So the white man never bothers to want to understand the black man as a human being because the white man never considers the black person as a human being but a free labour machine.
So any black man in his relations with the white man, particularly racist colonial slave relations, has to devise ways of surviving.
In that regard maybe every Zimbabwean, nay, every African, nay, every black person must take survival lessons from t Zimbabwean President, His Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, affectionately known as ED.
The man escaped the white man’s noose literally by the skin of his teeth.
Emmerson Dambudzo “Ngwena-Crocodile” Mnangagwa; Shumba, Murambwi, he of the Crocodile Gang; the very first guerrillas who set out to liberate Zimbabwe by the barrel of the gun experienced a horrendous ordeal at the hands of the Rhodesians.
He was caught in the act by the white racist Rhodesian system when he was on one of his guerrilla missions which entailed bombing strategic infrastructural installations of the racist white Rhodesian regime.
Mnangagwa was then tried by a very racist and angry white Rhodesian court which, without any further ado,* found him guilty and sentenced him to death by hanging, a very expected outcome as it was a foregone conclusion that this was going to be the sentence, given the fact that he was being tried by a partisan racist white court with a partisan racist white judge and a partisan racist white prosecutor.
That there was a defence counsel was just a formality to show a semblance of some due process, but the outcome was already known so this sham trial of Mnangagwa was just a formality.
The angry white racist judge would never be neutral, neither would he recuse himself given his anger which would make him partisan and therefore no doubt show him in the light of obvious palpable conflict of interest, which under normal judicial circumstances, such a judge would have to recuse himself from presiding over such a case given his lack of neutrality.
But this racist white judge wanted to send this boy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to the gallows, full stop, and he would sentence him to death with glee.
So the whole principle of independence and neutrality of the judiciary was thrown out the window.
Mnangagwa, having already been sentenced to death by hanging and probably now thinking of his impending date with the racist white Rhodesian hangman, didn’t have the slightest inkling that his ancestors together with the other ancestors of Zimbabwe were at this moment of his dire need divinely working in unison with God to save their boy.
Probably he was already making his last prayers to God through the ancestors so that he could be received into heaven.
But something unprecedented happened, almost miraculously, nay, as a matter of fact, indeed miraculously.
Mnangagwa’s defence was represented by J. J. Horn of Scanlen and Holderness who, in his client’s defence, pleaded that Mnangagwa was under age and could not be executed.
Following this, he was taken to hospital where doctors confirmed that he was indeed under 21 and could therefore not be hanged as the law stipulated that people below the age of 21 couldn’t be hanged.
Instead, he was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.
He served the first year at Salisbury Prison and then went to Grey Prison following which he was sent to Khami Prison.
Mnangagwa couldn’t be hanged because it was impossible for them to turn around and say this law which made it illegal to hang people under 21 only applied to white people and not to blacks as there was nothing of this sort specified this way in that particular statute.
Racism always shoots itself in the foot!! It’s fraught through and through with self-contradiction and self- incrimination.
So the racist white Rhodesians were too embarrassed to break their own law when ironically on the other hand they kept on harping about the rule of law; thus Mnangagwa escaped the noose literally by the skin of his teeth, thanks to this technicality which, because of the fact that Mnangagwa was under age as proved even by medical experts at the hospital, meant that he therefore couldn’t be hanged.
So, Mnangagwa was spared and he is today with us in independent, free and democratic Zimbabwe as the Executive President of Zimbabwe.
It is so mind boggling to imagine what goes on in Mnangagwa’s mind today as he sits in his office strategising on generational progress of Zimbabwe whenever this nasty experience in his bid to liberate Zimbabwe crosses his mind.
It is bound to happen that once in a while he reflects on this escape from the noose by a whisker, thanks to this legal technicality.
Maybe the only consolation Mnangagwa gets is the fact that at least the aims and objectives which got him this close to death were achieved.
Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans are free today in spite of and thanks to such nasty experiences as Mnangagwa’s.
His aims and objectives as were the same as with his colleagues in the struggle were for the greater good of Zimbabweans at large and not for him and his colleagues personally. What sacrifice! What selflessness!
