ALL is set for the unveiling of the statue of the iconic First Chimurenga heroine Mbuya Nehanda in the capital today as the Second Republic continues to pay tribute to the country’s heroes and heroines who sacrificed life and limb to liberate Zimbabwe.
It is befitting that Mbuya Nehanda’s statue is being unveiled today May 25, the Day when the African continent, which was subjected to all forms of abuse by erstwhile colonisers, celebrates Africa Day.
As way of immortalising founding inspirational figures like Mbuya Nehanda who is famous for declaring that her “bones will rise”, the Second Republic has been encouraging Zimbabweans, those in the academia and the youths, to get involved in honouring the country’s heroes and heroines.
This year Africa Day is going to be commemorated under the theme “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa we Want”.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, whose ministry oversaw the construction of the statue said all was set for its unveiling.
Just last week in Gokwe, the President revealed that several sites have been earmarked to construct befitting monuments for the country’s heroines and heroes.
“It is in this vein that on Africa Day, May 25, we will also honour and remember Mbuya Nehanda, who is one of the great authors of our revolution for national independence. I urge the youth, academia and professionals to be actively involved in the ongoing memorialisation of our heritage.
“Projects such as establishing the African Liberation War Museum, upgrading our liberation battle sites, and detention and restriction camps must interest our young people. These sites include Kamungoma in Masvingo Province, Pupu in Matabeleland North Province, and Sikombela in Gokwe District, among others.”
The President said it is important to tell the Zimbabwean story for the benefit of both present and future generations and such stories can be captured through art.
“So we are putting up a statue for Mbuya Nehanda and we are named pagans, no we will do it even if they criticise us. She was a revolutionary. There are churches who criticise us for building Mbuya Nehanda’s statue but we have never heard them saying we should remove David Livingstone’s statue in Victoria Falls. We also erected Cde (Joshua) Nkomo’s statue in Bulawayo because he is our hero, we have many heroes we should honour for the good of our history and generations to come,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the statue of the late colonialist, Cecil John Rhodes was well preserved but Zimbabweans were failing to preserve that of King Mzilikazi, the local hero.
“If you go the late Cecil John Rhodes’ grave there is a mint road leading to that grave but we have no road that leads us to where King Mzilikazi is interred. This is what we are correcting as the Second Republic. We will construct this road so that it’s clear about who we are,” said the President.