Of street names and the journey to independence

By Mthokozisi Dube
AS the nation inches towards the 42nd independence celebrations set for Barbourfields stadium in Bulawayo, we reflect on street names in the City of Kings which capture the story of the country’s journey to emancipation.
Bulawayo, just like many other cities and towns, has embraced nationalism by renaming streetS in honour of icons who contributed to the liberation of the country.
A cross section of people who spoke to ZBC News say street names have a symbolic value as the country’s history is embedded in them.
“When we see these street names we are quick to know that so and so contributed to the liberation struggle. In Bulawayo we have main street now Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. He is one man who we can’t miss when we talk of Zimbabwean independence,” said one Bulawayo resident.
“Our young children can relate to these names to realise that the independence did not just come, a lot of sacrifices were made,” said another resident.
“Coming to Bulawayo you cannot miss a street named after Joshua Nkomo, former president Robert Mugabe, George Silundika and Jason Moyo. These people played a pivotal role in liberating our country. When we see these names we are quick to be reminded about their sacrifices and here in Bulawayo for Nkomo, we remember a unifier, a revolutionary, a man who wanted to see Zimbabweans unite despite race, color or tribe,” reminisced another resident.
Since independence, government has renamed streets and various places and institutions in honor of national heroes whose sacrifices ought to be cherished and celebrated, with a statue in honor of the late Father Zimbabwe having been erected in Bulawayo.