But even then, it is really unfathomable to just for a moment put oneself in Mnangagwa’s shoes at that moment when he knew that he was going to be hanged by the neck until pronounced dead.
Can you imagine the psychological torture that Mnangagwa must have gone through? Each time his jail cell was opened, he would think that his time was up.
Even if they just were waking him up for food or exercise, if they were still generous enough to give him food or allow him exercise, he would think it was time to die.
Would he ever think of food or exercise under such circumstances when death was literally looking at him eye-ball to eyeball?
Death is not something that anybody can make a date with.
While we all know that we will die someday, we don’t know when this day is. That is why we keep on planning our lives and try to make our lives better by working hard.
Nobody stops working simply because he or she knows that someday they will die.
It is because we don’t know when we will die even if the truest thing about human life is that it will end and we will die someday.
But the beauty about human life is that we don’t even think of our death even if it is the surest event that will happen to all of us.
We are never really meant and or made to think about our death but to think about making the best of our lives.
Human nature is therefore configured in such a manner that the ordinary human being will plan his/her life as if he/she will live in perpetuity even if ironically death is a fact of life.
But not in Mnangagwa’s case. He knew that he was going to be killed by the racist regime. They sentenced him to death by hanging. So death to Mnangagwa at this juncture was certain, not speculative.
That must be one of the most horrendous experiences anybody can ever have. But that’s what Mnangagwa went through, all because he wanted to liberate his country, Zimbabwe from racist oppression.
I wonder what Mnangagwa tells his children today about this experience. I wonder how his children feel as he tells them about this, his literal journey to hell and back.
I wonder how he himself feels each time he narrates this ordeal to his children. I wonder how he feels when he looks at his children, when he looks at his office, when he looks at Zimbabwe right now and thinks that all this could have been blown away in a split second of madness by the Rhodesians who wanted to hang him dead.
When his children hear this, it must be just as traumatising to them to think that had this miracle not happened which led to Mnangagwa being miraculously spared from death, they could have not been born.
What about us the ordinary people of Zimbabwe who are not necessarily related to Mnangagwa except for the common denominator of being Zimbabweans just like him? If Mnangagwa didn’t escape from this ominous date with the hangman, we probably could have still been under the yoke of the white man’s slavery.
Yet, looking at the man Mnangagwa today, he is the epitome of humbleness. You couldn’t ask for a more humble human being.
He is so approachable that for a man who went through such horror, one would expect just a whiff of a reminder from him that he is not an ordinary soul.
Yet he is just that. Human, humane, kind, approachable, affable and full of humanness, unhu, ubuntu.
Mnangagwa will treat everybody equally and attend to their various problems equally and solve their problems regardless of one’s class, gender, race, colour or tribe.
The man is just amazing. He indeed is a practical example of servant leadership in motion.
I hope somehow somewhere, such important stories as Mnangagwa’s experience are being officially recorded in some official documentation narrating the story of Zimbabwe because any story about the liberation of Zimbabwe which does not include Mnangagwa’s horrible experience of being saved from a date with the Rhodesian hangman literally by the skin of his teeth cannot be a full and sincere story of the liberation of Zimbabwe.
Besides, it is such stories as Mnangagwa’s experience during the struggle to liberate Zimbabwe which will really leave an indelible mark in the psyches of our youth so that they can be inspired to aspire to guard this our Zimbabwe very jealously.
If such stories as Mnangagwa’s experience are not told, particularly to the youth who are Zimbabwe’s leaders tomorrow, then we are not value adding to the uniqueness of our Zimbabwe. Instead we cheapen our Zimbabwe and in the process cheapen ourselves if we leave out Mnangagwa’s experience in any narrative that chronicles the struggle for Zimbabwe.
In fact, one would urge our Youth League leaders to take bold leadership and plan as one of their annual calendar events, a National Propitiation Day which is a day put aside in order for us as Zimbabweans, particularly the youth, to thank God through our ancestors for giving us Zimbabwe. On the National Propitiation Day, among other activities, youths must reflect on experiences such as Mnangagwa’s miraculous escape from the gallows so that such reflections inspire the youth to aspire.
