Tribalistic politics will never work

It is so hurtful when I read, understandably, hurt Ndebele speakers vent their anger on Shonas for the Gukurahundi genocide.


I really do understand their anger, as I personally witnessed these atrocities in the 1980s, as my friend’s home was torched to the ground by these ZANU PF lunatics.

They went around searching for whomever had  a Ndebele name.

But, what is this thing called ‘tribe’.

My name is Tendai – perfect Shona.

It would shock a lot of our readers that I am actually Zulu.

My grandfather moved to Zimbabwe from Zululand (modern day KwaZulu Natal in South Africa) and married a Zezuru here.

Their son (my father) married another Shona, so the name.

However, through and through, I am Zulu – our surname being Mpofana, but distorted by Shona administrators.

My point is that, should there be a genocide against the Shona, I would also be killed, as being a Shona.

So what is tribe?

Are there no Ndebele-speaking people who are actually of Shona origins?

The Jonathan Moyo’s of this world – where are they really from?

So, it is very saddening that I write this article, as a result of some purely tribalistic emails that I have received.

When I wrote that Gukurahundi article, I was not trying to incite tribal hatred, but reconciliation.

To me, there is no Ndebele, Shona, or even Zulu – we are all equal.

I am even married to a Zambian – so what tribe is our children?

Let us not be so trivial in our thoughts.

Let not our names define who we are in society, and who we hate.

It is time that we learnt that we are all Zimbabweans, and that our only goal is not to kill each other, but to make Zimbabwe great again…together.

° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is Programmes Director at the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice). Please WhatsApp/call: +263782283975, or email: [email protected]com. Please ‘Like’ the ZimJustice page on Facebook.

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