By Brighton Ncube
“The hardest lesson of my life has come to me late. It is that a nation can
win freedom without its people becoming free”
Ilembu eleqa amanye amalembu ngokukhalipha, umafukufuku odabuka ekezi,bakuvalela wafohla, bavula bakuthola
ukhona, Bayethe! wena ka Nkomo Bayethe! wena KaNyongolo, Bayethe! wena kaNkomo
What a great man his legacy lives on ,I remember your words and they shall be engraved in my heart
“bantwabami nxa lifuna imali phendulelelan’ ibala elithi mali lizakub’ ngulima”
Man of the people, muntu wabantu,the nation will never be the same since you departed,this year we celebrating 100 years of your legacy, Your legacy lives on and will forever live on
Famously known as the Father of the nation, Umdala Wethu ,Chibwechitedza Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo was born on June 17, 1918 to black missionary teachers in the arid Semokwe reserve of south west Matebeleland, he was educated in South Africa. It was when he was studying in South Africa that he met some of the influential leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) whose ideas influenced and sharpened his future political career. It was during this time that he met Nelson Mandela and other regional nationalist leaders.
He was employed as a social worker with the Rhodesia Railways. He was the first African to be appointed to such a prestigious post during that time. While working for the railways, he enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology with UNISA., he became a trade unionist for black railway workers.
Because of his anti-tribalist approach to the liberation of his country, Nkomo earned the respect of all his countrymen, earning himself respectable names like Chibwechitedza, Father Zimbabwe, Umdala Wethu and others. These are revered titles in Zimbabwean history.
Throughout his political career he preached the simple gospel of non-tribalism, racial mix, equal opportunities and equal distribution of land among the whites and dispossessed blacks.
He was convinced that when the land imbalance was corrected, every one in Zimbabwe would be uplifted socially and economically. He was the Vice-President of Zimbabwe until his death on the 4th of July 1999. To date a road has been named after him in Bulawayo, a stature has been erected in the city of kings and queens to mark his achievements he contributed to the lives of many.Joshua Mqabuko airport is also named after this great icon.The nation celebrates 100 years of Joshua Nkomo’s legacy this year and many activities have been lined up to celebrate the Father of Nation ,Umdala wethu.
Long Live the Legacy of Joshua Nyongolo Nkomo.