Our schools must also inculcate into our young the spirit of emulating Zimbabwean heroes such as ED so that we begin to have the culture of learning from our own home-grown heroes first and not always look up to James Bond and such foreign heroes who are being imposed on our children’s psyches by their propagators but with devastatingly negative effects on our children’s patriotism.
You do not have to know Mnangagwa personally to shed a tear or two when you take just a minute to reflect on what an experience it must have been for him to know that he was going to be hanged. All that for your and my freedom.
All that’s left is for all of us to heartily thank Mnangagwa for his sacrifices which brought us Zimbabwe and for teaching us how to survive under severe adversity:
Matikaha nokuone gumbo
Vadzimba vedu chibwa
Mutsikapanyoro vana vaChivi
Vakanyairi vadyi venyama
Tinotenda VaMhari vari Nyaningwe
VaMhungudza Vari Baradzanwa
Zvinoonekwa VaMhari vari Chitonje
Zvaitwa Chikara, Mwana waChivi
Tisingasiyi mai vanobikira
Vanova Moyo Chirandu Mamoyo Vapamoyo
Rambayi makashinga mubikire Murambwi
Vadye vagute kuti vagogona kutonga
Vogotonga, Vachingotonga Vachingotonga.
Be that as it may, the Shonas’ survival in Bulawayo was a relatively easier exercise compared to Mnangagwa’s quest for survival because they were trying to be politically correct to other blacks, the Khumalo Zulus/Ndebeles not to racist whites as with Mnangagwa.
So in order to survive their fear of the Khumalo Zulus/Ndebeles, most Shonas then changed their totems by translating them into Ndebele so as to become politically correct and acceptable to the feared Ndebeles under the given circumstances where both the Ndebeles and Shonas now had to work together for the British as forced black labourers under one roof.
For example, the Shoko Mbire Mukanyas became Ncubes, which was the Ndebele equivalent and therefore acceptable to the feared Ndebeles, theMhofu Shava became Mpofus, the Mbizi (zebra) totem people became Dubes, etc.
Now the Zvimba people who were working in Bulawayo had to come up with something very quickly in order to survive.
Again they called upon their aunt’s name, Ngonya, and deliberately bastardised the name Ngonya to Ngwenya, and Ngwenya was a totem which most of the Khumalo Zulus/Ndebeles venerated.
With the Khumalo Zulus/Ndebeles, this Ngwenya means crocodile because the Zulus were also easterners or water people back in Nubia and are, in fact, Dziva/Hungwe/Kalanga and Ngwenya or crocodile was therefore a very acceptable water animal.
And with that, the Zvimba people became referred to as Ngwenya yet it is very clear that what they did was to quickly twist their aunt Ngonya’s name to Ngwenya which was an acceptable totem of some of the feared Khumalo Zulus/Ndebeles.
So that way the Zvimba people bought themselves peace and political correctness while in Bulawayo once again using Ngonya’s name, the same Ngonya whose Mbwetete/Tsivo had again saved them before and bought them land.
What a Godsend of a Vatete (aunt), this Ngonya.
The above narrative is provable. Ask any member of the Gushungo clan or any black historian (white historians are unsuitable for this purpose because they always lie about us and therefore their information about black people is totally unreliable) when the Gushungo clan started being referred to as Ngwenya and you will invariably be told that they started using this Ngwenya term when some of them went to help build Bulawayo for the British under slave labour and slave conditions.
And we know that Bulawayo was built around 1893 and black Zimbabweans, including some members of the Gushungo clan, were literally forced to build it by the British.
This is the time the term Ngwenya started featuring in the Gushungo clan. Before then there was never a Gushungo referred to as Ngwenya and they have never been Ngwenya in reality except for this survival tactic which got recognised with time.
Anybody who disputes the above facts can proffer their own position and we are ready to listen. After all, as black people we are trying to write and rewrite our own correct history as opposed to the one written by white people about us without our participation and we know that our history as written by white people always sees us as savages and nothing else.
