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Zimbabwe Begins Immortalizing Freedom Fighters, Unveils Nehanda Statue To Mark Africa Day

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Zimbabwe government on Africa Day unveiled a statue of Mbuya Nehanda, a spirit medium who fought the war of liberation against colonialists using spirit, as the country begins the process of immortalizing liberation heroes and heroines.

Mbuya Nehanda was a spirit medium until her hanging during the first war of liberation in the 1890s.

Her statue was initially meant to be unveiled a few months ago but the project was suspended after citizens’ backlash over a statue which had been made by a local sculptor which they said did not resemble her.

The government chose to unveil the statute in Harare on Africa Day.

The Mnangagwa government also wants to erect a statue of General Mtshane Khumalo the commander of King Lobengula’s Imbizo Regiment that defeated the colonialist Allan Wilson Patrol at the Battle of Pupu on December 4, 1893 as the first shots of resistance against colonialism were fired.

Since coming into power through a military coup in 2017, Mnangagwa promised to erect statues of eminent liberation icons from the First and Second liberation wars to immortalise them.

Others are King Lobengula’s wife Queen Lozikeyi Dlodlo, Kaguvi, Chaminuka, Mkwati, Chinengundu, Mashayamombe, Mgandani Dlodlo, Chiwashira, Muchecheterwa, Chingaira Makoni and Mapondera.

From the second liberation war Josiah Magama Tongogara and General Alfred Nikita Mangena, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and Simon Vengesai Muzenda will also be honoured.

Zimbabwe reportedly has more than 50 000 national monuments starting from Stone Age to modern times.

Speaking during the unveiling ceremony in the capital, President Mnangagwa said the process was long overdue.

“This statue is a bold and unapologetic statement that we are people who know who we are and where we came from. It’s a declaration that we stand proud of our nation and history,” he said.

The country’s First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa also described the unveiling of the monument as not only a symbol of struggle for liberation but also a celebration of the enormous role women played to guarantee the country’s freedom.

Mbuya Nehanda statue was the centre of attraction in Harare’s CBD. 

Africa Day’s celebration’s theme for this year was: “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa we Want.”

The African Union (AU) said this year’s theme presents a unique opportunity for the continent to celebrate its great Pan-Africanists who have played and are still playing a key role in African renaissance.


Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=63402

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