Leopold Takawira music gala comes to Chachacha
GWERU – It will be entertainment galore at Chachacha Growth Point this Saturday (August 19) as the Office of the President and Cabinet hosts the Leopold Takawira Musical Gala.
Sungura maestro Alick Macheso headlines a number of acts that include Baba naMai Charamba, Poptain, Killer T, Ex Q, Jah Signal and Mzoe 7 among others.
Running under the theme, “Leaving no one and no place behind,” the music extravaganza that is being held to celebrate the life of the late national hero will be free for all.
Affectionately known as the “Lion of Chirumanzu”, Takawira was reburied at the National Heroes in 1982.
He was born in 1916 in Mvuma and died in prison in 1970 and was first buried in his rural home in Chirumanzu. He was reburied at Heroes Acre on August 11, 1982, 12 years after his death and was among the first heroes of the liberation struggle to be interred at the national shrine.
Takawira was educated at Kutama Mission and later went to Roma University in Lesotho.
He started his revolutionary activities in Highfield, Harare, when he was a school teacher at Chipembere Primary School. Takawira organised teachers to attack the racially discriminatory practice of the white minority settler regime and later joined the National Democratic Party to broaden his activities.
He quickly became leader and chief spokesman of the nationalist movement.
Following the NDP Congress, he became its external representative, based in London.
It was in this capacity that he sent a cable back home denouncing and rejecting the 1961 constitutional conference results, which gave Africans 15 seats in a Parliament of 65 members.
He denounced the agreement as diabolical and disastrous to Zimbabwe. The 1961 constitution was later rejected by the leadership and membership of NDP.
After the ban of the NDP, the Zimbabwe African People’s Union was formed, and Takawira was appointed secretary of external affairs again.
He became instrumental in building the foreign missions of the party and when Zapu was banned, Takawira became instrumental in the formation of the Zimbabwe African National Union.
He became Zanu’s first vice-president and when the Zanu congress was held, he retained his position as vice-president of the party. He worked energetically to establish and popularise the party.
Takawira was arrested in Salisbury and detained at Whawha, Sikombela and Salisbury Central prisons, respectively.
While in prison, he continued his revolutionary activities, even at a time when his health was failing. The white regime denied him permission to seek medical attention. On June 15, 1970 he collapsed and went into a coma and later died.
The post-mortem showed that he had been suffering from diabetes and the verdict of the court was that he had died of negligence.
A number of songs have been composed in his honour, for “Takawira mukono waidzvova”, and another that extols his virtues as the Lion of Chirumanzu