Cry for freedom

This past Saturday June 16, 2006 was celebrated as one of the most solemn national holidays in South Africa. The nation joined hands across all forms of divides, be it political, ethnic, class, race or creed and paid tribute to the class of June 16, 1976. This was the gen

eration that said enough is enough to the repressive minority Afrikaner regime in South Africa.
This was the generation that refused to continue as silent unwilling partners in a national discourse that favoured their white counter parts right from the cradle to the grave.
In the final analysis, the very same generation decided to die standing up for their rights instead of living on bowing down to the repressive laws of apartheid. That chose to cry for their own freedom and marched into the dusty streets of Soweto chanting the revolutionary war cry; ‘Amandla ngawethu!’ That preferred to sing their own song, a song that demanded their own freedom.
Today another generation lives in a different country simply because they decided to demand freedom.
I recently watched the 1987 movie, ‘Cry Freedom’. The story is inspiring, but I was also inspired by the fact that most of the movie’s scenes were shot in Zimbabwe. I clearly identified some of the filming locations. Specifically, I saw the dilapidated block flats of Mbare, the streets of Gweru and in particular, the scene that was shot outside the Midlands Hotel.
As the memories of Zimbabwe keep flowing back into my present set of circumstances, I also painfully remember that while the people of South Africa are now free at last, the same cannot be said of my own people.
Zimbabwe, which hosted almost the entire shooting of the movie almost 20 years ago, is now a pale shadow of the democracy it once aspired to be.
The same repressive monopolistic laws that the apartheid regime relied upon 30 years ago are in place in Zimbabwe today. Zimbabwe might be independent but her people are still not free yet. They are still bound – and by the very same people who they once looked to for freedom. The liberators of yesteryear have become the oppressors of today.
While the people of South Africa celebrate, I take time to think of my people back home. I still cry for freedom. I am praying and hoping that one day the people of Zimbabwe shall be free indeed. “Amandla nga wethu! Mayibuye iZimbabwe entsha! Mayibuye!”

Post published in: Opinions

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