Iconic Nehanda statue to be unveiled on Africa Day

by | May 24, 2021 | Entertainment, Local News, Politics | 0 comments


Brian Rungano Temba

President Emmerson Mnangagwa will unveil the landmark statue of the mother of our Independence, Charwe Nyakasikana, the Spirit medium of Mbuya Nehanda, on Africa Day in Harare.

What better way to celebrate Africa Day than to have Harare’s latest tourist attraction and display of infrastructural excellence combined with an artistic appreciation for history.

To the pedestrian mind the sigh of relief comes coupled by utterances like “Finally we can now use the Julius Nyerere- Samora Machel routes!”
To those who understands the historical significance of both the names those streets bear, the history behind the Queen Palm trees and the statue to be unveiled by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Africa Day has the best ambience for this phenomenal occasion.

News of the unveiling of Mbuya Nehanda’s Statue and Foot Bridge was broken by President Mnangagwa during his address at the Culture Week commemorations on Friday at Chief Njelele’s homestead in Gokwe South, Midlands province.
“Meanwhile I commend the youth for their determination, towards developing, publishing and broadcasting our rich liberation war heritage.
The broadcasting of the story of the iconic national heroine Mbuya Nehanda and the publication of the Herbert Chitepo biography among many other literal artistic works is applauded,” said President Mnangagwa.
“It is in this vein that on Africa Day , May 25th 2021, we will also honour and remember Mbuya Nehanda who is one of the great authors of our revolution and national independence,” he added.
President Mnangagwa challenged academia to join the new age of Zimbabwean Renaissance through active involvement in the ongoing memorialisation of our heritage.

This statue will be the second iteration of the spirit medium and heroine of the 1896-97 First Chimurenga war against British colonialism, after public outcry over the first iteration not decently depicting Mbuya Nehanda in the image they were exposed to through old colonial photographs.

The intersection on which the footbridge will span over is on Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way. The Palm trees that run along the road islands of Julius Nyerere Way date back to the colonial era.
Gus Le Breton the self-proclaimed African Plant Hunter and legacy naturalist, says his ongoing series visiting the trees listed in Lyn Mullin’s book ‘Historic Trees of Zimbabwe’,
“These trees, familiar to anyone who’s ever strolled down the Hollywood Boulevard, were planted in the 1920s along Julius Nyerere Avenue, which was at the time called “Kingsway” in honour of the visit to Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) by the British Duke of Connaught. They are still standing today, nearly a century later.”

Old archives on the architectural history of Harare City chronicle that a river once ran under what is now Julius Nyerere and it is believed that Mbuya Nehanda used to fetch water from that very river.

Once desecrated and bastardized in the bleached white name of an English king and reclaimed after independence under the name of an African icon and Nationalist Julius Nyerere.

On Africa Day the Regent symbol Nyerere and our Eastern eternal ally Samora Machel return the legacy of that historical place to its rightful owner, Nehanda Nyakasikana. The legacy has been restored, surely.