From shackles to sunshine: Zimbabwe’s journey to Independence The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier represents the heroism of Zimbabweans who died to free their country from colonial bondage, whose bodies were never found (File picture)

Stanford Chiwanga, [email protected] 

ZIMBABWE is a land bathed in sunshine and it echoes with the triumphs of a hard-won independence. We walk freely where once movement was a privilege, speak our minds where silence was enforced and choose our paths where limitations were the norm.

Before independence, the very fabric of our lives was woven with threads of racial discrimination. Our parents and grandparents were denied the right to reside in the sprawling suburbs, relegated instead to cramped townships. 

The doors of opportunity in skilled professions were firmly shut, leaving only menial labour as an option. 

Even the bustling city centres were fractured by invisible lines, barring access to certain streets and areas for the majority.

Healthcare, a fundamental right, became a privilege dispensed from hospitals blacks were forbidden to enter. 

Many hospitals and medical facilities were inaccessible to them, denying them the fundamental right to quality healthcare. 

The freedom of association, a cornerstone of democratic societies, was also severely curtailed, preventing black Zimbabweans from organising, assembling and expressing themselves freely. 

The right to speak freely, to gather and associate — these were mere dreams whispered in the darkness.

These freedoms, the very air we breathe today, were not gifts. They were purchased with blood, sweat and unwavering determination. 

The fight for liberation was a long and arduous march, paved with the sacrifices of countless heroes. The freedoms and rights we enjoy were not handed to us on a silver platter; they were acquired through the sweat, tears and bloodshed of our liberators. 

Brave men and women sacrificed their lives, families and futures to ensure that future generations could live in a free and equal Zimbabwe.

Let us never take these freedoms for granted. Let us remember the long nights spent huddled around flickering lamps, listening to stories of resistance. 

Let us recall the young lives lost, the families fractured, the dreams deferred for the sake of a future they might never see.

Let us pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by our forebears. Let us honour their memory by cherishing and safeguarding the freedoms and rights they fought so hard to secure. 

It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the flame of freedom continues to burn brightly, illuminating the path for future generations of Zimbabweans.

Our freedom is a precious inheritance, a testament to the unwavering spirit of our people. 

Let us guard it jealously, for it is the cornerstone of every dream we dare to chase. 

Let us use our voices, our choices and our collective strength to build a Zimbabwe where the sacrifices of our liberators are not a fading memory, but an eternal flame lighting the path towards a brighter future.


You Might Also Like