Cultural imperialism and political influence are the sole reasons blamed for ruining and eroding humanity, tolerance, cultural values and norms among the Zimbabwean population, to an extent where people no longer know their identity and responsibilities, and do not have respect for human life and death.
This has seen people committing murder over political issues and being divided on tribal lines because of how one tribe regards the other or how one political party is a threat to the chances of others getting or remaining in power.
However, the most uniting figure in the history of Zimbabwean politics was none other than Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo originally from Kezi area in Matabeleland South.
He died on July 1 1999 and next month will be the 12th anniversary of his death.
Though he was an outstanding figure who could have resisted the Zanu PF government’s terror campaigns by reorganising his powerful Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) to fight against the Zanu PF’s Fifth Brigade during Gukurahundi, he humbled himself for the sake of human lives by uniting with Zanu PF to operate as a Vice-President of Robert Mugabe though it was known to everyone that he was most senior in politics of liberation than President Robert Mugabe.
In view of his standing legacy on unity and tranquility in the people of Zimbabwe, Matojeni Culture Society “Isifiso Sikazulu” in collaboration with Joshua Nkomo National Foundation, has formed a Joshua Nkomo Commemorations committee.
The committee is organising culture-driven commemorations for the life and death of Nkomo which are scheduled for Stanley Square in Bulawayo on July 2 this year separate from the usual government-organised galas for the late legend.
The chairman for the committee, Albert Nyoni, who is also chairing Matojeni Cultural Society, said the organised culture-driven commemorations are meant to portray and uphold the life and legacy of “Our Icon Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo”.
“We seek to solidify and perpetuate Nkomo’s legacy through among other things, commemorating annually the day of his departure from this earth. The theme for the event is “Bangaphi Abantu?” in line with Umdala’s last wishes from his deathbed to be with the masses,” said Nyoni.
Nyoni said Matojeni Cultural Society was officially formed on January 2 this year with the core objective of encouraging people to revert to their traditional and cultural ways of life as Africans, particularly as Zimbabwean.
“We encourage people to revive their culture. Thus through Umdala wethu’s commemorations we want to bring people from various cultural back grounds together regardless of varying cultures and differing political affiliations,” said Nyoni.
He said they had invited all political parties to the commemoration where this time it will be conducted in a traditional and cultural way depicting Africanness typifying Nkomo.
“This will be a non-political event but exclusively traditional and cultural. We will have traditional beer and beasts will be slaughtered like what normally happens in rural and traditional memorials. We want to build a culture of tolerance among people in an effort to make people respect themselves and each other as the late Father Zimbabwe respected everyone,” said Nyoni.
He said politics and other foreign cultures have eroded African norms and values because people now valued such issues more than their own cultures.
He said this had seen people losing respect for each other. Nyoni said traditional songs and dances will characterise the celebrations.
He advised political party leaders and supporters not to wear party regalia when attending the event because the commemorations would be exclusively cultural and traditional.
He said no one will be allowed to chant political slogans or rhetoric during the commemorations because Nkomo was a uniting force who valued human life more than the survival of parties.
Nkomo felt it was better to join hands with Zanu PF than try to maintain his party PF Zapu in existence.
“The doctrine of peace and unity is the ideology of the commemorations to remember Nkomo for his love and his urging for peace in the country. Soul Gwakuba Ndlovu will give us the life history of Umdala Wethu to the time of his passing on.”