It seems we have since forgotten how it all works. A praise singer,extols the virtues of his leader or chosen one and/for a common cause and barely gets the praise himself. Sadly thats the way it goes and it ends there.
I should go on and give a disclaimer beforehand:
In this piece, I will not pretend to know how politics in Zimbabwe works, I will instead leave that to the political commentators and concetrate on the simple understandings of a praise singer, to whom this article is cultivated from and what I believe the so called ‘committee’ that sits to decide whether actions of the liberation struggle results in a well paved grave of mable or not.
The past week the country could not believe when the biggest pro-liberation struggle lead singer and veteran died and was declared not a National War Hero despite having had sang his heart out for the majority of all leaders present and gone. It could have been an outright highest hero status if the majority of the country were in the selection committee.
I was quickly taken aback, when one such gallant son and crooner, Simon Chimbetu, was also snubbed of such a prestigious status and laid to rest in a grass infested cemetry of the Chinhoyi Heroes Acre.
Quickly it made me realise that the two, who worked tirelessly to remind the entire nation in tunes and powerfu lyrics that still remain imprinted in our minds to date, were merely viewed as praise singers. Working tirelessly to propagate an understanding through song and dance whilst they themselves falling out of favour from the very same system they helped build.
Objectively, it could be argued that the two crooners did not put themselves in the line of fire enough to be bestowed the highest hero status in the land but instead chose to entertain mostly. They helped pen a number of songs that attacked the colonialists and instilled brevity amongst others whilst they were far from the heat of the battle and the occassional need to show acts pf heroism, a position lowly ranked within the army.
Could it be that Cde Chinx was a guerilla soldier and a popular singer that makes many believe he deserved to buried at the national shrine? They could have been many that could have sang the same songs as he did but were not as prominent, do they too deserve the highest hero status of the land.
In what way was he instrumental in the direct change of the political environement in the then colonial era? Did his music directly affect a change in the way the British handled affairs in the country? Was he a fighter first then singer or vice-versa? These are the answers that needed to be answered to reach a certain conclusion.
I am not against the man, neither am I pro-‘the present government’ but I want to look at the spade before me and be able to call it what it is. Equating the fallen hero and the many other pivotal members of the country who went beyond their limits to deliver the promise of freedom and life as what we have it now can be debatable from what angle you look at it but it doesnt have to be hard to call one a National hero.
Though it looked promised unto him, as he was much loved by the nation, it should remind us how undesirable his position should be to anyone hoping to have a thriving political career. It seems the major contributors of the liberation struggle where the masterinds of the next attack and seizures and not the musician that calmed the hearts of the weary and frightened after a long day’s battle.
His dance and voice that shattered all fear and encouraged the many to enlist is now simply forgotten when the deed has been done and the houses of the masters invaded.
He did not receieve the recognition that many would have gladly given him but he will forever be remembered as a pivotal role in convincing and reviving the weary hearts and minds against the struggle against colonialism.
His music shall live on in