- Zimbabweans on Monday will commemorate the Heroes' Day, honoring and remembering known and unknown heroes of the revolution who laid the foundation for the country's independence after centuries under foreign rule. Celebrating the people who make Zimbabwe the great, iconic, and internationally known power house, is the essence of our Heroes Day Celebrations.
By Dr Masimba Mavaza
The Zimbabwean flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it. This week on the 9th of August the nation celebrates the heroes who paid for our freedom with their blood.
Heroes’ Day is a public holiday in Zimbabwe observed on the second Monday in August of every year.
This is a day of remembrance to commemorate the commitment of Zimbabweans to the struggle for Independence, during which thousands perished.
Our Veterans are a symbol of what makes our nation great, and we must never forget all they have done to ensure our freedom. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.The legacy of heroes, the memory of a great name, and the inheritance of a great example.
For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.
Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. Zimbabwe will never forget their sacrifices.
The veterans of our freedom have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment. We must remember that without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.
So on this heroes day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home. This is not Veterans Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom.
Heroes’ Day is a time the Zimbabweans pay tribute to all known or unknown individuals who contributed and sacrificed lives in the name of achieving our Zimbabwean identity, justice against tyranny, peace, and freedom.
This freedom fighting process gave birth to heroes. A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
We there fore come together to remember those who actively fought exploitation and colonialism., the day commemorates soldiers in service of the country a soldier being anyone who fought in his way to pay for this freedom., Heroes Day commemorates the Cry of Mbuya Nehanda’s charge “Mapfupa angu achamuka”, a battle cry that kicked off the Revolution against the British rule,and the long struggle toward our country’s independence.
After a century of colonial rule the Zimbabweans finally achieved full independence.
This victory ended a protracted conflict that pitted the small land locked nation against major world powers. The day is a day of honoring the known and unknown heroes of the Revolution.
The road to full independence wound through an alliance with the Fellow Africans a betrayal by our own Zimbabweans and another war.
Zimbabweans on Monday will commemorate the Heroes’ Day, honoring and remembering known and unknown heroes of the revolution who laid the foundation for the country’s independence after centuries under foreign rule. Celebrating the people who make Zimbabwe the great, iconic, and internationally known power house, is the essence of our Heroes Day Celebrations.
Indeed, our national heroes, our academics, athletes, artistes and musicians, political forefathers, security forces, civil servants and front-line workers contribute to making Zimbabwe a better place.
We must remember that a “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.”
Our heroes of the past have built a legacy for us today that we must acknowledge and be grateful for. We must never allow their contributions to be forgotten. We must teach our young people the history of our nation; so that they can take pride in the resilience of our ancestors and be inspired to emulate their greatness.
As we celebrate Heroes Day we must also recognize our modern-day heroes and salute the country’s front-line workers for the critical role they play as we unite to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. History and achievements of Our heroes are often misrepresented.
The history of the first Chimurenga for Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle is suffocated by Rhodesian writings. One would think Rhodesians won the war while in reality they were walloped by the indigenes, in the battle field; never mind the genocides they committed, they just could not break the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda which has enveloped our heroes.
As we celebrate our heroes this year we have the onus to write our story otherwise the narrative that will dominate will be from the vanquished.
We stand, in honour of the heroic Zimbabwean stalwarts who, through pride and resilience, sacrificed their blood, sweat, tears, and lives to ensure that all Zimbabweans today enjoy political independence, and freedom to strive for our economic independence.
On this day, we hail the first-Chimurenga icon Muhera mukuru Nehanda Nyakasikana. Persons who have inspired true heroism and nationalism through gallantry, innovation, and service. individuals among us who have been galvanizing forces contributing to our community and country at large. Persons who have inspired true heroism and nationalism through gallantry, innovation, and service these are our heroes and will always remain our heroes.
Thousands of guerilla fighters lost their lives while over 20 000 civilians, mostly unarmed women and children were killed those thousands of civilians formed part of the strongest foundation bind together by the flesh and bones watered by the their own blood.
Some fell at Nyadzonya, on August 9 1976, what a coincidence to this years heroes day. With tears and anger which has turned to confidence we remember thousands of unarmed schoolchildren in the refugee camps who were massacred by Rhodesian forces.
Heroes’ Day remains important besides just recalling sacrifices made across the country; there is significant experience of anger, pain and questions yet to be resolved.
“Many a fighter, a mujibha, a chimbwido continue to carry raw psychological wounds that have not healed.”
Our heroes and heroine stories evoke both pride and anger and trigger resistance to all machinations by our erstwhile colonisers to put back the yoke of colonialism on us.
While the West would want to tell us that where we come from is not important they teach their children and constantly remind each other that a nation constructs its identity by selectively binding their chosen and memorable achievements into a ‘national story’, which is reflected in the national heritage.
Heroes’ Day reminds all of us of the nationalism that brought together fearless men and women to shake off the yoke of the colonial rule and gain independence.
As we remember this day we must remember that it is the day for the nation not for one person. Even if one is from the opposition camp he is still breathing the air of freedom. The benefits of freedom are for all to take.
Let us give due respect to our honoured heroes. Remember the fruits of freedom are watered by the sweat and blood.