Liberation memory, re-education and economic benefit

by | Jan 4, 2022 | Local News, Opinions | 0 comments


• Liberation museum brings great promise to the Zimbabwean consciousness and economy

Munyaradzi wekwa Chivi

“When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground,” an African proverb tells us.

I bring this proverb in light of what has been happening and which I am grateful something is being done about it.

Recently President Mnangagwa laid the foundation stone and lit the eternal flame at the site of the Museum of African Liberation to be built in Zimbabwe just a mere kilometre from the iconic Zimbabwe National Heroes Acre in Warren Park.

The National Heroes Acre itself is a place where whole libraries are entombed and it is only befitting that the museum is to be built within touching distance of the same.

In laying the Foundation Stone, President Mnangagwa said something so profound but has been overlooked by many for so long.

He said, “African history must be written by Africans and not by those that enslaved us.”

Why we have let the tale of the hunt be told by the hunter for so long? The hunter always frames themselves as the heroes.

We have been victims of our lack of awareness. We have allowed our continued oppression.

As Louis Farakhan once remarked, “”We are not oppressed because we are Black, we are oppressed because we are Ignorant. It is Ignorance that keeps us at the bottom not Blackness.”


It cannot be more glaring than this.

We have glorified the inglorious. Called Western graverobbers, tombraiders and those desecrating and looting African burial sites Archaeologist and Egyptologists.

These words have been used in history and in books to give legal status, credibility and respect these plunderers.

European museums are enriched by the actions of these thieves and genocide performers who killed, looted and perverted Africa.

Our history books must be re-wriiten calling these thieves properly, thieves, looters and pillaged! This continent will never be truly sovereign as long as our ancestors are curios displayed in foreign museums.

Which brings us back to the story of the Museum of African Liberation in fill force.

Much has been said about it and much will continue to be said about it in the future because at least a journey has begun.

It is a journey that of course is not unique in that Instak (the organisation spearheading the construction) is not the only organisation fighting for an African Renaissance.

The African mind is not yet free but perhaps this museum is a first step in the right direction.

The Masterstroke by Colonialist was to convince Africans that Christianity was seperate from Colonialism and Slavery!

Colonialism was social, psychological, cultural and economic warfare waged by our people.


When we waged the war of Liberation to free our countries, what we did not do was also to free our minds, economies, social, psychological and cultural aspects.

Up stepped the pan-African think tank – Institute of African Knowledge (Instak).

They produced Book of African Records and the The Africa Facttbook. Then they came up with the idea of a Museum of African Liberation, informed Government of Zimbabwe and voila, there was immediate encouragement and practical assistance and President Mnangagwa personally encouraged the establishment of the Museum in Zimbabwe.

While the museum will be housed in Zimbabwe, it aspires to house material from all African countries which waged armed struggles to liberate themselves.

It will not exclude countries like Ethiopia who despite not having been colonies still contributed to the liberation of other countries.

It will contribute to first debunking the myth of borders which were drawn up by colonialists at the Berlin Conference, remind us of who we are as a continent and a people.

It is my considered view that the museum will bring us closer and forge a unity that had been under threat.

The museum alone will represent textbooks upon textbooks, libraries after libraries, biographies upon biographies and will remind Africans of true African stories and heroes.

We have lost a lot of our history due to our nationalists dying without penning their memoirs. A whole rich history is buried along with the eulogy of each son of the soil.

This must simply stop!

History, especially that of the struggle for independence must be written from the voices of the participants, those who were liberating themselves not those who we fought to liberate ourselves.

However the museum will not just be a historical, academic gain. Apart from reminding our people of who we are, it will certainly bring to the fore the role of the liberators and therefore Liberation movements.

No more than now does the history of the Liberation needs telling.

I was going through micro-blogger Twitter and came across this tweet from one Joseph Kalimbwe from Zambia, “Most Liberation Movements have become rural parties which struggle to galvanise urban support. These guys are living by a thread; any highly mobilized vote registration, youth vote & vote protection; including sleeping at polling stations to protect the vote; then its over!!”

I shed tears of course. This can only be said by one who does not know the history and it shows what is lacking.

The rural populace have a special relationship with the liberation movements which they have never forgotten. The urban populace did not bear the brunt of the war for independence with the same intensity.

It was the rural populace which was the ‘water to the fish’ so to then the Liberation movements are a necessity, they have a relationship with them.

It also showed me that whoever does the political thinking for these non-liberation neo-liberal and Western sponsored political parties is still very colonial in mind.

Our people who buy into the thinking are also still colonised, mentally, politically, socially and economically. It proved we are teaching a history that is wrong for all the wrong reasons.


This is why the museum must be given priority!

The museum will be a tourist attraction and with the support it has drawn from countries like Sweden, which by the way was never a colonial power and certainly does not have African heads and looted artifacts to return, there will be world-wide interest.

The tourists will come with economic benefits for they bring forex, will need accommodation, food and curios.

That the museum is built near our NHA will mean more visitors to both places and more business thus creating a localised industry in Warren Park and surrounding areas.

This leads to jobs, something the mentally colonised urbanites are still clamoring for. One of course hopes that with the construction of the Museum, itself job creation, the mental enslavement will begin to wear off.

There will be a hotel and a shopping mall built within the premises of the museum creating a mini-industry that will be both cultural, hospitality and economic.

Another iconic structure within striking distance is the National Sports Stadium and it takes very little imagination to realise the gains from the symbiotic existence of the structures and of course Longchen Plaza too.

It is within the greater economic plan of the nation to speed up the construction of the Museum.

Certainly, Vision2030 and the envisaged NDS-2 which will precede the current blueprint NDS1 will reap benefits from the Museum.