Harare – Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Africa Day unveiled a commemorative statue of liberation war spiritual heroine Charwe, who was the medium for the spirit of Nehanda.
Charwe, who was a vessel for the intergenerational spirit Nehanda, was murdered by European settlers in 1898 after leading a war of resistance to colonialism.
Nehanda’s memory has become a contemporary point of interest for the Zimbabwean state and society.
A sculpture of Nehanda has been placed at the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere in Harare’s Central Business District. It was done by veteran sculptor David Mutasa.
At the unveiling ceremony, President Mnangagwa said, “The unveiling of the statue of Nehanda is a reflection and embodiment of the heroic people of our country from Zambezi to Limpopo, from Plumtree to Mutare, who confronted colonial aggression and paid the supreme sacrifice for the freedom we enjoy today. This statue is thus a bold and unapologetic statement of the fact that we are a people who know who we are and where we come from. It is a declaration that we stand proud of our identity.”
Just before being hanged by the colonial regime, Nehanda declared that her bones would rise again and Zimbabwe would be free.
“In her heroic defiance to the brutal hanging, she declared that (my bones shall rise). Present and future generations must correctly contextualise that emphatic declaration. The defence of our country`s Independence, sovereignty, territorial intergrity and the dignity of our people must be vigilantly pursued. In charting our future, it is imperative that we know our past,” said President Mnangagwa.