Zimbabwe @44: Youthful poets add vibrancy to Independence Day celebrations Jotham Masuku

Mbulelo Mpofu, [email protected] 

Tomorrow, Zimbabwe will mark its 44th anniversary, with a focus on the pivotal role of the youth as both the present and future leaders of the nation.

This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme: “Zim@44: Unity, peace and development towards Vision 2030”.

As the nation commemorates its history of struggles and triumphs, the resonant voices of young poets reverberate through the streets, serving as a poignant reminder of the significance of artistic expression and the transformative power of language. These talented individuals possess a unique ability to convey emotions, thoughts and aspirations, making them indispensable in shaping the narrative of Zimbabwean identity.

Poetry has long been an integral part of Zimbabwean culture, serving as a means of storytelling, preserving history and inspiring change. One is bound to remember Albert Nyathi when matters of national artistic and poetic treasures are mentioned and now, the youth of Zimbabwe, with their fresh perspectives and innovative approaches, breathe new life into this art form, infusing it with contemporary relevance.

In Bulawayo, two poetic minds, Jotham Masuku and Gracia Nyengera, have raised their hands in sovereignty and solidarity towards the cause. 

Nyengera who has penned, “The struggle for independence” expressed to Chronicle Showbiz her profound appreciation for the sacrifices made by freedom fighters, recognising their crucial role in securing artistic freedom for the youth.

“Our freedom came at a price and it’s important to reflect on the values of patriotism and independence that have shaped our history. Patriotism is not just a word, but a call to action, a commitment to our country, its people and its progress. It’s about recognising the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom and honouring their legacy, by actively contributing to the betterment of our society,” said the 19-year-old poetess.

Gracia Nyengera

Through her poetic verses, Nyengera delves into themes of liberation, unity, hope and resilience, encapsulating the spirit of a nation striving for progress and enduring strength.

She reflects upon the struggles of the past, the present challenges and the aspirations for a brighter future, with her words serving as a rallying cry for the preservation of Zimbabwean values.

Masuku, Nyengera’s male counterpart, visually-impaired and a master of IsiNdebele poetry, has made it an annual tradition to commemorate Independence Day through the recitation of his poignant poetic compositions.

“I’d like to tap on the President’s philosophy and idea of our country being built by us, stone upon stone. The freedom fighters did their bit and now, it’s our turn as youths to engage ourselves in issues of national development, propelling our nation forward. Independence Day gives us carte blanche to artistically tee off and enjoy the fruits of independence while reflecting on the costs incurred to achieve it,” he said.

Independence Day celebrations are rendered incomplete without the vibrant performances of these talented creatives, whose artistry illuminates the spirit of the nation’s journey towards freedom and unity.

Their recitals, often accompanied by traditional music and dance, create an immersive experience that ignites a sense of national pride and unity. 

Their words serve as a reminder that independence is not merely a historical event, but an ongoing journey towards, a better and more harmonious society.

Nyengera achieved acclaim at the young age of five, winning the award for Outstanding Poetess in the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) East Zimbabwe Conference competitions. Since then, her passion for poetry has only grown stronger. Follow on X — @MbuleloMpofu


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