being satisfied with suffering.
However, our militant heroes helped us to overcome this crippling fear that we cannot grow beyond any distortions we find ourselves in, which keep us docile, externally defined, and lead us to accept many facets of oppression.
Seeing heroes, we know we can do much, go far, withstand even the harshest punishment. We know we can make it; we can survive and strive and flourish!
Heroes teach us that right is might.
If physical death is the price they paid to free future generations from a permanent life of psychological death, then these martyrs defy death’s sting and live again in our independence… in our democracy …and in all the various forms of freedom.
We have freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of expression. We are free to live as we wish, to do as we please in the absence of obstacles, and we are also free to make our own mistakes. For in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include freedom to make mistakes.”
According to the Bible, “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting… and the living will lay to heart that sorrow is better than laughter.”
Therefore, we must never stop weeping for our fallen heroes.
We may have forgiven but we must never ever forget! Lest the lamb that belonged to the sheep whose skin the wolf is now wearing begins to follow the wolf in the sheep’s clothing.
So I would have all men dwell in the sound opinion that heroes are the backbone of this country, forged by they blood, warmed by their hopes, and inspired by their accomplishments.
Heroes are memories of who we were, knowledge of who we are, and dreams of who we can hope to become.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beckons to each of us and taunts us with the unspoken challenge: We gave our lives for this country, what are you prepared to give?
Stephen Linjesa is the founding director and executive chairman of a multimedia company called Triple A Arts Solutions (Pvt) Ltd. He is by training a finance person, by inclination an entrepreneur and by nature an artist. You can reach him on +263 773 815 836 or email@example.com.
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