The time has come to honour one of the greatest heroes of Zimbabwe, Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana, popularly known as Mbuya Nehanda, as her statue now stands in the capital city of Harare.
Mbuya Nehanda was a powerful spirit medium and heroine of the First Chimurenga (1896 – 1897). In the 1950s, Mbuya Nehanda became a symbol for African Nationalists of the “uncolonized” past that had been destroyed by colonialism. She was hanged in 1897 after been charged with murder of a Native Commissioner Henry Pollard.
The only memory that was available was the tree she was hung on by the white settlers located on Sam Nujoma Street and Josiah Tongogara Avenue in Harare. The 200+ old years Msasa tree fell back in December 2011 after been hit by a truck.
However, in rememberence of her work, the government has erected a statue in Harare at the intersection Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere way.
The erection of Mbuya Nehanda statue stands as a way to remind the citizens of Zimbabwe of her importance to the history of Zimbabwe. The physical appeal brings forth such sentiments and attachments to all the citizens because her influence and participation shapes the future of Zimbabwe. Above all, monuments serve as sources of information, education, inspiration and recreation.
The idea was to reconcile the work that was done in the First Chimurenga. Only the Second Chimurenga was celebrated and they felt like they had disserted the first contributors to our independence.
“For many years, the people of Zimbabwe have observed that whilst a number of monuments to celebrate the Second Chimurenga have been established, there were no similar efforts to showcase the heroic achievements from the First Chimurenga. The need to have a monument of the First Chimurenga was also based on the fact that it is the First Chimurenga that inspired the Second…”Dr. Godfrey Mahachi – Source Newsday
The location relates to the places she was housed and prosecuted for murder. She was arrested and kept at a general area of the Harare Central Police. She was prosecuted and charged for murder by the jury at the court house that was located where the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe sits today.
The statue was designed by Mr David Mutasa, a local artists who poseeses attributes in bronze casting. The statue is estimated to be 1.5 metres high pestal to give the statue high prominence. Mr Sibanda’s work has been appreciated well by the government of Zimbabwe, as he possesses nothing but the best.
The same name is the same behind Mbuya Nehanda for the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean Bird (Hungwe) outside the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Mr Mutasa has tailored great work such as the Prince Charles statue in England. Then back home, he has tailored statues of Cde Herbert Chitepo and Maurice Nyagumbo.