THE discourse around the Mbuya Nehanda statue is very encouraging. I enjoy hearing different opinions and celebrating diversity.
By Godwin Chireka
Once the debate is done I have my take aways and shift my position accordingly.
I would like to agree with many who are raising the issue of priorities. Maybe this venture could have been delayed while the resources were used to buy drugs in hospitals.
However, I want to applaud the artist/sculptor. An attempt to capture a younger version of Mbuya Nehanda is most welcome.
Mbuya Nehanda was abused by the white settlers and they made sure they took pictures when she was at her lowest. We’ve all had such pictures that we delete fast because they do not do justice to who we are, lol.
It’s fair to say Mbuya Nehanda had her moments of glory when her body was proud and exuding the beauty of an African queen.
She must have had her days when she was the talk of the village and a head turner. An artist who can capture this is a genius in my books.
We should be wary of a single story especially one that is told by the oppressor. It is no coincidence that the oppressors do not have a collection of Mbuya Nehanda’s pictures at her most defiant times but only have her when she had been subjugated.
Even if they had, those pics would not have been shared for obvious reasons.
One picture that shows her subjugated and looking miserable had to find its way in our books to play a fast one on our psyche. Who would respect her after seeing such?
The artist has challenged that narrative and sculptured her in all her glory. It is no surprise at all that many are finding it hard to accept a possibility that she had beauty.
The psychological genocide done on our people will take time and deliberate education to undo. Kudos to the artist. – Zimbabwe Voice