Mbuya Nehanda didn’t sacrifice her life for this pungent rot by Zimbabwe ruling elite – if her “bones” are to “rise”, then it hasn’t happened yet

I am one of those people who awards immense and unquestionable respect to all our true and genuine heroes and heroines - whether those who have sacrificed for me, as an individual (such as, my Lord Jesus Christ, my mother, wife, and dear friends who have been there for me, through thick and thin), or as a community, or nation.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

I am one of those people who awards immense and unquestionable respect to all our true and genuine heroes and heroines – whether those who have sacrificed for me, as an individual (such as, my Lord Jesus Christ, my mother, wife, and dear friends who have been there for me, through thick and thin), or as a community, or nation.

As such, my respect for Mbuya Nehanda – our Second Chimurenga heroine (as the First Chimurenga was actually led by another hero, Dombodzvuku, in 1695, who routed the Portuguese, who had entrenched themselves in the nation), and Kaguvi, Mapondera, as well as Third Chimurenga stalwarts in the mould of Herbert Chitepo, Joshua Nkomo, Josiah Tongogara, Dumiso Dabengwa, and numerous more – is undoubted.

Of course, as a devout Christian, no matter how much I honour all these heroes – I will never make any graven image of, for instance, Jesus Christ, or my Mom, or wife, and certainly not of Mbuya Nehanda, or any other national hero – since that would be contrary to my Jehovah God’s explicit second commandment.

Nonetheless, that has never translated to mean a diminished love, honour, and respect for them – because this is in my heart, shown in how I treat them, and revere them in my own fitting way.

Be that as it may, this love, respect, and reverence, for anyone whom I consider my hero, transcends mere words – but, is shown in how I live my life, in a manner that clearly exemplifies and embodies how those people stood for, and stand for.

For example, if I claim that Jesus Christ is my hero, then my every thought, word, and deed is to be a reflection, and representation of who Jesus Christ is, and what he stands for.

The same, therefore, should automatically apply to those who claim to respect and honour Mbuya Nehanda, as their heroine.

What did this iconic lady stand for – considering that, with only her poorly armed and equiped people, she was ready to die for her nation, as she warded off colonial repression, the deprivation of the people of their land and everything in, and on, it, as well as their subjugation into mere employees (whereby, they had been their own masters)?

Yet, watching all those self-satisfied men and women grandstanding and officiating at yesterday’s unveiling of Mbuya Nehanda’s statue in the capital Harare, was enough to make my blood boil, and feel bile go up my throat!

How can people who have done anything and everything opposed to what Mbuya Nehanda stood for, be the ones beating their own chests – insincerely portraying themselves as “her risen bones” – in apparent reference to a statement she allegedly made at her execution, meaning that, as much as they had killed her, others would come up to continue and win the struggle for Zimbabwe?

Surely, who amongst the Zimbabwe ruling elite today, can genuinely claim to be those “risen bones”?

Did Mbuya Nehanda sacrifice her life – with her head being chopped off – for this pungent and repugnant rot we witness today, at the hands of the same people proudly running around, as Nehanda’s “risen bones”?

If ever there was any insult to Nehanda and her memory, then yesterday’s event was the gravest of all.

It would have been the same had Cecil John Rhodes erected the Mbuya Nehanda statue, and portrayed himself as her “risen bones”!

Honestly, what freedom do Zimbabweans enjoy today at the blood-soaking, brutal, and barbaric hands of this ruling elite – with the relentless persecution by prosecution of activists (who have steadfastly followed Nehanda’s footsteps), through the weaponization of the law, and deployment of security forces to ruthlessly stifle rights of expression and demonstration (the shooting to death of protestors in 2018 and 2019, being a case in point), as well as the reported abduction, and sexual abuse of dissenters?

This, in addition to the savage massacring of over 20,000 innocent Ndebele-speaking men, women, and children (including unborn babies gorged from there pregnant mothers’ wombs), in the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces, whilst uncountable hundreds of thousands were maimed, and displaced – with hundreds of opposition MDC supporters also being butchered.

What freedom is there, when foreign entities – such as the Chinese, and those connected to the powerful – have been sold the country, as they have been given carte blanche to displace our people from their ancestral lands, desecrate their forefathers’ and foremothers’ graves, whilst recklessly plundering their resources, with scant regards to fundamental workers’ rights, and environmental concerns?

What gives the ruling elite the arrogance and assurance that they are the “risen bones” of which Nehanda spoke about, when they have authored untold suffering and unspeakable impoverishment upon the people of Zimbabwe – via their unfettered and shameful looting of the country’s resources (with impunity) – yet, millions are abandoned to survive on handouts?

Surely, this is not what the gallant Mbuya Nehanda, and all her fellow heroes and heroines died for.

In fact, her “bones” have certainly NOT “risen” yet – and, as sure as her words were 124 years ago, they will rise…mark my words, they will rise!

And, the people of Zimbabwe will finally enjoy the fullness of what Nehanda sacrificed her life for!

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

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