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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Honouring Zimbabwe’s gallant sons and daughters of the soil

Story by Tambaoga Gora

THE history of the liberation struggle cannot be told without mentioning the town of Chinhoyi where seven gallant fighters torched the first flames of the Second Chimurenga in what is now known as The Chinhoyi Battle.

As we wind up the Heroes Month, we cast the spotlight on a school in Chinhoyi, christened Chemagamba, in honour of the seven heroes.

The battle of Chinhoyi signalled the beginning of the Second Chimurenga/ Umvukela jointly waged by the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) which bought independence in 1980.

The contribution of the seven heroes did not go unnoticed neither was it forgotten as the town of Chinhoyi has immortalised these gallant fighters through street and school names.

A first time visitor to Chinhoyi will probably look for a school known as Chinhoyi 2 High, but that would be difficult to locate as the learning centre is better known as Chemagamba High School.

“We are the first parents of students of this school, we did not want the school to be named Chinhoyi High 2 because if you can notice the school is next to Chemagamba Police Station we wanted the name to live on, we have been demonstrating for the school to be named Chemagamba because despite the rich history this country is carrying there is not a single school named in honour of our heroes except a police station we wanted this name because we wanted to honour the seven heroes,” said a Chinhoyi resident.

Another said, “This school called Chemagamba is the second school for the natives after Nemakonde high school, Chemagamba High school was built after independence, after construction of the school was completed the school was named Chemagamba by the parents in honour of the seven heroes who perished in that radius in 1966 in efforts to preserve history just like what they do another countries such as the USA, it is also important for us in Zimbabwe to do the same.”

The name has also been endorsed by the responsible ministry as alluded to by Makonde District Schools inspector Mr Solomon Katoma.

“Chinhoyi 2 High is popularly known as Chemagamba because it is nearer to the site were the seven heroes perished, it was also established just after independence hence it is fit to say it is a school in honour of the fallen heroes that’s why they call it Chemagamba,” he said.

Besides the school the radius of the Chinhoyi Battle is home to the Chinhoyi Provincial Heroes Acre, The Seven Heroes Monument and Chemagamba Police Station, all named in honour of the liberation fighters.

“The honour is in memory of the seven gallant heroes, Christopher Chatambudza, David Guzuzu, Godwin Manyerenyere, Arthur Maramba, Godfrey Dude, Chubby Savanhu and Simon Chimbodza Nyandoro who ignited the first gun shots signalling the beginning of the war of liberation which emancipated the people of Zimbabwe from colonial bondage,” explained Commissioner David Mahoya- Officer Commanding Mashonaland West Province.

The month of August has been set aside to celebrate and remember the country’s heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives by taking up arms to dismantle the racist colonial regime.

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