That is clearly a lie.
The only probably correct thing in writings by white people about black people is possibly dates. But even the dates, too, have to be checked twice if they have been written by a white man in reference to a black man.
Otherwise almost everything written by white people about black people is trash for the trash can. So any decent intellectual discourse amongst black people themselves as they seek to write and rewrite their correct history is healthy and very welcome.
So when we made the digression above featuring the Gushungo people, we are just trying to illustrate how bad it is to be conquered and vassalised because you end up even doing such stupid things as calling yourself Ngwenya when you have never been Ngwenya yet survival orders you to survive and you end up being Ngwenya!
So there is nothing Ngwenya/Ngwena/Crocodile about the Gushungo people. They created the term Ngwenya by twisting their aunt Ngonya’s name and they did this in order to survive in an atmosphere which would have meant the Gushungos perpetually living in fear of the Khumalo Zulus/Ndebeles.
So Ngonya twisted to Ngwenya bought the Gushungos peace and quiet.
So once again, the Gushungos are really Ngonya not Ngwenya as clearly explained above.
We also know of the Moyo Chirandus who went to the Zimbabwe province of Uteve which is now called Mozambique.
These Moyo Chirandus fled to the east led by Nyamunda when the civil war erupted at Great Zimbabwe in 1450; and then some of them eventually returned to mainland Zimbabwe and settled in present-day Bikita.
These are the Moyo Chirandu Duma.
This about captures the evolvement of the Moyo Chirandu, clearly proving that the Moyo Chirandus are a No Option Compulsory Royal and Spiritual Entity in the entire Zimbabwean polity.
So just as an academic exercise, it would be interesting to see how each member of the vast Moyo Chirandu family in Zimbabwe can trace themselves to any of these various Moyo Chirandu experiences as described above nd iprevious instalments.
Of course per se, the exercise is really not necessary because you are a Moyo Chirandu and once a Moyo Chirandu no other descriptive is necessary, so the exercise we are challenging the Moyo Chirandus to engage in here is a mere academic or intellectual exercise, nothing more nothing less.
It is therefore clear that anybody who is a Moyo is a Moyo Chirandu and the Moyo Chirandus are one people from one source whether they call themselves Dhewa, Varozvi, VaDuma or whatever.
In fact, if we look at these as descriptions, which they really were, then it makes a mockery of the whole thing, further strengthening the fact that the Moyos are one and the same people and that every Moyo is a Moyo Chirandu and shouldn’t waste their time trying to search whether they are Duma, Rozvi or Dhewa because those are mere descriptions which are not totemical and indeed, neither are they sub tribal.
Take, for example, the soldiers who were under General Dombodzvuku’s command. These soldiers would have definitely included the Shoko Mbires who remained Shoko Mbires as these were not descendants of Dlembeu, the first Moyo Chirandu.
The same army would have also definitely included some Dziva/Hungwe/Kalanga people who were now under the rulership of the Mbire Shoko Mukanya; and indeed some of the Tongas as they were also now Shoko Mukanya subjects.
Now we ask, if the description VaRozvi was merely describing the kurozva that Dombodzvuku was legitimately doing under Murenga’s divine command in pursuit of the major objective which was to put down the raiding Portuguese, then isn’t the description of Varozvi equally applicable to those Hungwe/Dziva/Kalanga and indeed Tonga soldiers who were in the army under Dombodzvuku’s command?
Would it therefore still make any sense to make the description VaRozvi only applicable to the Moyo Chirandu soldiers in that army? Of course, not as we also know that there still were Shoko Mbire and definitely Dziva/Hungwe/Kalanga and Tonga soldiers who would have also been described as VaRozvi because the term VaRozvi was a description of the modus operandi of Dombodzvuku and his entire army as they fought against the Portuguese and not the description of a particular tribe or section of that army, i.e. the Moyo Chirandu.
In that case, it is therefore correctly arguable that you should end up with Shoko Mbires who are also VaRozvi, Tongas who are also VaRozvi, Dziva/Hungwes who are also VaRozvi, etc, because VaRozvi is a description not a mutupo.