Cde Jane Ngwenya: A heroine who chose country over everything 

by | Aug 14, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments

Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa


Today the nation laid to rest the one of the pioneering nationalists, last surviving member of the PF ZAPU National Council and the only female to ever be part of the ZIPRA High Command, Cde Jane Lungile Ngwenya.


Cde Ngwenya today joined other luminaries of our struggle bestowed the highest posthumous honour, being interred at the National Heroes Acre.


President Mnangagwa paid tribute to the late national heroine, narrating the journey she travelled in pre and post-independence of Zimbabwe.


Cde Ngwenya died on August 5, at Mater Dei Hospital at the age of 86.


“It is saddening and most painful that death has robbed us of the late National Heroine, when she was set to be conferred with the Grand Commander of Zimbabwe Order of Merit Award during the recent Investiture Ceremony held alongside the National Heroes Day Commemorations, earlier this week. The Award was indeed a befitting honour for her outstanding consistent and persistent contribution towards the realisation of our Independence dating back to the nationalist period,” President Mnangagwa eulogised.


President Mnangagwa revealed that he met Cde Ngwenya every time he was in Bulawayo for engagements, either at Bulawayo State House or at her house.

He said the last meeting was on May 4 this year.

President Mnangagwa said Cde Ngwenya had unquestionable patriotism, love for ZANU PF and a desire to see greater development, unity, harmony and synergies across people was inspirational and motivating.


“In the late National Heroine, the country has lost a rich fountain of knowledge of national liberation heritage, a legendary broadcaster of liberation, persuasive female political commissar and role model,” President Mnangagwa said.


Cde Ngwenya, together with other gallant sons and daughters of the soil, loved their nation, preached democracy, unity and sustainable development as opposed to self-hate or denigration of one’s own motherland Zimbabwe.


A founding member of Southern Rhodesian African National Congress who by 1959, was not only attending but also addressing political meetings, Cde Ngwenya broke the stereotype of the Rhodesian black woman.


She was arrested and jailed for her political activism together with her two-year-old child following a rally at Stanley Hall in Makokoba.


This incident led Cde Ngwenya to make the biggest sacrifice any woman can ever make; she chose country over her personal life.


She sat herself as a woman apart and far ahead of her times. Instead of letting go of her activism as had been requested by her husband and family and concentrate on her marriage as they perceived it as being against expected cultural norms in our African norms.


She made a tough choice and the reason she gave was; “I wanted to go back to the people and fight white oppression,”


Her unwavering dedication to the freedoms of the country saw her choose to work for the Party instead of accepting a scholarship to go study abroad. A teacher by profession and therefore fluent in English, Shona, Ndebele and Nyanja she was a broadcaster for ZAPU in Lusaka. She was also present when the late ZIPRA Commander Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo died from a letter bomb in Lusaka.


She was party of the PF ZAPU delegation to the Lancaster House Congress that ushered in our Independence.


In final salutation, President Mnangagwa said, “Finally, to the late National Heroine, Comrade Jane Lungile Ngwenya, I say farewell to you our revolutionary nationalist, fearless freedom fighter, mentor and mother. You pioneered, led, mobilised and fought a good and onerous fight. Go well our gallant heroine.”