May (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday unveiled the monument of Zimbabwe’s revered liberation war icon, Mbuya Nehanda, immortalising the heroine whose death is credited for sparking and spiritually guiding the revolution against colonialism in the then Rhodesia leading to independence in 1980.
Mbuya Nehanda, a spirit medium, led a spirited resistance against white minority rule and was hunted down, arrested and hanged by the settlers in 1898.
On being hanged, she famously declared that “my bones will rise again”.
Unveiling her statue, amid pomp and fanfare at the busy intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way in Harare, President Mnangagwa said Mbuya Nehanda’s “immortalisation was long overdue.”
The site was also chosen as it is believed it is one of the places she frequented to drink water at a nearby fountain, way before Harare was built.
“The towering Mbuya Nehanda statue is a reflection and embodiment of the heroic people of our country from Zambezi to Limpopo, from Plumtree to Mutare, who confronted colonial aggression and paid the supreme sacrifice for the freedom we enjoy today,” President Mnangagwa said at the unveiling that coincided with Africa Day celebrations.
“This statue is therefore a bold and unapologetic movement and statement of the fact that we are a people who know who we are, where we come from and where we intend to go.”
He said government would continue to engage the British until Mbuya Nehanda’s skull and those of other heroes which were shipped to the United Kingdom before independence, are brought back for reburial.
Setting up of the monument, the President said, was one of the ways of ensuring that “the narratives of our nation are presented in the correct historical perspective.
“It is a declaration that we stand proud of our history and identity. As such the warrior spirit of Mbuya Nehanda and other iconic heroes and heroines should motivate us to fully utilise of God given resources to build the Zimbabwe we all want through hard and honest work,” the Head of State said.
“The culture of resilience engrained in the people of this great country, should see us modernise, industrialise and grow our economy for the betterment of all, brick upon brick, stone upon stone.”