Once upon a time, 41 years ago and beyond in particular, this country was under the rule of the colonizer.
The native Zimbabweans were under bondage and their resources belonged to the oppressors.
Worse still, the owners of the country were not allowed to exercise freedom in their own land.
They were forbidden from going to certain places, doing certain things, owning certain positions and they had no fair opportunities to reach their goals or full potential.
All that changed on April 18, 1980, when Zimbabwe won her independence. The day was celebrated yesterday but it should really be celebrated everyday.
Every day, owe our freedom, our right to be ourselves, to walk anywhere we want, to speak our minds and choose the people who rule us, to our independence and to some men and women who died fighting for that freedom.
Yes the celebrations were held from our homes due to the Coronavirus but without this freedom most of the people in this country would not be able to walk in town or get fair employment opportunities or vote.
Life was like an eternal lockdown for majority of Zimbabweans before independence.
Zimbabweans as old as 41 were born after independence while some who were as young as five years old at the time the country attained freedom, barely remember the unfairness and cruelty of colonialism.
Oral tradition is doing its small part of telling these youths about the injustices that occurred during colonial times but – because most of it is told on a personal as opposed to national basis – more should still be done to inform today’s ignorant youth about what the men and women at the National Heroes Acre did for this country before they died.
That picture – of the indigenous black Zimbabwean needing a pass to walk in First Street; senior black citizens being forced to bow to small white children; the forced hard labour for the colonialist’s gains – should be painted again.
That picture helps today’s generation appreciate this freedom that we are enjoying in Zimbabwe, this peace and fairness, were race is not an issue when it comes to one’s location, dreams, desires or ambitions.
The manner in which the Zimbabwean government, after the birth of a new Zimbabwe in 1980, displayed maturity by not revenging on the colonizer proves that the war of liberation was not one fought to punish white people but to create a country that gives equal opportunities to all its citizens, be they black or white, male or female and regardless of their religious views.
That was a wonderful display of good governance and the fruits of such wise decisions are still being enjoyed today. Foreigners still view Zimbabwe as one of the best places to be as the country has this effortless ability to make anyone feel at home.