By Charles Kunene Munganasa
Once upon a time there was an Empire called Rhodesia which was founded on the principles of racial supremacy and colonialism. For a black man Rhodesia was the metaphoric expression of the biblical Babylon. Shakespeare would sum it up and say "Hell is empty and all the devils are here."
As such, it was the obligation of our fore fathers to fight the oppression and segregation in order to give us a better and free nation. White supremacists had ruled over our people with an iron fist for over a century and our people couldn't take it any longer.
They say "You have to be there to see it" but when it comes to Zimbabwe it becomes a different pedagogy altogether.
I was not there during the liberation struggle because time, space plus biology did not permit for my existence during such a time. But I know every square inch where the cartridges of the bullets that liberated this country are resting. I know of the prophecies of Mbuya Nehanda, the bravery of the Crocodile Gang, The leadership of Chairman Chitepo, the exploits of the Great lion of Chirumanzi, the charisma of Robert Mugabe and above all the sacrifices of numerous sons and daughters of the soil who gave up their lives to free Zimbabwe. I was not there but these gallant sons and daughters carried me with them through it.
Until this day I still feel the pain and anguish they endured to death, yet I feel the joy and jubilee of a liberated soul. Through history and spiritual guidance, I feel like I have lived through both episodes of our nationhood.
I am proud that we did it. We liberated our land, yet at the same time feel the bitterness of a tormented soul. But here we are today. Free as a dove, Zimbabwe is turning 40.
I was not there in April 1980 to witness a great moment in history as the country that was formerly known as Rhodesia was baptised by the blood of the gallant fighters and christened Zimbabwe. The name Zimbabwe on its own spoke volumes about the country. Zimbabwe is a name derived from the Shona name ‘Dzimbahwe' which means ‘House of Stone’.
The name Zimbabwe is a symbol of strength, endurance and stability. Just like a house built of stone, Zimbabwe today remains unshakable even in the face of numerous calamities, some natural and some man made.
Over the years Zimbabwe has endured natural calamities such as droughts, floods, disease and plagues. But through numerous trials and tribulations Zimbabwe still emerged stronger and towering above like a beacon. We have weathered the storm.
Man-made calamities include foreign aggression by form of unjustified sanctions which were designed to bring the nation to its knees.
But the enduring house of stone still stands.