By Lisa Masuku
As the nation marks the 21st anniversary of the death of the late Vice President, Dr. Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, Zimbabweans have been urged to uphold the national hero’s economic empowerment principles.
The nation remembers Umdala Wethu, affectionately known as Father Zimbabwe who died on the first of July in 1999.
True to the old adage that tears dry but memories last forever, Dr. Nkomo’s legacy lives on, with various speakers who graced the Small to Medium Enterprises engagement in Bulawayo this Monday taking the opportunity to reflect on his principles.
The Minister of Women’s Affairs Community Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr. Sithembiso Nyoni set the ball rolling by highlighting Dr. Nkomo’s commitment to economic empowerment.
“We must appreciate and keep Joshua Mqabuko’s legacy of local and economic development. He was a key believer and driver of local empowerment projects and that legacy should be appreciated.”
Representatives of various businesses in Bulawayo also spoke of the inspiration they got from the late national hero.
“He was Africa conscious with a vision to empower his people. The teachings that we got from the late Dr. Nkomo was that we should always think of ways to empower each other, how to better our country and give back to society,” said Women Inspired Managing Director Dr. Nothando Moyo.
Director of Zwide Veggies, Emmaculate Nxumalo had this to say, “Dr. Nkomo said for you to get the money you do not
need contacts or to be associated with big names. All you need to do is to invest in your hands. He once said in his speech if you want to make money spell the word Lima back-wards and that’s where all your money is.”
Dr. Nkomo was one of the pioneers of the country’s Second Chimurenga.
He died on July 1, 1999, at the age of 82 and was interred at the National Heroes Acre.
Apart from leading Zimbabwe to independence along with a host of other freedom fighters that included President Mnangagwa, Father Zimbabwe was also a champion of national unity and black empowerment.
The commemoration of his death comes just a month before the country marks the country’s 40th Heroes Day Anniversary, a day set aside to remember the role played by the country’s liberation heroes, in both the First and Second Chimurenga, in fighting the colonial system that favoured a white minority at the expense of the black majority.