Let's remember our heroes indeed

Let's remember our heroes indeed
Published: 11 August 2017 (303 Views)
Editor, thank you very much for publishing my letter. Now that the Heroes Day is somewhere in the air, its time to reflect and introspect.

In Senga, Gweru, roads in this old high density suburb were named after the first people to settle in a particular street. The same happened in Mambo, another suburb that was established by the colonial government back in the 1940s. Hoffman, Matsisti, Zaranyika and Nkenyane are some of the earliest native settlers in Mambo, whose names are still being called today since the streets bearing their names are still there today. What a way of honoring our pioneers.

In Eastlea, Harare, most of the street names there are either counties or boroughs in the United Kingdom. Some of them are Angus, Midlothian and Inverness, to name just but these. The Pioneer Column honored its heroes by naming cities, suburbs and institutions after them. Among these are Borrow(dale), Beatrice, Salisbury, George Stark, Tomlinson, Morris, Fort Victoria, and Victoria Falls among others. The name Rhodes is ubiquitously spread across the country's terrain; Rhodesdale, Rhodesville, Rhodes Avenue, Cecil John Rhodes (School), Rhodene. The list is endless.

It is disheartening after 37 years of independence that such colonial names are still staying. Municipalities and concerned government departments are neither keen on enforcing names promoting our heritage. We have rich languages, cultures and personalities, dead and alive, whose contribution to the development of this country is begging for deserved recognition.

Our revered drummer Douglas Vambe's name and legacy will die into his grave with him unless some concerned municipality names a street or suburb in Marondera or Mrewa after him. The visibly lazy Municipality of Gweru cannot name any new suburb near Mkoba in some creative name other than a number. Shall we surely wait for Mkoba 100 one day while the first black mayor's name is only associated with a filthy vegetable market in the outer limits of the city? The irony of the matter is Kombayi is a former mayor of the city. His son is the defrocked former mayor of the same city too.

Shall we continue giving reverence to some Tudley while our very Mtukudzi, Ephat Mujuru and Solomon Mutsvairo are not honored? Shall we continue giving such funny names as Aimington, Groomingdale, Audroningtonshire and Walkingborough as if we lack an identity?

Even the colonial government saw the need to honor a few of our people, as in the Senga and Mambo examples mentioned earlier. How and why do locals not see the need to promote their own now that they have everything at their disposal to effect such changes? Kudos to the developers of such names as Madokero! Nketa! Pumula! Nkulumane! Nguboyenja! Kuwadzana! Chinotimba! Rugare! Chikangwe! Chikonohono! Dombotombo! Runyararo! Dulibadzimu! Tshobani! Matshobane!


- Precious Chibhira

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