Home » General » Thomas Mapfumo’s Independence Message [opinion]

I wish to send my revolutionary greetings and congratulatory message to the people of Zimbabwe on this special occasion as our country celebrates 34 years of independence.

1980 was a momentous year in the history of our country as it marked an end to 90 years of colonialism, segregation, and racism and minority rule.

As we mark our independence, I take this opportunity to honour and salute the brave heroes and heroines of this land who sacrificed their lives, families, careers, and education to join the war of liberation.

It is such sacrifices that brought about the freedom we are enjoying today.

I also wish to extend my special gratitude to the following countries that assisted us during the war — Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, China, Russia to mention but a few. It was their love, commitment and solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe that brought about our independence.

When we were singing during the war — it was about freedom, justice hence I coined my music “Chimurenga”.

Even though I was not holding a gun, it was a difficult terrain and I was constantly harassed, arrested and detained because I denounced oppression and colonialism. My dream was to see a free Zimbabwe where our citizens are able to access education, health, access to decent accommodation, and above all a better life for everyone.

Today, we need all hands on deck to do more to make real the dream of equality, justice and a better life for all. The brutalities of the past – detentions without trial, disappearances of our people, deaths in detentions, hangings of those opposed to colonialism, imprisonment, exile, massacres, assassinations, forced evictions, banishments and laws that made the lives of black Zimbabweans unbearable — are testimonies that our freedom was never free.

Although today we walk tall because our collective efforts culminated in the 18th of April being our Independence Day, we all still carry scars that remind us that our freedom, which is at times taken for granted was never free.

We cannot allow tribalism to prevail in our society, communities and in any of our various and diverse institutions.

Our nation must develop, but the worrying thing facing our country today is corruption, instead of working to develop our country there are those selfish individuals who because of their positions of influence are busy stealing from the poor. That must stop it’s a betrayal of the values of the liberation struggle and our national independence.

Independence is not about corruption, it is about honesty, unity of purpose and the love for Zimbabwe.

Our people need food on their tables, education, and above all a good life.

We must share the national cake equally.

Those who are corrupt must be held accountable. We have a task as Zimbabweans to fight corruption. It is tearing our economy apart.

In the 1980s I sang about corruption because I had realised that others went to war for selfish reasons. The traits are still manifesting in some comrades even today.

The 34 years of Independence should be about love and peace, which is the message we must be spreading. Intolerance, hatred and violence amongst families and political parties have no place in our society.

I believe that by coming together and working in partnerships as artists, government, business, labour, civil society and communities we will succeed.

As we celebrate our freedom, let us be united to improve the quality of life of many of our people in the last 34 years.

As artistes we have a role to play in national development, fostering unity and also acting as ambassadors of our great nation. In the last 34 years I am happy to note how our music has developed over the years, I salute all the young musicians who are emerging and I am prepared to assist and work with the young crop of musicians.

They need our guidance and support — they are our future. My friend Oliver Mtukudzi has been doing a good job in assisting the upcoming musicians. Keep up the good work you are doing.

Equally, the young people of our country need to understand that they have a role to play in national development.

The country is in their hands, but they need to be disciplined, work hard, and stay away from drugs, risky sexual behaviour that exposes them to HIVAIDS.

It is however saddening to note how piracy has taken its toll in Zimbabwe and the world at large. We are being robbed of our sweat and blood, and it is my wish that we have tight mechanisms to deal with this scourge. We encourage our fans to support us by buying original copies of our music.

I am happy to announce on this special day in our history that I will be coming home in September this year to perform for our fans.

It has been long since we last performed on home soil, asi gore rino ndirikuuya kumusha, home is always best kwatiri kuno tirikumarimuka. We have been doing shows elsewhere in the world, and we will be in South Africa at the end of this month.

However the feeling of performing in Zimbabwe is always good. So to all our fans out there we are coming home to entertain you, I thank you all for the support you have given me and your band the Blacks Unlimited.

We will continue dishing out good music for you.

Enjoy your holidays

Viva Zimbabwe Viva

Ndatenda

Source : The Herald

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