The New Breed of Zimbabwean National Heroes

Posted on 07/11/2011

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Comrade Patel passed away only recently and it was the first time I had actually heard anything of substance about this man. All I knew was that there was a man known as ‘Senator Patel’ who played a pivotal role prior and post Independence especially within his own Indian community. Sadly with his death, I find myself adamant to know more about him and his contribution to our beloved country. The last person to be buried at the National Heroes Acre was none other than Retired General Solomon Mujuru only a few months ago. Retired General Mujuru’s death shocked the nation perhaps because of the manner in which he died. However his death is my view brought various people from all walks of life together as we mourned as a collective group. I can’t recall seeing much of that lately.

Shortly after Mujuru’s death, I started wondering what it is about National Heroes that makes them such. I have heard that there is a process involved in declaring someone a National Hero. I believe and I stand to be corrected here but it all starts with the National Hero’s province, subsequently followed by various processes involving the family, various government organisations and so forth. I often wonder what our National Heroes will look like when I am in my sixties. I figure by then the current crop of potential National Heroes we have now will all have passed away and moved onto a better place.

As I sit in solitude and ponder as I often do, I do wonder what our future National Heroes will look like for the next generation. Will we have National Heroes who include sports and TV personalities for example? Will we have various entrepreneurs and community leaders who play an integral role in shaping their own fortunes but most importantly shaping the fortunes of this very nation of ours? Will we continue to celebrate the lives of those who died in the Liberation Struggle? Will we even remember them? We must never forget the massive contribution they made to ensure our freedom. Will our National Heroes be as colourful and as vibrant as our Zimbabwean people? Will they reflect the complexity of our culture and indeed our values? Will their lives touch and influence the youth whilst inspiring us all to do great things for this country? Will we see more women become National Heroes I wonder? Whether we choose to accept this or not, it is the Zimbabwean woman who has and continues to hold us all together.     

As we continue to bury the current batch of Zimbabwean National Heroes, we must start to ask ourselves the question. What will eventually constitute the character of the next breed of Zimbabwean National Heroes?

Till then

Aluta continua…

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