Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday unveiled a statue of the 19th Century war heroine and one of the leaders of the first armed resistance against the colonial settlers.
There was a 21-gun salute and a fly past to mark the occasion, which was held to coincide with Africa Day commemorations.
Charwe Nyakasikana, who later became known as Mbuya Nehanda, was a spirit medium who mobilised the fight against colonialism before her capture and execution by Cecil John Rhodes’s British South African Company administration in 1898.
Her skull along with other leaders of the rebellion are thought to have been taken to Britain as war trophies. President Mnangagwa said negotiations continue to have the skull returned along with those of the others as soon as possible.
He also said there was also a need to revisit monuments and sites to ensure that the history presented correctly.
The statue which is on a footbridge in central Harare depicts a chained Nehanda in one of the final photos taken before she was hanged. A snap survey conducted by Radio54 African Panorama reveal a general conception that the honour was long overdue for a figure who heroism inspired the liberation war of the 1970s that ended colonialism.
By Eric Knight