By Lonias Majoni Rozvi
“My bones will rise again!” These were Mbuya Nehanda’s last words at the time of her death. The fact that she passed on the same month the Nation attained independence signifies her complete resurrection through the birth of Zimbabwe, a clear allusion to the death and resurrection of the Biblical Jesus Christ.
On this day, in 1898 Mbuya Nehanda was gruesomely hanged by British invaders. Her persecution, trial and murder is synonymous to Jesus Christ’s last days on earth and His fight to Save Mankind towards Salvation.
For Mbuya Nehanda, she was part of Religious Leaders whose command influenced the early uprisings against the White Colonial Settlers; the British South African Company (BSAC) in 1896-1897, a rebellion that was to be known as the First Chimurenga/Umvukela.
After a year searching for her, the Settlers eventually captured her at the end of 1897 and tried her in 1898. It is common knowledge that the Whites feared her so much and wanted her gone after realizing the power she commanded among the Black People. However, they found a perfect way to kill her by accusing the Spirit Medium for the death of a Native Commissioner, Pollard.
The latter had created resentment among the Shona people by thrashing Chief Chiweshe for failing to report an outbreak of Rinderpest among his herds. As a result of this abominable act, the local people captured Pollard during the first Chimurenga and took him to Nehanda who ordered for his death and subsequently, the Colonialist’s head was chopped and his body dumped in a river.
For this Nehanda was sentenced to death by hanging. Mysterious events occurred as Colonialists struggled to kill her and finally succeeded after an African prisoner present, advised the Settlers to remove from Nehanda’s belt Nhekwe (a pouch of tobacco snuff). Of noteworthy, Nehanda, upon her death, made a bold statement that her bones will rise again. In a way similar to Jesus Christ who told his disciples that he will die but resurrect on the third day, and so was the story of Mbuya Nehanda.
The Second Chimurenga, was conducted from the Spiritual Front by Ambuya Nehanda’s Medium, who was ferried from Dande area into Mozambique by the Liberation fighters.
The bones of Nehanda rose and liberation Struggle went on until the Independence of Zimbabwe in April 1980, marking the resurrection of Nehanda whose remains are still in British museums.
Today the Nation commemorates their Heroin, but is still agitated and angry at the inhumane manner regarding Nehanda’s remains and improper burial. The War is not yet over, the British should know.