How govt almost killed Nkomo legacy

via How govt almost killed Nkomo legacy – Southern Eye. 2 July 2015 by Nqobile Bhebhe

THE late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s daughter says the government almost killed the idea of a museum set up to honour his legacy after it resolved to dismantle an exhibition mounted after the nationalist’s death in 1999.

Thandiwe Nkomo-Ebrahim told Southern Eye the family resisted attempts by the National Museums and Monuments board to dismantle the exhibition that gave birth to the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Museum at his Matsheumhlophe home.

Nkomo’s house Number 17 Aberdeen Road in Matsheumhlophe was converted into a museum in 2007 in his honour.

It was opened to the public early 2012 after all artefacts had been transferred from museums around the country.

Nkomo-Ebrahim said were it not for the veteran nationalist’s family the idea would have gone up in smoke.

“Initially the National Museums and Monuments took the display for a year in Bulawayo,” she said.

“However, they decided to dismantle it. That order came from the board in Harare.

“They later come up with an idea of having a rotational mobile museum.”

Nkomo-Ebrahim said the family was against the idea of a mobile museum because the artifacts would have been put at risk.

“That is when the foundation intervened and advocated for a museum in the lines of Nelson Mandela Museum in South Africa,” she said.

“So we turned part of this Matsheumhlophe house into a museum and we had hoped this kind of project would be more of a State project.

“However, it still lacks financial support and we bank on fundraising activities.”

National Museums and Monuments director Godfrey Mahachi could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Nkomo Museum covers all the 10 rooms of his previous main house, including the veranda where his navy blue bullet-proof Mercedes Benz is parked.

Inside the rooms are neatly decorated with portraits, newspaper cuttings, photographs, clothes, tools and kitchen utensils, including all movable property that Nkomo and his wife, the late Johanna – popularly known as MaFuyana — used.

Among the notable items in the museum is a letter that Nkomo wrote to MaFuyana on February 2 1977, expressing his undying love for her and informing her that he had bought her a car as a present to mark their 23rd wedding anniversary.

Nkomo’s academic accolades and regalia, his library, neatly decorated bedroom, his clothes and rifles, among other items, are also on display.

Nkomo is captured in pictures during the liberation struggle with the likes of President Robert Mugabe, his close Zipra top brass, among them Dumiso Dabengwa, the late Lookout Masuku, Nikita Mangena and others.