The Odyssey

 
 
 

Africa

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A Time to Remember
from "The Herald" newspaper front cover, July 5, 1999

Today we bury Comrade Joshua Nkomo with all the honour the nation can give.

It is a time to mourn. But it is also a time to remember with pride that long life and struggle that ended in complete victory: a nation that is free, strong and united.

That is why people in their thousands are at the National Heroes Acre today.

Comrade Nkomo was like a bulldozer going one way, one direction, i.e. freedom and dignity of the African people. He never looked right or left. He went one way.

Comrade Nkomo had more years than is given to most men. And almost all of those years were given to his country. He sacrificed much in the service of the people and yet he lived long enough to see his wish realized.

... It is impossible to write any history of Zimbabwe for the last half century without having the name Joshua Nkomo appearing on most pages.

... When the next generation comes to write of the tumultuous years of the struggle and the early years of independence, there can be little doubt that this victory he won for national unity will be regarded as the finest achievement of a life full of so much achievement.

We do not have to wait, however, for the history books to be written before we tell the new generations of the battles of the founding fathers of the nation. There is now no child in school who was born before independence and only a few in the top forms of secondary schools can have even the vaguest childhood memory of the subsequent battle for national unity.

It is essential that we redouble our efforts to make known the events of the years covered by the life of such as Joshua Nkomo to our children. A free and united Zimbabwe did not just happen. Both freedom and unity were fought for, and there were few such determined warriors as Joshua Nkomo in both battles.