Nehanda rises in Mash Central
IT was here that Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle started more than 100 years ago. It was here that some of the fiercest fighting in the quest for liberation was witnessed.
This is Mashonaland Central: Home of the spirit medium Mbuya Nehanda, who - stationed at a shrine in present-day Mazowe — exhorted a people to take up arms and be masters of their destiny.
Her defiant vow, even as she was hanged by a colonial settler regime, was that her bones would rise again. And yesterday President Mugabe invoked the memory and idea of Mbuya Nehanda as he addressed what could be the biggest yet Presidential Youth Interface Meeting in the Mashonaland Central capital of Bindura. He spoke national unity, he spoke discipline, he spoke patriotism.
And he reminded a nation that these were the tenets that Mbuya Nehanda taught as she rallied formerly disparate groups to embrace a cause bigger than the sum of their parts.
Initial estimates put the crowd that President Mugabe addressed at no less than 100 000. And that is being conservative. Thousands lined the streets for a distance of at least 5km to welcome President Mugabe to the province.
If there was a street carnival yesterday, it was in Bindura and not in Harare. What is more, these people lining the streets to welcome the Presidential delegation turned out to be those who failed to make it into an in-adequate Chipadze Stadium.
On entering the arena, if it may be called that, President Mugabe was greeted by ululation and cheers as the PA system played the evergreen “Jongwe Rinorira Rimwechete” by Mbare Chimurenga Choir.
When the tumult somewhat settled, it was time for President Mugabe to take the multitudes back to the source, back to Nehanda.