THE month of August is very important in the national calendar of Zimbabwe. The Heroesa�� Day and Defence Forces holidays are in the same mould as Independence Day.A� These are key commemorative periods that mark important dates in our history and define our nationhood in that we cannot move forward without an appreciation of where we are coming from.
Colonialism and its attendant evils forced many black people in the then Rhodesia to sacrifice their lives and choose to fight against the racist government in a bid to ensure that the majority gained access to resources in their motherland. It was not an easy road as the liberation war cost the nation many lives and many more were scarred for life as a result of that protracted struggle.
It is these people that we remember in the month of August, our heroes both dead and alive. It is also important however, that as we look back to define our heroes of a particular epoch we also shine the spotlight on contemporary heroes.
Our fighters during the liberation war had very little resources but that did not deter them from waging a successful struggle for freedom. It is this spirit of resilience and fighting against an unfair world order that this current generation should borrow from our forebears as we stand tall to defend the gains of our independence.
While Zimbabwe gained political independence in 1980, it still has a long way to go to achieve total economic emancipation for its citizens.
While democracy has ushered in a multiplicity of political views and political outfits, all these should be guided by our national interest. The national interest is simply that Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans, and whoever seeks to govern should put Zimbabweans first.
In the increasingly globalised world, we relate with other nations but we set the terms ourselves, having regard for the interests of our people.
It is worth noting that the promulgation of the amended Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera) has been done in the month of our heroes. This is yet another war front, an economic one. And what Zimbabweans, especially the young people, need to do is to rise above such isolation efforts and establish world class businesses in a stable environment, establish all forms of institutions that will underpin such stability and progress.
It is important that we look more to ourselves for solutions so that we are not tossed back and forth by foreign interests. The generation that will ride these economic, cultural and political storms is the one that will give birth to our future heroes.
What is needed at this point is to choose a sector and stake our claim in it. This is exactly what the heroes that we are remembering this month did back in the 1960s and 70s. They identified a political system that stifled black peoplea��s progress and dismantled it.
Some of the nations imposing sanctions on the country were never on the black peoplea��s side. In fact, they classified our heroes as terrorists.
As we remember our heroes, let us awaken the hero in us too, and take Zimbabwe forward.